Materiality and Writing

It instantiates in its material form a Cartesian separation of mind and body, with text aspiring to the ideality and self presence of thought while the page becomes forgotten as mere material, bodily substrate. … Colour and picture are marginalised to the role of decoration and illustration, minor adjuncts and supplements to the ideality of text itself, while design, typography, pagination, even decisions about paper stock and cover art, become separated out as something outside of the concern and ideality of text.

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Late Questions

It is not that words don’t have meanings, but that to write and argue in a way where meaning is thought to be fixed, and as James says “social factors and learnt behaviours that give words their meaning are constantly shifting”, is to not recognise precisely this. … After the work has been done, perhaps, then you can revisit it in simpler form, but here you have been invited to read the theoretical original work, not the popularised introduction.

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Untitled 5

Alene has a good post linking Barthes, the writerly, and k-films. This way of seeing how the theory can help to understand what we are doing, and not just explain it, is very good and is the sort of thing the written part of the final project is inviting you to do.

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Dating and Dancing

So the ballet example makes a lot of sense for Annie, but I’d be interested in the distinction I tried to make between work as classical ballet and text as, say, modern dance (Chunky Move’s Tense Dave was my example). … Alene finds the dance example useful too, feels scolded (I do do that too much, don’t I) and makes good use of the garden versus forest analogy.

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This film over there will have the ‘work’ character as just not able to see life, and the ‘text’ character will be the one that shows them how to smell the roses. … As Cassandra notes, there is not a negative attitude towards women, but I do have to stress that any simplification is an artefact of the lectures and not Barthes.

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Pipes and Cones

Personally I think the Barthes’ essay is highly focussed, it is how many words about one idea with two terms ‘work’, and ‘text’, how much more focus do you think might be needed? … Jenny has some notes from the ‘ask Roland’ lecture (I have the notes which I’m hoping to put online), however her observation that: In order to do so [understand], I don’t just need to write down notes.

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Not Working

Sophie has thumbnail notes from the second lecture, which just reminds me that it really didn’t make a lot of sense. Alene has very good notes, though I did make a mess of the object relations stuff and didn’t even explain why I went that particular way anyway (for goodness sake Adrian, you really confused yourself there so how could anyone else join the bits?).

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Getting Roland

How, in our world, of ideas, of thinking what a story might be, or mean, or what media will look like in five years, can we even think to begin from a position where things are stable, sure, solid? … You are reading the academic version of a dance, where (to keep that metaphor going), most of the time, in most of your academic lives, you’ve only been shown, and read, the academic version of classical ballet.

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Kathryn it turns out has a medical science degree (I’m impressed, I know how much work that involves), and contrasts medical science training with Barthes. … At what moment don’t you think symptoms, or things in a petri dish, are not propositions and your skill set involves reading them as such?

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