November2012 006

© Denise Startin

Dear Reader

Many apologies for the lack of continuous activity on the blog of late. Having recently produced a thesis for the MA I am undertaking (the effect of which has been to somewhat ironically kill my voracious writing and reading habits) the process has left me textually satiated, linguistically engorged and physically sick.

The thesis was part performative, part theoretical, part confession, part autobiography (which of course is a fallacy since one can only live one’s life not write it).The philosopher Phillipe Lacoue-Labarthe develops this rhythmic train of thought particularly in relation to autobiography and music; ‘the need to tell, to confess, write oneself.’ [1] Perhaps having partly written myself into textual oblivion through examining my haecceity one has been left comparatively mute. To draw upon an analogy  between writing and excrement ‘I’ have been evacuated. ‘I’ write myself, ‘I’ kill myself (after Derrida).

In Footnote 115 of the thesis I discussed the relation of the textual fetish and desire, here I quote myself “Elizabeth Grosz explains there are ‘two conceptions of desire – negative and positive.’ The one that concerns us here in relation to Freud and Lacan is desire as lack, that is ‘a yearning for what is lost, absent, impossible. Desire is posited as an economy of scarcity, where reality itself is missing something (the object whose attainment would yield completion), a linked to the death drive (the struggle for mutual recognition) and annihilation (which the object of desire threatens).

My understanding of this is that in reality desire is in a permanent state of deferral and incompletion since there can only be a surrogate object to replace that which has been lost. This surrogate object is ultimately unacceptable to the subject who desires it, therefore the cycle repeats ad infinitum. Ultimately I understand desire as an auto-reproductive structure. It cannot be satisfied, otherwise desire would cease, therefore to ensure its survival desire only ever really desires itself.”

And yet in this process my desire was (against all evidence to the contrary) temporarily extinguished. Play with fire and you get your fingers burnt. “Where is the fire?” he asked “Elsewhere,  far off. You cannot see it from here except for the lambent light. The writer burns for the book: his way of sparing it.” [3] Somewhere in the fibres of my flesh a cinder has been rekindled (did she ever really go out?) like the almost imperceptible glow of a candle burning in the window lighting the way for a loved one to return, perhaps it is time to fan the flames.

[1] Phillipe Lacoue-Labarthe, Chapter 2 The Echo of the Subject Typography: Mimesis, Philosophy, Politics, p.141.

[2] Elizabeth Grosz, Volatile Bodies, Toward a Corporeal Feminism. p.222

[3] Edmond Jabès, The Book of Dialogue, p.7