... an ongoing thread from the Narrative-L discussion group, which began problematising the nature /culture divide, and the binarism itself. Now Tony Jackson on the notion of the real and its accurate representation:
This idea of accurate representation of the actual (and its other versions, of which there are many) and the idea that products of human perception are untrue to “the real” intrigues me. This will get all sloppy with disputable terms but still...
And here follows my reply, emphasizing the interactional dynamics of representation, it inherent (sometimes implied) dialogical dimension:
Yep, representation never represents the real ding an sich; it always represents my real, the one (in my context, from my viewpoint, with my limitations and my interests and my priorities) I'm promoting. So, barring the omniscient viewpoint or absolute coincidence between representation and object (a desideratum or fantastic by-product of semiotic perspectivism) what remains is the conflict of interpretations, or contest of descriptions if you prefer: Bakthin tells us that any time we bother to open our mouth we are engaging in a dialogue, our discourse a hidden polemic with previous discourses, or descriptions, or representations. So, my reason to open my mouth now after Tony J is both to agree with him and also to polemicise, emphasizing the element of conflict, dialogism and dialogue of perspectives in any act of (or account of) representation.
Peirce, of course, wrote on this subject, as well as Eco (the Dynamic object versus the Immediate Object, meaning vs. the Interpretant, etc.). But both lack, I think, some emphasis on practical interpretive conflicts, and on the reasons why different interpretants, or different representations of an object, are chosen in specific cases: reasons which may be epistemological, ideological, historical, political, scientific, biographical and personal, psychological...
(As a practical example of conflict, take the flame war that ensued in this list, when I pointed out, using abusive language, that if Sue McPherson's abusive language and insults were to be tolerated in this list, then anything goes. Let me point out that before I chose to use offensive language, list members seemed unwilling to complain about McPherson's poisonous whining and abject self-victimising... perhaps because of her "politically correct" (awfully incorrect to my mind) posing as a radical feminist and a man-hater? There's self-representation for you, and psychopathology—both personal and political).
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Blog de notas de
José Ángel García Landa
(Biescas y Zaragoza)
"Algo hay en el formato mismo de los blogs que estimula un desarrollo casi canceroso de nuestro ego" (John Hiler)