Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Hebrew and hermeneutics

[if the effect of hypnotic attachment is successfully produced, if we become convinced that the text hides a secret, we become locked in a power relationship with text and authorship where the author is now a master containing the truth of a secret, and the reader is perpetually inadequate, always close to the elusive truth of the secret of late Heidegger, late Lacan, Deleuze, Derrida, etc., while also always falling short. Far from freeing the reader, far from liberating them, the reader instead is locked in identity as a disciple and apostle of the text, devoting, perhaps in the extreme case of the scholar, their entire life to the hermeneutics of the text that has now become sacred. Larval Subjects April 25, 2008 Style Posted by larvalsubjects under Politics, Writing]

[For the Hebrew alphabet, which had descended from its Semitic forefathers, however, there was at least a slight pictorial connection to the world seen by the eyes. For example, the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet was aleph. This letter was shaped by the Hebrews to pictorially represent an ox, and, in fact, the letter by itself did mean "ox." Likewise, the Hebrew letter "M" resembled water in its wavy structure, and, in fact, the Hebrew word for water started and ended with the letter "M."... I would like to point out a number of important factors that resulted from the Greek adoption of the Hebrew alphabet. First, as mentioned, the Hebrew alphabet had a slight pictorial reference to the world seen by the eyes, such as the first letter, aleph, representing an ox. By the time the alphabet was being used by the Greeks, however, all references to the visual world were gone, because the Greeks lacked the pictorial references the Hebrews had. For the Greeks, aleph did not visually represent anything. It was just a shape on a piece of paper... Is it just a mere coincidence that the world’s most abstract literacy tool (the Greek alphabet) and the world’s most abstract and disembodied philosophy (Plato’s theory of Ideas) just happened to flourish in ancient Greece at exactly the same time in history? -- Plato's Vowels: How the Alphabet Influenced the Evolution of Consciousness
Frank Poletti Esalen Center for Theory and Research 2000.]

Blame it on the alphabet. [TNM]

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