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The social organization of dialogue : search for a voice Thompson, Linda Marie 1982

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THE SOCIAL ORGANIZATION OP DIALOGUE: SEARCH FOR A VOICE fey LINDA MARIE THOMPSON B.A., The U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h Columbia, 1976  A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES (Department of A n t h r o p o l o g y and S o c i o l o g y )  We accept t h i s t h e s i s as conforming to the required standard  THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA October 1982 Q  L i n d a M a r i a Thompson, 1982  In p r e s e n t i n g t h i s  thesis  an advanced degree at the L i b r a r y I  in p a r t i a l  the U n i v e r s i t y  s h a l l make i t  freely  f u l f i l m e n t o f the of B r i t i s h  available  for  requirements f o r  Columbia,  I agree  that  reference and study.  f u r t h e r agree t h a t p e r m i s s i o n f o r e x t e n s i v e copying o f t h i s  thesis  f o r s c h o l a r l y purposes may be granted by the Head o f my Department or by h i s of  representatives.  this  written  thesis for financial  i s understood that gain s h a l l  copying o r p u b l i c a t i o n  not be allowed without my  permission.  The U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h  2075 Wesbrook Place Vancouver, Canada V6T 1W5  Date  It  <^)^/  Columbia  SS~  r  ABSTRACT  This t h e s i s makes two claims First  ahout  dialogue.  i t claims that dialogue i s s o c i a l l y organized, and  second, i t claims that the s e l f i s m u l t i v o c a l i n i t s need t o speak.  What i s the import  inquiry?  of t h i s f o r s o c i o l o g i c a l  Why i s i t good t o w r i t e dialogue?  l e a r n from doing i t ?  These are the questions  What can we which the  t h e s i s asks the reader t o c o n s i d e r . The  dialogue, which i s conducted through the voice  of s c i e n c e , the v o i c e of skeptism, and  the v o i c e of convention  the v o i c e of i n q u i r y , i s presented  treatise.  Dialogue  as an a l t e r n a t i v e t o  i s multi v o c a l i n i t s p r e s e n t a t i o n  whereas t r e a t i s e i s u n i v o c a l .  T r e a t i s e claims that the only  v o i c e t o recognize i s the v o i c e which represents where s c i e n c e i s the v o i c e of a u t h o r i t y .  science,  I t i s the voice  which t r a n s m i t s knowledge from the knowledgeable t o the ignorant.  It i s the v o i c e which "knows-for-certain"  taking  as i t s r e s p o n s i b i l i t y the burden of ensuring that the ig no ra nt  become informed Sociology,  of the t r u t h about  although  t r e a t i s e , has always permitted  "things".  i t has joined the t r a d i t i o n of i t s e l f to stand back from  s c i e n c e and t r e a t i t as an o b j e c t .  It has taken as i t s task  iii  the need t o remind us, and i t s e l f , but  that s c i e n c e i s a voice  only one of many v o i c e s which we heed.  Therefore,  d i a l o g u e , because of i t s m u l t i v o c a l i t y , c l e a r l y corresponds to  an e s t a b l i s h e d s o c i o l o g i c a l point  of view and deserves t o  be  r e v i v e d as a f o r g o t t e n form of i n q u i r y . Furthermore, m u l t i v o c a l i t y i s an i s s u e which i s  implicitly  recognized  by s o c i o l o g y i n that i t allows  that  s c i e n c e must be addressed as i n s t i t u t i o n a l and thoroughly social.  Given t h i s i n t e r e s t , dialogue shows p o s s i b i l i t y i n  that i t allows  one v o i c e to c r y out when science (or  convention) speaks, "Stop! knowledge?  Let's t a l k about t h i s .  Where does i t come from?  Who has i t ?  What i s Who  controls i t ? " The expression silence, intends.  dialogue form, because i t allows the  of one's many v o i c e s , can l i b e r a t e  from death.  one from  This i s the awareness t h i s work  iv  TABLE OP  CONTENTS  Page ABSTRACT  i i  TABLE OP CONTENTS  iv  ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS  v  INTRODUCTION  1  PART I Chapter 1. SEARCH FOR A VOICE  10  PART I I Book I . THE HOLLOW MEN II. III.  36  THE L I F E OF CHATTER  60  IMMEDIACY  87  I V . DIALOGUE  108  CONCLUDING REMARKS  127  BIBLIOGRAPHY  132  V  ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS  This t h e s i s could not have come i n t o being the p a t i e n t understanding throughout my I am  long and  and  tacit  support  changing journey  and  to f i n d f o r myself a way  at the  the strongest  completion and  unbeknownst to him,  work by warning me, f i e l d w o r k one field,  f o r her  of the work when my  provided  Dr. Ken  full  doubts were, Stoddart,  a strong impetus f o r t h i s  ever so long ago,  discovered  thoughtful  work and  the most unfounded.  need  I would l i k e to  i s s u e a s p e c i a l sense of g r a t i t u d e f o r her  support  of my  to s e l f - e x p r e s s i o n .  To P r o f e s s o r Barbara Williamson  r e a d i n g and h e l p f u l c r i t i c i s m of my  committee  i n graduate s c h o o l .  e s p e c i a l l y t h a n k f u l f o r t h e i r understanding  to explore  who,  of my  without  that when one  did  more about the s e l f than about  deserves a s p e c i a l place i n t h i s  the  endeavour.  This work would not have been p o s s i b l e without continued Dr. Roy  support  Turner.  t h e r e to o f f e r write.  and  Throughout my  friend  s t r u g g l e he has  r e s i s t e n c e to what i t i s I had  His continued  "non-writing"  c o l l a b o r a t i o n of my  prodding  gave me the  mentor,  always been to say, had  through long periods  courage to continue  gentle reminder that i t was  and  the  on.  of His  not that I COULD not w r i t e  but  to  vi  that  I WOULD not w r i t e allowed t h i s t h e s i s to take t h i s  s p e c i a l form.  Over the past few years he has been both  " g a d - f l y " and "midwife" i n my l i f e , live-birth—after  and to him I owe t h i s  ever so many "wind-eggs".  I would a l s o l i k e t o acknowledge my graduate student f r i e n d s and c o l l e a g u e s . Gardner's c r i t i c a l acknowledged.  In p a r t i c u l a r ,  Holly  r e s i s t e n c e t o the work needs to be  And a s p e c i a l thanks goes t o Noga Gayle and  Joanne Richardson f o r t h e i r w i l l i n g n e s s to l i s t e n to what had  just been w r i t t e n — n o matter what the time of day or  night. of  They, I am sure, experienced most a c u t e l y my moments  blind  panic.  A s p e c i a l thanks also goes t o Melody  H e s s i n g who helped p u l l my world back i n t o i t s proper place whenever i t began t o s l i p . I w i l l always be g r a t e f u l t o Dr. Rodney  Michalko  who helped b r i n g i n t o focus what i t was I was t r y i n g t o say.  His n o t - s o - g e n t l e nudgings on h i s t r i p s back to the  West Coast g r e a t l y a s s i s t e d i n making t h i s work come t o life. Finally,  I would l i k e t o thank my non-academic  friends for their  continued support throughout the w r i t i n g  of  this  I needed and a p p r e c i a t e d t h e i r  in  my a b i l i t y t o " f i n a l l y f i n i s h " .  to  my mother and my son f o r " j u s t being t h e r e " when I needed  them.  "paper".  confidence  A very s p e c i a l thanks go  vii  I Alden  would  also  and Wendy S a a r i ,  somewhat,  i n order  for  like  to  who b o t h me t o  t h a n k my t y p i s t s , reorganized t h e i r  meet  my d e a d l i n e s .  Carell lives,  We s h a l l not c e a s e f r o m e x p l o r a t i o n And t h e end of a l l our e x p l o r i n g W i l l be t o a r r i v e where we s t a r t e d And know t h e p l a c e f o r t h e f i r s t t i m e . T.S.  Eliot  1  Introduction  I  "Whatever t h e p h i l o s o p h e r b e l i e v e s h i m s e l f t o be d o i n g , t h e r e i s imminent w i t h i n h i s p r o f e s s i o n a l a c t i v i t y something antecedent t o e i t h e r a u n i l a t e r a l or a b i l a t e r a l mode of p r o c e d u r e : t h e r e i s a m o n o - l a t e r a l or proto-lateral activity. To t r a n s l a t e s i m p l y : t h e p h i l o s o p h e r i s t r y i n g t o uncover something about himself. Philosophical activity is self discovery." Natanson The aim of t h i s t h e s i s  i s t o address  (1965:152)  Natanson's  a d m i s s i o n of p h i l o s o p h i c a l d i s c o u r s e as a s o c i o l o g i c a l concern.  II  Dialogue,  or c o n v e r s a t i o n , i s s o c i a l l y o r g a n i z e d .  There have been s t u d i e s Jefferson  of c o n v e r s a t i o n ,  (1972), Sacks ( 1 9 7 2 ) , S c h e g l o f f  f o r example, and Sacks  (1973)  and Turner (1972), e x p l i c a t i n g how c o n v e r s a t i o n i n our d a i l y l i v e s i s o r g a n i z e d as a p r a c t i c a l a c t i v i t y .  For t h e most  p a r t t h e s e works are concerned w i t h t e c h n i c a l s t r u c t u r e s conversation.  That i s , form r a t h e r t h a n c o n t e n t ,  rather than p o s s i b i l i t y .  These a n a l y s t s  in  or form  t a k e as t h e i r main  2 concern how  c o n v e r s a t i o n i s a r t f u l l y and  unconsciously  organized by members, d i s p l a y i n g f o r the reader  such r  s t r u c t u r a l f e a t u r e s as how accomplished,  or how  openings  and  closings  are  t a l k i s s e q u e n t i a l l y organized.  the task of the a n a l y s t i s to make e x p l i c i t  Thus  the methods  members use and the resources they employ i n making t h e i r speech  o r d e r l y , cohesive, u n d e r s t a n d a b l e - b y - a l l -  parti cipants. The  a n a l y s t i s not  concerned  with  'what the  c o n v e r s a t i o n i s a b o u t , whether or not i t i s i n t e r e s t i n g or 1  of a concern t o her/him.  That i s , every piece of t a l k ,  every t o p i c , i s awarded the same c o n c e r n — b e i t a transcribed  r e c o r d i n g of members c o n v e r s a t i o n while p l a y i n g  b r i d g e , a f a m i l y dinner c o n v e r s a t i o n , or c o n v e r s a t i o n about the m o r a l i t y of c a p i t a l punishment. makes i t a t r u l y democratic The a way  T h i s , we  could say,  concern.  a n a l y s t does not  engage what has  which would b r i n g to l i g h t  been s a i d i n  the v e r s i o n of the world  the p a r t i c i p a n t s s u b s c r i b e to or that the analyst s u b s c r i b e s to.  In other words, what was  said  does not provide the  a n a l y s t with the impulse to speak, to converse. how  Instead,  i t i s s a i d , what r u l e s are being used, provide the  f o r the a n a l y s t ' s m i l l .  Another way  grist  to say t h i s i s to  say that the a n a l y s t takes as h e r / h i s concern s h e e r l y the t e c h n i c a l methods members employ i n producing, through talk,  an o r d e r l y  world.  their  3  Readers are not asked t o consider t h i s world is  which  o f f e r e d through t r a n s c r i b e d c o n v e r s a t i o n and change  because of t h e i r  engagement with i t . The i n v i t a t i o n to  become an i n t e r l o c u t o r i s never i s s u e d , i s never considered.  Rather the a n a l y s t , as expert, provides a  method f o r us as students  or colleagues to f o l l o w so that we  might, i n t u r n , " r e p l i c a t e and/or extend (Turner,  the a n a l y s i s . . . "  1972:11).  Ill  In s o c i o l o g y the a n a l y s t ' s task, as we have seen, is  to analyze  c o n v e r s a t i o n ; that i s , make c o n v e r s a t i o n the  topic f o r analysis.  This i s not the only way, however, of  o r i e n t i n g to conversation.  In the past  c o n v e r s a t i o n or  d i a l o g u e , i t s e l f , has been used as a v e h i c l e f o r i n q u i r y r a t h e r than merely a t o p i c to be i n q u i r e d i n t o .  In other  words the d i a l o g i c a l format has been, and s t i l l i s , responsive t o w r i t e r s need t o express  and explore.  H i s t o r i c a l l y the dialogue form has been used by such t h i n k e r s as P l a t o and Hume, f o r example, to achieve a deeper understanding world.  of the s e l f and i t s r e l a t i o n to t h e  For i n s t a n c e , P l a t o uses the dialogues to engage h i s  i n t e r l o c u t o r s i n c o n v e r s a t i o n about what i s important t o them.  Socrates  searches  f o r t r u t h through the d i a l e c t by  engaging others i n c o n v e r s a t i o n about what i t i s t o know.  4  He f o r c e s h i s i n t e r l o c u t o r s , r e s p o n s i b l e and responsive  and u s — h i s  r e a d e r s — t o be  t o our speech, our l i v e s .  Hence we need t o question  what i s the good of  dialogue?  Why d i d P l a t o w r i t e dialogue  treatise?  Before  addressing  rather than  these questions  of dialogue,  l e t us t h i n k , f o r a moment, about t r e a t i s e . treatise;  Descartes wrote t r e a t i s e .  makes claims expert.  The t r e a t i s e ,  itself,  about the world; i t i s the speech of t h e  It t e l l s us what we need t o know about  the world.  "things" i n  It b r i n g s us up to date; i t informs. And  treatise.  s o c i o l o g y has joined the t r a d i t i o n of  Sociology  urges us, no, demands us, to w r i t e  about something i n the world. our  A r i s t o t l e wrote  Conversation  A n a l y s t s , to use  on-going example, t e l l us about c o n v e r s a t i o n — h o w i t i s  accomplished; how i t i s s t r u c t u r e d . what t h e S o c i a l alternative  Sciences,  to treatise  Yet what s o c i o l o g y ,  have f o r g o t t e n i s that there i s an  and that i s dialogue.  They (we)  have f o r g o t t e n that h i s t o r i c a l l y t h i s i s a l e g i t i m a t e form of i n q u i r y . Let us now r e t u r n t o the question dialogue—what dialogue  form.  dialogues,  r a i s e d of  i s i t s good and why d i d P l a t o choose the Rosen ( I 9 6 8 : x i i i )  " . . . P l a t o says nothing  reminds us that by w r i t i n g i n h i s own name, and  second, whatever anyone says i s r e l a t i v e to a s p e c i f i c dramatic s i t u a t i o n . "  In other words, through h i s  c h a r a c t e r s , P l a t o can say whatever he needs to say, at any  5  given time; moreover he he  can,  and  can t r e a t speech i n an i r o n i c  does, engage i n d i a l e c t i c a l speech.  way;  Rosen  ( l 9 6 8 : x v i i i ) a l s o reminds us that the dialogue form i s a method of t e a c h i n g which P l a t o subscribes t o .  He  (Rosen)  s t a t es: "Is i t not p r e c i s e l y the f u n c t i o n of the dialogue form that i t f o r c e s the reader to engage i n the act of i n t e r p r e t a t i o n , to f i l l i n missing l i n k s , t o r e v i s e accomodated arguments, to d i s c e r n the import of h i n t s , to understand the s i g n i f i c a n c e of jokes?" Hence the dialogue  form reminds us that to  or to l e a r n i s not merely to give or to r e c e i v e about the world. one's own  noetic  organized  format a s u i t a b l e form  It i s my  contention that  so as to have more than  the  one  We have the voice of commonsense or the voice of the  conventional  life.  This voice speaks what i t p e r c e i v e s ,  what impinges on i t s e y e b a l l s .  This i s the voice  immediacy which refuses to engage or be engaged. can  one  and  that i s how  argue about what one the world  the v o i c e of the expert. is  in  activity.  of e x p o s i t i o n f o r s o c i o l o g y ?  voice.  information  Rather i t i s to engage one's i n t e l l e c t  What, then, makes the dialogue  self is socially  teach  r u l e d by s c i e n c e .  IS.  perceives?  We  of For  how  merely p e r c e i v e ,  Imbedded i n t h i s s e l f i s also  This i s the a n a l y s t ; the  This v o i c e , i f allowed  i n monologue, i n t r e a t i s e , as one who  one  who  to r u l e , speaks  "knows" the c o r r e c t  6  answer,  the  inquirer other who  we  —  the  voices  is  o n e who  to  will  for  certain.  risk,  to  as  Marx,  Kierkegaard  format  needs  of  organization each  the is  self an  voice.  of  the  this  is  the  tension and  of  to  have  voice  of  the  the  of  self?  Socrates,  dialectically.  One way is  voice  q u e s t i o n what  one  to  to  explore  conduct  its  time  a  for  seems  example, the  is  responsive  the  multivocal  dialogue  to  It  Hence  o r g a n i z a t i o n which  self  voice  This  is  engage.  explain  and t r e a t  there  bring into  do we  dialogical  allow  Finally,  How do  suggest  way.  "know"  willing  must  these  correct  which  to  will  speak.1  IV  This is  an  attempt  discuss stand, is  the a  place  we  first  time".  But  requirements  need  to  the  organized into requirements  speaking, to  no t e c h n i c a l  started"  Part the  meet  from which  proposed.  where  the  to  is  problem of  insoluable;  answer  thesis  II  speak  fixes  Eliot,  and,  hopefully,  of  do n o t  of  The  are  we—the  in  Part  a  I  I  place  to  problem,  of  course,  discovered;  no  perfect  readers  "know  "know"  parts.  treatise.  finding  begin.  Like  we  of  two  the  the  and  place  way  I—"arrive for  which  the  meets  treatise.  starts  again.  multivocally  It to  seems  necessary  influence  the  to  form.  allow  7  Therefore speaking  the  as a way  of  a b o u t t h e m u l t i v o c a l o r g a n i z a t i o n of s e l f  as  a  to  shed  sociological light  d i a l o g u e format  concern.  This  on t h e d i f f i c u l t i e s  i s recalled  d i a l o g u e i s an a t t e m p t  of s p e e c h and  b r i n g us t o some d e g r e e o f u n d e r s t a n d i n g s p e a k i n a c o m m i t t e d and  responsive  way.  silence,  and  to  o f what i t i s t o  8  FOOTNOTES  1 .  K i e r k e g a a r d a d d r e s s e s t h e p r o b l e m o f m u l t i v o c a l i s m byw r i t i n g under pseudonyms. I n t h i s way e a c h w r i t e r is a l l o w e d h i s s a y w i t h o u t b e i n g k i l l e d by t h e e d i t o r i a l I.  9  PART 1 CHAPTER 1 SEARCH FOR A VOICE  " I would r e a l l y l i k e t o have s l i p p e d i m p e r c e p t i b l y i n t o the l e c t u r e , as i n a l l o t h e r s I s h a l l be d e l i v e r i n g , perhaps over t h e y e a r s ahead. I would have p r e f e r r e d to be enveloped i n words, borne away beyond a l l p o s s i b l e b e g i n n i n g s . At t h e moment of s p e a k i n g I would l i k e t o have p e r c e i v e d a nameless v o i c e , l o n g p r e c e e d i n g me, l e a v i n g me merely t o enmesh myself i n i t , t a k i n g up i t s cadence, and t o lodge m y s e l f , when no one was l o o k i n g , i n i t s i n t e r s t i c e s as i f i t had paused an i n s t a n t , i n suspense, t o beckon me. There would have been no b e g i n n i n g s : i n s t e a d , speech would proceed from me, w h i l e I s t o o d i n i t s path a s l e n d e r gap - t h e p o i n t of i t s p o s s i b l e d i s a p p e a r a n c e . " Poucault  (1972:215)  I  J u s t as P o u c a u l t would l i k e t o s l i p i m p e r c e p t i b l y i n t o l e c t u r e , I would l i k e t o s l i p i m p e r c e p t i b l y i n t o writing.  I , t o o , would p r e f e r t o be "...enveloped i n words,  borne away beyond a l l p o s s i b l e b e g i n n i n g s " .  I , t o o , would  l i k e t o f i n d m y s e l f merely enmeshed w i t h a nameless v o i c e which l o n g preceded me.  1 0  Now  why  s l i p unnoticed would we  would Foucault  I perceive i t e a s i e r to  i n t o a d i s c o u r s e already begun?  And,  why  d e s i r e to be i n d i s t i n g u i s h a b l e from voices past  from v o i c e s yet to come? heard?  and  Could  i t be we  are a f r a i d to  and  be  A f r a i d to make a d i f f e r e n c e ? In order to understand t h i s f e a r , t h i s  t o begin, we so begin we  hesitancy  must i n q u i r e i n t o the i d e a of beginning.  And  must.  II  What Foucault  and  p i c k up our pens to w r i t e we  are not  Foucault  beginning  (and f o r me)  a new  I seem to have f o r g o t t e n when we  (open our mouths to speak) i s that conversation.  The  paradox f o r  i s that while we yearn to  find  o u r s e l v e s i n the midst of speech we have f o r g o t t e n that a l l s t a r t h e r e — i n the midst of d i s c o u r s e . c o n v e r s a t i o n , i n d i s c o u r s e we responding  to speech which has  Just as i n  are always addressing  This i s  we t r e a t  our speech  as  speech, as speech which speaks i t s grounds, as  speech which has begin  a  begin.  When t h i s i s f o r g o t t e n and perfect  or  preceded us, whether i t be  s p e c i f i c t e x t or mere o p i n i o n from everyday l i f e . what i t i s to  we  no h i s t o r y , then we  o r i e n t to the need t o  at a place which can be seen by a l l as the  "true  11  beginning". To begin, then, from t h i s vantage point i s t o commit o n e s e l f to a beginning place which i s f i r s t ,  which i s  s e l f announcing.  This d e s i r e f o r a t r u e beginning speaks of  the need to t r e a t  our speech  definitive truth. speaker  as part of nature, as the  Thus, i n t h i s v e r s i o n of the world,  can only s t a r t  the  i f she i s secure i n the knowledge  that she goes f o r t h from a s o l i d , well-anchored  position;  t h e r e f o r e , the problem of beginning becomes a problem of l o c a t i n g a p l a c e to stand which w i l l give us some leverage on the world,  and which w i l l allow us to be experts  on t h i s  world. For S o c i a l S c i e n t i s t s t h i s place from which to speak must be an e l e v a t e d p o s i t i o n , beyond the because to begin from w i t h i n the everyday with imperfect speech.  everyday,  would be to begin  Durkheim, f o r example, urges us t o  see t h i s world as an inadequate which needs to be s t e r i l i z e d  place to begin; as a place  and systemetized before  speech  can be secure, before i t can be w e l l grounded i n s c i e n c e . "Since the word " s u i c i d e " recurs c o n s t a n t l y i n the course of c o n v e r s a t i o n , i t might be thought that i t s sense i s u n i v e r s a l l y known and that d e f i n i t i o n i s s u p e r f l u o u s . A c t u a l l y the words of everyday language, l i k e the concepts they express, are always s u s c e p t i b l e of more than one meaning, and the s c h o l a r s employing them i n t h e i r accepted use without f u r t h e r d e f i n i t i o n would r i s k s e r i o u s misunderstanding... and so the s c h o l a r s cannot take as  12  s u b j e c t of t h i s research roughly assembled groups of f a c t s c o r r e s p o n d i n g t o words o f common u s a g e . He h i m s e l f must e s t a b l i s h t h e g r o u p s he w i s h e s t o s t u d y i n o r d e r t o g i v e them t h e h o m o g e n e i t y and t h e s p e c i f i c m e a n i n g n e c e s s a r y f o r them t o be s u s c e p t i b l e o f s c i e n t i f i c treatment." ( D u r k h e i m 1 951 :41 ) Durkheim's p r e d e c e s s o r  f  and o u r s , D e s c a r t e s  w a r n s us t h a t mere o p i n i o n i s n o t an a d e q u a t e place.  According t o Descartes  starting  we s h o u l d e n d e a v o r t o sweep  our minds c l e a n o f mere o p i n i o n u n t i l "better"  also  we h a v e  something  (truer) t o take i t s place. "But as r e g a r d s a l l t h e o p i n i o n s w h i c h up t o t h i s t i m e I h a d e m b r a c e d , I t h o u g h t I c o u l d n o t do b e t t e r t h a n e n d e a v o u r once and f o r a l l t o sweep them c o m p l e t e l y away, s o t h a t t h e y m i g h t l a t e r be r e p l a c e d , e i t h e r by o t h e r s w h i c h w o u l d be b e t t e r , o r by t h e same, when I h a d made them c o n f o r m t o t h e u n i f o r m i t y o f a r a t i o n a l scheme." ( D e s c a r t e s 1 969:11 5) Thus D e s c a r t e s ,  l i k e Durkheim a f t e r him, i s  t e l l i n g us o p i n i o n i s n o t an a d e q u a t e p l a c e t o s t a r t Both  these t h i n k e r s advocate  thought  which  i s admirable —  from.  a p u r e and s y s t e m a t i z e d f o r m o f b u t we must a s k how t h i s i s  a c h i eved? U n l i k e D u r k h e i m and D e s c a r t e s , h o w e v e r , is  content  to start  w i t h mere o p i n i o n .  Socrates  F o r e x a m p l e , when  Menon ( 7 0 ) comes up t o S o c r a t e s , and s a y s , "Can y o u t e l l S o c r a t e s - can v i r t u e  be t a u g h t ? "  Socrates  me,  does n o t s a y t o  13  Menon, "We out and  cannot  f i n d out about  virtue  u n t i l we have gone  done a survey to f i n d out what v i r t u e  m a j o r i t y of the p o p u l a t i o n means." Nor do a l i t e r a t u r e review and t e l l before.  among the  does he say, " F i r s t  me what has been s a i d  T e l l me what the t e x t s say."  No,  Socrates s h i f t s  Menon's q u e s t i o n t o one which w i l l examine or r e - c r e a t e the i d e a of v i r t u e  itself.  Socrates does not f e e l compelled  look f o r an o r i g i n which i s o u t s i d e mere o p i n i o n . he s t a r t s  from wherever he and h i s i n t e r l o c u t o r  to  Instead  happen t o  be, that i s with mere o p i n i o n , with whatever happens to be the concern of the moment and moves from t h e r e . closing  of the d i a l o g u e , Menon and we,  have an answer to the q u e s t i o n — " C a n we  do have a deeper  At the  the readers, do not  virtue  understanding of v i r t u e  be taught", but and i t s place i n  our l i v e s . To r e i t e r a t e ,  the s c h o l a s t i c  t r a d i t i o n which  cites  the l i t e r a t u r e , thereby showing l o y a l t y to that which has a l r e a d y been w r i t t e n (the same t r a d i t i o n which grounds i t s speech  i n science),  forward from. reopened  i s asking f o r a secure home to move  Here the beginning or the o r i g i n s  because what i s being proposed  Furthermore  In other words, the one who  forward needs a f o r t r e s s  be  i s a move forward.  t h i s movement w i l l always be w i t h i n the  of the t r a d i t i o n .  and  need not  limits  wants to move  as home, as a place to s t a r t  as a place to come back t o , because without  well-anchored b e g i n n i n g the movement forward  can  a be  from  14  c h a l l e n g e d or can be open to c r i t i c i s m . the urge to move forward,  one  But i f one  gave up  could give up t r e a t i n g the  b e g i n n i n g as an o r i g i n and thereby be s a t i s f i e d  simply to  start. In some sense Socrates never did move forward. I have already s a i d , i t i s not  as i f the question  v i r t u e be taught" i s ever answered. q u e s t i o n of i t s being a teachable addressed. Socrates  " t h i n g " i s never "Lysis" ( 2 2 3 )  "...and as yet we have not been able t o  d i s c o v e r what i s a f r i e n d . " interlocutors  "Can  On the c o n t r a r y , the  L i k e w i s e , at the c l o s i n g of the  admits,  As  departed  Yet he and h i s young  as f r i e n d s , having spent  the  a f t e r n o o n i n c o n v e r s a t i o n about what i t i s to be a f r i e n d . C l e a r l y , then, the d o c t r i n e of r e c o l l e c t i o n does not t e l l us to move forward position,  r a t h e r i t seems that f o r Socrates no p o s i t i o n i s  "well established". feels to  from an already e s t a b l i s h e d  Furthermore, u n l i k e Descartes,  no shame i n t h i s .  He i s not  Socrates  embarrassed to s u b s c r i b e  a d o c t r i n e which says, " R e f l e c t , r e c o l l e c t what i t i s you  a l r e a d y know.  Examine your l i f e . "  Socrates i s not concept), but beginnings, beginnings  concerned  This d o c t r i n e of  with advancement  r a t h e r , i t encourages us to open up  or as McHugh et a l (1974:11 ) a d v i s e s , to t r e a t as a l r e a d y achieved,  as already  Remembering, of course, that those who first  (as a l i n e a r  f o r g e t that beginnings  accomplished.  t r e a t beginnings  as  are grounded; t h e r e f o r e i t i s  15  t h e t a s k of t h e a n a l y s t t o d i s p l a y these grounds as best she can.  Ill  The t y r a n n y  of p e r f e c t speech t e l l s us i t i s  b e t t e r t o remain s i l e n t t h a n r i s k b e g i n n i n g .  P e r f e c t speech  commands u s , "Be s i l e n t u n t i l you have p e r f e c t i o n . "  To  b e g i n , however, i s t o r i s k b r e a k i n g s i l e n c e , as i f s i l e n c e i t s e l f was not a r i s k , as i f s i l e n c e i t s e l f d i d not speak. In h i s e a r l y work,  W i t t g e n s t e i n (1961:151) urges  us t o f o l l o w t h e a d v i c e of p e r f e c t speech when he s t a t e s , "What we cannot speak about we must pass over i n s i l e n c e . " What i s W i t t g e n s t e i n t e l l i n g us i f not t o keep our thoughts s i l e n t u n t i l we have p e r f e c t speech.  He urges us t o keep  s i l e n t u n t i l we "know" f o r c e r t a i n . W i t t g e n s t e i n presses than r i s k speaking  us t o r i s k s i l e n c e r a t h e r  about t h i n g s we do not know.  He i s not  s a y i n g , " I know, I am t h e e x p e r t , " he uses t h e p l u r a l "we", i n c l u d i n g h i m s e l f i n t h i s u n i v e r s a l p l e a . Socrates  In contrast  t e l l s us i t our t a s k t o speak about these  t h i n g s of which we know n o t h i n g . our power t o r e c o l l e c t ;  form  very  He t e l l s us i t i s w i t h i n  he asks us t o draw on our own  t h o u g h t s and e n t e r t h e d i a l o g u e w i t h a f r i e n d l y  mind.  It i s  of t h e s e very t h i n g s , t h e t h i n g s of which we know n o t h i n g ;  16  but  we  must speak.  good of  T h i s , f o r Socrates,  conversation. The  v o i c e which t e l l s us to remain s i l e n t  "know" f o r c e r t a i n i s s a y i n g , you  can be  not  exposed as an expert."  not  a l l are capable path  risk,", i t  of a r r i v i n g  To t h i s we  just  This voice i s  out the promise that  as long as we  f o l l o w the  have to begin to speak  Then t h i s speech can be  by a f r i e n d l y i n t e r l o c u t o r .  "Wait  method).  respond, "We  are."  exposed  From t h i s  i n that i t holds  (use the proper  from wherever we  speak."  destination i s expertise.  l i k e that of Descartes  proper  "Do  we  until  This voice i s s a y i n g ,  get there before you  p e r s p e c t i v e the  until  r i s k dialogue  " s e l f exposure u n t i l the s e l f which i s to be  u n t i l you  we  "do  are sure you w i l l come o f f w e l l . "  says,  and f o r us, i s the  The  reformulated  speech once spoken, the  words once w r i t t e n , can be t r e a t e d as something f o r c o l l a b o r a t i o n , something f o r work. says " l e t ' s not  do t h a t " i t can be an i n j u n c t i o n against  disclosure, a c a l l for nihilism,  or we  W i t t g e n s t e i n i n a more f r i e n d l y way to chatter.  Thus when W i t t g e n s t e i n  Wittgenstein  can respond to  and  say he urges us  not  speaks as though c h a t t e r i s the  only a l t e r n a t i v e to speaking  knowledgeably.  examine our souls we  c h a t t e r i s worse than s i l e n c e  can say  f o r c h a t t e r speaks not from ignorance  Yet, i f we  but from  no  commitment, or r a t h e r from a commitment to c h a t t e r .  17  What i s f o r g o t t e n  by t h o s e who t a k e t h e vow o f  silence  i s that  silence itself  death.  Silence  disorients.  i s a risk:  I t i s p e r c e i v e d as s a f e ; i t  g i v e s n o t h i n g t o be c h a l l e n g e d , thinks  i t risks nothing.  though s i l e n c e things trust  the r i s k of  except s i l e n c e i t s e l f .  I t learns  nothing.  I t i s as  ought t o be q u i e t l y and s e c r e t l y  t o secure i t s beginnings.  It  accumulating  Furthermore, i t w i l l not  any i n t e r l o c u t o r , o r more c o r r e c t l y any p o t e n t i a l  interlocutor,  u n t i l i t i s sure of i t s e l f .  some s e n s e , w i n t h e c o n t e s t . a community o f a d v e r s a r i e s ,  Sure i t w i l l , i n  Thus s i l e n c e  finds  i t s home i n  n o t i n a community o f  collaborators. What does t h i s s a y about i n t e r l o c u t o r s ? t h e y a r e n o t t o be t r u s t e d  I t says  t o engage i n d i a l o g u e ; t h e y h a v e  nothing t o offer.  They a r e n o t c o l l a b o r a t o r s .  silence  " I h a v e c h o s e n t o work i n i s o l a t i o n u n t i l  i s saying,  I have p e r f e c t i o n , point  I will  until  remain s i l e n t .  have a secure beginning." silent  I am t h e e x p e r t . I will  Also,  Up u n t i l  remain s i l e n t  this  until I  Of c o u r s e , i f we c h o o s e t o r e m a i n  u n t i l we h a v e a s e c u r e b e g i n n i n g , we h a v e  decided t h e speech produced w i l l  be p e r f e c t  not  i twill  be i n need o f c o l l a b o r a t i o n ;  an  i n t e r l o c u t o r , an a l t e r t o o u r e g o .  an  audience, f o r the d e c i s i o n  in  monologue.  will  already  speech; i t w i l l  n o t be i n need o f  It will  m e r e l y need  h a v e been made t o s p e a k  18  We  could, however, parody W i t t g e n s t e i n  "of that which we have knowledge, there i s not because we silence  already know".  on both counts.  keep s i l e n t on that  In t h i s way  and  claim  need to speak  speech demands  That i s , that i t commands us  of which we  know nothing,  of which we have knowledge i t says "Why  and  to  of t h i n g s  bother?".  IV  What i s i t we conceive  r i s k by beginning  of w r i t i n g as a d i s p l a y of s e l f , then we  self-exposure.  We  open our-selves  judgement from others, and, self. she  to write?  We  take the  begins; t h i s  say,  risk  from  our  s a y i n g , "So t h i s i s where  i s what she takes  then can pass judgement and  we  to r i d i c u l e , assessment,  perhaps, more deadly,  r i s k of others  If  as the beginning."  "This i s not the  They  true  begi nni ng. " But  this  i n t e r l o c u t o r as the i n t e r l o c u t o r who dialogue.  The  can be the judge who  collaborates.  holds the  r a t h e r she right  assesses The  set up  our  rather than as  judge stands  an  outside  the  judge does not have to be part of the  d i a l o g u e , i n f a c t , she who  case only i f we  cannot be because she i s the  c o r r e c t answers.  i s the one  who  only  one  A c o l l a b o r a t o r she i s not;  w i l l assess whether a speaker i s  or wrong; the i m p l i c a t i o n being that the  judge i s i n a  19  s u p e r i o r p o s i t i o n to the w r i t e r , to the producer. holds the power; she i s the expert who By p r o c l a i m i n g , "You  are r i g h t  The  judge  speaks i n monologue.  or you are wrong," the judge  condemns us t o s i l e n c e . Thus, j u s t  as the judges work w i t h i n the s e c u r i t y  of the code of t h e i r i n s t i t u t i o n s ,  so the one who  d i s c o u r s e works w i t h i n the s e c u r i t y of a s o l i d , anchored b e g i n n i n g .  judges  well-  She t r e a t s d i s c o u r s e as i f she "knows"  the method, the treatment, the l i t e r a t u r e , the modes of arguments. it  was  She  "knows" why  you began where you d i d , whether  the c o r r e c t b e g i n n i n g or whether you f a i l e d —  had  a  f a l s e s t a r t ; she knows what you are aiming a t ; she knows what your d e s t i n a t i o n should be.  Moreover  she must  speak  from secure method then a l l she has to do i s to see i f what you have s a i d i s i n accord with t h i s method.  She assigns a  m a t c h — e i t h e r i t matches, or i t doesn't; e i t h e r you succeed or you  fail. Prom t h i s we  knows the t r a d i t i o n  can say the judge i s the expert  and safeguards that t r a d i t i o n .  who  The  judge does not need to l e a r n ; she only needs to review.  She  searches f o r a correspondence between your speech and the t r a d i t i o n , where the t r a d i t i o n i s a corpus of knowledge which  must be adhered t o and respected i n some coherent  way.  Furthermore, the work must be a d d i t i v e ; that i s , i t  must have secured i t s b e g i n n i n g and moved forward.  It  20  cannot be p u r e l y i m i t a t i v e ; although i t i s r e p e t i t i v e . i s more of the same, only b e t t e r . l i k e Melletus,  from the Apology,  which meets the  by  sees the  i s content with t h a t .  And  By  good as  repeating,  the s e l f d i s p l a y s i t s o r i e n t a t i o n  produces the work who  the work belongs to the t r a d i t i o n , s e l f making t h i s  decides  whether or  rather i t i s the  one  and  the same person.  to say that the  entities.  judging  produces the work i s  ego  Another way  produces and  they  to say  this  the superego judges, judge are  distinct  By understanding the s e l f i n t h i s way  the s e l f s i l e n c e s the s e l f by s e t t i n g up  judge over the  not  decision.  where a n a l y t i c a l l y , the producer and  how  the  judge of that work, even though, c o n c r e t e l y ,  might be is  to  It i s not, however,  In other words, the s e l f who the  the  of method i s a r e a f f i r m a t i o n of  t r a d i t i o n which gives the s e l f l i f e .  not  of  that  judges  t o membership; i t d i s p l a y s i t s s e l f as belonging  the s e l f who  It i s  that.  Repetition membership.  who  norms of commonsense, of s c i e n c e ,  everyday world and everything  That i s i t s aim.  It  we  one  can  side  see  as  soul.  This need not a l t e r n a t i v e to t h i s  be the  case, however.  An  arrangement i s to engage i n  with the s o u l where the  aim  of w r i t i n g i s not  t o l i v e up to some t r a d i t i o n ,  on the  contrary,  dialogue  to convince or the  aim i s to  21  d i s c o v e r something about the s e l f .  This  arrangement  r e q u i r e s a c e r t a i n k i n d of courage f o r the s e l f the  risk  of b r i n g i n g t o l i g h t  s e l f ; something the s e l f Then, at t h i s  something negative about the  does not l i k e about the s e l f .  p o i n t , the s e l f w i l l s t r u g g l e with i t s e l f .  One s i d e w i l l say "Think r e f l e c t i v e l y " cries,  always runs  while the other s i d e  "Do not r i s k i t ; you cannot do i t .  might be wrong!"  The danger i n t h i s  Why b o t h e r — y o u  b a t t l e i s the judging  s e l f might pre-decide f a i l u r e ; i t might formulate the s e l f (the  i n t e r l o c u t o r ) as enemy.  itself.  And i n t h i s  A f t e r a l l who wants to t a l k  way w i l l  with t h e i r  silence  enemy?  V  Let the  moment  us r e t u r n t o F o u c a u l t .  When he says,  "...at  of s p e a k i n g I would l i k e t o have perceived a  nameless v o i c e , long p r e c e d i n g me, l e a v i n g me merely t o enmesh myself i n i t , t a k i n g up i t s cadence, and t o lodge myself, when no one was l o o k i n g , i n i t s i n t e r s t i c e s  as i f i t  had paused an i n s t a n t , . . . There would have been no beginnings; i n s t e a d speech would proceed from me,...", Foucault i s attempting t o address the problem of b e g i n n i n g . In the above passage Foucault's way of a v o i d i n g the  risk  of b e g i n n i n g i s t o plead n o n - r e s p o n s i b i l i t y .  That  is,  F o u c a u l t , by e x p r e s s i n g h i s d e s i r e t o be merely enmeshed  22  i n the d i s c o u r s e a l r e a d y begun, t o t a k e up speech when no one i s l o o k i n g , hopes t o escape the burden of a p p r o p r i a t i n g t h e b e g i n n i n g , the s p e e c h ,  as h i s own.  This  enmeshment  would enable F o u c a u l t , i f he c o u l d a c t u a l l y a c h i e v e i t , say,  to  " T h i s i s someone e l s e ' s b e g i n n i n g ; I am s i m p l y  c o n t i n u i n g o n ; the words are merely coming from my mouth. am s i m p l y the mouthpiece. therefore  I am not  I  The words do not b e l o n g t o me,  responsible."  C l e a r l y t h e n , F o u c a u l t and I—because we must remember F o u c a u l t i s not alone i n t h i s y e a r n i n g — a r e  afraid  of a s t a r t i n g p l a c e which i s not a b e g i n n i n g , and t h i s why we want the d i s c o u r s e t o have a l r e a d y begun. way we can s t a r t for beginning.  is  In t h i s  w i t h o u t h a v i n g t o t a k e the r e s p o n s i b i l i t y By t r a n s f e r r i n g the r e s p o n s i b i l i t y f o r our  speech t o t r a d i t i o n we can a b d i c a t e the r e s p o n s i b i l i t y t o begin.  This i s t o s a y , F o u c a u l t and I would l i k e t o g i v e  t r a d i t i o n t h e a u t h o r i t y t o speak on our b e h a l f . d i s c l a i m e r by s t a t i n g t h a t  it  i s not r e a l l y our s e l v e s  speak but the v o i c e of t r a d i t i o n . desire,  We i s s u e a which  Hence we can l i k e n our  F o u c a u l t ' s and mine, t o M a r x ' s man " . . . w h o l i v e s by  t h e grace  of a n o t h e r . . . "  (Marx 1978:191 ) .  In t h i s s t a t e of  d e s i r e we can say t h a t t r a d i t i o n not only c r e a t e s our l i f e but a l s o g i v e s us l i f e , s u s t a i n s us i n l i f e . course, for.  To t h i s ,  of  we must ask j u s t what k i n d of l i f e are we a s k i n g  23  Granted  Poucault  and I are hoping to r e l a t e to  t r a d i t i o n i n a f a i r l y t r i v i a l way. to  We  are asking t r a d i t i o n  do the work f o r us, take the r e s p o n s i b i l i t y  ask t r a d i t i o n to grant us anonymity, although to  lend i t our v o i c e .  ask f o r anonymity?  And  We  what are we  expose t h i s anonymous s e l f who  are w i l l i n g  But  remain  by choosing to  says, "I am merely walking i n display a timid  allowed i t s e l f to be s u s t a i n e d  and  tradition.  This s e l f , who the r e s p o n s i b i l i t y and t h e r e f o r e has  i s not w i l l i n g to take the r i s k or  f o r beginning,  suffers  f a i l u r e of  nerve,  to search f o r a nameless v o i c e i n a  d i s c o u r s e already begun.  This s e l f i s asking to be  i n d i s t i n g u i s h a b l e from any that  We  asking f o r when we  some others' w e l l - e s t a b l i s h e d f o o t s t e p s " , we  created by the  we  are asking that our-selves  s e c r e t , d i s g u i s e d i n and by t r a d i t i o n .  s e l f , a s e l f that has  f o r us.  no one know who  other speaker.  i s speaking.  She i s asking  She i s asking that  one  v o i c e mesh with the other; Then, at any time i n the d i s c o u r s e , the s e l f can be r e p l a c e d by a n y - s e l f . r e v e a l e d i s that the s e l f w i l l be l o s t or at  The hope  least  concealed. The s c h o l a s t i c y e a r n i n g of F o u c a u l t ' s  t r a d i t i o n which grounds t h i s  (and we  must see i t as  because i f he were committed to t h i s p o s i t i o n forward  from i t rather than anguish  yearning he would move  over i t ) i s the  24  t r a d i t i o n which says,  " C i t e the l i t e r a t u r e .  your speech i s coming from. from.  Where i t i s moving  Be f a i t h f u l to the t e x t !  knowledge!".  This v o i c e provides  the problem of beginning  T e l l us where  Systematize  forward  your  an e f f i c i e n t  solution to  because i t commands a beginning  which i s not a beginning.  It does not want t o a u t h o r i z e i t s  own speech; i t compels the t r a d i t i o n t o be the a u t h o r i t y . "I am not beginning; a l r e a d y made. authorized.  I am merely f o l l o w i n g the f o o t s t e p s  What I am about t o say has already been So judge them, not me." c r i e s t h i s t i m i d s e l f .  To be sure, t h i s form of s c h o l a r s h i p beseeches one t o f i n d f o o t s t e p s already made, t o walk c a r e f u l l y i n them and  t o show others how to walk i n them, being h e e d f u l a l l  the while  not t o make f o o t s t e p s of one's own.  What we  f o r g e t , however, i s that by d e c i d i n g t o walk i n pre-formed f o o t p r i n t s we have made our own; only we have concealed a l l t r a c e s of them by h i d i n g i n t h e f o o t s t e p s of our predecessors. our  In e f f e c t what we are s a y i n g i s we abdicate  r e s p o n s i b i l i t y t o begin.  Consequently we make our  s e l v e s s l a v e t o d i s c o u r s e already begun. u l t i m a t e l y s a y i n g that right  Thus, we are  our masters, our f o r e f a t h e r s , had the  and r e s p o n s i b i l i t y t o begin but we do not.  s l a v e s t o our predecessors  We must be  and t r e a t t h e i r work with  slavish  faithfulness. Now i f the s e l f i s t r y i n g to be i t s e l f ,  i f i tis  25  t r y i n g t o d i s c o v e r and has t o say. risk  d i s c l o s e , i t would simply say what i t  On the other hand the one who  anything, the one who  once who  needs a secure beginning, i s the  does not want a beginning which can be seen  d i a g n o s t i c about the s e l f . "scholastic tradition" tradition", to  as  Thus by f o l l o w i n g the  rather than the " p h i l o s o p h i c  which urges us to know our s e l f , we  be d i a g n o s t i c about the s e l f .  has  does not want t o  do not need  By d i s p l a y i n g a s e l f which  chosen t o be i n t e r c h a n g e a b l e with any-one i n a  tradition,  no i n f o r m a t i o n about the s e l f need be g i v e n .  Whereas simply s a y i n g what i t i s one has to say i s g i v i n g others grounds f o r a s s e s s i n g the s e l f i n f o r m a t i o n about the s e l f i n method. your  or f o r h a v i n g  r a t h e r than a s s e s s i n g competence  Saying what i t i s you have to say i s exposing  commitment and  d i s p l a y i n g what i t i s you are w i l l i n g  to  risk. A s s u r e d l y then, to choose the s c h o l a s t i c method d e s c r i b e d above, i s to choose anonymity.  For example,  we  need only to look i n the j o u r n a l s to see m i l l i o n s of faceless s c i e n t i f i c a r t i c l e s . riskless; say,  they do not say who  As beginnings  they  are  the author i s , rather they  "This i s s c i e n c e w r i t i n g . "  Yet, w i t h i n the s c i e n t i f i c  community a c e r t a i n amount of whimsey i s allowed by someone who  i s d i s t i n g u i s h e d , by someone who  be an expert.  has  proven h e r s e l f t o  It i s as i f the reward f o r greatness i n t h i s  26  community i s the allowance of s m a l l d i s c l o s u r e s of s e l f . But  t h i s i s allowed  only to those who  way  the community r e a f f i r m s i t s commitment to anonymity by  o c c a s i o n a l l y a l l o w i n g a "great traditional style. the  rest  that." great  of the  Those who  it  have not yet  treat  the  as a marker, as a l i m i t to  It says,  "We  cannot a l l do  e s t a b l i s h e d themselves  must attend t o the format When we  In t h i s  person" to break with  This serves  community.  are g r e a t .  of t h e i r  Sociology  community.  l i k e one  of the  becomes a community of d e s c r i p t i v i s t s .  sciences  This i s the  and t h i s i s the commitment, hence, by n e c e s s i t y , the must be l e f t  out.  The  could r e p l i c a t e ,  was  For example, anyone should  the f i e l d  and  self  provided the s t a t e d method be able to go i n t o  d e s c r i b e as you have d e s c r i b e d .  v a l i d i t y i s checked.  task,  work must be work which anyone i n  that t r a d i t i o n followed.  as  Hence t h i s t r a d i t i o n  This i s  how  demands that  s e l f be a f a c e l e s s s e l f , and t h i s i s what the s e l f  the  has  chosen to be - anonymous, f a c e l e s s , wearing the mask of tradition.  Furthermore, t h i s  tradition  as her  scientist  she  l i m i t s , as her boundaries.  reveres  What we  the t r a d i t i o n  the l i m i t s  of the  As a "good"  and i s f a i t h f u l to i t .  f o r g e t , however, when we  anonymous beginning self.  s e l f accepts  choose the  i s that t h i s , too, i s a d i s p l a y of  There i s no speech which i s not a d i s p l a y of s e l f .  To be sure, the one  who  chooses anonymous beginnings  as  her  27  o r i e n t a t i o n d i s p l a y s an u n r e f l e c t i v e commitment as w e l l as a secretive self.  In other words, by choosing to be anonymous  and wear the mask of t r a d i t i o n , the s e l f i s formulated self-in-secret,  as one who  as a  needs t o keep the s e c r e t s e l f  s a f e l y hidden behind the form  of t r a d i t i o n .  For t h i s  self  the beginning i s j o i n i n g the t r a d i t i o n as one who  i s not  going to make a d i f f e r e n c e , as one who  i n the  willingly,  name of s c i e n c e , grounds h e r s e l f i n i t ; f a i t h f u l to i t and who  as one who  is  gives i t the a u t h o r i t y f o r her  and,  consequently,  f o r her very being.  said  e a r l i e r , the t r a d i t i o n  and i s r e s p o n s i b l e f o r her.  To r e s t a t e , as I  creates and s u s t a i n s t h i s In t h i s way  an attachment t o the community; we  speech  beginnings  one  display  begin as the community  r e q u i r e s us t o begin.  VI  We  s t i l l have not, however, come to terms with  i d e a of b e g i n n i n g . it  Why  i s i t so d i f f i c u l t  t o begin?  so p a i n f u l to f i n d a v o i c e with which to speak?  the consequences f o r the one who self? instead  And,  f i n a l l y , why  of l i f e  Why  the is  What are  c o n s c i o u s l y r e v e a l s the  would one  choose death  (silence)  (speech)?  C e r t a i n l y i t does not seem to be the case that the problem of beginning to w r i t e i s s h e e r l y a t e c h n i c a l  28  trouble.  Although t h i s i s not to say that t e c h n i c a l  troubles  are not r e a l t r o u b l e s that  But r a t h e r , t h i s i s not the task technical troubles them.  can and do plague us.  at hand, to i l l u m i n a t e  and to develop techniques f o r overcoming  Because i f i t i s the case that beginnings are mere  t e c h n i c a l problems then, e m p i r i c a l l y , a s o l u t i o n could  be  found.  could  For example,  we  could  go to w r i t i n g s c h o o l ; we  h i r e someone t o e d i t our work, or whatever. t h i n g about t e c h n i c a l t r o u b l e s  i s that sooner or l a t e r a  t e c h n i c a l s o l u t i o n can be found.) solution i n this  (The handy  Every problem has a  t e c h n i c a l world, but I suspect the problem  of b e g i n n i n g would  still  plague us, even a f t e r a p p l y i n g the  t e c h n i c a l f i x e s suggested  above.  Hence, i t appears that the i d e a of b e g i n n i n g i s r e l a t e d to ideas might  of r i s k and commitment.  ask, "What i s i t we  Conceivably, one  r i s k by beginning?".  Earlier  we  t a l k e d about the r i s k of s e l f exposure and undoubtedly one of the consequences thoughts.  of w r i t i n g i s i t does expose our  And we do f e a r our thoughts w i l l be found  def i c i ent. For i n s t a n c e ,  i t i s commonly s a i d , "I cannot get  my thoughts down on paper."  As I have s t a t e d ,  one way  understand t h i s statement i s to t r e a t i t c o n c r e t e l y t e c h n i c a l t r o u b l e , and t h e r e f o r e r a t h e r than a problem with s e l f .  to  as a  a problem with language  29  That i s , we can t e c h n i c a l i z e i t and say, "Well, I guess i t i s my misfortune that words have not yet been i n v e n t e d t o match my thoughts. until  t h i s happens, or u n t i l  Therefore, I w i l l  I can t h i n k thoughts  just wait which  conform t o t h e words I have command o f . " But t h i s i s not the only way to deal with the trouble.  An a l t e r n a t i v e would  be t o address the problem of  t h i n k i n g and ask whether or not we t h i n k i n words. turn, the  This, i n  r a i s e s t h e q u e s t i o n of the inherency of language, or  innateness of language.  q u e s t i o n s are unanswerable  In some very r e a l sense these and, t h e r e f o r e , I w i l l parrot the  e a r l y W i t t g e n s t e i n and say what we cannot speak about we must pass over i n s i l e n c e . as unanswerable  That i s , I see these questions  and l e a d i n g t o s i l e n c e , t o n i h i l i s m .  e i t h e r case we run i n t o a "dead end" s i n c e we cannot about thought without thought i t s e l f . ask what good does t h i s  In think  Furthermore, we must  do i n a s s i s t i n g us t o understand the  problem of not b e i n g able t o get our thoughts down on paper. C l e a r l y , what needs t o be addressed i s the f e a r of p u t t i n g our thoughts down on paper. sense that  our w r i t i n g should mirror our thoughts.  could t h i s be? in  abeyance  something,  Somehow there i s a But how  It i s not as though we can hold our thoughts  while we w r i t e , and then, when we have w r i t t e n go back t o our thoughts and check one against the  other i n order t o see i f our w r i t i n g measures up to our  30  thoughts.  To see i f t h e r e i s a c o r r e c t  correspondence  between our w r i t i n g and the thoughts we are attempting t o w r i t e about. seems we  Rather i t seems to be something  deeper.  It  do not want t o take the r i s k of d i s c o v e r i n g that  our c o n c r e t i z e d thoughts do not measure up to our i n t e r n a l thoughts. Somehow our thoughts always seem more magnificent i n the head than on the paper.  It i s as i f they evaporate  somewhere between the mind and the paper, between the thought  and the concrete p r o d u c t i o n of that thought.  the f e a r i s that w r i t i n g w i l l expose  Thus  a d e f e c t i v e v e r s i o n of  our thoughts, and by i m p l i c a t i o n our s e l f as f r a u d u l e n t . The w r i t i n g may  r e v e a l our thoughts as t r i v i a l ,  as  incomplete, as ambiguous; where i f they remain i n our head they can be f a n t a s i z e d unambiguous.  as i n t e l l e c t u a l ,  complete,  In other words, they can be c e r t a i n t y i f they  remain as thoughts i n our head l i m i t a t i o n of language, we  which, because  of the  are unable to express.  To be sure our thoughts are e s s e n t i a l to us,  and,  t h e r e f o r e , as l o n g as they remain i n our minds they are our s e c r e t , and we  can be pleased with them.  f e a r s e l f - e x p o s u r e ; i f exposed  This i s why  we  or c o n c r e t i z e d we w i l l  no  longer be able t o be e g o t i s t i c a l about self.  In t h i s way  our thoughts, our  the mind holds a sense of power as w e l l  as a sense of s u p e r i o r i t y over thoughts expressed on paper  31  which t h i s mind sees as the t r i v i a l workings out of i t s thoughts. suspect  Assuredly  w r i t i n g never measures up t o what we  our thoughts t o be.  T h i s , at l e a s t , i s the f e a r .  This i s t h e assessment the s e l f i n f l i c t s upon the s e l f . t h i s keeps us from beginning. Miller's  (1 965:27)  hieroglyphs  Perhaps we should  reminder that w r i t i n g s  And  heed  "...are but crude  c h i s e l l e d i n pain and sorrow t o commemorate an  event which i s unt r a n s m i s s i b l e . "  But we s t i l l - h a v e  this  compulsion t o w r i t e , t o begin. What I am s a y i n g i s that assessed, judged, c r i t i c i z e d remain our s e c r e t .  our  life  or censored as long as they  By not speaking, by not w r i t i n g , we can  m a i n t a i n our s e c r e t s e l f . s o c i a l world.  our thoughts cannot be  We need not be impeded by the  L i k e Henry James' John Marcher we can l i v e  disguised  as an o r d i n a r y  person, where our secret  i s that we have these marvellous thoughts but we cannot b r i n g our s e l f t o share them with the rest  of the world.  In h i s own way Descartes echoes these doubts when he  resolves: "...That I should not consent t o t h e i r (his w r i t t e n work) being published d u r i n g my l i f e t i m e , so that n e i t h e r the c o n t r a d i c t i o n s and c o n t r o v e r s i e s t o which they might p o s s i b l y give r i s e , nor even the r e p u t a t i o n , such as i t might be, which they would b r i n g t o me, should give me any occasion t o lose the time which I meant t o set aside f o r my own i nstruction." (Descartes  1969:145)  32  Descartes i s t e l l i n g us t h a t , f o r the sake of expediency, he wishes t o keep h i s s e l f , h i s w r i t i n g s , s e c r e t u n t i l a f t e r h i s death. work which claims thought  We  can say t h i s  c e r t a i n t y as i t s god,  of c o n t r a d i c t i o n .  i s the t r o u b l e with i t cannot face  the  Is the s e l f too f r a g i l e to  be  engaged?  Is i t that Descartes would crumble i f , i n h i s  lifetime,  he  him,  was  does not  discovered  built  that h i s work, l i k e others  on s h i f t i n g sand?  want to face t h i s  It seems that  possibility.  i m p l i c i t l y , he knows that i t i s a Hence, by m a i n t a i n i n g Descartes can h o l d assessments and  before  Descartes  Although,  possibility.  the s e l f as s e c r e t , we  our s e l v e s independent of a l l p o s s i b l e  judgements because the thoughts to  be  assessed have been w i t h h e l d .  We  p u b l i c property.  t o p o t e n t i a l assessors  way  By  relating  have refused to make them i n this  the s e l f i s able to maintain a sense of power, a sense  of independence and  a sense of s u p e r i o r i t y .  p o t e n t i a l assessors  i f only you  head you  would see how  could  of c r i t i c i s m .  marvellous I am.  It chooses  It says to a l l  gain entrance to  s e l f i s so f r a g i l e i t cannot s u r v i v e t h i s kind  and  But,  sadly,  s c r u t i n y or  my  the any  "no-risk".  There i s another sense i n which the s e l f i s a l s o selfish.  It claims  that i t s work i s so important that i t  cannot be delayed by the assessment of others.  Although  would have to wonder at the good of i t i f i t never became  one  33  public.  I f i t i s important  public, to benefit  all?  would not i t s aim be to become  Descartes  does not address  this  problem. The tantalizing  only power that the s e l f has i s that t e a s i n g ,  power which says, "Catch me i f you can!"  as i f the s e l f  It i s  can only remain a s e l f i f i t remains a  secret. But the one who  decides t o take a r i s k and  h e r s e l f to judgement, to argument, and does t h i s s e r i o u s way, is  i s the one who  a s e l f who  s e l f who trust.  expose  in a  i s w i l l i n g t o know h e r s e l f .  i s w i l l i n g t o change, to expand.  wants to be t r u s t e d and who,  She  She i s a  i n t u r n , i s able t o  This s e l f takes h e r s e l f and others s e r i o u s l y .  Dialogue, not monologue i s her commitment. r e l a t e s to others not as judge but interlocutor.  This s e l f  as c o l l a b o r a t o r or  This s e l f decides to do the work of becoming  h e r - s e l f and i s committed t o doing the work of d i a l o g u e . In is  c o n t r a s t the s e l f who  able t o maintain the i l l u s i o n  possibility lives  f a c e f a i l u r e i n any  exposed.  of being a s e l f who  of becoming anything i t d e s i r e s .  i n the realm of p o s s i b i l i t y  actuality.  chooses to remain s e c r e t  And  actuality  because she never  failure is a possibility  the  This s e l f  and t h e r e f o r e never has faces  once the s e l f i s  Once embodied, once made a c t u a l , the  immediately  has  self  becomes prey to i m p e r f e c t i o n s l i k e a l l other  to  34  mortals.  In other words any  possibility,  a c t u a l i t y , compared to  comes o f f as "poor  Thus the w r i t e r who p r e p a r i n g t o w r i t e the great  never has  who  cousin".  i s always i n the process novel  world, (remember, dear reader, the student  of  or the h i s t o r y of the  Casubbon of Middlemarch?), or  i s p r e p a r i n g to w r i t e the p e r f e c t t h e s i s ,  to expose h e r s e l f to f a i l u r e .  certain failure,  any  Yet  not to w r i t e i s  and t h i s i s what i s f o r g o t t e n .  Hence t o  prepare to w r i t e , yet never to summon up enough courage to w r i t e , i s l i k e spending one's l i f e i n p r e p a r a t i o n f o r and  a l l the while f o r g e t t i n g , as Kierkegaard  reminds us, that the task of l i f e What, then, is  i s the tragedy  self-condemned, by i t s own  chatter.  is life  It i s a s e l f who  so  often  itself.  of the s e c r e t s e l f ?  choice, to s i l e n c e ,  to  chooses to hide i n s i l e n c e  (death) r a t h e r than r i s k speech  living  (life).  It  35  PART I I THE DIALOGUE INTRODUCTION  The following  ensuing conversation  characters;  own v e r s i o n  of the  Athena A n t i gone Bystander Cassandra Tantalus  each  world.  takes  character's  place  voice  among  the  represents  its  36  BOOK I THE HOLLOW MEN  Athena:  The time has come, T a n t a l u s , t o address  this  c o n d i t i o n of s i l e n c e which plagues you.  Are you w i l l i n g  to  i t has impeded  have s i l e n c e impede your l i f e  it,  because  hasn't i t ? It has c o n s t r u c t e d boundaries f o r you;  boundaries which s i l e n c e proclaims are necessary - not only necessary but n a t u r a l .  S i l e n c e orders you not t o  engage i n the world of i d e a s . concrete, t o the l i f e  She condemns you t o the  of c h a t t e r .  Your task now,  through t h i s d i a l o g u e , i s t o decide i f t h i s i s the way you wish to lead your l i f e .  W i l l you venture out of  your s h e l t e r and j o i n us i n the search f o r t r u t h , f o r our r e l a t i o n s h i p to t r u t h ? Tantalus:  I really felt  that  once I had summoned up the  courage t o begin I would simply continue speaking. Instead I f i n d doubt,  myself once more i n s i l e n c e ,  once more i n f e a r .  And, more t o the p o i n t , I  f e e l deceived by b e g i n n i n g s . the promise  about  I thought  beginnings h e l d  of e t e r n a l speech, but i t turns out to be a  promise which, It's  once more i n  i n and of i t s e l f ,  holds no guarantees.  l i k e the mirage which disappears just t o reach i t .  as you are  37  Athena:  What was  the promise,  beginning to accomplish,  what did you  expect  and what has i t f a i l e d  to do so  as to f i n d y o u r s e l f once more i n s i l e n c e ? Tantalus:  I hoped, which a c c o r d i n g t o Camus i s "that most  d r e a d f u l of a l l humanities  i l l s . . . " , that once the  b e g i n n i n g was  the rest would f o l l o w  accomplished  n a t u r a l l y ; the s t o r y once begun would u n f o l d of i t s own accord. left  And  i t hasn't.  Thus the promise which beginning  u n f u l l f i l l e d i s that of an easy l i f e .  I had hoped,  and perhaps s t i l l hope, that the beginning would provide a c l e a r path f o r the rest t o f o l l o w , n a t u r a l l y - of i t s own  accord.  And  I could be hero f o r the  results  obtained. Athena:  In other words you expected  instilled  with a l i f e  of i t s own.  s e l f - s u f f i c i e n t hence a l l o w i n g you that  beginning t o be You  expected  "time o f f " .  i t to be Is i t  you hoped there would be no labour a f t e r b i r t h ,  labour a f t e r the beginning was you s t i l l f o r g e t the  accomplished?  And,  no  yet,  want to c l a i m hero s t a t u s f o r the r e s u l t s  and  beginning?  You were asking, are asking, beginning to take the work of your s o u l so you w i l l merely mouthpiece f o r beginning.  You  provide you with the necessary l e a d you to the end,  expect  over  be the  beginning to  leverage on the world, t o  the r e s u l t s , where the end i s s o l i d ,  38  concrete, external.  And thus you r i s k nothing.  It seems t o me, Tantalus, you are a b d i c a t i n g your r e s p o n s i b i l i t y t o speech, to l i f e . to  You want beginning  be r e s p o n s i b l e f o r what-comes-next.  You want  beginnings t o do a l l the work; then a l l that i s l e f t f o r you t o do i s t o f i l l blueprint  i n the form, or f o l l o w the  provided by t h i s beginning.  where your disappointment  lies,  beginning refuses to do  t h i s work f o r you, f o r any of us. are  But, and t h i s i s  And you, my f r i e n d ,  r e f u s i n g t o do the work of speech.  the s i l e n t  For some reason  v o i c e which r u l e s , orders your s e l f to be  non-expressive, non-responsive, s e c r e t i v e .  That i s why  we can see i t as a r e f u s a l t o speak r a t h e r than incapacity, i n a b i l i t y  or l a z i n e s s .  You are t i m i d ,  T a n t a l u s , a f r a i d t o r i s k the p o s s i b i l i t y of self-knowledge.  The time has come t o address  those  t r o u b l e s , and t o q u e s t i o n i f t h i s i s the l i f e you wish to  lead, i f t h i s timid  riskless  life  i s what you aim f o r  as the good. Bystander:  I t seems you are a d d r e s s i n g the need t o speak.  Can you present a good case f o r speech?  Can you t e l l us  why we should take the t r o u b l e t o speak as you want us to Athena: to  speak? I cannot t e l l you why you should take the t r o u b l e speak;  that i s , I don't have a l i s t  of r u l e s which  39  c l e a r l y s t a t e s why one should speak. you can " t e l l "  another,  I t s not something  although I w i l l do my best t o  persuade you of the good of speech.  Rather than  tell  you how t o speak, I suggest we explore t o g e t h e r the need for  speech as committed  speech.  Together we can  i n v e s t i g a t e the need t o be s e l f - e x p r e s s i v e , i n the most s e r i o u s sense. Tantalus:  Why should we express o u r s e l v e s ?  expose Athena:  Why should we  ourselves?  Are you s a y i n g we should not take i t f o r granted  that s e l f - e x p r e s s i o n or speech i s the good? Tantalus: to  I'm q u e s t i o n i n g t h a t , y e s . Sometimes i t s b e t t e r  be the one who s i t s back and l i s t e n s  rather than  c o n t r i b u t i n g t o the c o n v e r s a t i o n i f you are unsure of where i t i s going, unsure of what your meager c o n t r i b u t i o n could be.  I mean, sometimes you just  know anything and i t seems that  everybody else does, so  what could you p o s s i b l y c o n t r i b u t e ? not  I mean I sure do  want t o put myself down as a f o o l or an i d i o t .  Bystander:  Perhaps you could c l a r i f y what you mean by  speech.  I have a sense that speech and " t a l k " , f o r  you,are not t h e same t h i n g . Athena:  When I t a l k about speech I am r e f e r r i n g t o  r e s p o n s i b l e speech, committed  don't  speech, i f you w i l l .  Speech i s not speech which w i l l f i n d the "answer" or  40  which w i l l r e s o l v e d i f f e r e n c e s , rather i t i s speech which w i l l bring to l i g h t lives.  the t e n s i o n s and c o m p l e x i t i e s of our  We have t o care about  what we speak of.  It has  to be important t o our l i v e s . Let's go back t o your i d e a , T a n t a l u s , of being a listener  r a t h e r than a speaker.  t o one who s i t s merely  By l i s t e n e r  back and s h e e r l y hears?  do you r e f e r  The one who i s  audience; who assesses whether you are r i g h t or  whether you are wrong? Tantalus: about  That i s a rather crass v e r s i o n of i t .  I think  s t u d e n t s , f o r example, who s i t back and l i s t e n t o  the p r o f e s s o r or other speaker, and take notes so that they may remember what was s a i d and then paraphrase i t at a l a t e r date. Athena:  These are the good students, are they  Are they?  replication?  not?  Is what we want out of e d u c a t i o n —  Do we only want t o r e p l i c a t e our knowledge,  and r e p l i c a t e i t i n a t r i v i a l way so that we w i l l a l l know the same t h i n g s ? Antigone:  But don't  we need that  common base to work from?  By l i s t e n i n g t o what you say as a teacher, we can l e a r n what you know; you can teach us what you know. Athena:  Again I q u e s t i o n your aims.  Is i t "parrot  wisdom",  t o use Kierkegaard's e x p r e s s i v e term, that you d e s i r e ? Is a l l you expect from education the a b i l i t y t o paraphrase what others have thought?  Where i s the s e l f  41  in  r e l a t i o n to such knowledge?  Kierkegaard's  The s e l f i s l i k e  "walking s t i c k with a voice box  i n i t s t h r o a t " ( 1 9 7 4 : 1 7 5 ) ; that i s , the s e l f  implanted has  f o r g o t t e n i t i s a s e l f ; that i t needs to be a s e l f . course, the temptation  i s to become an expert  Of  on world  h i s t o r y and to f o r g e t the s e l f because t h i s i s r i s k l e s s . Tantalus:  Are you s a y i n g to f o r g e t l e a r n i n g ?  Antigone:  Or are you suggesting,  that  perhaps there i s another  Athena:  Not  another  way,  s u g g e s t i n g that we  remember S o c r a t e s .  Antigone,  of l e a r n i n g ? r a t h e r I am  Perhaps the time has  I f you  comes up t o Socrates and As a student  s a y i n g , "You  way  can r e l a t e our-selves to t e a c h i n g and  learning differently.  taught.  or t r y i n g to persuade us  r e c a l l i n the Menon, Menon  asks him i f v i r t u e can  "how".  Socrates, however, does not  the t a s k of the teacher as one  i n h i s students Tantalus:  the s t r e e t s  He  sees  of drawing out what i t i s  His t a s k i s to promote t h o u g h t f u l n e s s  by engaging them i n argument.  But that was  the A n c i e n t s !  He i s  He i s a s k i n g  r e l a t e to knowledge or education i n t h i s way.  the student knows.  be  Menon i s honoring S o c r a t e s .  are wise; you must know".  Socrates to t e l l him  come to  Socrates.  It's different  That was now.  or i n a courtyard having  are u s u a l l y students i n a classroom,  We  i n the days of  are not s i t t i n g i n  conversation.  We  i n a university.  We  42  take notes  and  are graded  know means how  w e l l we  on what we know.  paraphrase  or how  apply a theory or a method on the Athena:  And  so we  should  Which we a l l  w e l l we  l e a r n to  world.  r e l a t e to l e a r n i n g d i f f e r e n t l y ?  Are you s a y i n g Socrates has  nothing to say to us because  he was  time, i n a d i f f e r e n t  alive i n a different  Tantalus:  Well, t h a t ' s t r u e , i s i t not?  ago; he l i v e d i n a very d i f f e r e n t Athena:  A s s u r e d l y , but  He  place?  died c e n t u r i e s  society!  are we to allow the concrete  death  of someone to s i l e n c e our c o n v e r s a t i o n with them? t h i n k not.  N e i t h e r should we  refuse to engage speech  simply because i t comes to us from another h i s t o r y , from another  I  society.  time i n  S u r e l y the S o c r a t i c  method of i n q u i r y i s as r e l e v a n t f o r u s — i n our time  and  our p l a c e — a s  for  Kierkegaard et  i t was  (1974),  f o r Socrates h i m s e l f ; as i t was  or as i t i s , f o r example, f o r McHugh  a l (1974) or Michalko  present  ( 1 9 8 0 ) — t o b r i n g us to the  date.  Let  us go back to what you s a i d a few minutes  Tantalus, when you t a l k e d about being s i l e n t exposing y o u r s e l f i n c l a s s as an i d i o t . student's  f e a r ; i t i s everyone's f e a r .  s i l e n c e you?  Antigone:  f o r f e a r of  This i s a But  i s i t to  Let's t h i n k about students i n c l a s s  w i l l not speak.  Why  ago,  who  is i t ?  Tantalus seemed to capture i t f o r me.  f e a r of being exposed as a f o o l .  It i s the  I become a f r a i d that  43  what I say w i l l not he r e l e v a n t , w i l l not be "deep" enough or w i l l be too obvious.  A l l these f e a r s keep me  si lent. Athena:  So you are a f r a i d t o take the r i s k .  f e a r of exposure t o others. bit  You say i t i s  I wonder i f we can take i t a  f u r t h e r and say i t i s f e a r of f i n d i n g out something  about the s e l f .  As long as our thoughts remain s e c r e t ,  they can remain magnificent i n s i d e the head; we can remain e g o t i s t i c a l about the s e l f and what i t might become. But don't you t h i n k that i t would be more b e n e f i c i a l , perhaps, t o attempt engaging i n d i a l o g u e ? Are you a f r a i d t o d i s c o v e r the s e l f ?  Are you a f r a i d t o  d i s c o v e r your r e l a t i o n s h i p t o the world? Antigone:  But don't we f i r s t  have t o d i s c o v e r what that  world i s ? Athena:  And just how do you propose t o do that without  engaging i n c o n v e r s a t i o n ? Antigone:  As I s a i d a moment ago —  we l i s t e n and remember  what i s r e l a y e d t o us through you or others i n the teaching Athena:  role!  That has the r i n g of death; of l i f e l e s s  the epitome of "hollow men",  t o quote E l i o t  souls  —  44  We are the hollow men We are the s t u f f e d men Leaning t o g e t h e r Headpiece f i l l e d with straw.  Alas!  ( E l i o t , T.S.) Antigone:  Are you s u g g e s t i n g we are the "hollow men"?  Tantalus:  But our heads aren't f i l l e d  about Athena:  with straw —  we know  things! S u r e l y , but the o p e r a t i v e word i s "know about".  Your r e l a t i o n s h i p t o l e a r n i n g must be questioned.  The  t h i n g s you know about are captured by the metaphor "straw" i f you don't develop a r e l a t i o n s h i p t o them, i f you don't t h i n k about them i n your own l i f e , make moral d e c i s i o n s about them.  Are you an empty  v e s s e l , s i t t i n g there w a i t i n g t o be f i l l e d , more " t h i n g s " t o be poured i n t o you u n t i l reached?  Is that what you are?  more human? decisions?  Athena:  waiting f o r saturation i s  Or, can you be a l i t t l e  That i s , can you t h i n k , argue, make Are you to be c u l t i v a t e d and cared about  r a t h e r than s h e e r l y Antigone:  i f you don't  filled?  Are we t o answer? Think about i t ; i t ' s c r u c i a l t o our understanding  of what i t i s t o be human. Antigone:  I f we are merely empty s t a t e s we do not have t o  take any r e s p o n s i b i l i t y f o r what i s i n our "hollow" heads. Athena:  Indeed, i t would be a s a f e r I f you wanted t o c a l l i t l i f e .  life. You seem t o be  45  speaking  of l i f e without  dialectic. it  dialogue; l i f e  And t o t h a t I have t o say —  without is i t life  or i s  death? Let's t h i n k about what k i n d of mind i t i s which  refuses to engage i n c o n v e r s a t i o n .  For the student, to  use your example, who refuses t o speak i n c l a s s , p r e f e r r i n g i n s t e a d t o s i t and take down notes so that they may be p a r r o t t e d back, a r e g u r g i t a t e d mess, the mind is  closed.  It i s u n w i l l i n g t o be engaged.  u n w i l l i n g to change. this  Johnstone (1 965:3)  mind "...cuts h i m s e l f  It i s  reminds us that  o f f from the human race."  Although he a l s o reminds us that we cannot take up everyt h i n g we hear, nor argue through e v e r y t h i n g that i s presented  t o us i n argument.  But we cannot refuse t o  engage f o r that i s what we have been c a l l i n g death. students  who r e f u s e t o engage are c l o s e d ; they  Moreover, they  relate to a l l l i f e  as dead.  are dead.  No respect i s  t r u l y given t o the teacher  by r e f u s i n g to engage, by  e a g e r l y t a k i n g down notes,  by attempting  other's Antigone:  So  t o r e p l i c a t e the  mind. Are you s a y i n g that what we i n i t i a l l y thought of  as respect f o r another's mind i s a c t u a l l y a d i s r e g a r d f o r it? Athena:  Yes.  It i s s a y i n g your mind i s not worth t h e  t r o u b l e of engagement. to  closed-mind.  I t i s a l s o r e l a t i n g closed-mind  It i s s a y i n g ,  of the teacher's  mind,  46  that i t must a l s o be concretized.  And  disrespectful. is  c l o s e d , unready to change,  t h i s , my  friends, is truly  It a l s o says,  not important  t o our  lives,  s c h o o l l i v e s , t h e r e f o r e we get  a p a s s i n g grade.  look at l i f e , life  And  at speech.  Antigone:  But  what a sad and  No  you  be so; but  you to say,  not to me."  And  of our  It's safer, isn't  t h i s s e p a r a t i o n by  Is i t that it?  It  "This belongs to people I study  as long as you  from those  and  refuses to do the work of the  life?  examining others.  be  lives!  a l s o have to r e f l e c t  You  life  i f you  you You  spend your  can keep your l i f e d i s t a n t ,  you study.  Sociology  illustrates  c a l l i n g the people i t s t u d i e s  or respondents; even the category gives the person under study  —  perceive i t t h i s way,  cannot be engaged with.  do not have t o examine your own  separate  being  l e a r n i n s c h o o l cannot  rest  you  cannot be argued with; you  life  to  can d i v i d e your  of making i t part of your l i f e .  choose the s p l i t  allows  dismal way  and then f o r g o t t e n we've c o n s t r u c t e d !  t h i n k i f i t i s you who conversation,  out-of-  leakage through the b a r r i e r s  so much of what we  That may  say  need only remember enough to  r e a d i l y i n t e g r a t e d i n t o the Athena:  real lives,  each compartment  to the next.  we've c o n s t r u c t e d  our  It i s as i f you  i n t o compartments —  water-tight  "Whatever you have to  "informants",  some d i g n i t y , some  subjects which  47  r e c o g n i t i o n as a person, s e p a r a t e s , none-the-less, the i n v e s t i g a t o r from those she i s i n v e s t i g a t i n g . Tantalus: Athena:  But i t s them we're s t u d y i n g , not us. Just  as i n l i t e r a t u r e i t s the f i c t i o n a l  we study, not the s e l f ? Tantalus:  characters  What i s i t you study, T a n t a l u s ?  The conventions of our s o c i a l world, how  people  produce t h e i r world. Athena:  Do you ever t h i n k of your r e l a t i o n s h i p to the  conventional?  Or, to go hack to our e a r l i e r question, do  you ever examine your r e l a t i o n s h i p to speech? through l i f e ,  T a n t a l u s , i n the same way  c l a s s , never speaking, s i l e n t l y computer t e r m i n a l , a l l that  Do you go  you go through  retaining, like  a  goes on around you but never  e n t e r i n g i n t o the argument? Tantalus:  But arguing or f i g h t i n g over t h i n g s doesn't seem  to get you anywhere.  It just  overpowering the other.  ends i n one person  The weaker acquiesces to the  stronger. Athena:  So you're s a y i n g one gives i n .  There i s a winner  and a l o s e r ? Tantalus: Athena:  Right! Then we wouldn't  r e a l l y want to c a l l that  minimally i t i s a degenerate form of argument. s i d e e s s e n t i a l l y changes  argument, Neither  through the engagement.  The  l o s e r merely becomes more s e c r e t i v e , more hidden, more  48  silent.  And t h i s , i n and of i t s e l f ,  i s power.  It i s a  c o e r c i v e , sub-human power which refuses engagement. Tantalus:  To me i t seems more human t o remain s i l e n t  rather  than engage i n endless b i c k e r i n g s . Athena:  Is t h e r e another way of responding t o speech  other  than f i g h t i n g or s i l e n c e ? Bystander: his  Remember Ivan I l y c h and h i s nagging wife?  In  meager f a m i l y l i f e whenever he t r i e d to speak of  t h i n g s which were important t o him a f i g h t  ensued.  r a t h e r than f i g h t he allowed s i l e n c e t o r e i g n .  So  Not  concrete s i l e n c e , of course, but s i l e n c e a l l the same. He used t o b r i n g guests home so "company t a l k " could be done.  This served s e v e r a l purposes.  speech  about what was important t o the r e l a t i o n s h i p could  be avoided, time could be f i l l e d for  For one t h i n g  and, most i m p o r t a n t l y  Ivan I l y c h and f o r us, the image of a proper and n i c e  household importance  could be maintained.  This i s of prime  i n a s o c i e t y where images are mistaken f o r  that which i s r e a l . Athena:  Assuredly, Ilych  organizes h i s l i f e  conventions of h i s s o c i e t y . r u l e d Ivan I l y c h  just  around the  We can say that  convention  as s u r e l y as i t does h i s colleagues  and us, f o r we must remember that  Ilych isn't  simply some  marvellous c r e a t i o n of T o l s t o y ' s but that T o l s t o y I l y c h as a way of t a l k i n g about human l i v e s .  uses  We use i t  49  as a way of t a l k i n g about our l i v e s . Now going back t o I l y c h , we can say that he f i l l s his  speech with  colleagues you  speech about  For him and h i s  t h i s i s what speech i s , you t a l k about  things  are going t o do, things you have done, things  are happening as concrete is,  "things".  that  e n t i t i e s i n your l i f e .  as you sometimes are, concerned with  fashion  Ilych rather  than t r u t h . Tantalus:  What do you mean f a s h i o n rather than t r u t h ?  I'm  u n c e r t a i n what you mean by f a s h i o n . Athena:  Fashion  i s what i s of p u b l i c concern —  moment, be i t c l o t h e s , education, doesn't speak deeply, the  conventional.  colleagues  politics.  f o r the Fashion  f a s h i o n merely makes reference t o  And t h i s i s what I l y c h and h i s  are concerned with  t h i n g s , and not just  when they t a l k about  c o n c r e t e l y t a l k about, but l i v e .  They, i n t h e i r s l e e p of i l l u s i o n , become exemplars of the conventional Bystander:  life.  But wait  a minute.  I f we wanted to be kind to  Ivan we could say he i s making the best relationship. responsibilites  of a bad  We could see him f u l f i l l i n g h i s as best he can i n the circumstances he  finds himself i n .  We could say that he f i n d s h i m s e l f  married  t o a woman who i s a nag, something he d i d not  suspect  when he married  her.  We could say that Ivan i s  50  r a t h e r c l e v e r i n d i s c o v e r i n g t h i s technique f o r keeping peace i n the house. Athena:  Hold on a moment, there  i s s u e s i n what you are s a y i n g .  are s e v e r a l d i f f e r e n t First  l e t ' s t h i n k about  the i d e a of r e s p o n s i b i l i t y . Are you suggesting Ilych i s a passive  actor i n his l i f e ?  that  That i s what i t  sounds l i k e when you s t a t e "he f i n d s h i m s e l f " ,  and t o  t h i s you have t o ask what v e r s i o n of being human do you have when a person i s seen as determined? a l l have choices  A f t e r a l l , we  i n how we i n t e r a c t with a s i t u a t i o n ;  I l y c h i s no d i f f e r e n t . The  other i d e a which I just can't  i d e a of s e e i n g a person's l i f e ask yourselves and  techniques?  l e t pass i s t h e  as technique.  You must  i f a l l you are i s a bundle of s t r a t e g i e s Is that what makes us human; i s i t only  our s t r a t e g i e s and techniques which make us complex creatures?  The i m p l i c a t i o n of t h i s ,  of course, i s that  once we have uncovered the s t r a t e g i e s and techniques we possess f o r c r e a t i v e l y g e t t i n g through our world, our world w i l l be simple and c l e a r , the complexity w i l l have dissolved.  Do you r e a l l y want to say t h a t ?  I suspect  not. L a s t l y you need t o ask i s i t peace at any cost you want?  Is a l l you seek from l i f e  a small scale?  Surely,  that  comfort, comfort on  you want more than t h a t !  51  Tantalus:  I can see Ivan's dilemma, i f he speaks about what  i s t r o u b l i n g him t h e r e w i l l be a f i g h t , i f he doesn't speak at a l l she w i l l nag, so what else can he do except fill  the space with other k i n d  of t a l k —  work t a l k ,  company t a l k ? Cassandra: is  What about h i s wife?  Does she nag because  she  a bad person, or i s she too a v i c t i m ?  Athena:  V i c t i m i n what sense?  In the sense that  e x t e r n a l makes her v i c t i m , j u s t but i n d i f f e r e n t victim?  We  as was  something  suggested  words, that the environment  earlier  makes Ivan  don't get very f a r when we t h i n k about i t i n  t h i s way,  but we  victims.  That i s , they are what they are through t h e i r  own making.  can say that both are t r u l y  And t h i s i s what they f o r g e t .  tragic  This i s what  you f o r g e t . Mrs. I l y c h , l i k e her husband, keep t h i n g s s m a l l . is  She, too, avoids t a l k i n g about what  of deep concern t o h e r .  convention.  She, too, i s s i l e n c e d  by  And you, T a n t a l u s , are w i l l i n g to be  s i l e n c e d by the f e a r that Tantalus:  l i k e you, works t o  In a way,  yes.  others w i l l see you as a nag.  But i t i s more than f e a r of being  seen as a nag, i t i s that  once you say something you  cannot take i t back, and you might not r e a l l y mean what you s a i d .  For example I l y c h ' s wife may  frustration.  She may  speak out of  nag because she sees her husband  52  h a v i n g a l l the good t h i n g s i n l i f e . the i n t e r e s t i n g  job.  He i s the one who goes to p l a y  poker with h i s f r i e n d ' s perhaps  He i s the one with  at n i g h t .  What d i d she have?  she does not mean what she says but that i t i s  the only way she can speak her f r u s t r a t i o n , she can't Athena:  So  and once s a i d  retract.  You need t o ask " i s i t simply a choice between  nagging and s i l e n c e . "  A n a l y t i c a l l y they are the same,  they are both c h a t t e r , remembering of course that analytical silence Antigone:  i s not the same as concrete s i l e n c e .  Maybe i t i s the way i n which one addresses the  s i t u a t i o n that allows others t o see her as a nag. Suppose when something do t h i s "  or "don't  complaints are just Athena:  bothers her she merely says  do t h a t " .  Constant  "don't  orders and  as oppressive as the s i l e n c e .  A n a l y t i c a l l y you would have to say they are the  same as s i l e n c e . Bystander:  But maybe t h e r e i s a b e t t e r way t o t a l k .  s a y i n g something  like  Maybe  "I r e a l i z e t h i s i s a s m a l l matter  but your not p u t t i n g the napkin i n i t s napkin r i n g r e a l l y bothers me.  I f i n d i t annoying t o have t o r e p l a c e i t  a f t e r every meal". t a l k about Athena:  This then allows the two people t o  i t , figure  out a s o l u t i o n  agreeable t o both.  What you are s a y i n g , then, i s there i s a good way  t o t a l k and a bad way t o t a l k , but the i d e a of t a l k , i n  53  and  of i t s e l f ,  i s not bad.  t h i n g s through, are you conversation  i s that  When you t a l k of working  s a y i n g that the good of  "next" speech readdresses  prior  speech? Antigone:  I see you  reminding us that one  way  we have of  working t h i n g s through i s to t a l k them over. Athena:  Yes,  but  t a l k about them i n a s e r i o u s way  which  gets beyond querulous grumblings because, as we've s a i d before,  Ivan and h i s wife t a l k e d but i n such a way  keep e v e r y t h i n g s m a l l and the  appearance of  Tantalus:  But  t h i s stance  any  He  cost.  He holds  Right  himself  avoids  and we  grumblings."  i n this  want peace at  a l o o f from h i s wife  i n t e r a c t i o n of a s e r i o u s  must see t h i s avoidance as  R e f u s a l to enter i n t o dialogue colleagues.  A l s o , we  are  In T o l s t o y ' s words i t "rendered  does what many of us do when we  c o l l e a g u e s ; he Athena:  Ivan adopts, of what you  almost impervious to her  Bystander:  maintaining  peacefulness.  c a l l i n g c h a t t e r , works. him  o r d i n a r y as w e l l as  as to  with h i s wife  and  his  kind. refusal.  and  mustn't t h i n k that Ivan i s unusual  r e f u s a l to engage but  s o c i e t y where dialogue  rather he  i s not the  aim.  lives i n a The  terrible  power of t h i s s t o r y i s i t s reminder of, i n T o l s t o y ' s words, "the most simple  and  the most ordinary  t h e r e f o r e the most t e r r i b l e . "  We  and  must remember that  this  54  l i f e does not b e l o n g e x c l u s i v e l y t o Ivan I l y c h or e x c l u s i v e l y t o R u s s i a at t h i s p a r t i c u l a r time i n history.  I t belongs t o u s .  T o l s t o y , i n t h e most  p o w e r f u l of ways, i s t e l l i n g us t o look i n w a r d , r e f l e c t on our l i v e s and p o s s i b l y , gust p o s s i b l y , be touched enough t o change our r e l a t i o n t o t h e w o r l d . Tantalus:  But I can understand t h e s i l e n c e and t h e  aloofness i n that household.  Ivan i s a f r a i d t o speak t o  h i s w i f e because he might say something he doesn't mean and once s a i d i t cannot be t a k e n back. Athena:  Aah, we come back t o t h e o l d f e a r !  I see your  f r u s t r a t i o n or f e a r of not w a n t i n g t o say something you do not mean, but sometimes we do not know what we mean t o say u n t i l we say i t , which i s i n our mind.  u n t i l we attempt t o f o r m u l a t e t h a t I t i s , however, t h e v e r y s p e a k i n g  which enables us t o r e f o r m u l a t e what i t i s we t h i n k , what it  i s we f e e l .  Bystander:  We might even f e e l d i f f e r e n t l y a f t e r we have  opened our thoughts t o o t h e r s .  We might even change our  thinking! Athena:  And what would be wrong w i t h t h a t ?  after a l l , lumps.  as i f we are c o n c r e t e forms,  I t i s not, unchangeable  I t does say t h a t b e i n g human i s t o be a b l e t o  t h i n k and r e t h i n k , t o change r a t h e r than remain s t a t i c . Antigone:  I cannot h e l p but t h i n k t h a t i f Ivan I l y c h cared  55  enough about h i s r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h h i s w i f e , or w i t h colleagues i n t o the  f o r that matter,  re-examine t h e i r  Both  both  good.  and  work  the  his wife  to avoid  to avoid the  question  for  the  life  m e r e l y b e t t e r a r r a n g e m e n t s as was  of  speaking.  Where i s  static, the  conversation.  risk  i s raised.  Is i t t o keeping  the  i s i t to  case of I l y c h ,  are you  committed t o changing your r e l a t i o n s h i p to  world.  The  question you're r a i s i n g throughout  d i s c u s s i o n i s one  could  make some deep c h a n g e s .  o f them h a v e d e c i d e d  Once more t h e  commitment?  T o g e t h e r he  m a r r i a g e and  o f them h a v e d e c i d e d  Athena:  w o u l d h a v e put  r e l a t i o n s h i p which i s necessary  r e l a t i o n s h i p t o be  Instead  he  his  your  this  o f s p e e c h , t h e u r g e t o c h a t t e r or  commitment t o a s t r o n g v e r s i o n of s p e e c h ,  or  the  committed  speech. Bystander: who  T h a t ' s why  i t i s strange  i s continually saying,  to t a l k with  someone  " I take t h a t back."  I keep  thinking,  a f t e r a w h i l e , t h a t he/she i s a l i a r  minimally  a chatterer.  Athena:  We  have t o  is  different  we  want t o k i l l  ever  spoken.  remember t h a t t a k i n g b a c k one's s p e e c h  from r e a d d r e s s i n g it,  this  it.  annhilate i t ,  Sometimes we  words s p o k e n , r e - l i v e but  or  i t back says  forget those we  words were  could take  back  our h i s t o r y i n a d i f f e r e n t  way.  i s i m p o s s i b l e , the  do w i s h  Taking  moments p a s t  are  just that  -  56  the moments p a s t .  We have t o accept t h i s and  come to  terms with what we've l i v e d , what we've s a i d . it,  Re-think  readdress i t , maybe even a p o l o g i z e f o r i t but  don't  l i v e a doomed l i f e because of i t . Bystander:  Speaking i s not l i k e making a f i l m where the  d i r e c t o r can reshoot a scene, where the author  nor i s i t l i k e  writing  can read the words, the chapters  r e w r i t e b e f o r e the work becomes p u b l i c p r o p e r t y . c o n t r a r y , speech audience Athena:  once i t i s s a i d and r e c e i v e d by  of hearers i s p u b l i c and  But we  speech  On  the  an  be taken back.  must remember that the good of c o n v e r s a t i o n  i s that the speech I f we  cannot  and  can be readdressed by s e l f and  r e l a t e t o speech  as something other than  then the i d e a of r e a d d r e s s i n g , s h i f t i n g  other.  perfect positions  or whatever i s a good i d e a ; i t i s not seen as threatening. You  must decide what your  to speaking p e r f e c t  speech  commitment i s t o , i s i t  or i s i t speaking i n order t o  d i s c o v e r what grounds your speech?  And the other t h i n g  you must ask i s , are you under any o b l i g a t i o n to remain in  c o n v e r s a t i o n with those who  Tantalus:  Are you  are u n w i l l i n g to engage?  r e f e r r i n g to the one who  needs to take  back her speech? Athena:  Yes, why  must we  u n w i l l i n g to treat  spend time with one who  speech  i n a s e r i o u s way?  is  Why  expend  5 7  energy on one who i s u n w i l l i n g t o r i s k , t o work? Tantalus:  But maybe t h a t  household.  i s what has happened i n the I l y c h  Maybe I v a n has d e c i d e d not t o t a l k w i t h h i s  w i f e at a t i m e when she wanted t o t a l k .  What i f  she  attempted t o t a l k about what was b o t h e r i n g h e r , what  if  she r e a l l y s t a r t e d t o t a l k about t h e i r m a r r i a g e ,  about  t h e l i f e s t y l e they have chosen t o l i v e ,  she  what i f  r e a l l y began t o e x p l o r e her d i s c o n t e n t e d n e s s refused to l i s t e n ? h e r deepest  and Ivan  That i s the f i n a l r e b u f f ,  to  expose  thoughts and f e e l i n g s t o her husband and f i n d  he w i l l not l i s t e n , t h a t he has a l r e a d y d i s m i s s e d her as unworthy t o t a l k Athena:  to.  Then we would have t o ask i f she s h o u l d t r o u b l e  herself  any l o n g e r w i t h Ivan i f he i s u n w i l l i n g t o  engage,  u n w i l l i n g t o come t o terms w i t h  their  r e l a t i onship. Tantalus:  I t h i n k maybe t h e s e t h i n g s are l e f t  undisturbed. have t h a t  self  It  i s t o o r i s k y t o expose the s e l f  i g n o r e d or t r i v i a l i z e d .  pretty timid creatures; about thoughts Maybe t h a t Athena:  better  we are f r a g i l e .  and f e e l i n g s  I mean we are Maybe the  is better l e f t  i s the o n l y way the s e l f  and t h e n  submerged.  can s u r v i v e .  Are you s a y i n g , t h e n , t h a t you choose c h a t t e r  speech, Bystander:  death over  talk  over  life?  I t h i n k she i s s a y i n g she would choose  survival  58  over d e a t h .  The q u e s t i o n I need t o ask i s  relationship.  about  the  Is s u r v i v a l a l l we ask of a r e l a t i o n s h i p .  We're back t o the q u e s t i o n of peace at any c o s t . Tantalus:  Survival is important.  society i t is  When you look around i n  couples you s e e .  This i s why i t i s  easy  f o r me t o u n d e r s t a n d both Ivan and h i s w i f e ' s w i l l i n g n e s s t o s t a y i n what T o l s t o y presents  as a d e a t h - l i k e  r e l a t i onship. Athena:  And not even r e c o g n i z i n g the d e a t h - l i k e  Tantalus:  Right!  But l e t ' s  l o o k at h i s w o r l d .  status. It  is  young p r o f e s s i o n a l w o r l d ; people i n t h i s s o c i e t y , t h e y reach a c e r t a i n age and s t a t i o n i n l i f e , m a r r i e d , buy a house and have c h i l d r e n .  a  when  get  Perhaps  d i s c a r d i n g a l l of t h i s would be d i s a s t r o u s f o r h i s and f o r her p l a c e i n s o c i e t y .  For example,  career  I l y c h may not  be accepted i n t o s o c i e t y i f he i s d i v o r c e d ; he may not get h i s p r o m o t i o n ; he may not s i t bench.  And t o him t h i s i s v e r y i m p o r t a n t .  Cassandra: Athena:  as a judge on the  But i n a t r i v i a l way.  But the q u e s t i o n we must keep a d d r e s s i n g i s  the conventional l i f e a l l that i s c o n v e n t i o n a l i t y the good.  there i s ? Does i t  need i n order t o l e a d the good l i f e ? would t e l l us no.  In other words,  g i v e us what we Socrates, for  He would t e l l us t o p u l l i n t o  c o n v e n t i o n t o see what grounds t h a t  "Is  convention.  one,  question  59  Antigone:  C o n v e n t i o n , however, i s c e r t a i n l y enough f o r Ivan  and h i s f r i e n d s , at l e a s t u n t i l he l i e s d y i n g . p o i n t I v a n r e f l e c t s on h i s l i f e  and glimpses at what a  t e r r o r and waste i t i s t o l e a d such a l i f e .  He sees  h o r r o r of what i t i s t o have made t h e t r i v i a l t h e t r i v i a l c i r c u m s t a n c e s of one's l i f e Athena:  We  life  At t h i s  incidents,  important.  c o u l d say t h a t he d i s c o v e r s , at death, t h a t the  of c o n v e n t i o n or the l i f e  of c h a t t e r , t o b r i n g us  back t o where we s t a r t e d , i s not enough.  That h i s  c o n s t a n t quest f o r f i v e hundred more r o u b l e s was quest.  He,  a wasted  I t d i d not ease h i s p a i n ; t h e r e i s always a  pain to take i t s place. life,  the  new  And never, u n t i l the end of h i s  d i d he manage t o t u r n t h a t p a i n i n t o  suffering.  l i k e h i s c o l l e a g u e s , never engaged i n d i a l o g u e .  He  never examined h i s r e l a t i o n s h i p t o t h e w o r l d except i n the most t r i v i a l  way.  60  BOOK I I THE L I F E OF CHATTER  Athena:  L e t me t r y a n o t h e r t r a c k .  l i v e s we h a v e a l l h e a r d Psychotherapy is  psychotherapy listens  " i t i s good t o g e t i t o u t " .  embodies t h i s  accomplished  through  notion —  talk.  The t h e r a p i s t  among t h e m s e l v e s Antigone:  and  some  Group t h e r a p y i s s l i g h t l y  directs  and t h e c l i e n t s  talk  t o h e l p one a n o t h e r f i g u r e t h i n g s o u t .  a i d s t h e o t h e r by l i s t e n i n g and r e s p o n d i n g .  Y e s , and i f we t h i n k  a relationship,  about s i l e n c e ,  s i l e n c e speaks  of i s o l a t i n g the s e l f .  as we c a n s e e  of r e f u s a l t o j o i n .  I t speaks  It  of uncaringness  noncommitment.  Antigone: can  reach  T h i s s o m e t i m e s h a p p e n s i n r e l a t i o n s h i p s t o o , as  one s e l f  speaks  or cure  the patient t a l k s , the psychriatrist  and e v e n t u a l l y h e l p s t h e p a t i e n t  different.  in  the relief  In t r a d i t i o n a l  u n d e r s t a n d i n g of h e r problems.  Athena:  At v a r i o u s t i m e s i n o u r  We h a v e v a r i o u s methods  cajole the silent  f o r managing s i l e n c e .  one out o f s i l e n c e ,  or i g n o r e t h e  s i l e n c e and w a i t p a t i e n t l y f o r t h e v o i c e t o r e t u r n , o r more d e a d l y , n o t e v e n r e c o g n i z e t h e v o i d as s i l e n c e . Then g o i n g b a c k t o y o u r  example o f t h e r a p y  where  We  61  s i l e n c e i s s e e n as silence client this  a potential trouble,  gets attended t o . i s eventually  made t o  setting silence  client - and  I t i s not  we  see  ignored.  account f o r her  i s s e e n as  an  that The  silence.  escape r o u t e f o r  f r o m s o m e t h i n g - t o o r i s k y t o h a n d l e - at t h e she  i s given time.  But  i f she  remains  s p e a k i s t o work t h i n g s So  catatonic  or  reminiscent  client  of  our  should t a l k with A n t i g o n e , we  unsuitable  one  and  who  refuses to  even r e c o g n i z e d  the  to  what  as  a  that  silence.  the  is  q u e s t i o n e d why One  are  not  void  we  thing,  minds i s  that  one  a n a l y t i c s i l e n c e you  stated as  because  And  engage.  concrete silence  P e r h a p s i t was  moment  for therapy; t h i s  e a r l i e r t a l k when we  a l l u d i n g t o when you not  as  need t o k e e p c l e a r i n our  analytic silence same.  refusal.  i s either hospitalized  dismissed  the  out.  h e r e s i l e n c e i s s e e n as  happens - the  In  silent,  withdraws t o t a l l y i n t o s i l e n c e , therapy f a i l s  Athena:  mute  and  the  were  i s sometimes  I t a k e i t the  void  is  chatt er. Thus f a r we or  as  have t a l k e d  u n d e s i r a b l e i n our  e p i t o m i z e d by political.  silence.  lives, But  we  as  a decadent also  fall  must see  Remember t h e  v i c t i m to  our  a  trouble  life  I t i s a dangerous response t o the  m a i n t a i n i n g s i l e n c e we oppression.  about s i l e n c e  silence world.  as By  own  o f t h e a r d p h r a s e of t h e  Women's  62 Movement when i t was f i r s t too long.  emerging,  I t i s t i m e t o speak  other t o t e l l  their  up".  "We've been  silent  Women u r g e d  each  stories.  What does "been s i l e n t  t o l o n g " mean?  a g r e e t h a t we, as women, a r e u n d o u b t e d l y t h a t we h a v e some r e s p o n s i b i l i t y  being  reminded  f o r our l i v e s  and t h a t  f o r some t i m e now we h a v e a b r o g a t e d t h a t for  o u r c o n d i t i o n by r e m a i n i n g s i l e n t ?  of c o u r s e , i s t h a t  we a r e t h e v i c t i m s  t o u s e an o f t r e p e a t e d p h r a s e .  Can we a l l  responsibility The i m p l i c a t i o n ,  o f o u r own  demise,  How do y o u r e l a t e t o  this? Bystander: After it  That's  rather a harsh t h i n g t o say i s n ' t i t ?  a l l we know t h a t  g i v e s women l i t t l e  brought  s o c i e t y i s o r g a n i z e d i n such c h o i c e i n how t o a c t .  up t o b e l i e v e we must be s i l e n t ,  a way  We w e r e  i n f a c t we were  l e d t o b e l i e v e t h a t we h a d n o t h i n g t o s a y . We d i d n o t know what t o t a l k  about.  We t h o u g h t  i t was s i m p l y t h e  way t h e w o r l d was o r g a n i z e d ; t h e r e was n o t h i n g we do about  it.  s p o k e we w o u l d merely Athena:  Hence we r e m a i n e d  s i l e n t ; t h i n k i n g i f we  be s e e n as c r a z y , as t r o u b l e s o m e , as  discontent. From what y o u a r e s a y i n g I g a t h e r y o u saw t h e w o r l d  as p r e f o r m e d ,  as s t a t i c ,  and y o u r s e l v e s as p a s s i v e a c t o r s  who j u s t h a p p e n e d t o be b o r n women and t h u s is  could  that  right?  determined,  63  Tantalus: in  What c o u l d we do?  p l a c e b e f o r e our t i m e .  e x i s t i n g form. Athena:  The a r r a n g e m e n t s were a l r e a d y We m e r e l y  slipped into the  Men d i d t o o , by t h e way.  But you can o n l y s a y t h i s  i f you r e l a t e d t o t h e  w o r l d i n an i m m e d i a t e way. Antigone:  Y e t we d i d t a l k ; i t i s n o t as t h o u g h we  spoke a l l those y e a r s . recipes,  We t a l k e d  about o u r c h i l d r e n , o u r  o u r f a s h i o n , how t o grow o u r f i n g e r n a i l s  how t o d r e s s w e l l on a m i n i m a l Indeed  never  b u d g e t , how t o e n t e r t a i n .  o u r w o r l d was v e r y f i l l e d .  t h i n g s t o know.  long,  T h e r e were s o many  T h e r e were s o many t h i n g s we needed t o  know i n o r d e r t o be c o m p e t e n t women i n o u r s o c i e t y . Athena:  Oh d e a r A n t i g o n e ,  I l y c h i n your  life?  chattering a l l this was d e e p l y i m p o r t a n t world  We t h o u g h t  of Ivan  Do y o u t h i n k p e r h a p s t h a t y o u w e r e time; d i d you ever t a l k t o you?  or s e a r c h f o r your  Bystander:  do y o u h e a r t h e r e f r a i n s  D i d you ever analyze  self i n this  we d i d .  about what  We t r u l y  your  world? believed that  recipes,  c h i l d r e n , homes and b o d i e s were t h e i m p o r t a n t  things.  That was o u r l i f e !  How c o u l d we n o t t h i n k them  important? Athena:  I'm n o t m e a n i n g t o s u g g e s t  those t h i n g s are not  i m p o r t a n t , b u t y o u must q u e s t i o n i f t h e y a r e a l l t h a t i s  64  needed i n o r d e r t o l i v e your l i f e  well.  question your r e l a t i o n s h i p t o those  You need t o  things  and a s k i f  t h e r e i s more t h a n t h e r e c i p e s .  I f i t i s just the  recipes,  may b e , I w o u l d h a v e t o  say  complicated  that i t s t r i k e s  where o n e s e l f Tantalus:  me as a v e r y  r o b o t i c s o r t of l i f e ,  i s i d e n t i c a l t o any o t h e r  self.  I f we w a n t e d t o f i t i n we h a d t o know  things. the  though they  these  We h a d t o know how t o a s s i m i l a t e o u r s e l v e s  into  r e s t of our w o r l d .  Athena:  The l i f e  Bystander:  We d i d n ' t  consider Athena:  of convention  things  r e a l i z e t h e r e was a c o s t , we  c o u l d be  Because you d i d n ' t  have t a l k e d of t h i n g s of your l i v e s .  didn't  otherwise. analyze.  other  But s u r e l y y o u must  t h a n t h e mundane  arrangements  S u r e l y y o u must h a v e t a l k e d about how y o u  r e l a t e d t o these important  no m a t t e r what t h e c o s t ?  " t h i n g s " , about what was  t o y o u , about how y o u f e l t  a b o u t how y o u f e l t  this  really  towards your  dissatisfaction  life,  and d i d n o t  r e a l l y know why? Antigone:  No, as y o u p o i n t e d  o u t , we were l i k e  c o n t i n u a l l y t h i n k i n g i f we h a d a n o t h e r f i v e roubles Athena:  a year  Ilych,  hundred  we w o u l d be h a p p y .  I n o t h e r w o r d s , what y o u a r e s a y i n g i s t h a t i f o n l y  your circumstances had  Ivan  were b e t t e r , f o r example i f o n l y y o u  a b e t t e r h o u s e , b e t t e r c l o t h e s , more c h i l d r e n o r l e s s  65  c h i l d r e n your l i f e Antigone:  w o u l d be g o o d .  In the cold light  acquisitive,  right?  o f day i t s o u n d s s o  b u t t h a t ' s how we f e l t .  t h o u g h t t o be Bystander:  Is that  T h a t ' s what we  important.  S u r e , we b o u g h t i n t o t h e c o n v e n t i o n s  of s o c i e t y  as t h e g o o d . Antigone: could  And i f we l i v e d t h e p r e s c r i b e d  lifestyle  we a d m i t t o d i s s a t i s f a c t i o n ? How c o u l d  about t h a t  well-hidden  how  we t a l k  f e e l i n g of d i s s a t i s f a c t i o n  which  w o u l d s w e l l up i n s i d e o f us and c r y t o be r e l e a s e d ? felt  this  f e e l i n g was o u r own p e r s o n a l  We  idiosyncrasy.  We  assumed we w e r e somehow d e f e c t i v e f o r f e e l i n g t h i s way. Bystander: our  Right.  own f a u l t .  along with  I f we f e l t  unhappy we a l s o f e l t  T h e r e f o r e when t h e Women's Movement came  we were r e l i e v e d b e c a u s e , t h r o u g h other  i t was  conversations  women, we came t o s e e o u r c o n d i t i o n as s h a r e d  rather than i d i o s y n c r a t i c . Athena:  Right,  i t was s i l e n c e w h i c h s t r e n g t h e n e d t h e n o t i o n  of i d i o s y n c r a s y .  I t was s i l e n c e who r e i n f o r c e d i t s  r e i gn. Tantalus: silent. us  That i s why we were  We needed o u r s e c r e t , o u r i d i o s y n c r a s y —  i t gave  a sense of i n d i v i d u a l i t y .  Antigone: any  B u t we h a d o u r p r i d e !  Sometimes i d i o s y n c r a s y  sense of your s e l f  i s t h e o n l y way t o r e t a i n  as an i n d i v i d u a l ,  as a p a r t  from  66  the t e r r i b l e Athena:  And  from your Antigone: life,  mass of o t h e r s who  not  Athena:  satisfied  like  idiosyncrasy  with your  no  life,  then t h i s  one  your hero?  does.  o f us  and  perceives this  s e p a r a t e by  not t o be a g r o u p .  ensuring that  t h a t we  are  this  peculiarity.  i t i s " d i v i d e and  o t h e r words i t a s k s  know i t s e l f .  f o r no  convention, c o u l d not  as  or  separate,  about t h e  the s l e e p .  of t h i s  self;  I t demands t h e  self  not  are  to banished  They a r e b a n i s h e d dreams as t h o u g h  c h a l l e n g e of d a y l i g h t .  d r e a m - t h o u g h t s a r e not  It i s a a class  I t commands t h e s e l f  a r i s i n g o n l y i n our  face the  be s t i l l  analysis.  Thus t h e t h o u g h t s  before they i n t e r r u p t  because  rule."  t h a t you  s e l f t o be u n r e f l e c t i v e .  each of us  belong  odd,  must s u f f e r i n s i l e n c e  It maintains  I d i o s y n c r a s y asks in  least  Jungle  dissatisfaction to  I t says  e l s e would understand  thus  of  L e t ' s t h i n k about what  I t k e e p s us  t h e r e f o r e we  i n the  d e v a s t a t i n g n o t i o n ; i t i s p r e c i s e l y not t o be  and  your  feeling  t o s a y t o y o u r s e l f , "At  alone, personally.  peculiar  isolated  them."  ( 1 9 5 8 ) , — i s he  t o us  and  t o o proud of  L i k e M a r c h e r i n H e n r y James B e a s t  e a c h one  you!  society?  W e l l i f y o u were s e c r e t l y not not  like  i s t h a t t h e good - t o s t a n d a p a r t  i d i o s y n c r a s y a l l o w e d you I'm  look just  allowed to face the  by  they  These r e s i s t e n c e of  67  d i a l o g u e as d i a l o g u e w o u l d d e s t r o y t h e i d e a o f idiosyncrasy. In that  each o f us t h o u g h t  idiosyncratic,  o u r p r o b l e m t o be  i t i s t r u e we were a s k e d  w o r l d i n t h e same way.  to relate  to the  But because i d i o s y n c r a s y says  " I t s y o u " , y o u c a n a l l be s i t t i n g t h e r e as  idiosyncratic  and  Because  n o t s e e t h a t y o u h a d a common p r o b l e m .  idiosyncrasy says, problem". Antigone:  "Do n o t c o n s i d e r i t a common  This i s the bind; t h i s  I n some s e n s e ,  t h e n , t h e Women's Movement b r o k e  the s p e l l of i d i o s y n c r a s y . through  dialogue.  dissatisfaction  i s t h e paradox.  I t demanded we s e e t h e w o r l d  This helped  us t o s e e o u r  as common, as s h a r e d .  We c o u l d now  talk  a b o u t i t ; do s o m e t h i n g about i t . Athena:  Certainly,  destroyed  this  work from. to  i t was a n a l y s i s and d i a l o g u e  s e n s e o f o d d i t y and gave us a p l a c e t o  D i d t h i s h e l p you?  r e f o r m u l a t e your  understanding this  D i d i t h e l p you t o begin  w o r l d , t o g e t some b e t t e r  o f how y o u were o p p r e s s e d  and how t o l i f t  oppression?  Bystander:  I t h i n k i t helped,  a l l o w e d , no u r g e d , circumstances in  which  t o some e x t e n t  at l e a s t .  It  us t o make some demands, t o change t h e  of our l i v e s .  some way, more f a i r ,  R e l a t i o n s h i p s became b e t t e r  that i s , the partner shared i n  68  the  h o u s e h o l d t a s k s , t o o k some r e s p o n s i b i l i t y  were t r a d i t i o n a l l y Athena: can  female t a s k s .  D i d n o t t h e movement a l l agree that  a s k f o r more?  our l i v e s  mundane s e n s e o f e a s i e r .  Our l i v e s  f o r what d i d improve.  C e r t a i n l y we  became e a s i e r i n a v e r y  We h a d more c h o i c e s ,  more  o p p o r t u n i t i e s , r e l a t i o n s h i p s became more e q u a l — i n c a s e s , n o t a l l ; b u t now i s n o t t h e p l a c e  some  f o r a discussion  on p r e and p o s t movement r e l a t i o n s h i p s . What y o u r e a l l y essentially  change?".  arrangements a l l that suspiciously Tantalus: us.  need t o a s k i s " d i d t h i n g s  like  Were a f e w meager c h a n g e s i n t h e women needed?  500 more  Somehow t h i s  sounds  roubles.  Come on now, y o u a r e b e i n g a l i t t l e  b i t h a r d on  We d i d make c h a n g e s i n o u r l i v e s , we t o o k more  c o n t r o l over them.  You've j u s t a d m i t t e d t h a t  became somewhat e a s i e r ?  our l i v e s  We d i d become a l i t t l e  e q u a l t o men, a n d , more i m p o r t a n t l y ,  more  we t a l k e d w i t h  each  other. Athena:  To be s u r e ,  changed. not  f o r many o f us o u r c i r c u m s t a n c e s  The a r r a n g e m e n t s o f o u r l i v e s i m p r o v e d .  I am  d e n y i n g t h a t , n o r i s i t my i n t e n t i o n t o downgrade  those changes.  However, what I am s a y i n g  i s "think, i s  that  what y o u n e e d e d ? " , and i f s o , y o u c e r t a i n l y  need  much. You  still  need t o a s k i f t h a t  i s a l l that  didn't  i s needed  69  to  l e a d a good  life  y o u must s e r i o u s l y essential  change  - a change  And  q u e s t i o n i f t h e r e h a s been any  i n t h e way y o u r e l a t e t o t h e w o r l d .  Have y o u m e r e l y e x c h a n g e d the world  i n t h e arrangements.  o f men w i t h o u t  your former world asking i f this  o f women f o r  i s t h e world you  wanted. Could it  i t be y o u h a v e s i m p l y  be y o u a r e s t i l l  Tantalus:  changed t o p i c s ?  r e f u s i n g t o analyse?  What do y o u mean by t h a t ?  changed t o p i c s .  Could  Of c o u r s e  We no l o n g e r t a l k  we've  about k i d s ,  f a s h i o n s , p a r t i e s o r w h a t e v e r , at l e a s t  recipes,  not e x c l u s i v e l y ,  and some o f us w o u l d n ' t be c a u g h t dead t a l k i n g  about  those  about  old things.  politics,  We t a l k  about  a b o u t g e t t i n g ahead  relationships,  our f e e l i n g s ,  on o u r own, about o u r  even about t h e s t o c k m a r k e t !  So what do  y o u mean " s i m p l y " t o p i c s ? Athena:  I mean y o u s t i l l  o r i e n t e d way.  speak, T a n t a l u s , i n a t o p i c  I t h i n k i t i s a crass v e r s i o n of t h e  Women's Movement t o i m p l y t h a t i t i s f o r b i d d e n t o s p e a k about c h i l d r e n ,  recipes, fashions.  s p e a k about t h e s e  things that i s degenerate.  do y o u mean when y o u s a y y o u t a l k Tantalus:  I t i s t h e way y o u  I mean we t a l k  what t h e new p o l i c i e s  about  A l s o what  politics?  about w h i c h p a r t y i s i n power, a r e , who's g o i n g t o g e t e l e c t e d ,  who b e n e f i t s by c e r t a i n l e g i s l a t i o n ,  things l i k e  that.  70  Athena:  I see,  Tantalus:  Of  citizen  i t ' s politics  course.  should  These a r e t h i n g s t h e w e l l  know ah o u t .  women, were e x c l u d e d domain of t h e  on a p a r t i s a n l e v e l ?  These a r e t h e t h i n g s we,  from p r e v i o u s l y .  " c i g a r and  Athena: as  of  the  h a v e moved i t  longer the e x c l u s i v e  then,  t h a t you  d i d n ' t see r e l a t i o n s h i p s  political? I n a way  sure. Athena:  they  It i s , after Right  now  more t h a n  one  p a r t i s a n way can s e e Antigone:  You  Aah,  Topic  way  be  the  power.  i n t o a d i s c u s s i o n of that  o f t h i n k i n g about p o l i t i c s  there  and  a l w a y s t h e most a n a l y t i c a l .  the  Again  we  topic. attachment t o  topic.  mean? how  Your concern can  has  I j u s t wanted t o remind you  k e e p t a l k i n g about our  What do y o u Athena:  be s e e n as p o l i t i c a l t o  a l l , a q u e s t i o n o f who  i s not  i t as  can  I d o n ' t want t o get  what i s p o l i t i c a l ;  You  We  as  men.  I suspect,  Tantalus:  is  T h i s was  d r a w i n g room".  away f r o m t h a t s p h e r e so i t i s no property  informed  to explain i t ?  with topics l i m i t s  L e t ' s see you  o n l y s p e a k what t o p i c w i l l  rules.  You  p o s s i b l e f o r you  do not  t o p i c , though.  We  I t ' s not  works.  or r e s t r i c t s a l l o w you  r e m i n d y o u r s e l f how  t o speak, you  c o r r e c t n e s s of t o p i c .  i f this  to  you. speak.  it is  are s e a r c h i n g f o r the t h a t we  can  speak  need t o p i c i n o r d e r t o s p e a k , we  without use  71  topic  as a way o f s p e a k i n g , t h i n k i n g about what i s  i m p o r t a n t t o our l i v e s . This it  needs f u r t h e r d i s c u s s i o n .  t h i s way.  wife you  You s t u d i e d  about  f u l f i l l i n g t h e r o l e o f t h e good and f o u n d out how t o p l a y t h e p a r t o f  and m o t h e r , and c o m m i t t e e member.  After  liberation  became s u p e r woman o r a t l e a s t a s p i r e d t o t h a t  stance. in  think  B e f o r e t h e Women's Movement t o o k h o l d y o u  were c o n c e r n e d w i t h wife.  Let's  That i s , y o u h a d a c a r e e r  t h e home y o u s t i l l  t h e home, y e t  h a d t h e r o l e o f supermom, f r i e n d ,  l o v e r and c o m p a n i o n t o s p o u s e . fill,  outside  a l l these various  I t was a huge b i l l t o  r o l e s , n o t much d i f f e r e n t , we  might s a y , t h a n d u r i n g t h e p r e - l i b e r a t i o n days. Tantalus: our  B u t i t was d i f f e r e n t .  We were t a k i n g c o n t r o l o f  lives.  Athena:  Were y o u now?  Do y o u n o t t h i n k t h a t  w e r e j u s t as e n s c o n c e d i n t h e l i f e have been c a l l i n g i t , t h e l i f e perhaps, a concretely just  Tantalus: Athena: As  o f r o l e s , o r , as we  of convention,  "better" convention?  became e n t r e n c h e d i n t h e l i f e  different  perhaps you  albeit Maybe y o u  of r o l e s i n a  way?  B u t we a l l p l a y Do we now?  certain roles i n this  society!  I s t h a t how y o u w i s h t o s e e y o u r  c o m p a r t m e n t a l i z e d and r u l e d ?  life?  When r o l e r u l e s i t does  so i n t h e same way as t o p i c r u l e s .  It i s a particular  72  r e l a t i o n s h i p t o the world, we l i v e w i t h o u t  h e n c e I am n o t s u g g e s t i n g  r o l e s but t h a t  that  we s e e them f o r what  a r e - r o l e s - and n o t l e t them r u l e or n o t f a l l  they  b a c k on  t h e m as a way o f j u s t i f y i n g some a c t i o n . To  draw t h i s  that  the l i f e  life  of chatter.  lost, loss  of r o l e s or t h e l i f e  goes u n n o t i c e d .  so f r e q u e n t l y  The s e l f i s  reminds u s , t h i s  T h i s , my f r i e n d , i s t h e t e r r o r .  I seem t o be m i s s i n g  i t i s that  we c a n s a y  of c o n v e n t i o n i s t h e  Role determines speech.  and as K i e r k e g a a r d  Antigone: see  back t o our c o n v e r s a t i o n ,  something here.  The way I  i f we a r e i n a c e r t a i n r o l e we a l l o w  that  r o l e t o d i c t a t e our speech. Athena:  Exactly,  and I am s a y i n g  form of speech. earlier  we h a v e t o q u e s t i o n  that  I f we t h i n k b a c k t o how y o u were t a l k i n g  about t h e Women's Movement maybe what I mean  become c l e a r e r .  F o r e x a m p l e , i n what I w i l l  will  call  pre-movement d a y s , y o u f e l t  c o m p e l l e d t o s p e a k about  kids, fashions  and i n t h e movement days y o u  claimed very  y o u w o u l d n ' t be c a u g h t dead t a l k i n g about  things.  feminist!  Why?  Because i t d i d n ' t  Am I r i g h t ?  speaking from Antigone:  and t h e l i k e  I n both  f i t t h e image o f a  cases your s e l f i s  necessity.  T h e r e y o u go a g a i n .  "Necessity"  these  and w h i l e  What do y o u mean by  y o u ' r e at i t c o u l d  e x p l a i n a l i t t l e what i t i s y o u mean by  you  please  chatter?  73  Athena:  Kierkegaard  dialectical the to  realm  speaks of p o s s i b i l i t y  ideas.  and n e c e s s i t y as  To l i v e i n p o s s i b i l i t y  o f t h o u g h t , where a n y t h i n g  i s to l i v e i n  i s possible, while  l i v e i n n e c e s s i t y i s t o l i v e a determined l i f e  immediate l i f e , the world,  as i f what y o u d i d , how y o u r e l a t e d t o  was t h r o u g h  otherwise.  o r an  n e c e s s i t y , as i f i t c o u l d  not be  A moment ago when I c h a r g e d y o u w i t h  speaking  f r o m n e c e s s i t y I was c h a r g i n g  you with speaking  y o u r s p e e c h were d e t e r m i n e d .  A n o t h e r way t o s a y t h i s i s  to  s a y t h e r o l e i s what d e t e r m i n e s s p e e c h .  to  say that the s o u l i s l o s t , This  Antigone,  leads  what i s c h a t t e r ?  committed t o d i s p l a y of r o l e Let's  remember doing his  i s lost.  cast  earlier  I t i s uncommitted t a l k .  i n our c o n v e r s a t i o n  station i n life  earlier,  Ilych.  I f you  we t a l k e d about h i s  he s p o k e what was a p p r o p r i a t e t o  i n a s e r i o u s way.  or t r i v i a l .  For Ivan the h o r r o r  to  this.  describes  o f words i s  As we s a i d  he and h i s w i f e w o r k e d t o k e e p e v e r y t h i n g  recognize  We  Ilych's l i f e  It  rather than r e v e l a t i o n of  o u r minds b a c k t o I v a n  "company t a l k " ,  question,  Chatter i s reducing  t h e s p e e c h o f r o l e s where t h e u t t e r e n c e  self.  And t h i s i s  us t o t h e o t h e r h a l f o f y o u r  everything to the t r i v i a l . is  the s e l f  as i f  beset  small  h i m when he came  must remember when T o l s t o y as t h e "most s i m p l e  o r d i n a r y and t h e r e f o r e t h e most t e r r i b l e "  and t h e most he does not  74  i n t e n d us t o u n d e r s t a n d  this  concretely  that i t i s simple  o r d i n a r y but  because Ivan way,  relates to l i f e  in a trivial In  natural,  the  we  and  concrete and  ordinary ordinary  arrangements  ordinary,  have of a d d r e s s i n g t h i s  as i m m e d i a t e , as n e c e s s a r y .  And  talk,  but world  most  T h i s i s t h e most s i m p l e  and  as  i n this  i s mere w o r d s , mere words w h i c h o n l y m i r r o r  the  therefore  terrible.  Chatter i s o l a t e s the world.  The  engagement.  or i n s u l a t e s t h e  The  listener  c o l l e a g u e s when he  one  who  Let's  rethink i t .  take  b a c k e v e r y t h i n g she  this  p e r s o n i s not  strongly,  she  responsibility  do I l y c h ' s f a m i l y  needs t o t a l k  and  about h i s  wants t o t a k e  back  says?  Goodness, T a n t a l u s , you  that idea.  an  living.  What about t h e  e v e r y t h i n g she  no more  speech than  i s d y i n g and  about h i s  never  demands a commitment,  chatterer takes  of e n g a g i n g a n o t h e r ' s  d y i n g and  c h a t t e r e r from  c h a t t e r e r i s o f t e n a u d i e n c e but  l i s t e n s since being  Athena:  the  w h i c h make i t s i m p l e  as i t i s .  Tantalus:  i n a simple  and  or  way.  i n s t e a d i t i s t h e way  world  concretely simple  o t h e r w o r d s , i t i s not  o f one's l i f e  world,  as  says,  c a n n o t seem t o get  I f t h e p e r s o n needs  to  t h e n we  that  have t o say  c o m m i t t e d t o what she  i s not  r i d of  speaks.  More  c o m m i t t e d t o t h e i d e a of s p e e c h ,  she  75  possesses  a degenerate v e r s i o n of speech.  interlocutor  This  c a n n o t be t r u s t e d t o s a y a n y t h i n g s h e i s  committed t o s i n c e h e r aim i s t o keep t h e s e l f s e c r e t . T h i s one i s e a s i l y swayed by p u b l i c o p i n i o n and h e n c e will  c h a n g e what s h e u t t e r s as s o o n as s h e i s c h a l l e n g e d  o r as s o o n as a d i f f e r e n t She to  p o s i t i o n i s presented  does n o t own h e r t h i n k i n g ; s h e i s r e a d y take  and w i l l i n g  anyone e l s e s t h i n k i n g as h e r own, s h e i s a  regurgitator,  she i s K i e r k e g a a r d ' s  because n o t h i n g matters Merseault, she?  to her.  t o her.  walking s t i c k  I n t h i s way s h e i s l i k e  Camus's h e r o i n The S t r a n g e r  Merseault  Merseault,  n o t h i n g , except eyeballs. Merseault  (1958), i s n ' t  i s l i k e t h e c h a m e l e o n who changes i d e a s ,  goes a l o n g w i t h w h a t e v e r i s p r e s e n t e d moment.  like this  self,  t o h i m at t h e  i s committed t o  perhaps t h a t which impinges  He l i k e s  p l e a s u r e b u t on a s m a l l  on h i s scale.  i s a chatterer.  L e t ' s go b a c k t o c h a t t e r .  Chatter i s nonessential  s p e e c h ; i t s p e a k s a b o u t t h i n g s i n a t r i v i a l way. t r e a t s speech sheer is  to  as c o n c r e t e , as s e c u r e ,  reportage  on t h e w o r l d .  I t s e e s no need t o a n a l y z e  reformulate i t s world.  as n a t u r a l , as It  of speech; i t merely and i t s e e s no need  Because t h e w o r l d  analysis - i t i s sheerly there.  Chatter  Chatter t o p i c a l i z e s .  not i n t e r e s t e d i n t h e p o s s i b i l i t y  speaks.  —  needs no  76  Antigone: about  So t h a t  i s what we were d o i n g when we  our r e c i p e s ,  our n a i l s ,  our f a s h i o n s  other b a n a l c o n v e r s a t i o n s which Is  that  time?  a l l we were d o i n g ? Waiting?  constituted  talked  and a l l t h o s e our w o r l d .  Were we s i m p l y f i l l i n g  S t a v i n g o f f boredom, i s o l a t i o n  i n the  and a  c e r t a i n brand of c r a z i n e s s ? Cassandra:  E x c e p t what we d i d was e n s u r e o u r i s o l a t i o n  make boredom p a r t Athena:  of our l i f e .  To be s u r e t h a t i s what y o u were d o i n g ,  time, f i l l i n g than that.  space w i t h words.  By t a l k i n g about  were e n s u r i n g c o n s e n s u s were a c t i v e l y  about  filling  But y o u were d o i n g more  t h e s e everyday concerns you  about how t h e w o r l d was.  s t a b i l i z i n g your world.  c o u l d be t a l k e d  and  You  You knew what  and what h a d t o r e m a i n h i d d e n ,  c o n c e a l e d , e l i m i n a t e d - not o n l y from your  conversation  but a l s o from your t h o u g h t s .  T h i n g s o f deep c o n c e r n t o  y o u were t h e v e r y t h i n g s t h a t  y o u d a r e d o n l y t o dream  about.  I t was t h e s e t h o u g h t s , t h e s e f e e l i n g s t h a t t h e  Women's Movement u r g e d y o u t o make p u b l i c .  Not o n l y t o  make p u b l i c b u t t o a n a l y z e . Antigone:  We  listened,  we s p o k e t o each o t h e r , we l e t our  v i e w s be known p u b l i c l y . little Bystander: rage?  We  raged at t h e w o r l d , f o r a  while, u n t i l the world started t o l i s t e n . Do y o u t h i n k p e r h a p s That t h e c o m m i t t e d  t h a t t h e committed  still  s e e what h a s i m p r o v e d i n our  77  lifes  as mere t o k e n ?  Cassandra:  But i n t h e end we were s t i l l  Tantalus: got  What do y o u mean s i l e n t ?  press  coverage!  How  silent.  We t a l k e d ,  raged,  c a n y o u s u g g e s t we were  we  still  silent? Bystander: and  We  d i d speak.  In the beginning  we were so a n g r y  o u r s p e e c h was s o c o m p e l l e d t h a t we were d i s m i s s e d  crazy,  as " b a l l b r e a k i n g  b i t c h e s " , as s u b v e r s i v e s .  we s p o k e anyway, we r i s k e d  world  controlled  We  emerged f r o m b e i n g  passive  by men i n t o women who knew how t h e  was p u t t o g e t h e r ,  about i t .  But  and some o f us changed o u r  r e l a t i o n s h i p t o the world. creatures  as  and we were g o i n g t o do s o m e t h i n g  We were g o i n g t o c h a n g e t h e c o n t r o l l i n g  st r u c t u r e s . Athena:  The q u e s t i o n  really  y o u must a s k y o u r s e l v e s  c h a n g e o r d i d y o u m e r e l y e x c h a n g e one s e t o f  r h e t o r i c f o r another"? to  be?  What do y o u c o n s i d e r  These a r e t h e q u e s t i o n s If  t h i n k s of d i a l o g u e ,  are s t i l l  missing,  transformations,  conversation  y o u must a s k y o u r s e l v e s .  we t h i n k o f c o n v e r s a t i o n ,  Socrates  Antigone:  i s " d i d you  of d i a l o g u e ,  t h e n we c a n s e e t h a t what  as we p a s s t h r o u g h  we  these  i s a sense of d i a l o g u e .  E a r l i e r y o u b r o u g h t us t o s e e t h a t  c h a t t e r wasn't  c o m m i t t e d s p e e c h ; s o I c a n s e e t h a t t h a t wasn't that  as  wasn't a good way t o t a l k .  dialogue,  78  Tantalus:  B u t how c a n y o u s a y t h i s  wasn't a good way t o  talk? Cassandra: Athena:  Maybe we c o u l d c o n s i d e r i t a good  Y e s , i t i s a good b e g i n n i n g ,  engage i t . all,  beginning.  b u t now y o u h a v e t o  Y o u h a v e t o answer i t , q u e s t i o n i t .  After  i f your aim i s d i a l o g u e , i n t h e S o c r a t i c sense of  d i a l o g u e , t h e n y o u must be d i a l e c t i c a l . Socrates,  Conversation f o r  and f o r u s , engages t h e d i a l e c t i c , i t  readdresses  itself;  or r e s i s t a n c e i n t o rather than  the interlocutor  introduces  t h e speech of t h e o t h e r .  tension  Hence,  sheerly agreeing with the other, the  interlocutor,  i n Blum's t e r m s , s p e a k s t h a t w h i c h t h e  o t h e r h a s f o r g o t t e n i n o r d e r t o make h e r s p e e c h . I f we t h i n k b a c k on what we were t a l k i n g  about  e a r l i e r w i t h t h e Women's Movement p e r h a p s we c a n s e e t h a t although stories  you t a l k e d with  each o t h e r when y o u e x c h a n g e d  and when y o u l i s t e n e d  and d e v e l o p e d  a new way o f  s e e i n g t h e w o r l d , what y o u were a l s o d o i n g was c o n s e n s u s about how t h e w o r l d  i s put t o g e t h e r .  what y o u were s e a r c h i n g f o r , w h i c h , i n some s e n s e , i s t h e same as what y o u a c c o m p l i s h e d before Tantalus: Athena:  our  seeking This i s  essential through  talk  enlightenment.  A r e y o u s a y i n g we n e v e r moved? I'm s a y i n g t h a t y o u r t a l k was d i f f e r e n t ,  of your o p p r e s s i o n  your  was more r e f l e c t i v e t h a n y o u r  talk  talk  79  a b o u t f a s h i o n and was  t h e same.  And  t h i s has  world.  speak. if  The  a new  But  aim  or g o a l was,  and  now  aim  i s , consensus. you  relate to  the  a l s o s a y i n g i s t h a t you have begun; s t a r t i n g p l a c e , a place from which  you  must t u r n b a c k on y o u r s e l v e s  R h e t o r i c f o r want o f a b e t t e r w o r d .  s u g g e s t i n g i s t h a t you e x c h a n g e one words, you different merely  set  and  ask  need t o ask y o u r s e l v e s i f we method f o r u n d e r s t a n d i n g  Maybe we  understanding  s e n s e of t h e  We  now,  i t was  other  acquired  a  or d i d  a b e t t e r way;  at l e a s t , h a v e a  a r e more p o l i t i c a l ,  need i s t h i s  of the w o r l d .  And  you  s i m p l y t o t a k e i t as n a t u r a l ,  for  a l l situations?  we  way  of  we  were  political  you  i n some s e n s e must  ask  political  now  t h a t you have i t are  as g i v e n , as t h e  I s i t t h a t you  now  need o n l y  that recipe, to that formula f o r r e l a t i n g to  world?  was  formula?  a p a r t i s a n sense — b u t  y o u r s e l v e s i f a l l you understanding  am  world.  I agree t h a t you  of p o l i t i c a l —  did  d i d a t t a c h ourselves to another  t h e w o r l d , but  more a n a l y t i c a l .  In  the world  we  What I  i f a l l you  or r h e t o r i c f o r a n o t h e r .  subscribe to a different  Bystander:  Athena:  ask y o u s e l v e s  you  to  i t i s enough t o move f r o m c h a t t e r t o - what s h a l l  call i t ?  to  e s s e n t i a l l y the  deep i m p l i c a t i o n s f o r how  What I am  have found  f i n g e r n a i l s , but  same adhere  the  80  Cassandra:  Are you  w r o n g and  s a y i n g t h a t our v i e w of t h e w o r l d i s  t h a t we  should  r e - t h i n k i t so as t o  f i n d t h e t r u e v e r s i o n of t h e Athena:  No!  I am  you  are  world?  a s k i n g t h a t you  r e l a t i n g to the world  and  But  we  r e - t h i n k your  need a way  of u n d e r s t a n d i n g  of u n d e r s t a n d i n g  t h e f e m i n i s t s gave us t h a t method. it  meant t o be  concerned  looking pretty.  way  of  ask y o u r s e l v e s i f i t i s method  c o m m i t t e d t o as a way  Bystander:  finally  the  the world  They t a u g h t  us  with long f i n g e r n a i l s  and  They e n c o u r a g e d us t o a n a l y z e  our  i n t e r m s o f d o m i n a n t power s t r u c t u r e s and  world.  i n terms  and  what  world of  o p p r e s s i on. Athena:  I am  not  q u e s t i o n i n g the teachings  or t h e s p e c i f i c s not  to assess  w o r l d but we  the  o f what y o u different  t o i n q u i r e i n t o t h e i d e a of method i t s e l f .  If  our  s c h o l a r ; we we  task here i s the  best to l i v e  this  Our  methods o f u n d e r s t a n d i n g  orient to l i v i n g  abdicated  learned.  of t h e f e m i n i s t s  our  lives  through  method t h e n we  r e s p o n s i b i l i t y t o t h i n k about how our  lives.  We  are  l i k e Descartes'  assume o u r p r e d e c e s s o r s '  c l a i m our  a n c e s t o r s had  we  the  thinking. right  and  have  are  ideal In  doing  the  r e s p o n s i b i l i t y t o q u e s t i o n , t o doubt t h e i r w o r l d , but do did  not.  I f we  f o l l o w t h e C a r t e s i a n model we  our t h i n k i n g f o r u s .  can s a y  They h a v e a l r e a d y b r o u g h t  d o u b t t h a t w h i c h needed t o be  we they  into  d o u b t e d , no need f o r us  to  81  do s o a g a i n .  Method t e l l s  " F o l l o w me, move f o r w a r d , But  us t o march on. don't l o o k back.  most i m p o r t a n t l y i t s a y s  straight  path  palace.  T h i s i s t h e message  words t o t h a t  Progress!"  " F o l l o w me", f o l l o w t h e  and maybe y o u w i l l  N e i t z c h e who w i s e l y s a i d  I t says  progress  o f method.  to the crystal I t i s so u n l i k e  " F o l l o w y o u , d o n ' t f o l l o w me" o r  effect.  M o r e o v e r , we h a v e t o a s k what i s t h e good o f a "proper"  political  provides  c o n s e n s u s , b u t i s c o n s e n s u s what we  want?  analysis.  I t i s good i n t h a t i t  I s c o n s e n s u s what we r e a l l y  need?  really  What  does  consensus g i v e us? Antigone:  I t g i v e s us a s e n s e o f community.  sense of b e l o n g i n g Athena:  i n peace w i t h  others.  I t g i v e s y o u a s e n s e o f community b u t a v e r y weak  s e n s e o f community.  We need t o a s k o u r s e l v e s  v e r s i o n o f community we h a v e i f i t i s b u i l t consensus.  so f r a g i l e  gets  a little  are cast out.  t h a t i t cannot w i t h s t a n d bit tricky  Let's take  aim f o r .  on  I s a good community  those one w h i c h  difference?  This  b e c a u s e we h a v e t o now t h i n k o f  consensus, d i f f e r e n c e , m u l t i p l i c i t y  unity.  what  C o n s e n s u s means t h a t a l l must a g r e e ,  who d i s a g r e e is  I t g i v e s us a  and u n i t y .  a moment and t h i n k about c o n s e n s u s and  To h a v e a s e n s e o f u n i t y i s g o o d .  I t i s what  we  82  Bystander:  How  consensus the  do we  d i f f e r e n t f r o m c o n s e n s u s , i f we  not have a u n i f i e d f r o n t t o p r e s e n t  have to  world?  Athena: is  i s this  I think  consensus  i s d i f f e r e n t from u n i t y .  not n e c e s s a r i l y p r e s e n t i n g  t h e y a r e two consensus.  a united  separate issues. Consensus  Let's  implies  Unity  front, I think  stay with  agreement about  the things,  a b o u t t o p i c , w h e r e a s u n i t y i s an agreement t o r e l a t e t o the  world  Antigone:  i n a c e r t a i n way.  I'm  Can y o u s e e t h i s  not s u r e I see t h e d i f f e r e n c e .  t o t h e Women's Movement, d i d n ' t world  i n a c e r t a i n way,  didn't  agree t o r e l a t e t o the world Athena: said it  Let's  consensus  i s t o p i c centered;  on a t o p i c . wholeness,  we t a l k  completeness.  Unity  beyond  speaks  a n o t h e r way.  through  Perhaps  dialogue.  As  about  I  some-thing,  a general  consensus  t h i n k about u n i t y we t h i n k This  about  i s removed f r o m t o p i c They a r e how  we  begin  our  o f commitment, a commitment t o g e t  the m u l t i p l i c i t y  about t h i n g s .  back  agree t o r e l a t e t o t h e  means t o a g r e e a b o u t  But when we  go  i n a c e r t a i n way?  a l t h o u g h t o p i c s a r e our u s a g e . quest.  I f we  I l y c h and h i s comrades  t r y t o g e t at t h i s  earlier  we  difference?  o f t o p i c s , t o get beyond our s e a r c h  But t h i s  agree  on e v e r y t h i n g  we  need,  i t i s not our a i m .  We  f o r u n i t y i s conducted  does not i m p l y  discuss. need  speech  that  we  must  Agreement i s not what commitment, a  we  83  commitment t o t a l k i n g about what i s o f deep c o n c e r n t o us.  We c a n s u f f e r  plagued Antigone: if  with  d i f f e r e n c e and we w i l l  multiplicity.  I'm s t i l l  puzzled.  I f i t i s a good a n a l y s i s and  i t w o r k s , why s h o u l d we n o t u s e i t ?  expect  of us?  clean,  as i f no w o r k , no t h o u g h t  b e e n done? predecessors  a l w a y s be  Do y o u e x p e c t  What do y o u  each o f us t o s t a r t  about t h e w o r l d h a s e v e r  A r e we n o t t o l i s t e n t o anyone e l s e , have n o t h i n g t o say t o us?  Athena:  with  do o u r  What i s t h e good  o f a n y o n e ' s s p e e c h i f no one i s t o l i s t e n , starts  fresh,  i f each o f us  "new" s p e e c h ?  I am n o t s a y i n g "Don't l i s t e n t o y o u r  they have n o t h i n g t o s a y t o you". Rather t h i n k a b o u t what y o u r s p e e c h , examine i t ,  a n c e s t o r s have s a i d ,  b u t do n o t f a l l  predecessors,  I want y o u t o engage  their  i n t o t h e t r a p of  t h i n k i n g t h a t t h e y h a v e done y o u r  t h i n k i n g f o r you and,  t h e r e f o r e , your t a s k i s d i f f e r e n t  from t h e i r s .  us  must do t h e work o f a n a l y s i s f o r o u r s e l v e s .  forefathers can  Each o f Our  c o u l d n o t h a v e done i t f o r us anymore t h a n  do i t f o r f u t u r e g e n e r a t i o n s .  quote from K i e r k e g a a r d  L e t me r e a d a s h o r t  where he r e m i n d s us o f t h i s  responsibility. "Whatever one g e n e r a t i o n may l e a r n f r o m t h e o t h e r , t h a t w h i c h i s g e n u i n e l y human no g e n e r a t i o n b e g i n s p r i m i t i v e l y , h a s no d i f f e r e n t t a s k from t h a t of every p r e v i o u s g e n e r a t i o n , n o r does i t g e t  we  84  f u r t h e r e x c e p t i n s o f a r as t h e p r e c e d i n g g e n e r a t i o n s h i r k e d i t s t a s k and d e l u d e d itself. T h i s a u t h e n t i c a l l y human f a c t o r i s p a s s i o n , i n w h i c h a l s o t h e one generation p e r f e c t l y understands t h e o t h e r and u n d e r s t a n d s i t s e l f . Thus no g e n e r a t i o n has l e a r n e d from another t o l o v e , no g e n e r a t i o n b e g i n s at any o t h e r p o i n t t h a n a t t h e b e g i n n i n g , no g e n e r a t i o n has a s h o r t e r t a s k a s s i g n e d t o i t t h a n h a d t h e p r e c e d i n g g e n e r a t i o n , and i f h e r e one i s n o t w i l l i n g l i k e t h e previous generations t o stop with love but w o u l d go f u r t h e r , t h i s i s b u t i d l e and f o o l i s h t a l k " . (Kierkegaard, Tantalus:  1974:13)  B u t h e ' s t a l k i n g about l o v e , h e ' s n o t s a y i n g  anything Antigone:  about a n a l y s i s or d i a l o g u e  o r commitment!  A r e y o u s u g g e s t i n g t h e n t h a t he h a s n o t h i n g t o  s a y t o u s , t h a t h i s words a p p l y t o someone e l s e , t o another  p l a c e , another  Tantalus:  No, I ' l l g r a n t  time? t h a t he p r o b a b l y  has s o m e t h i n g t o  s a y t o u s , b u t n o t now. Athena:  Concretely,  p e r h a p s , h e ' s n o t t a l k i n g about  commitment  o r d i a l o g u e , b u t , and t h i s i s a s l i g h t  diversion,  and w e ' l l h a v e t o come b a c k t o t h i s  time, read has  i t h a s t o do w i t h how we r e a d , concretely.  said  at  speech,  another  and y o u , T a n t a l u s ,  Y o u don't seem t o t a k e what  Kierkegaard  and l o o k f o r what g r o u n d s t h e s p e e c h , y o u t a k e  t h e s p e e c h , t h e w o r d s , as s e l f - e v i d e n t i n and o f themselves. having  T h i s a l l o w s y o u t o d i s m i s s t h e words as  n o t h i n g p a r t i c u l a r t o s a y t o y o u , at t h i s  moment,  85  on t h i s  topic.  You a r e g u i l t y  seeing the world.  o f a t o p i c - c e n t e r e d way o f  This i s a l i t t l e  c e n t r a l t o our argument.  You r e l a t e t o t h e w o r l d i n a  c o n c r e t e way, T a n t a l u s , and t h i s safe.  I'm h a r d  i s limiting.  It i s also  on y o u b u t o n l y b e c a u s e I know s o w e l l  t h a t way o f r e l a t i n g t o t h e w o r l d . all  h a r s h , but i t i s so  You a r e not a l o n e ;  accompany y o u at v a r i o u s t i m e s  come b a c k t o t h i s  i n our l i v e s .  a g a i n and a g a i n I am s u r e .  return t o Kierkegaard's  reminder  we  We'll  But l e t ' s  b e f o r e we go any  further. Antigone:  I h a v e a s e n s e K i e r k e g a a r d i s t r y i n g t o r e m i n d us  o f what i t i s t o be human.  He i s a s k i n g t h a t  r e c o n s i d e r our r e l a t i o n s h i p t o our h i s t o r y ,  we  does t h a t  make any s e n s e ? Athena:  T h a t ' s good.  I t h i n k you're r i g h t .  Kierkegaard i s  a s k i n g t h a t we c o n s i d e r what i s e s s e n t i a l f o r each us,  f o r each i n d i v i d u a l .  g e n e r a t i o n cannot Antigone:  He i s s a y i n g t h a t one  do t h e work f o r t h e n e x t .  So i f we t h i n k b a c k t o Women's Movement as an  e x a m p l e , we c a n s a y t h a t a l t h o u g h  we h a v e c o n c r e t e l y  b e n e f i t t e d f r o m t h e changes i n c i r c u m s t a n c e s Movement i n i t i a t e d , they Athena:  one o f  we c a n n o t r e s t  which t h e  and s h e e r l y t a k e what  gave u s . And y o u h a v e t o t h i n k o f what y o u mean when y o u s a y  "gave u s " .  Do y o u mean t h e changed c i r c u m s t a n c e s  o r do  86  you  mean t h e way o f u n d e r s t a n d i n g  Antigone:  I g u e s s I mean b o t h , i n a way.  changed c i r c u m s t a n c e s , understanding Athena:  t h e world?  and t h e y  They d i d g i v e u s  d i d g i v e us a method o f  the world.  B u t what we a r e s a y i n g i s t h a t i s n o t enough!  We  c a n n o t d e l u d e o u r s e l v e s i n t o t h i n k i n g t h a t t h e y h a v e done all  t h e work f o r u s .  I t i s n o t t h a t we want t o be  u n g r a t e f u l t o our predecessors that they  r e g a r d t o t h e work  d i d on o u r b e h a l f , b u t we must  as K i e r k e g a a r d  says,  as t h e p r e v i o u s it  with  remember t h a t ,  each g e n e r a t i o n , h a s t h e same t a s k  generation — t h a t  i s t o be g e n u i n e l y human.  of understanding  Thus o u r a n c e s t o r s  do o u r t h i n k i n g f o r us anymore t h a n we w i l l t h i n k f o r t h e upcoming g e n e r a t i o n .  what  cannot  be a b l e t o  So a l t h o u g h t h e  Women's Movement and s c i e n c e , f o r e x a m p l e , may h a v e made our l i f e lives.  c o n c r e t e l y e a s i e r we s t i l l We s t i l l  h a v e t o make s e n s e o f o u r w o r l d ,  terms with our p a r t i c u l a r not  have t o l e a d our  circumstances,  n e c e s s a r i l y g o i n g t o h e l p us a c h i e v e What y o u need i s an u n d e r s t a n d i n g  to  the world,  world  come t o  and method i s this. o f how we  relate  and one way we h a v e i s t o r e l a t e t o t h e  as n a t u r a l ,  as i n e v i t a b l e ,  as i m m e d i a t e .  87  BOOK I I I IMMEDIACY  Antigone: by  You have mentioned t h i s  r e l a t i n g t o the world  mean t h e w o r l d ongoing  before.  as n a t u r a l ,  What do y o u mean  as i m m e d i a t e ?  i s t h e r e , we a r e b o r n i n t o an a l r e a d y  p r o c e s s , d i s c o v e r i e s h a v e b e e n made,  has  been p a s t , c u l t u r e has been d e v e l o p e d .  one  more " t h i n g " , l i k e  in  unnoticed  That i s c e r t a i n l y  makes me f e e l v e r y  life  Hold  First  We j u s t  slip  i n t h e same  one v e r s i o n o f l i f e  and o f a  b u t i t somehow makes me c r i n g e .  Maybe b e c a u s e we a r e a l l a f r a i d t o v o i c e  live  Athena:  It  this  maybe i t i s e a s i e r n o t t o a d d r e s s  or l e t l i f e  Maybe we  should  l i v e us.  on now, I h e a r y o u s a y i n g a c o u p l e  of t h i n g s .  i t seems t h a t y o u a r e s u g g e s t i n g t h a t t h e w o r l d i s  determined, but  "things".  q u e s t i o n o f how t o l e a d ones l i f e .  just  We a r e j u s t  uneasy.  v e r s i o n of our l i f e , the  legislation  o f way.  way t o l e a d ones l i f e  Antigone:  many o t h e r  somehow and l e a d o u r l i v e s  "unnoticed" sort Cassandra:  I  we a r e d e t e r m i n e d  and t h e r e f o r e we do n o t h i n g  l e a d our l i v e s i n a pre-programmed s o r t  T h e n , and p e r h a p s t h i s  o f way.  f o l l o w s f r o m s e e i n g t h e w o r l d as  88  determined,  y o u a r e t e l l i n g us t h a t i t may be b e t t e r t o  l i v e t h e unexamined l i f e .  S e r i o u s l y A n t i g o n e , I cannot  b e l i e v e y o u r e a l l y mean t h a t . Socrates would,  I h a v e t o s a y t o y o u as  " i s t h e unexamined l i f e  I f you t h i n k t h a t t h e examined l i f e then I r e a l l y having this Antigone:  I suspect  t h i n k how much e a s i e r i t w o u l d we went t h r o u g h  living  seriously  living.  I t i s just  how we l e a d o u r l i v e s and be i f we d i d n ' t t h i n k , i f  as "happy r o b o t s " .  And y o u ' r e  at t i m e s I do s e e t h e w o r l d as d e t e r m i n e d , as  determining us.  A f t e r a l l we don't  c h o o s e t o be b o r n , we  choose our p l a c e i n t h e p r o c e s s . R i g h t , b u t we d o n ' t h a v e t o be d e t e r m i n e d o r  limited our  life  I don't  worth  t h a t s o m e t i m e s I wonder about  Athena:  i s not worth  dialogue?  c o n s i d e r t h e unexamined l i f e  don't  living?"  must q u e s t i o n why y o u a r e h e r e , why we a r e  You're r i g h t ,  right,  worth  by t h a t  p r o c e s s , a l t h o u g h we do h a v e t o l i v e  fate.  Bystander:  A r e not t h o s e two t h o u g h t s  contradictory?  t h e one h a n d y o u a r e s a y i n g "do n o t be d e t e r m i n e d "  On and on  t h e o t h e r hand you a r e s a y i n g " l i v e w i t h you f a t e " , to  me means a c c e p t y o u r f a t e , be d e t e r m i n e d  fate. Athena: are  with  which  by y o u r  And we a r e l i m i t e d . To l i v e  y o u r f a t e and t o be d e t e r m i n e d  two q u i t e d i f f e r e n t  by y o u r  fate  ways o f r e l a t i n g t o t h e w o r l d .  89  When I s a y  " l i v e with your f a t e " ,  reminds us, our  "Love y o u r f a t e " ,  beginning  essentially  That i s , we  are born t o p a r t i c u l a r the  world  and  t h i n g s we  accept are  cannot change.  i n one  what we  already  country are.  parents  had  fruitful  been b o r n male  rather than to  poor  As Hathaway ( 1 9 8 1 ) p o i n t e d  out,  we  We  already  And,  k i n d l y way.  For  become  are the  conscious  material that  i n o r d e r t o work w i t h m a t e r i a l and  e x a m p l e , i t w o u l d be  this  know i t i n a  a s i g n of a w a s t e d  one's h a n d s i n d e s p a i r b e c a u s e  only f i v e feet t a l l  and  of o r d i n a r y  r a t h e r t h a n b e i n g f i v e f e e t e i g h t and  one  countenance  gorgeous.  In  t o be i n d e s p a i r  c o u l d not  famous f a s h i o n model b e c a u s e  one of  size. We  like size world  become a w o r l d  because  this  c a s e i t w o u l d be f o o l i s h  one's  to  to  a self.  t h r e w up  of  have  must know t h e  was  one  part  we  These  i t i s not  i n s t e a d of a n o t h e r .  m a t e r i a l , we  i f one  we  We  h a v e t o work w i t h .  life  in a particular  Therefore  wishing that  as  a r e , j u s t what i t i s  a some-body by t h e t i m e we  o f o u r s e l f as we  have t o accept  a r e b o r n male or f e m a l e ,  parents,  of f e m a l e , t o r i c h  parents,  (1980)  i n a s p e c i f i c time i n h i s t o r y .  s p e n d one's l i f e instead  I mean we  p o i n t , as where we  are.  or as Blum  h a v e t o be and  w h i c h we  accept will  a b l e t o come t o t e r m s w i t h that there w i l l  be  things  activities  be u n a b l e t o do b e c a u s e o f our  in  the  size,  90  b e c a u s e o f our g i v e up born our  on l i f e  dealt  choosing.  certain  a l l we  we  can't  are a l l  g e n e t i c make-up w h i c h i s not  It i s l i k e  p l a y i n g Hearts.  c a r d s f r o m t h e d e c k , and  Of  course  you  of  You're  p l a y as  t h i s m e t a p h o r d o e s n ' t work t o o  s i n c e i n c a r d games t h e knows ahead o f t i m e gather Athena:  you  Touche!  Antigone,  But  come up  you  asked  j u s t what t h o s e  we  a g a i n s t and  and  best  rules  are.  And  i s not  our  earlier question, world.  a describable world, that i s  e n t i t y i n t h e w o r l d t h a t we  say t h a t i s "immediate".  can  Rather  of r e l a t i n g t o t h e w o r l d , i t i s a of s e e i n g , s e e i n g  the  world  T h u s , when McHugh et a l (1974) t r a v e l l e r s  go t o c o u n t r i e s and  s h e e r l y d e s c r i b e , f o r example,  b e a c h e s at Mombasa a r e w h i t e r and b e a c h e s at D a k a r " t h e y  treat  way.  about  w o r l d i n s h e e r l y d e s c r i b a b l e ways i s t o s e e t h e  i m m e d i a t e way.  I  the s o c i a l i n t h i s  what I meant by an i m m e d i a t e  t o a n a l y z e , i t i s a way  immediately.  well  each p l a y e r  m u s t n ' t get t o o c o n c r e t e  some c o n c r e t e  i m m e d i a c y i s a way refusal  are f i x e d  L e t ' s go b a c k t o y o u r  immediate world i s not  rules  w o u l d not want t o s e e  metaphors.  it  after  But  can.  Antigone:  The  g e n e t i c make-up.  because of t h i s ;  with a p a r t i c u l a r own  you  particular  are  To t r e a t  i s as i f i t i s j u s t  sandier than  "the  the  r e l a t i n g t o t h e i r w o r l d i n an  the world immediately there.  i s to  91  It's  a difficult  t r y i n g t o say e a r l i e r , to  idea.  We come b a c k t o what I was  T a n t a l u s , when I s a i d y o u r e l a t e d  t h e w o r l d i n a t o p i c - c e n t e r e d way.  same i s s u e i n t h a t t o t r e a t treat  the world  Barthes' of t h i s  the world  as k n o w a b l e .  Let's  I t i s somewhat t h e as t o p i c a l i s t o  enlist  t h e h e l p of  (1972) B o u r g e o i s i e t o get a b e t t e r  understanding  r e l a t i o n t o the world.  Barthes' immediate l i f e natural,  b o u r g e o i s i e o f f e r us a v e r s i o n o f t h e i n t h a t t h e y r e l a t e t o t h e w o r l d as  as g i v e n .  They l i v e i n a w o r l d  o f myths,  t h e y t r a n s m i t and y e t r e f u s e t o a n a l y z e . m y t h i c a l language which maintains as e t e r n a l .  For the bourgeois,  mere words w h i c h a r e c o n c r e t e about t h e w o r l d .  It i s this  t h e i r world  as n a t u r a l  l a n g u a g e i s t r e a t e d as  and p u r e l y  They r e p r e s e n t  which  descriptive  the world  as f a c t .  The s e l f - a p p o i n t e d t a s k f o r t h e b o u r g e o i s i s t o describe the world  and t h r o u g h t h i s  description  reach  some c o n s e n s u s a b o u t how t h e w o r l d i s . Tantalus:  I know y o u i m p l i e d t h a t c o n s e n s u s was bad a f e w  m i n u t e s ago b u t I c a n ' t h e l p b u t t h i n k i t i s good. not  good t o h a v e  c o n s e n s u s w i t h i n a community?  not how we a c h i e v e Athena: itself needs  a stable,  cohesive  Is i t  Is t h i s  community?  Remember we a r e n o t s a y i n g t h a t c o n s e n s u s i n and o f i s bad b u t t h a t how we a r r i v e a t t h i s t o be t a l k e d a b o u t .  consensus  We a l s o need t o q u e s t i o n a  92  "stable this  cohesive  time.  J u s t t r y and a s k y o u r s e l f , as we a s k e d o f  Ivan I l y c h , cost?  c o m m u n i t y " , b u t we c a n n o t go i n t o i t at  do we want s t a b i l i t y  But l e t ' s  and c o h e s i v e n e s s  get back t o consensus.  Consensus, f o r t h e bourgeois, seeing that t h e world  I see i t s i n c e t h e world  critic,  or K i e r k e g a a r d ,  "You must s e e t h e w o r l d  as  i s s h e e r l y t h e r e , i f I see i t  way t h e n y o u must a l s o " .  Barthian  i s a r r i v e d a t by  i s n a t u r a l and i n e v i t a b l e ; t h u s  e a c h man c a n s a y t o t h e o t h e r ,  this  at any  Similarly,  i t allows the  who c a n n o t u n d e r s t a n d t h e w o r k s o f M a r x to proclaim,  " I don't  understand  t h e r e f o r e y o u must be s t u p i d . " However t h e r e  i s a n o t h e r way t o t h i n k about a  which d e s i r e s s t a b i l i t y community. than  This  life  and c o h e s i v e n e s s i n i t s  i s t o t h i n k about c o l l a b o r a t i o n r a t h e r  consensus.  Cassandra: Athena:  How a r e t h e y d i f f e r e n t ?  When we t a l k e d about c o n s e n s u s we t a l k e d  a g r e e m e n t , maybe we h a v e t o go a l i t t l e this.  about  f u r t h e r than  When we t h i n k o f c o m i n g t o a c o n s e n s u s , as we s a i d  earlier,  we come t o a g e n e r a l  agreement on some t o p i c .  C o n s e n s u s i m p l i e s a g i v i n g up o f an i d e a i n o r d e r t o agree with can  others.  say that  So i n a community o f c o n s e n s u s one  each member gave up s o m e t h i n g s h e was  possibly attached  t o , and d i d n o t g i v e up b e c a u s e s h e was  93  c h a n g e d "but gave up f o r t h e s a k e consensus  speaks  of expediency.  o f agreement and e x p e d i e n c y .  Whereas c o l l a b o r a t i o n s p e a k s jointly.  So  of a working through,  I t comes f r o m a s h a r i n g o f t h o u g h t , f r o m a  w i l l i n g n e s s t o engage and a w i l l i n g n e s s t o c h a n g e . does n o t s p e a k  o f g i v i n g up a s i n c e r e a t t a c h m e n t  It  or  p u t t i n g i t a s i d e f o r now. Consensus,  f o r t h e immediate  man, i s a r e f u s a l t o  work t h r o u g h ; i t i s a c c e p t a n c e f o r what e v e r y o n e appears.  I t r e q u i r e s no w o r k , a l t h o u g h i t c a n be a  labourious task. if  agrees  T h i s consensus  c a n o n l y be m a i n t a i n e d  no q u e s t i o n s a r e a s k e d , no r e s p o n s i b i l i t y t a k e n , no  challenge given. Let's  l e a v e t h e i d e a of c o l l a b o r a t i o n f o r t h e  moment, i t w i l l  come up a g a i n i n o u r t a l k  go b a c k t o t h i n k about said  t h e b o u r g e o i s and l a n g u a g e .  earlier the bourgeoisie treat  describable; they treat  I'm s u r e , and  society  say that t o see s o c i e t y i n t h i s  t h e w o r l d as  as f o r m .  Now we h a v e t o  way i s t o t r i v i a l i z e  It  i s t o reduce s o c i e t y , u s , t o mundaneity.  is  t o misunderstand  language.  It treats  l a n g u a g e as  come w i t h o u t h i s t o r y , w i t h o u t  a t t a c h e d t o them.  The b o u r g e o i s and t h e i m m e d i a t e  language  as i f i t h a d no h i s t o r y ,  s t a n d on i t s own, t h e same f o r a l l .  And  i t .  As w e l l , i t  m e r e l y words w h i c h  treat  As I  concepts man  as i f i t c o u l d because  94  language, its  own,  f o r these  c o n v e r s a n t s , i s s e e n as s t a n d i n g  t h e y h a v e no i n t e r e s t  c o n c r e t e t o s e e how how  their  the  language i s grounded, t o  an i m m e d i a t e Rather  p h i l o s o p h y as daily  life  way.  the bourgeois "mere t a l k " ,  of s o c i e t y .  The  will  d i s m i s s t h e d i s c o u r s e of  t h a t i s , as u n i m p o r t a n t  to  more s o p h i s t i c a t e d o f  the  r e c o g n i z e d t h e n e c e s s i t y of p h i l o s o p h y but  belonged  o n l y t o s t u d e n t s , and  w o r l d i t s h o u l d be indulgence i n the  put  felt i t  once out i n t h e s e r i o u s  away, s t o r e d as a s t u d e n t s '  r a t h e r t h a n t h i n k i n g of i t as a way  of  being  world.  r e v o l v e s around t a l k , i n f a c t t h e i r w o r l d i s by t h e i r t a l k - remember I v a n I l y c h "pre-liberation"  The  everyone,  maintained  days?  w o r l d i s r e a f f i r m e d as n a t u r a l , as c l e a r - not I am  world  and us i n o u r  C h a t t e r d i c t a t e s , i t r e a f f i r m s t h e way  Tantalus:  still  not  ambiguous and  c l e a r on how  the  world  as g e n e r a l f o r  complex.  t h e myths work.  mentioned e a r l i e r t h a t the b o u r g e o i s i e l i v e i n a world myths.  the  (484.d)  What t h e b o u r g e o i s i e f o r g e t i s t h a t t h e i r  is.  say,  t h e y do and t h u s t o r e l a t e t o i t  b o u r g e o i s i e might p o s s i b l y agree w i t h C a l l i c l e s who  see  i t i s p o s s i b l e f o r them t o s a y t h e t h i n g s t h e y  t o s e e t h e w o r l d t h e way in  i n g o i n g beyond  on  I , f o r one,  don't see  people wandering around  You of  95  telling  myths i n t h e way  I s e e myths as s t o r i e s stories and to  t h a t we t h i n k o f m y t h s .  belonging  t o t h e a n c i e n t s who  o f t h e gods as ways o f m a k i n g  sense of t h e  at t h e same t i m e t e a c h i n g m o r a l l e s s o n s . me  for  q u i t e a complex  teaching  Athena:  living  Barthes, different  a mythical  all-inclusive  and h a s  treat  world  concrete  life  cannot  about  and t a k i n g t h a t  about  myths i n a  life  just  as  for real;  are the  the  way  analyzed.  t h a t t h e myths "do not  about.  meets t h e eye as g i v e n , "...it  o f an e x p l a n a t i o n  deny  t h e myth p u r i f i e s  f o r the bourgeoisie, i t allows  The  and myths  them t o  as s h e e r l y  there.  g i v e s them c l a r i t y w h i c h i s n o t but t h a t  of a s t a t e m e n t  of  f ElC"b • • • •  A n o t h e r way  are  What i m p i n g e s on o u r e y e b a l l s i s  t h a t which i t speaks  whatever  speak  He s e e s t h e b o u r g e o i s i e  rather, through t a l k ,  life  to  w h i c h we  no need t o be  Barthes claims, that  right,  myth b e i n g t h a t t h i n g s  makes i n n o c e n t simplify  f o r m of t h o u g h t , you are  way.  Barthes claims things";  seems  reserved  however, t a l k s  t h e y a p p e a r t o be. truth  This  P e r h a p s i t r e m i n d s us t h a t t h e r e  some " t h i n g s " i n t h i s  slightly  world  form of t h o u g h t , u s u a l l y  C e r t a i n l y i t i s opposite  d e s c r i p t i v e speech.  directly.  used  children.  I t i s a complex  Tantalus.  I mean  t o say t h i s  i s t o say t h a t  the  96  b o u r g e o i s i e want o n l y f a c t s , factual,  c o n c r e t e way.  they see t h e world i n a  They do n o t want  They do n o t want d i a l o g u e .  F o r them t h e w o r l d i s  s e l f - e v i d e n t ; human a c t s a r e r o b b e d and  their  ambiguity.  w o r l d which which  of t h e i r  Barthes  complexity  Barthes' bourgeoisie operate i n a  i s made s i m p l e by i t s m y t h s ; i t i s a w o r l d  h a s no i d e a o f t h e d i a l e c t i c .  shallow,  understanding.  This world i s  "wide open and w a l l o w i n g i n t h e e v i d e n t , " i s how explains i t .  It  i s a world populated  m e a n i n g i n and o f t h e m s e l v e s ,  by " t h i n g s " w h i c h  have  meaning i s not p r o v i d e d f o r  by t h e s e l f ; no a n a l y s i s i s r e q u i r e d . Antigone:  I'm a f r a i d  mean by " t h i n g s " . and  chairs  Athena:  that all this  me.  I'm n o t s u r e what y o u  Do y o u mean c o n c r e t e i t e m s  about a " t h i n g " we t a l k  about some  as i f i t h a d some i n h e r e n t q u a l i t i e s w h i c h  o b j e c t , as i f i t was t h e same f o r a l l t i m e s people.  made i t and f o r  What we f o r g e t when we t h i n k o f i t e m s i n  " t h i n g n e s s " k i n d o f way i s t h a t o b j e c t s a r e  c o n s t i t u t e d by t h e a c t i v i t i e s o f p e o p l e . your  like tables  and b o o k s ?  When we t a l k  object  you've l o s t  That i s , t o u s e  e x a m p l e , a c h a i r i s o n l y a c h a i r i f i s r e l a t e d t o as  a c h a i r by t h e members. thoughts  and i d e a s — t h e y  do n o t s i m p l y a p p e a r f r o m  And, we c a n s a y t h e same about are accomplished  by p e o p l e  nature.  way t o s a y  Another  they  97  this  i s t o say that  objectification  w o r l d s p e a k s o f no t h o u g h t , powerfully  or t h i n g n e s s  no a n a l y s i s ,  of t h e  o r , more  p u t , no a n a l y s i s i s p o s s i b l e b e c a u s e t h e r e i s  n o t h i n g t o analyze i n a world which i s n a t u r a l , which i s eternal. Let's this  will  r e t u r n t o t h e d i s c u s s i o n o f myths and maybe  make i t c l e a r e r .  Myths f o r B a r t h e s which are passed  a r e not merely  way o f s e e i n g t h e w o r l d . and t h e w o r l d .  responsibility to treat  stories  on f r o m one g e n e r a t i o n t o a n o t h e r ;  a r e more p e r v a s i v e t h a t t h i s .  us  concrete  They a r e a way o f l i f e ,  a  Myths p r o v i d e a b u f f e r b e t w e e n  They a l l o w us t o f o r g e t we h a v e some  f o r c o n s t r u c t i n g t h e world, they  t h e world  they  a l l o w us  as " t h i n g " .  Thus when a p h o t o g r a p h o f women n o v e l i s t s  appears  i n t h e m a g a z i n e " E l l e " what i s s e e n i s s i m p l y a photograph of n o v e l i s t s  with a c a p t i o n underneath  i d e n t i f y i n g t h e women p l u s t h e i r of c h i l d r e n , Barthes  number o f n o v e l s .  a c c o m p l i s h m e n t s - number What i s f o r g o t t e n , as  r e m i n d s u s , i s t h a t t h i s w o r l d i s " c o n s t i t u t e d by  t h e g a z e o f man" and i t i s a " J e s u i t i c underlies this Antigone: Athena:  world.  What c o u l d h e mean by J e s u i t i c By t h i s  m o r a l i t y " which  morality?  I t a k e i t he means t h a t i t i s a l l r i g h t f o r  us t o change t h e c i r c u m s t a n c e s  or t h e arrangements o f our  98  lives  as l o n g as t h e u n d e r l y i n g p r e m i s e s  ground our l i v e s is  a r e not compromised.  o r dogmas w h i c h  I n o t h e r words i t  good f o r women t o w r i t e b u t we must n o t f o r g e t t h a t  first  and f o r e m o s t  we a r e women, w h i c h c a n be r e a d as  synonomous f o r w i v e s and m o t h e r s . concern Tantalus:  and o u r p r i m a r y  This i s our p r i m a r y  responsibility.  Are you s u g g e s t i n g a paranoid  world?  A w o r l d where a s p e c i f i c  propagandize  the rest  v e r s i o n of t h e  s e t of people  o f us i n t o s e e i n g t h e w o r l d  this  way? Athena: two  I t s o u n d s as i f y o u want t o d i v i d e t h e w o r l d categories the rulers  and t h e r u l e d .  into  What we a r e  t a l k i n g about i s an i m m e d i a t e v i e w o f t h e w o r l d w h i c h i s more p e r v a s i v e and l e s s  c l e a r t h a n what y o u a r e  suggesting.  What y o u h a v e done, once more, i s t o  categorize.  T h i s i s t h e same as m a k i n g s o m e t h i n g  topical.  And what I am s a y i n g i s t h e w o r l d  put t o g e t h e r i n t h a t f a s h i o n . into  We c a n n o t  just  isn't  just slot  people  c a t e g o r i e s and t h e n be done w i t h them, as i f t h a t  particular  category  what t h a t p e r s o n  c o u l d o f f e r up an e x p l a n a t i o n f o r  was, a l t h o u g h  this  i s an e x c e l l e n t  v e r s i o n o f r e l a t i n g t o t h e w o r l d i n an i m m e d i a t e way. I'm n o t s t a n d i n g i n judgement o v e r y o u , T a n t a l u s , I understand  about c a t e g o r i z i n g f e l l o w humans a n d I  understand  Barthes*  bourgeoisie.  I t i s n o t as i f some o f  99  us  l i v e immediately  and o t h e r s do n o t , h u t t h a t we a l l  a r e s u s c e p t i b l e t o r e l a t i n g t o t h e w o r l d i n an u n r e f l e c t i v e way. immediately  We a l l ,  at t i m e s , l i v e  as i f i t were d e t e r m i n e d .  our l i f e  Why?  Because i t  k e e p s us s a f e i n what we know; i t a l l o w s us t o r e p l i c a t e each  other.  —there  will  Bystander:  from  each  where we copy one  At t h i s  comparing  other  be no s u r p r i s e s .  What do y o u mean by r e p l i c a t i o n ,  mimicry Athena:  We know what t o e x p e c t  another?  p o i n t I don't  what m i m i c r y  i s i t like  t h i n k we s h o u l d g e t i n t o  i s v e r s u s what r e p l i c a t i o n i s and  w h e t h e r t h e y a r e t h e same o r a r e t h e y d i f f e r e n t . instead,  l o o k at another  one o f b o u r g e o i s  myths.  e x a m p l e i n one o f t h e s e myths B a r t h e s t a l k s children's toys. merely  He r e m i n d s  creators  train  the child's  about  of the adult  o u r c h i l d r e n t o be u s e r s  of t h e i r w o r l d .  For  us t h a t t h e s e t o y s a r e n o t  t o y s but r a t h e r they a r e r e p l i c a s  w o r l d which  Let's,  rather than  I n o t h e r words t h e y a r e s h a p i n g  r e l a t i o n s h i p t o t h e w o r l d by g i v i n g h e r / h i m  a  s m a l l v e r s i o n of t h e adult world t o play w i t h , t o r e l a t e t o and u s e .  We, t h e a d u l t s , t h r o u g h  t h e p r o v i s i o n of  t o y s , a r e t r a i n i n g t h e c h i l d t o s e e t h e w o r l d as n a t u r a l , as s h e e r l y t h e r e .  We a r e n o t a l l o w i n g t h e c h i l d t o s e e  t h a t t h e w o r l d i s c o n s t r u c t e d by t h e a c t i v i t i e s  of people  i n s t e a d we e n c o u r a g e t h e m t o s e e t h e w o r l d as " t h i n g " .  100  Creativity terrible life  And  repercussions  could  be  the world  we  must remember one  of  the  of t h i s k i n d of o r i e n t a t i o n t o  i s t h a t i t does not  which way  is stifled.  allow  otherwise.  children to create  The  toy i s saying  a  "this  world is  the  i s , i t i s n a t u r a l , i t i s preformed f o r your  use". Cassandra:  So t h e  same way  child  as h e r / h i s  l e a r n s t o be i n t h e  ancestors.  world  in  I s t h i s what y o u  the  meant  by  r e p l i c a t i on? Athena:  Yes,  a n o t h e r way  i t is replication, to t a l k  c o n s e n s u s , and  earlier,  i t also gives  about c o n s e n s u s .  s p e a k about i t i s t o s a y and  and  this  that  A n o t h e r way  myths aim  for  i s what t h e y g o t .  As  I've  simplicity  w h i c h d i s s o l v e s i f we  open o u r s e l v e s  analysis.  Analysis destroys  fictionalized  o f human a c t s by life.  attempting  myth as  myth.  For  in this is  electoral  o b s c u r e d by  this  o p e n i n g up  Analysis subverts  a to simplicity  the  that  dialectic  chatter, i t reveals  e x a m p l e , c a l l i n g on B a r t h e s a g a i n ,  need f o r r e p l i c a t i o n e s s a y on e l e c t o r a l  said  t o u n c o v e r what g r o u n d s  I t d i s s o l v e s c o n s e n s u s by  of c o n v e r s a t i o n .  to  replication  myths p e r m i t a c l e a r n e s s , a s a m e n e s s ,  the  us  or sameness i s d e m o n s t r a t e d i n h i s  p h o t o g r a p h s , and p r o c e s s i s our  t h e i d e a t h a t we  i s done t h r o u g h  our  what r e m a i n s  silent  need f o r s a m e n e s s . v o t e f o r change.  a photograph of t h e  candidate  It  And a l l and  101  his  family.  The  way  as t o a l l o w t h e v i e w e r  between h i m s e l f  candidates  and  the  p r a i s e d ; the statement me  t h e r e f o r e he  politician will  to perceive the  candidate. can t h e n  must be  good".  p o s e s no t h r e a t .  He  opinion w i l l  will  preserved  be  The their  r u l e ; the  and  sleep.  He  T h i s sameness i s i s just  In t h i s  the  way  promises a world s t a y t h e way  naturalness  democracy i s  p o l i t i c i a n thus  a  similarities  be made "he  r e m a i n t h e same; t h i n g s w i l l  popular  in  are photographed i n such  like  which  they  of t h e  are,  state  reified.  allows the  citizens to  r e a f f i r m s the naturalness  remain  of  their  world. Tantalus: telling you  Isn't there  a c o n t r a d i c t i o n here?  me  myth i s t h a t we  that the  also t e l l  me  t h a t we  m i s s i n g something? during election  You  vote f o r change,  vote f o r sameness.  I t seems t o me  campaigns, o f f e r  seem t o  that  Or  am  be  yet  I  politicians,  d i f f e r e n c e — not  sameness. Athena: to  This i s e x a c t l y the  uncover.  The  concrete  s p e a k o f c h a n g e , but meant by  change.  You  immediacy i s s t a t i c m i r r o r i n g the w h i c h we  we  phase j u s t  and  I are  trying  words of t h e p o l i t i c i a n  w o u l d h a v e t o q u e s t i o n what  see  with  myth B a r t h e s  i t i s not one  as i f t h e w o r l d  p h a s e o f our  past.  orient to i s t r i v i a l .  Rather Nothing  may he of  history  t h e i d e a of essentially  change gets  102  changed except circumstances  the  arrangements.  f o r another  but  when he  presents  swap one  what g r o u n d s  a r r a n g e m e n t s or c i r c u m s t a n c e s T h i s i s what B a r t h e s  We  remains the  set  these same.  i s a s k i n g us t o t h i n k a b o u t  us w i t h t h e  e l e c t o r a l photograph.  c l a i m s t h e p h o t o g r a p h s a s s u r e us u n c o n s c i o u s l y change. his  The  crafty  politician  electoral voters.  knowing that t h i s produces votes Antigone:  Athena:  of  He no  a p p e a r s t o be t h e same as  works t o produce a sameness,  i s what p r o d u c e s c o n f i d e n c e .  This  i n h i s f a v o u r ; i t allows f o r consensus.  Ah-ha!  democratic  He  of  So i t i s c o n s e n s u s w h i c h g r o u n d s  our  voting practices!  That c e r t a i n l y  deserves  some t h i n k i n g t h r o u g h ,  we  w i l l h a v e t o put t h a t a s i d e f o r a n o t h e r  to  r e t h i n k t h e i d e a o f sameness and how  time.  but  We  need  chatter sustains  it. As silent  I said  earlier,  w o r l d , we  t h e n a t u r a l w o r l d i n not  c h a t t e r , we  talk  about t h i n g s ,  n e i t h e r i s i t a s u r f a c e l y unchanging world. how  myths t a l k  shrouds the  about  "thingedness".  o b j e c t , covers  But  i t over, dresses  complexity technical.  according to Barthes.  o f t h e human w o r l d This  and  a l l o w s t h e new  and  We've s e e n  i t is talk  t h e m i n n o c e n t , i t g i v e s them a n a t u r a l and justification..."  a  i t up,  which "makes  eternal  Myths r e d u c e  turn i t into  politician,  the  something  Ivan I l y c h ' s  103  marriage  c o u n s e l l o r ( i f t h e s t o r y was a p p l y i n g a  technical f i x to relationships) into  our l i v e s w i t h  o r t h e f e m i n i s t s t o come  a t e c h n i c a l f i x . The p o l i t i c i a n  w o u l d o f f e r us new r o a d s ,  new h o s p i t a l s ; t h e c o u n s e l l o r  w o u l d show t h e I l y c h s ( u s ) how t o s h a r e , how not t o n a g , and  t h e f e m i n i s t s would secure  place i n t h e s o c i a l system  u s , as women, a more  equal  ( w h e r e , i f we're n o t c a r e f u l ,  e q u a l i t y w o u l d mean s a m e n e s s ) . Bystander:  Are you s a y i n g that these  t h e m t o do o r Athena:  a r e had t h i n g s f o r  unnecessary?  Not at a l l , b u t I'm s a y i n g we h a v e t o r e c o g n i z e  t h e m as t e c h n i c a l f i x e s conversion  not deep-seated change.  of the s o u l i s o f f e r e d here.  No  Even t h e  p o l i t i c i a n who o f f e r s t o c a n c e l a l l d e b t s ,  dispense  c o m p l e t e l y w i t h t h e i d e a o f p r i v a t e p r o p e r t y , have e v e r y o n e c o n t r i b u t e what t h e y undifferentiated the s o u l . are great  do b e s t , on an  b a s i s , i s not a s k i n g f o r c o n v e r s i o n of  Although  the concrete  and a i m a t i m p r o v i n g  changes he/she  life  a s k i n g f o r an a n a l y s i s o f t h e w o r l d seeing that the world they  are s t i l l  Antigone:  i n t h e s o c i e t y by and a commitment t o  c o u l d be o r g a n i z e d i n a n o t h e r  technical  r o o t e d changes our l i f e  way,  fixes.  A r e y o u s u g g e s t i n g t h a t i f we made t h e s e  w o u l d be r e q u i r e d ?  requests  deep  w o u l d be f i n e , t h a t no more w o r k  104  Athena: all  I t does h a v e r e f r a i n s f r o m M a r x d o e s n ' t i t ? will  be w e l l once communism f i n a l l y  w o u l d n ' t want t o s a y t h a t e x t e r n a l circumstances l i v e them.  loss.  without  can. can  of our l i v e s  a r e we s t i l l  suffering, a life  These a r e a l l p a r t  each i n d i v i d u a l  have t o without  without  a sense  o f t h e human c o n d i t i o n and  must come t o t e r m s w i t h t h e s e as b e s t s h e  What u n d e r l i e s provide  B u t we  b e c a u s e no m a t t e r what t h e  Communism c a n n o t p r o m i s e us a l i f e  death, a l i f e of  arrives.  Where  my t a l k i s t h e i d e a t h a t  one w i t h  no s y s t e m  a g u a r a n t e e o f l i v i n g a good  e v e n t h o u g h we a p p l y  many t e c h n i c a l f i x e s .  words we a r e n o t a b l e t o l i v e  our l i v e s  life  I n other  through  a  c o m p u t e r t e r m i n a l - p l u g i n o u r p r o b l e m and g e t o u r resolution.  The c o m p u t e r c a n o n l y s u p p l y  specific information the life  bourgeoisie  us w i t h  on how t o l e a d o u r l i v e s .  Although  ( u s ) would l i k e t o have i t d i f f e r e n t l y ,  i s not c l e a r , s i m p l e ,  fully  u n d e r s t a n d a b l e at a  glance. Let's  return t o the bourgeoisie  with the i n e s s e n t i a l .  and t h e i r  concern  L i k e Blum's and McHugh's ( 1 9 7 9 : 8 )  ' m u l t i s ' they are d i s p e r s e d ; they are concerned  with  r e c o r d i n g t h e d i f f e r e n c e s i n s o c i e t y , b u t t h e y work t o make t h e s e d i f f e r e n c e s s m a l l .  And, a l t h o u g h  these d i f f e r e n c e s , they search  out t h e s i m i l a r i t i e s  thereby  destroying  complexities.  they  record  105  Thus an i n v e s t i g a t i o n o f d i f f e r e n t discovers clothe  similarities  among p e o p l e .  ourselves, love, fight,  We  cultures a l l eat, drink,  speak, u s i n g  different  m e t h o d s , p e r h a p s , b u t e s s e n t i a l l y we a r e t h e same. sameness i s r e f e r r e d t o i n s m a l l ways and o n l y attended  t o i n s m a l l ways.  bourgeoisie  organize  contradictions,  Athena:  without  It displays a liberalness  shallow,  s p e a k s o f mere  survival.  But we need t o s u r v i v e ! S u r e l y , b u t c a n s u r v i v a l be t a k e n  taken  f o r granted?  Talk  s u r v i v a l i f you l i k e ,  Since  as a g i v e n ,  of t h e i n e s s e n t i a l , t a l k  reduces the world  what i s t h e a i m o f t h i s  out  a world  " e s s e n t i a l l y we a r e a l l t h e same" where t h e  essential i s trite, Tantalus:  world,  where d i f f e r e n c e s c a n be t r e a t e d  as i n e s s e n t i a l b u t e x o t i c . which says  gets  T h i s i s how t h e  a shallow  a world  Where  to t r i v i a .  And  commonality i s t h e goal then that which i s c a n n o t be u n d e r s t o o d  commonsense t h i n k i n g i s d e c l a r e d w r o n g , i n v a l i d , Remember B a r t h e s '  s t a t e m e n t f r o m t h e mouths  critic,  must be s t u p i d " . silencing  of  talk?  of the o r d i n a r y , t h a t which  bourgeoisie  as a  with  stupid.  of t h e  " I don't u n d e r s t a n d t h e r e f o r e you  This  i s t h e way t h e b o u r g e o i s i e h a v e o f  or d i s c r e d i t i n g s p e e c h w h i c h i s out o f t h e  o r d i n a r y , speech which i s r e f l e c t i v e , r e q u i r e s t h e work o f t h i n k i n g .  speech  which  106  Take f o r i n s t a n c e t h e w o r k s o f t h i n k e r s s u c h Marx o r K i e r k e g a a r d the world  where t h e  dialogue not  and  It  asks  I t i s not  discussion.  ask t o be  does not  d i a l e c t i c i s present,  i s u n c o v e r e d as a c o m p l e x and  contradictory place.  that the s e l f  c l e a r ; i t i s open f o r  T h i s v e r s i o n of t h e w o r l d  is  why  i s why our  not  Socrates  subscribe to the i d e a that good, t h a t Socrates, youth in  that  f o r understanding  was  world  commons ens e the world,  to s i l e n c e i t .  killed  - b e c a u s e he  what was  t o be  r a t h e r , constantly questioned  and  and  This i s could  commonsense t h i n k i n g was  c o n v e n t i o n a l i t y was  with  speech.  denies  the b o u r g e o i s i e wish  friend  This i s the  perfect  v e r s i o n of t h e w o r l d  a l l that i s necessary  this  form; i t  do t h e work o f c o m i n g t o t e r m s  for dialogue—  This  does  as s h e e r l y t h e r e , as n a t u r a l .  the world i n a l l i t s complexities. which asks  and  sometimes  r e d u c e d t o i t s most s i m p l i s t i c  announce i t s e l f  as  not  the  aimed f o r .  encourage  the  o f A t h e n s t o q u e s t i o n t h e t h i n k i n g of t h e s o c i e t y  order to understand  i t , i n order to understand  the  self. Tantalus: why  But  I choose t o remain s i l e n t !  Socrates' Athena:  l o o k what h a p p e n e d t o S o c r a t e s !  But  I am  not  You  wonder  s u r e I want  fate. by  oppression.  remaining You  silent  you  take  part i n your  a l l o w t h i n g s t o happen t o you  own  - some  107  good and some b a d .  And y o u a l l o w e v e n t s  of S o c r a t e s , t h e r i s e of t h e Nazi remaining  p a r t y t o happen.  By  s i l e n t y o u condone what h a p p e n s i n s o c i e t y , y o u  condone e v i l Tantalus:  l i k e t h e death  as w e l l as t h e commonplace.  B u t why s h o u l d we t a l k when no one w i l l  Why s h o u l d we t a l k  and r i s k c o n c r e t e  death?  listen?  108  BOOK IV DIALOGUE  Athena:  Why  version  do we need t o s p e a k , why do we need a s t r o n g  of conversation?  c o m p l e x and a m b i g u o u s .  We need i t b e c a u s e t h e w o r l d i s We need a s t r o n g v e r s i o n o f  s p e e c h s o t h a t we c a n u n d e r s t a n d o u r s e l v e s , ourselves. with  on t h e o t h e r h a n d ,  s i l e n c e because i f t h e world  natural, of  The b o u r g e o i s i e ,  know  i s perceived  can l i v e o f as  as i n e v i t a b l e why w o u l d we need a s t r o n g  version  speech?  Tantalus:  H e r e y o u a r e c r i t i c i z i n g how p e o p l e s p e a k and y e t  you s t i l l  e x p e c t us t o s p e a k ?  i n t i m i d a t i n g and Athena:  I , f o r one, f i n d y o u  arrogant!  Why s e e o u r t a l k  as c r i t i c i s m T a n t a l u s ?  Instead,  why n o t r e l a t e t o i t as d i a l o g u e ?  Why n o t s e e i t as an  attempt t o uncover t h e a m b i g u i t i e s  of our w o r l d ?  must a s k y o u r s e l f t h i s engage o t h e r s Tantalus:  i n this  i f y o u a r e so f r a g i l e y o u c a n n o t way.  B u t y o u n e v e r a g r e e w i t h what I s a y .  always c h a l l e n g i n g ! speech i s n e c e s s a r y ? n o t h i n g t o be  You  So why s h o u l d  I speak?  Keeping s i l e n t  challenged.  i s safe.  You a r e Who  says  There i s  109  Athena: can  E x c e p t , of c o u r s e , s i l e n c e i t s e l f . ask  clear,  why  t h i s f e a r of speech?  are you  And  Of  just  silence  t o make  r e f e r r i n g h e r e t o s i l e n c e as  we  things  concrete  silence? Tantalus: Athena:  I think Let's  go  so. back t o the  m e n t i o n e d a m i n u t e ago. necessary? Tantalus:  Why  I f you  a g r e e a b l e , you you  wouldn't  friend, Athena:  you  friend This  Why  r e a l l y cared  about us y o u  c h a l l e n g i n g us.  i s one  s u p p o r t you  mean by  a friend?  who  accepts without  i s the  one  who  will  i n whatever you  i s your f r i e n d .  you  can t u r n t o when t i m e s a r e we  version we  You  more  positions,  i f you  were  friend  friend.  But  that  the  i s not  the  of  what you  do  say.  you, because  i s your comforter,  rough. I t i s not  point.  be  Your v e r s i o n  sympathize with  o r i n t e l l e c t u a l we  That i s not  seem t o  question  of f r i e n d s h i p i s i n c i d e n t a l  were s t r o n g  need.  This  need at t h i s t i m e ?  friend.  we  Not  have decided t o  she  friend  w o u l d be  wouldn't.  f o r unquestioned acceptance.  friend  resistance?  w o u l d h a v e more empathy f o r ,our  a l w a y s be  you  i s agreement i n s p e e c h  c a n n o t s p e e c h meet w i t h  What do y o u  pleading  i d e a o f agreement t h a t  to  But  is this  t o say our  a l l need  only version  the  that  l i v e s and  w o u l d n ' t need We  one  this i f  this  this  of f r i e n d  that  a  110  Just  as t h e r e a r e t i m e s when we need  t h e r e a r e t i m e s when we need r e s i s t e n c e . when we a r e t r y i n g t o u n d e r s t a n d  acceptance, For i n s t a n c e  o u r w o r l d we need  a n o t h e r s p e a k e r t o c h a l l e n g e what i t i s we s a y . must n o t t a k e i t t o mean c r i t i c i s m .  And we  We a r e a l l f a m i l i a r  w i t h t h e n o t i o n o f o u r work b e i n g j u d g e d , b e i n g t h o s e who s h a r e t h e same commitment t o d i a l o g u e . willing, for  Tantalus: to  o r s t r o n g e r y e t , r e q u i r e us t o be r e s p o n s i b l e  our speech.  you f i n d  T h i s T a n t a l u s , i s my a i m , and I am s o r r y  i t disquieting. I still  s a y "why s h o u l d I s p e a k " ?  s a y t h a t would  hold  be o f i n t e r e s t  t o you?  Why s h o u l d I  haggled Athena:  over b r i e f l y  from you?  Who  Why s h o u l d I add one more  b o r i n g piece of d e t a i l t o t h e world  which  c a n t h e n be  and f o r g o t t e n ?  Who i s t h e a r r o g a n t one now?  why y o u h o l d s p e e c h  that  What do I h a v e  m y s e l f up as a c a n d i d a t e f o r r i d i c u l e  says you a r e worth t a l k i n g t o ?  to  Those who a r e  i n such  i s what i s b e h i n d y o u r  I am t r u l y  p u z z l e d as  contempt b e c a u s e I s u s p e c t  refusal to join the  c o n v e r s a t i on. Tantalus:  This contempt,  superior to others.  as y o u c a l l  I am s u p e r i o r !  i t , a l l o w s me t o be I will  not w r i t e  trivia. Antigone:  I, like  T a n t a l u s , would  e x p o s e m y s e l f as one who m e r e l y  rather  remain s i l e n t  chatters.  Writing,  than  111  "because o f i t s p e r m a n e n c y , must be  perfect.  e x a c t l y what i t i s I want i t t o s a y . must r e m a i n s i l e n t Athena: we  Aah,  the  until this  C l e a r l y , then  perfection i s  same o l d f e a r .  I t must  I t i s the  back the  r a i s e d the  c o n c e r n o f not  words once t h e y were s p o k e n .  permanency, p e r h a p s , t h a t Cassandra:  Just  needs  same i s s u e  Analytically,  w r i t i n g and issue  speech  f o r the  I t h o u g h t we  the  exposure i s present i n both.  this  moment at  say  that  this  could  not  take issue  of  were  But,  For  can  treat  example,  same, t h e i s s u e So  ought t o  different.  to  p u r p o s e at h a n d , we  self  they are  able  writing.  o f p e r m a n e n c y seems t o be  how  you,  I t i s the  as i n t e r c h a n g e a b l e .  l e a s t , we  that  addressing.  a moment, p l e a s e .  t a l k i n g a b o u t s p e a k i n g , not Athena:  being  one  reached.  t a l k e d about e a r l i e r when, I t h i n k i t was  Tantalus,  say  the of  I don't t h i n k ,  concern ourselves  n a t u r a l l y , that  become an i s s u e  at with  i s not  at some  to  other  poi nt. Permanancy, however, i s the attention. and  is this  A n t i g o n e , you  Antigone: Athena:  Why  W i l l you You  once y o u  are  a fear?  i s s u e which  Is i t because,  r e l a t e t o s p e e c h as say  a little  saying that  perfect  once y o u  having s a i d that  Tantalus  speech?  more? have spoken s o m e t h i n g ,  h a v e w r i t t e n s o m e t h i n g i t i s on  s p e a k , as y o u  needs  record,  or w r i t t e n t h a t .  so  to  11 2  Antigone:  Right,  and one h a s t o be c a r e f u l about what  p u t s on r e c o r d .  I t can haunt you f o r t h e r e s t  one  of your  days . Athena:  I understand.  The f e a r b e i n g t h a t  y o u might n o t  want t o own t h o s e t h o u g h t s o r i d e a s f o r e v e r , and t h e r e t h e y w o u l d be - down i n b l a c k  and w h i t e , w r i t t e n i n  stone. A n t i gone: Athena:  Ri ght. Do y o u t h i n k y o u c o u l d  P o s s i b l y you could  relate to this  differently.  s a y " w e l l , I used t o t h i n k t h a t but  a f t e r t a l k i n g about i t , e x a m i n i n g i t , t h i n k i n g about i t a little  bit differently,  I now t h i n k  about i t t h i s  way".  P e o p l e do c h a n g e ; w h e r e y o u s t a r t f r o m i s not n e c e s s a r i l y w h e r e y o u end u p .  You c a n ' t l e t t h e f e a r t h a t  change y o u r mind about s o m e t h i n g h o l d if not  you back.  I wonder  i t i s more, i f y o u a r e not l i k e t h e s t u d e n t s who w r i t e , who w i l l  talked are  you might  n o t s p e a k up i n c l a s s - remember we  about them e a r l i e r  worried  will  about y o u r  on - I wonder i f , i n f a c t , y o u  reputation.  Hence what g r o u n d s y o u r s e n s e o f s u p e r i o r i t y i s a sense of f e a r .  Pear of f a i l u r e ,  of e x p o s i n g t h e s e l f is  critical  equally desire  of.  the fear  fear  of i n a d e q u a c y , f e a r  as n o t h i n g o t h e r t h a n t h o s e t h e s e l f  The f e a r  of l o s i n g your r e p u t a t i o n , o r ,  of a c q u i r i n g a r e p u t a t i o n  i s the real fear.  you don't  You a r e a f r a i d o f b e i n g  exposed  113  as a f r a u d , Tantalus: self  But i f I remain s i l e n t  Athena:  as h a v i n g t h e  o f d o i n g g r e a t work.  But t h e n you would  because  else.  I can r e t a i n a sense o f  as " b e t t e r " t h a n anyone e l s e ,  possibility  of  as no b e t t e r t h a n anybody  n e v e r h a v e t o c o n f r o n t t h e work  i t i s always s h e e r l y a p o s s i b i l i t y .  t h e p o s s i b l e y o u c a n dream,  e n v i s a g e many  lives  f o ryourself.  about  y o u r s e l f and about what y o u might  In the realm alternate  I n y o u r s i l e n c e y o u c a n be smug produce i n t h e  f u t u r e , when y o u a r e r e a d y , when y o u h a v e y o u r  writing  p e r f e c t e d , your t h o u g h t s p e r f e c t e d — i n your head, not here  on p a p e r  Cassandra: are  or i n o t h e r s '  memories!  I g e t v e r y u p s e t by t h e i d e a t h a t y o u t h i n k y o u  b e t t e r t h a n anyone e l s e ,  and t h a t y o u seem t o f e e l  you have a r i g h t t o see y o u r s e l f height Athena:  as b e t t e r .  That i s t h e  of egotism! I n s t e a d o f g e t t i n g a n g r y w i t h T a n t a l u s maybe we  should t r yt o think better,  o f how we c a n h a v e t h i s i d e a o f b e i n g  s t a n d i n g apart from t h e rest  of t h e s o c i e t y .  A s s u r e d l y T a n t a l u s i s n o t t h e o n l y one who e x p e r i e n c e s , y e a r n s even f o r t h i s  feeling  of s u p e r i o r i t y .  Perhaps i t  comes f r o m o u r p r o p e n s i t y t o j u d g e , t o c r i t i c i z e , this  i s right  and t h a t  others i n conversation,  i s wrong!  t o say  We f o r g e t t o engage  r a t h e r we engage i n c o m p e t i t i o n .  T h i s way t h e r e c a n be a w i n n e r and a l o s e r .  It will  be  114  c l e a r who won t h e b a t t l e . Antigone:  I a g r e e w i t h what y o u ' r e s a y i n g ; we do e n t e r  conversation  as i f i t were a b a t t l e .  s y s t e m r u n s deep i n o u r v e i n s . rages.  battle  good as K i e r k e g a a r d the  these  But a n o t h e r b a t t l e  or s t r u g g l e .  or S o c r a t e s ,  d e c i s i o n t o remain s i l e n t  Athena:  The a d v e r s a r i a l  I t i s the b a t t l e with the s e l f .  superior/inferior  To a d m i r e and w i s h  both  I know I am n o t as  I c a n be l i k e  comical.  them.  Remember t h e  s t r o n g l y i s "know  thyself".  T h i s i s what i s i m p o r t a n t ;  l i k e us".  On t h e c o n t r a r y t h e y  important  I c a l l i t the  t h e r e f o r e I h a v e made  until  g i v e out v e r y  ourselves, to discover  also  t o copy or mimic e i t h e r o f  two t h i n k e r s i s t r u l y  message t h e y  into  they  do n o t s a y "Be  b o t h b e s e e c h us t o be  o u r - s e l f , t o know what i s  t o u s , what we need t o l e a d a good and m o r a l  life. Tantalus:  What i f t h e s e l f  I d i s c o v e r i s not l i k e a b l e ?  What i f i t i s c o n t r a d i c t o r y t o what I want t o b e ? Athena:  Do y o u t h i n k p e r h a p s i t i s good t o f i n d  negative After  as w e l l as t h e p o s i t i v e a s p e c t s  a l l i f we d i s c l o s e t o o u r s e l f  out t h e  of t h e s e l f ?  our l i t t l e  " n a s t i e s " t h e n we c a n make some e f f o r t  hidden  t o change t h e s e l f  i n t o what we h a v e t h e p o t e n t i a l t o b e . Antigone:  Y e t e v e n i f what y o u s a y makes s e n s e , and i t does  intellectually,  part  o f me c r i e s t o r e m a i n s i l e n t .  By  11 5  keeping  silent  I c a n k e e p my s e c r e t s a f e .  know i f I do n o t s p e a k who wait.  I will  wait  until  I am.  I, therefore,  myself.  I should  k n o w l e d g e o f who should  will  I have p e r f e c t i o n - by  I am u n l i k e o t h e r m o r t a l s ; achieve  No one need  I should  emerge f u l l y  myself!  not have t o  f o r m e d and w i t h  I am, what I c a n do, what I w i l l  not have t o attempt t o a c h i e v e  my-self.  do.  I  I should  not h a v e t o be c o n s t a n t l y a c h i e v i n g s e l f - h o o d .  Like  others. I  g u e s s what I am s a y i n g i s t h a t I want t o be  Jesus C h r i s t .  He came i n t o t h e w o r l d  k n o w i n g what he  was, k n o w i n g t h a t h e was t h e Son o f God.  He came i n w i t h  a m i s s i o n , he knew what he h a d t o do i n t h e w o r l d , knew t h a t i t w o u l d be a l i f e be a m a r t y r s o t h e r e s t  c o n s t a n t l y i n t h e process But t h i s  going i n t o the wilderness,  t h a t i s your aim. God-like. to  He d i d not h a v e t o be  of becoming.  d i d not prevent  throughout h i s l i f e .  J e s u s knew  he d i d n o t h a v e t o go on a  v o y a g e o f d i s c o v e r i n g what he was.  Athena:  and he  o f s u f f e r i n g , t h a t he w o u l d  o f us c o u l d be s a v e d .  t h i s from the beginning;  like  J e s u s f r o m s u f f e r i n g or  or q u e s t i o n i n g .  So i t c a n ' t  I t ' sadmirable  He s u f f e r e d  be t o a v o i d  suffering  t o want t o be  God i s o u r r e p r e s e n t a t i v e o f t h e Good.  Thus,  want t o e m u l a t e h i m i s t o want t h e Good.  Antigone:  I'm t r y i n g t o r e c o l l e c t  where t h i s  voice  comes  116  from. me.  I suspect But  Athena:  i t comes f r o m a G o d l i k e  I d o n ' t seem t o p o s s e s s a k i n d l y  I tend  t o agree w i t h you.  f r o m a d i s p a s s i o n a t e god certain  criteria,  Yet, the is  criteria  who  judges.  unknown t o t h e are i n the  Good i n t o  rest  Y o u r god o f us  has  set  up  mortals. The  aim  aid i n b r i n g i n g the  being.  God's a l w a y s a s e t  ahead o f u s .  He  does n o t h a v e t o l i v e  He  has  the  what i s e v i l ,  a l w a y s does t h e Good even t h o u g h he  more.  god.  name of t h e Good.  a d v a n t a g e o f k n o w i n g what i s good and he  inside  Y o u r v o i c e seems t o come  f o r t h e Good, h o w e v e r , i t does not  Antigone:  place  might  i n this  and  suffer  interminable  ambi g u i t y! Athena:  Part  o f what y o u  Antigone,  i s the task  l i v e with  ambiguities.  the  ability  choice  these  not  this  not  Tantalus: but Athena:  He  of b e i n g human. God  He  gave us t h e  be  you  l o n g e r have c h o i c e ?  Are  you  be  us  and  Are  Could  life?  gave us mere m o r t a l s  a s k i n g t h a t we  gave  I t i s up t o u s .  d o e s n ' t want them f o r H i m s e l f , Are  He  be t h o u g h t f u l  m i g h t want f o r u s ?  our t a s k - t o l i v e  G r a n t e d He  be human i s t o  a b i l i t y t o make t h e  or t h e w r o n g c h o i c e .  t h e Good t h a t God  To  with,  gave us f r e e w i l l ,  t o make d e c i s i o n s and  self-expressive. right  h a v e t o come t o t e r m s  these  this  qualities  f o r m o f Good!  d e t e r m i n e d , t h a t we  a s k i n g f o r a v e r s i o n of  no the  117  w o r l d which i s n a t u r a l , which i s immediate? a l l o w s you Antigone  to claim silence  concretely.  i m m e d i a t e v e r s i o n of t h e But  c o r r e c t way I,  Both  are s e a r c h i n g f o r a p e r f e c t w o r l d —  t h e r e t o be f o u n d  Tantalus:  as t h e good?  Is t h i s  and  as i f i t i s  T h i s must come f r o m  an  world.  t h e r e i s a c o r r e c t v e r s i o n of t h e w o r l d , to t h i n k , to w r i t e .  T a n t a l u s , h a v e not  found  I , f o r one,  will  I t ' s just  i t - yet.  t h a t i t i s t h e r e t o be f o u n d , certain.  you  what  just  But  a  that I am  as D e s c a r t e s  certain was  continue the search u n t i l  I  d i s c o v e r p e r f e c t speech. Athena: be  Have y o u  conducted?  the  talk  is  And  how  you  will  I ' l l j u s t know, I'm  about our you  but  this  search  i s to  know when y o u h a v e made  sure  before  I venture  i s incompetent;  is  indecisive one.  So  often  and  At t h e p r e s e n t  time  nothing to  i t i s c o n t r a d i c t o r y , and  cannot t h i n k a worthy thought  a s e l f u n d e r h e r e w h i c h k e e p s t r y i n g t o get  out,  I can keep i t s u b m e r g e d — u n t i l  that  this say.  l e t alone Yet  reached..  self  fine  even worse i t  i s dead or as y e t u n b o r n .  fortunately  The  you  t h a t I must h a v e a s e l f  w o r t h y o f e x p r e s s i o n ; i t has  It  write  of t h a t .  need t o be s e l f - e x p r e s s i v e . T h a t ' s  worthy of b e i n g e x p r e s s e d .  s e l f i s not  is  y o u r s e l f j u s t how  discovery?  Tantalus:  for  asked  there but  perfection i s  118  Athena:  But  do you  submerged you  not see that by keeping the  self  are robbing i t of i t s chance to f i n d  itself? Tantalus: creep  L i s t e n , I know I have two out  selves.  Both of them  o c c a s i o n a l l y ; both of them need to be  annhilated.  One  i s the s e l f that yearns f o r the  conventional  and  n a t u r a l and the  other i s the  can c o n c r e t e l y s i l e n c e t h i s meek and is  grounded i n the  Athena: one  conventional  It sounds l i k e war, p r o f i t s from.  judge  passive v o i c e which  world.  Tantalus.  And  a war  that  I t ' s good to recognize these  v o i c e s as c o n s t i t u t i n g the s e l f but why Perhaps i t i s t h i s  who  no  two  a n n h i l a t e them?  very advocacy which c o n s t i t u t e s the  search? Tantalus:  I hate t h i s passive s e l f .  She's weak, she  allows t h i n g s to happen to her; she i s  c o n t r o l l e d by moods and Athena:  And  the  judge, who  strong, active? of? the just She  She i s d i s g u s t i n g .  Is the  rages.  They s i l e n c e her.  never makes p u b l i c any judge one  whom you  speech i s  can be  Is i t your aim to s i l e n c e the conventional judger to reign? as p a s s i v e .  It seems to me that the  She  r i s k s nothing by  can a f f o r d to s i t i n s i l e n c e and  gives n o t h i n g .  And  worst of a l l she  p r i d e f u l arrogance and  proud  and  allow  judge i s  remaining  silent.  judge because  she  can s i t back i n  c l a i m she i s " b e t t e r " .  Why  not  11 9  give the conventional part o p e n i n g up t h e d i a l o g u e ? to  of you i t s say.  not  risk  What h a s t h e c o n v e n t i o n a l  life  o f f e r t h a t i s so s e d u c t i v e ?  a r e n o t t h e o n l y p e r s o n who We  a l l do!  But we  is  a l l that there i s .  Why  B e c a u s e , remember, y o u  needs t o l i v e i n  convention.  do not h a v e t o r e l a t e t o i t as i f i t We  c a n change o u r r e l a t i o n s h i p  to  it. Antigone:  The c o n v e n t i o n a l l i f e  offers  p e a c e and a s e n s e o f  order. Athena:  I s i t p e a c e or i s i t m e r e l y a s e m b l a n c e o f p e a c e ?  Is i t t h e l i f e Antigone:  of appearances?  Maybe i t i s a f a l s e s e n s e o f p e a c e .  stay w i t h i n the conventional l i f e suffering,  nothing  Tantalus yet,  I am e a s e d o f  c a n t o u c h me i n a s i g n i f i c a n t  called this  powers.  and a l l w i l l  Athena:  "take  life  of  one  bite  well". And k n o w l e d g e  f o r k n o w l e d g e i s what b r i n g s us  Yes, the b i t e  possibility, to  be  But t h e b i t e was k n o w l e d g e !  the search  This  and  i s t a n t a l i z i n g ; i t i s seductive; i t i s the  s u c c u b u s f r o m t h e G a r d e n o f Eden s a y i n g  Cassandra:  way.  a weak and p a s s i v e s e l f  I f e e l t h i s s e l f has g r e a t  convention  But i f I  or  suffering.  made us human; i t opened us t o  suffering.  I t gave us t h e a b i l i t y  to think,  make d e c i s i o n s .  Antigone:  But t h e s u c c u b u s d i d n ' t warn us o f t h a t , d i d s h e ?  120  Rather she h e l d convention.  out a p r o m i s e , i n t h e same way as does  I t p r o m i s e s s a f e t y and a n o n o m i t y .  promises a l i f e  o f e a s e and a l i f e  we s e e i t as t h i s wouldn't of l i f e  of non-thought.  w h i c h aimed  at b r e a k i n g  we f o l l o w t h i s  life  do n o t h a v e t o s t r u g g l e .  down t h i s  dream o f i t .  any o t h e r  form  life?  we do n o t h a v e t o w o r k , we  Our t a s k i s m e r e l y t o f o l l o w  t h a t w h i c h h a s b e e n l a i d down b e f o r e unquestioningly.  When  why w o u l d n ' t we be drawn t o i t ; why  we, l i k e M e l e t u s , t r y t o d e s t r o y  If  It  us and f o l l o w i t  Why w o u l d n ' t we want t h i s ?  Aah, I  I dream o f t h e b i g h o u s e , t h e s a i l i n g  s h i p s , t h e t r a v e l , t h e o r d e r l i n e s s w h i c h someone e l s e h a s laid  o u t f o r me.  Why do y o u a s k us t o p u l l t h i s  q u e s t i o n ; why n o t j u s t hedonistic, Athena:  and I s t i l l  I t ' s not t h a t  of E d e n —  accept t h i s  u n d o u b t e d l y would nevertheless  t h e dream o f t h e G a r d e n  and s a i l i n g s h i p s .  we must a s k a t what c o s t ? life?  Are you l i k e Ivan I l y c h ?  same r e f r a i n !  We a l l ,  l i k e t o l i v e i n t h a t way, b u t  t h i n g s w h i c h g i v e us t h e good we need?  Some s a y i t i s  s a y "why n o t " ?  I am a g a i n s t  t h e b i g house  life?  into  Is i t the l i f e  And a r e t h e s e t h e  Is i t things  which  I keep h e a r i n g t h e  o f no work w h i c h y o u a r e  p r o c l a i m i n g as t h e good? Tantalus: lazy  I wouldn't  life,  s a y t h e r e was no w o r k .  I t ' s not a  t h i n g s h a v e t o be done i f y o u a r e t o m a i n t a i n  121  your p o s i t i o n .  I t ' s no easy t a s k .  You have t o know what  s o c i e t y expects from you, you have t o know what t h i n g s the task Bystander:  requires. I can see t h a t i t i s a s e d u c t i v e l i f e ,  easy f o r  one t o s l i p i n t o and t o have f o r g o t t e n t h a t i s what one has  done.  Athena:  L e t ' s go back t o what T a n t a l u s  was s a y i n g .  It  sounds s u s p i c i o u s l y l i k e t h i n g s a r e what i s i m p o r t a n t . That i s where your commitment l i e s , t o t h i n g s . a shallow  life,  I t seems  l i k e t h e l i f e of t r a v e l i n some ways.  T r a v e l reminds us t h a t somewhere can be anywhere. not  committed and we are not r e s p o n s i b l e .  world  as s h e e r l y t h e r e .  We are  We see t h e  Travel refuses t o analyze i n the  same way as t h e l i f e of t h i n g s r e f u s e s t o a n a l y z e . I n some c o n c r e t e work.  sense of work we can say sure you  But do we want t o c a l l t h a t work?  perhaps, c a l l i t l a b o u r ? r e q u i r e d t o do much. t o change.  The s e l f i s n ' t  isn't  required to think,  This s e l f has f o r g o t t e n i t i s a s e l f , so  concerned i s she w i t h  Athena:  I t seems t h e s e l f  The s e l f i s merely asked t o mimic, t o f o l l o w  the c o n v e n t i o n .  Bystander:  Should we,  reputation.  What i s work; how does i t d i f f e r from  labour?  Work asks f o r t h e i n v o l v e m e n t of t h e s e l f .  I t asks  f o r t h e s e l f t o be r e s p o n s i b l e and committed as w e l l as w i l l i n g t o change.  Labour merely asks t h a t t h e t a s k get  122  done.  We  might  a l s o s a y t h a t work i n v o l v e s r i s k  labour i n v o l v e s completion  of t a s k .  t h e r e i s an end t o t h e t a s k . the  labourer  respite.  can r e s t .  Work i s not t a s k  work i s not f i n i s h e d , we  L a b o u r knows t h a t  It will  Work does  where  be f i n i s h e d  then  not a l l o w t h a t  oriented.  Life i s i t s task;  could say, u n t i l  life  has  finished. Bystander: Tantalus  Can we  go b a c k t o t h e c o n v e n t i o n a l  you p r o f e s s e d  great  scorn  life?  or f e a r o f t h i s  life  y e t y o u seem t o l e t i t c o n t r o l y o u . Tantalus: but  You a r e w r o n g !  not as  I am i n c o n t r o l .  speak  convention.  What c a n c o n v e n t i o n She c a n n o t w r i t e . this  I will  s a y about s p e e c h or w r i t i n g ?  We h a v e  c o n v e n t i o n a l mind.  a l l s e e n t h e w o r k i n g s out o f  It i s timid.  l e a v i n g one w i t h a s e n s e o f t r i v i a ,  It i s  dull,  with a sense of  empti ness. Athena: life  T r u e , as a t t r a c t e d as we  are to thisw  we want t o deny t h a t i t e x i s t s i n u s .  all  fall  but  to r e l a t i n g to the world  why  d o n ' t we s t a y i n t h i s  the  labour i n t h i s  But d o n ' t  p r e y t o i t ? Not t o t h e c o n v e n t i o n a l l i f e  no s t r u g g l e . Antigone:  conventional  No  i n a c o n v e n t i o n a l way?  relationship?  conventional l i f e  has  s u f f e r i n g i s attached  That's a l l .  I t hangs  Perhaps  we  per se And  because  no s o u l ; i t has  toi t .  suspended i n t h e a i r l i k e  123  minute p a r t i c l e s  o f d u s t , b e l o n g i n g t o no one and  unconcerned with i t s o r i g i n s . this  L i k e t h e dust  w r i t i n g i s i n c o n s e q u e n t i a l t o most i n h a b i t a n t s  except  those  who d e v e l o p  These poor s u f f e r e r s  an a l l e r g y t o t h e p a r t i c l e s .  can e x p e r i e n c e  this  e i t h e r a minor i n t e r f e r e n c e which they s h e e r l y an i r r i t a n t lives not  particles  with l i t t l e  really  r e a c t i o n as  c a n put up w i t h ,  w h i c h c a n be i n c o r p o r a t e d i n t o  o r no d i f f i c u l t y  suffering.  their  - paying a l i t t l e but  Or some c a n e x p e r i e n c e t h e  d e b i l i t a t i n g c h a r a c t e r of t h i s i r r i t a n t  and t r y t o r i d  the a i rof i t , that i s t o transform the p o l l u t e d  a i r into  sterile air. M o r e o v e r , i f we c a r r y t h i s f u r t h e r , we c a n s e e t h a t s t i l l  metaphor a  others, taking the  s u g g e s t i o n f r o m s c i e n c e , go t h r o u g h injections  little  a series of  i n order t o d e s e n s i t i z e t h e i r bodies,  their  mi n d s . Athena: the  And t h e s e  are the t r u l y  f r i g h t e n i n g ones; these a r e  ones who, a t one t i m e , knew t h e d a n g e r o f d u s t and  now no l o n g e r r e c o g n i z e i t . it.  They m e r e l y  everyday them.  world.  They no l o n g e r  take i t f o r granted  experience  as p a r t o f t h e i r  I t i s t h e r e , b u t no l o n g e r need t r o u b l e  No l o n g e r need be a d a n g e r t o anyone i f t h e y  will  take advantage of s c i e n c e . Antigone:  What i s more t h e s e  zombies d i s g u i s e themselves  as  124  t h e g o o d , as t h a t w h i c h  s h o u l d be  l o o k e d up t o ,  replicated. Bystander:  Right.  We  could say t h a t these c o n v e n t i o n a l  souls are l i k e Kierkegaard's cunningly c o n t r i v e d stick(s)  i n which  a talking  To u p d a t e t h e i m a g e r y , sticks in  t h e s e zombies,  d i s g u i s e d , as o r d i n a r y man,  their  eyeballs.  "the camera cannot is,  m a c h i n e has  And  concealed.  these w a l k i n g  h a v e cameras i m p l a n t e d  t h e camera i s p o i n t e d  l i e " they cry.  n o t h i n g i s hidden from t h i s  Athena:  been  walking  "We  tell  camera's  outwards;  i t like i t  eye".  I s a l l t h e w o r l d so s h e e r l y v i s i b l e ?  Antigone:  They w o u l d s a y  t h e n i s I am  "of c o u r s e . "  And  t a l k i n g t o t h e t r u l y modern man,  has  a talking  and  a computer t e r m i n a l f o r t h e b r a i n .  who  need not  Athena:  never  r e p l a y b u t t o n on t h e m a c h i n e s . of r e - l i v i n g ,  gone b e f o r e .  dust p a r t i c l e s  who eye one  Recollection i s  a little  and t h e n f o r g e t t i n g  particles  and  else? fail  These  i s simply pushing  i n exact d e t a i l ,  I seem t o be  Or i s i t s o m e t h i n g dust  This i s the  look inward.  the  merely  t h a t which  confused,  I s i t t h e c o n t r i v e d w a l k i n g s t i c k s who  these  t h e one  worry.  a r e t h e ones f o r whom r e c o l l e c t i o n  them?  realize  machine f o r a v o i c e , a camera f o r t h e  T h e s e a r e t h e ones who  the process  what I  however.  are producing  t h e y have  has  the  produced  Is i t t h a t they  produce  t o r e c o g n i z e them f o r what  125  they are, Tantalus:  namely dust p a r t i c l e s ?  There, you see!  That i s why I don't w r i t e .  When  someone's t h o u g h t s come t u m b l i n g o u t t h e y a r e n o t c l e a r . They c a n be a m b i g u o u s , o t h e r s  can c h a l l e n g e  r i d i c u l e them, j u d g e them t o be i m p e t u o u s , crazy  or c y n i c a l .  And y o u do c h a l l e n g e ,  t h e n , can I expose a s e l f t h a t i n t h i s way? Athena:  Who i s j u d g i n g  talked not  No t h a n k y o u .  about  judging  of  I o r you?  and r e s i s t e n c e  How,  t o judgement to myself!  Remember we  earlier.  Why  can y o u  r e s i s t a n c e t o your  we may a l l come t o a b e t t e r  understanding  our speech? You  be  don't y o u ?  keep t h i s  s e e what I am d o i n g as s u p p l y i n g  speech so t h a t  immature,  opens i t s e l f  I'll  Tantalus,  them,  are hard  on y o u r s e l f .  less than perfect.  You  l e t your f e a r  you  - the old fear  silence, tyrannize Let's  Y o u j u d g e y o u r s e l f as i n c o m p l e t e .  o f what  "others  might s a y " t y r a n n i z e  of r e p u t a t i o n ,  j u s t as y o u , i n y o u r  others.  t h i n k f o r a moment about t h e v e r s i o n o f  w r i t i n g and t h i n k i n g t h a t ' s that being  You j u d g e y o u r s e l f t o  i n order  to hold  becoming apparent.  I t seems  y o u r s e l f i n s i l e n c e , i n f e a r of  j u d g e d y o u must s e e t h e w r i t t e n work as a o n c e - a n d -  f o r - a l l - t h i n g i n the world.  This  becomes a p p a r e n t  t h r o u g h your d e s i r e f o r permanency.  I f we c o n c e i v e o f  w r i t i n g i n a d i f f e r e n t way, h o w e v e r , i t i s p o s s i b l e  we  126  can  relate  writing  to i t differently.  S u r e l y i f we c a n e n v i s a g e  o r s p e a k i n g as t h e w o r k i n g out o f one's  r a t h e r t h a n as t h e f i n a l  thoughts  v e r s i o n o f t h o u g h t , we c a n  liberate ourselves. For example, T a n t a l u s , t h i s  would  your v o i c e , t o express your thoughts through your head. as t h e f i n a l for  Y e t we w o u l d  version.  as t h e y come p o u r i n g  not h o l d t h e s e  thoughts  I n s t e a d we c o u l d r e c o g n i z e them  what t h e y a r e - t h o u g h t s  of your head.  a l l o w you t o have  t h a t h a v e come p o u r i n g out  They a r e o u r p l a c e t o b e g i n b u t n o t o u r  p l a c e t o end. T h i s i s h a r d f o r us t o do b e c a u s e we h a v e a l l b e e n brought  up i n a t r a d i t i o n  which  says t h e w r i t t e n  must be p e r f e c t i o n ; u n t i l  something  newer, more  enlightened  Then t h i s  writing,  comes a l o n g .  i n the  t r a d i t i o n we h a v e b e e n b r o u g h t  up i n , c a n be  as b e i n g i n c o m p l e t e o r w r o n g .  In this t r a d i t i o n  n e e d n ' t be h e l p e d , i t n e e d n ' t be r e a d d r e s s e d dialectically,  i n a friendly  way.  word  criticized speech  127  I u n d e r s t a n d t h e n why t h e d o c t r i n e s t h a t e x p l a i n e v e r y t h i n g t o me a l s o d e b i l i t a t e me a t t h e same t i m e . They r e l i e v e me o f t h e w e i g h t o f my own l i f e , and y e t I must c a r r y i t alone. (Camus, An A b s u r d  Concluding  Reasoning)  Remarks  I  Now t h a t experimental and  I have conducted t h e d i a l o g u e  as an  f o r m o f e x p o s i t i o n , l e t us s t e p b a c k f r o m i t  s e e what h a s come out o f i t . The  i n t r o d u c t i o n makes two c l a i m s  that  dialogue  self  i s multivocal.  inquiry?  i s socially  organized,  What i m p o r t  In order  and s e c o n d , t h a t t h e  does t h i s h a v e f o r  done i t ?  t o address these  reconsider t r e a t i s e . i s univocal.  questions  l e t us b r i e f l y  As was m e n t i o n e d i n t h e i n t r o d u c t i o n , I t s a y s t h e o n l y v o i c e we  recognize  i s t h e v o i c e which  the  of a u t h o r i t y ; i t i s t h e v o i c e which  voice  first  Why was i t good t o h a v e w r i t t e n a d i a l o g u e , and  what c a n we l e a r n f r o m h a v i n g  treatise  about d i a l o g u e ;  represents  science.  will Science i s  transmits  128  knowledge from the knowledgeable, the ignorant. as  I t i s the  v o i c e which  i t s r e s p o n s i b i l i t y the  ignorant  be i n f o r m e d  Sociology, t r e a t i s e , has science  and  K n o w l e d g e and that  b u r d e n of e n s u r i n g t h a t  i t has  always p e r m i t t e d  t r e a t i t as Sociology  an  Dialogue,  established revived  the taking  the  about t h i n g s .  joined the t r a d i t i o n itself  object  only  to stand  of  back  from  ( f o r example S o c i o l o g y  of S c i e n c e )  s c i e n c e i s a v o i c e but  heed.  to  "knows" f o r c e r t a i n ,  of t h e t r u t h  although  scientist,  and  one  therefore, clearly  i t has  of  reminded  us  of many v o i c e s w h i c h corresponds to  s o c i o l o g i c a l v i e w p o i n t , and  we  an  deserves to  be  as a f o r g o t t e n f o r m of i n q u i r y .  II  Sociology, o f s c i e n c e and  then,  a s k s t h a t we  stand  remember t h a t i t i s a v o i c e , and  w h i c h c u r r e n t l y commands a t t e n t i o n . t h a t we  remember t h e  point  of v i e w , we  other  voices.  self  singular; this dialogue  Sociology  i s m u l t i v o c a l , and,  Yet  science  c a n n o t be other  U n i v o c a l i t y must be  from  voices  us  to  remember.  voice  voice  asks  sanctioned  also this our  when i t  as t h o u g h t o  reminded t h a t i t i s  i s what t r e a t i s e f o r g e t s , and  recalls  a  cannot a l l o w s c i e n c e t o e x t i n g u i s h  attempts t o speak over these them s p e e c h .  back from the  this  deny not  i s what  129  That i s , d i a l o g u e voices, say,  and t h a t t h e y  r e m i n d s us t h a t t h e r e have t h e r i g h t ,  "What about s c i e n c e ?  whom does i t s p e a k ? "  are other  no t h e o b l i g a t i o n , t o  Where does i t come f r o m ?  Sociology  For  a s k s us t o remember t h a t  s c i e n c e i s a human v o i c e , b u t i t i s not t h e o n l y human v o i c e (whereas s c i e n c e i t s e l f  f o r g e t s i t s h u m a n i t y and r e f u s e s t o  engage).  Ill  Thus m u l t i v o c a l i t y i s an i s s u e w h i c h i s i m p l i c i t l y recognized be  by s o c i o l o g y i n t h a t i t a l l o w s t h a t s c i e n c e  addressed  this  as i n s t i t u t i o n a l  i n t e r e s t , the dialogue If  we c a s t  and t h o r o u g h l y  shows  social.  Given  possibility.  o u r minds b a c k t o t h e d i a l o g u e  r e c a l l t h a t we h a v e v o i c e s  must  we  will  o f A n t i g o n e and B y s t a n d e r who  c l a i m e x p e r t i s e , t h a t i s , speak i n t h e v o i c e of s c i e n c e . a l s o have T a n t a l u s  who d e s i r e s e x p e r t i s e b u t i s t h o r o u g h l y  immersed i n t h e v o i c e A t h e n a who t a k e s  of c o n v e n t i o n .  The s o c i a l  everyday l i f e .  Finally,  we h a v e  i t as h e r t a s k t o r e m i n d us t h a t s c i e n c e or  e x p e r t i s e has t o have i t s o r i g i n s concerns.  We  i n daily  life,  can never leave behind  i n human  t h e concerns of  A t h e n a r e m i n d s us t h a t i n q u i r y i s a way o f  removing t h e i n h i b i t i o n s amongst t h e m s e l v e s .  so t h a t these  voices  The d i a l o g u e , t h e n ,  can t a l k  d e m o n s t r a t e s what  130  it  i s that science  itself  cannot  need remember i n a way w h i c h  science  tell.  The d i a l o g u e  a l s o r e m i n d s us t h a t  convention,  the voice  o f commonsense, i s m e r e l y a n o t h e r v o i c e w i t h w h i c h we and  w h i c h we h e e d — b u t  that i t , t o o , i s only  speak  i t r e m i n d s us t h a t we must remember one v o i c e  o f many.  IV  By other  voices  no o t h e r taken  g i v i n g t h e microphone t o s c i e n c e become l o s t  v o i c e s t o speak.  Sociology  They a r e not s i m p l y  according t o the latest Thus, t h e r e this  c l e a r l y takes  notion  dialogue  a halt  that than  t o be e s p o u s e d  o f what i s c o r r e c t , " t r u e " .  f o r m , so when s c i e n c e  c a l l out  speaks of p e r f e c t  speaks immediately,  and s a y , " S t o p !  What i s k n o w l e d g e ? Who  the position  are f o r c e s w i t h i n s o c i o l o g y which  k n o w l e d g e , o r when c o n v e n t i o n call  Sociology of  ( a n d commonsense) c a n be a d d r e s s e d i n an o t h e r  c o r r e c t a b l e way.  can  c a n n o t , and h a s n o t ,  the position that the s e l f i s univocal.  science  convention)  o r s u p p r e s s e d as t h o u g h t h e r e were  Knowledge, f o r example, v e r y  for  (or t o  Let's t a l k  Where does i t come f r o m ?  about  sociology this.  Who has i t ?  controls i t ? " The v o i c e  society—the  of s e l f  voice  corresponds t o t h e v o i c e s of  of s c i e n c e ,  as a p r e v a i l i n g and  pervasive  131  i n s t i t u t i o n , the v o i c e of skeptism deadly v o i c e of convention. the  dialogue  not  In t h i s way,  as an a u t o b i o g r a p h i c a l  w r i t e r ' s t e n s i o n , but  form, t h e r e f o r e , can  from death.  then, we account  rather as voices which  i n s t i t u t i o n a l i z e d i n s o c i e t y and dialogue  (Cassandra) and  need to be  liberate  one  the can  see  of t h i s  get expressed.  from  silence,  The  132  BIBLIOGRAPHY Barthes, Roland. " B l i n d and Dumb C r i t i c i s . " M y t h o l o g i e s . t r a n s . A n n e t t e L a v e r s . New Y o r k : H i l l and Wang, 1 9 7 9 • p.  34-35.  . " N o v e l s and C h i l d r e n . " M y t h o l o g i e s . t r a n s . A n n e t t e L a v e r s . New Y o r k : H i l l and Wang, 1979.  50-52.  p.  . "Toys." 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