Ironing Out Plato

 Perhaps Plato thought Socrates was being ironic when he said writing was “bad.”  He wrote the story of Socrates and Phaedrus.  If Socrates was to be taken literally, would Plato have written anything?  Phaedrus begins rehearsing Lysias’ speech at the start when Socrates finds him outside the city.  Socrates says to him, “hey, what’s this you’re hiding under your toga?”  Phaedrus was hiding a written copy of Lysias’ speech, a little ashamed of himself.

I’m thinking the whole pros and cons of writing in Phaedrus, is not a question of good and evil, but of good and bad uses of writing.  Socrates wants people to make up their own minds, instead of relying solely on books for their knowledge of the world, for morals and values.  That’s why he ends up valuing a substantial (divine) philosophy over empty (terrestial) rhetoric.  I agree with Muli – Socrates does want to keep the dialogue open, not lost in our own reflections upon the book.  On the other hand, themes of reminiscence and remembering, the cycles of the soul in the quest for heaven on earth, the true, authentic self – these are all concerned with the voice within.  The question of ek-sistence versus subsistence, the ectasy of madness, intoxication, derangement of the senses: “Some of our greatest blessings come from madness.”

Perhaps the greatest protest against capitalism and consumerism comes from the perspective of the authentic life as art where one cannot be reduced to numbers, to calculability, preserving the ubiquity of one’s singular eksistence.  Ultimately, there is no medium.  Phaedrus encapsulates this strange relationship between the individual and society, where one can be lost in one’s own reflections, writing alone, making up one’s own mind but having to remain in a dialogue with society, to break mirrors… for Truth, Beauty and Love, we engage in the eternal conflict between visibilities and statements, the image and the word, writing and speech.

The critique of Echo.

Language both deprives me and frees me from my singularity, from the sense of responsibility towards my singularity.  Derrida.

There can be no recourse to discourse, hence the need for irony.  I am emale not for love of ultimate truth.  Sit venia verbo.  The joy in human unreason, the arbitrariness in feeling, seeing and hearing in the eruption of madness is the greatest danger to mankind, according to Nietzsche in the Gay Science.  The secret name, the Ren as Burroughs (re)calls it in The Western Lands, would be an “example” of that voice (written), the truth of my being-[human], inscribed upon the heart and secreted onto the page, the signified of the signifier, specifically, nominally, my proper name: Ecko, in the case of I am Emale.

Peoples were the creators at first; only later were individuals creators.  Indeed, the individual himself is still the latest creation.
Thus Spake Zarathustra.

As with the case of weblogs in general.  The Ancients, they grouped the stars into terrestial things resembled and gave them proper names, constellations of singularities.  The “barre” of eksistence lies in life as literature, pseudos, the game of the world.  With serious consequences.  The beloved is that significant other.  Tout autre est tout autre.  We scroll through weblogs, write posts, letters in communication; freely exchanging, we give up our time to participate in an eckonomy of signs.

Talking pure lit for our love of learning from books and from one another.


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