Tuesday, August 19, 2003

I / i

Writing few blogs, soon I became aware of being strange uncomfortable to use "I" for my accounts of what I do or I am. It was subtle. Like slightly miss-tuned guitar cords which become getting on my nerves eventually. I thought at first it was because of foreign language...But why it is this very simple word...."I".....?

I cannot know if this is popular feeling for everybody starting to express in foreign language. At least this incredible woman, TRINH T. MINH-HA had much more to say in so and so elegant manner.... (though I am not really understanding yet!) quate:



Writing: an on-going practice concerned not with inserting a "me" into language, but with creating an opening where the "me" disappears while "I" endlessly come and go.



Infinite layers: I am not i can be you and me
A critical difference from myself means that I am not i, am within and without i. I/i can be I or i, you and me both involved. We (with capital W) sometimes include(s), other times exclude(s) me. You and I are close, we intertwine; you may stand on the other side of the hill once in a while, but you may also be me, while remaining what you are and what i am not. The differences made between entities comprehended as absolute presences--hence the notions of pure origin and true self--are an outgrowth of a dualistic system of thought peculiar to the Occident (the "onto-theology" which characterizes Western metaphysics). They should be distinguished from the differences grasped both between and within entities, each of these being understood as multiple presence. Not One, not two either. "I" is, therefore, not a unified subject, a fixed identity, or that solid mass covered with layers of superficialities one has gradually to peel off before one can see its true face. "I" is, itself, infinite layers. Its complexity can hardly be conveyed through such typographic conventions as I, i, or I/i. Thus, I/i am compelled by the will to say/unsay, to resort to the entire gamut of personal pronouns to stay near this fleeing and static essence of Not-I. Whether I accept it or not, the natures of I,i, you, s/he, We, we, they, and wo/man constantly overlap. They all display a necessary ambivalence, for the line dividing I and Not-I, us and them, or him and her is not (cannot) always (be) as clear as we would like it to be. Despite our desperate, eternal attempt to separate, contain, and mend, categories always leak. Of all the layers that form the open (never finite) totality of "I," which is to be filtered out as superfluous, fake, corrupt, and which is to be called pure, true, real, genuine, original, authentic? Which, indeed, since all interchange, revolving in an endless process? (According to the context in which they operate, the superfluous can become the real; the authentic can prove fake; and so on.) Authenticity as a need to rely on an "undisputed origin," is prey to an obsessive fear: that of losing a connection. Everything must hold together. In my craving for a logic of being, I cannot help but loathe the threats of interruptions, disseminations, and suspensions. To begin, to develop to a climax, then, to end. To fill, to join, to unify. The order and the links create an illusion of continuity, which I highly prize for fear of nonsense and emptiness. Thus, a clear origin will give me a connection back through time, and I shall, by all means, search for that genuine layer of myself to which I can always cling. To abolish it in such a perspective is to remove the basis, the prop, the overture, or the finale--giving thereby free rein to indeterminancy: the result, forefeared, is either an anarchic succession of climaxes or a de(inex)pressive, uninterrupted monotony--and to enter into the limitless process of interactions and changes that nothing will stop, not even death. In other words, things may be said to be what they are, not exclusively in relation to what was and what will be (they should not solely be seen as clusters chained together by the temporal sequence of cause and effect), but also in relation to each other's immediate presences and to themselves as non/presences. The real, nothing else than a code of representation, does not (cannot) coincide with the lived or the performed. . .

--Trinh T. Minh-ha, from Woman, Native, Other