[NetBehaviour] NetBehaviour Digest, Vol 406, Issue 1

Alan Sondheim sondheim at panix.com
Sat Dec 26 08:53:21 CET 2009

Just curious, then, since negative (or positive) theology makes no sense 
to me (particularly monotheistic theologies), how do you read Adorno's 
negative dialectics? Or Beckett for that matter? And how would you 
situation the difference between this and weak theory and/or language 
under erasure? The subject interests me (you'd fine referencing for 
example in the Pirke Avot, 'make a hedge around the Torah' - which I can 
understand without any sort of theological commitment), and connects in a 
way even with the impasse one has in 'wryting' the body, which is an 
impossibility and always involves a circumscription with a w/hole at the 

But not having read Marion or pseudo-Dionysius (who I think actually I did 
read somewhere along the line), I may be missing the point.

- Alan

On Mon, 14 Dec 2009, Curt Cloninger wrote:

>> I haven't read Marion - could you elaborate? .... Could you say some-
>> thing also about pseudo-Dionysis?
> Marion is a Catholic and student of Derrida. Pseudo-Dionysius is a
> Christian writing circa 500 AD. Both address and practice apophasis
> (negative theology), Marion particularly from a phenomenological
> perspective. Within orthodox Christianity (and Sufism), how does one
> speak about God without overdetermining God? It requires a kind of
> performative, self-undermining language that shares some tactics with
> deconstruction, but differs qualitatively. Derrida is at pains to
> distance himself from the legacy of "mere apophasis," pains which
> leads to some of his most acrobatic writing (how does one deconstruct
> a kind of writing that is itself already performatively unsaying?)
> Apophasis retains a kind of reverence for the "subject" of its
> annihilation. And it's not antithetical or merely dialectic to
> "positive" assertion. I find it at work in Beckett and some Arakawa &
> Gins.
> http://netpoetic.com/2009/11/apophatic-art/
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