Quietly he read, restraining himself, the first column and, yielding but resisting, began the second. Midway, his last resistance yielding, he allowed his bowels to ease themselves quietly as he read, reading still patiently, that slight constipation of yesterday quite gone. Hope its not too big to bring on piles again. No, just right. So. Ah! Costive one tabloid of cascara sagrada. Life might be so. It did not move or touch him but it was something quick and neat. Print anything now. Joyce, Ulysses.
Its been a while in between posts. I read some advice on blogging, on what constitutes good and bad blogging – the big L stands out – and I have taken a few steps back, looked at what I’m doing and why I’m doing it.
What is the purpose in blogging? What function does it serve? Broadly, in terms of pure lit, writing serves one of two functions: a K-Fn or an X-Fn.
The K-Fn is archaic – there is nothing new under the sun. Spelling from the Middle Ages. “EcKo” is a case in point. Like differance, it is an economic concept highlighting the difference between speech and writing. It is presently a writing of the bodily functions: dreaming, for example, is as much a biological and bodily function as urinating and eating. The anus is an organ for excreting as well as intercourse (if you’re that way inclined). There is no higher purpose, no function for utility – it is O. K. whatever pleases you so long as its done amongst consenting adults and everybody’s having a good time. A touch of moon madness, the sleep of reason (sex for pleasure, not reproduction) – more literally, fiction serving a K-Fn, the thing-in-itself, for-itself, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
The X-Fn is an economical way of writing eXpert Function. To arrive at a law of agreement, experts conduct experiments and surveys, draw up a relationship between visibility and statements in the production of truth-values. Scientific writing serves an X-Fn. Mathematics – a non-phonetic writing – is its purest form of expression. Statistics is a science of the State. Economics is the royal social science. It serves a higher function than any given individual, anybody. Governments make decisions based on the numbers for the whole as they can be held accountable. Teleology and utility serve an X-Fn, the Enlightenment project, the sun of Reason.
What constitutes pure lit? Abbreviations and neologisms, deliberate misspellings? I find myself chalking up a few points in the wanking category. Its easy to fall into Rousseau’s temptation: I am emale and alone, words flying off into cyberspace like so much psycholojism.
But then again, where else can we find an opening to play with language outside the confines of the right and proper lines of commercial publication (whilst – maybe – secretly hoping for such an event to occur)? Jesus says, Man shall not live on bread alone, but – not to forget the story of five loaves and two fishes…
Does the activity of blogging serve an X-Fn or a K-Fn when its not done properly? The ‘how to blog’ sights outline a propierty, a sense of the right and true when what is personal and individual does not necessarily fit into the conforms of a given purpose or teleology. It may be new forms of expression we’re striving for here, a process of differenciation – regardless of how many hits are counted.
And it occurred to me, the big L is a proffessional writer and for economic reasons, a writer wants to preserve a sense of the right and proper for renumeration, for the eXpert Function makes a living off knowing what is right and proper for their field of expertise.
Not least amongst the economic senses of writing, is the economy of desires – why one blogs. Renumeration in this sense is a return in recognition, hits on a website, blog stats. I am emale intially began as a project for my own personal edification in cultural studies – inspired by Natsume Soseki’s novel, I Am A Cat – without any particular thought as to the audience I am emale was striving for – as if I am emale was unmotivated, arbitrary.
The greatest danger that has always hovered over humanity and still hovers over it is the eruption of madness – which means the arbitrariness in feeling, seeing, and hearing, the enjoyment of the mind’s lack of discipline, the joy in human unreason. Not truth and certainty are the opposite of the world of the madman, but the universality and the universal binding force of a faith; in sum, the non-arbitrary character of judgements. And man’s greatest labour so far has been to reach agreement about very many things and to submit to a law of agreement – regardless of whether these things are true or false. Mr Nietzsche, The Gay Science
It was interesting to note, the big L, in replying to a comment on her how-to-blog tip #23, she was interested in a deeper reasons for blogging: to render an account of one’s desire to blog. And in a moment of self-pity (that’s lasted over a month between posts), I am emale was drawn into the deep… the desire to be recognised is fundamental to becoming a writer.
I am emale, a necessary fiction, serving a K-Function… its okay to be light as a feather, to be facetious, to be a product of the imagination, pure lit… to have no ID and enjoy a touch of moon madness.
Sit venia verbo...
I am emale is about as clear as lit. The Big L and Mr. Nietzsche have given me some valuable advice as to the practices of blogging but one never gets away from the idea of good and bad, one never rights freely. One always serves a function. Certainly, one doesn’t have to write correktly, down to the letter (a point the Big L makes by deliberately misspelling a few words in a post for didactical reasons). There are always at least two sides to every story. What the blog speaks for itself is what we might take away from it. I’m no fan of MySpace and all those virtual nuts talking about the latest Spears flash, “my favourite colour is blue, what about you?” shite. Freedom and the right of the individual to forms of expression is ineluctable.
(I don’t want to go on about MySpace as a reflection of the state of the world, all turning into a paler shade of brown because of it. It is a question of aestheticks, politicks and ethicks, I am emale.)
To ecko Deleuze, I am emale askes not what a text means (there are as many kinds of ats as there are proffessions and the oldest profession is – prostitution) – but what it does.
Writing a K-Fn raises the barre, it seduces, it flows, its the lit. It is fabulation, metempsychosis, the spiritualisiation of enmity – a great triumph over Christianity. Writing for the X-Fn is for the state, prescriptive, the law of agreement, the industry of moral entrepruners, (M.E.s), the voice of the eXpert-Function, the toastmaster, ID.
It is the play of differance between the two that produces pure lit: Leopold Bloom sitting on the toilet… Along with Joyce, Nietzsche as much as the Big L never wanted to be forgotten or unheard. Everybody dies, everybody wants a little peace of themselves to go on. Even before blogging, every writing gave itself up to the gaze, it sacrificed the living speech with a dying gesture: to ‘speak’ to others of a like mind, words ecko across time and space, what is eternal and becoming in creative evolution: pure lit.
All that being read, bloggers make a choice, there will be a selection principle. This is not MySpace for I am emale – not yahoo. Zoon it. Whether or not I am emale will make another blogroll or send readers google-eyed, remains to be seen.