sondheim at panix.com
Mon Feb 1 15:07:42 CET 2010
In honor of the American (US) television show, Bones, with its
irresolution of psychotic relationships among the main characters.
"Not to mention a fine SL video, if I do say so myself."*
*Is such a statement performative; is the subjunctive always performative?
(In the sense of evanescent fading. The performative doesn't lie in the
fineness of the video, but in the potential for speech proffered and then
withdrawn - or perhaps not withdrawn. The statement itself presences such
speech; it's already stated, give status as possibility. But because it is
_me_ saying it, then in fact I do say so, but not as declarative, only as
subjunctive, as if it might be sight / might have been said. The outcome
is never clear (nor is the quality of the video), making such a statement
uncanny, ontologically wavering, neither made nor unmade. Perhaps the "if
I do say so myself" underlies _every_ utterance, undercuts and withdraws,
as if the perceived and heard world were fantasm. And that is the truth,
since it is death that may cut, cauterize, deny the _second_ saying, as if
"for I do say so myself" - but that is not the case - the case is _if,_
presupposing, without cause or reason, that the utterance might be spoken,
might still be spoken, that the speaker is still alive.
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