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Title: Inverted Surfaces
Authors: Frank W. Stevenson
Issue Date: Jan-2003
Publisher: 英語學系
Department of English, NTNU
Abstract: Bataille values modern poetic language, along with ritual sacrifice and eroticism, because it is an explosive force which exhausts or “sacrifices” itself and thus can lead or point us toward “the sacred.” Yet he feels that poetry, in order to do this, cannot be a total expenditure or self-negation—which traps us within Hegelian discourse by giving us finally the “meaning” of negation—but rather must be a negation of this negation. While agreeing with Nancy that Bataille is nonetheless, in his critical writing on poetry (e.g. Inner Experience), still trapped within just such an onto-theological/Hegelian mode of thought or discourse, I argue that he can no longer be accused of this in his highly poetic writing in Visions of Excess, inasmuch as here a quite different (non-Hegelian, non-Derridean) speech-writing duality is at play. In a close reading of two crucial passages from Visions of Excess, “Pineal Eye” and “Solar Anus,” and with reference to Kristeva’s notions of “poetic language” and “rejection” and Deleuze’s “corporeal speech,” I hypothesize that here we are dealing with a more primordial and cosmogonic speech/writing polarity. “Poetic speech” is now being understood as the reversible “inner noise” of the body, and “poetic writing” as a kind of pictographic mapping of topocosmic (earth-sky-body) surfaces which seems to work through the force of inversion. Suggesting (with allsuion to Deleuze’s Aion as the “flat surface of time”) that this cos- mographic writing not only maps the axes of cosmogonic world-space but also maps time “onto” this space by flattening out linear time, I further develop this notion of writing by comparing it to ancient “divinatory writing”: in ritual augury the diviner “reads” the inner surface of just-sacrificed animals’ bodies—or more properly the outer surfaces of inner body parts—so that writing has now become not the freezing into “meaning” of poetic speech (where this speech is correlated with the “explosion” of life/the living bo
Other Identifiers: B91D3281-DE65-9F43-C82E-620248E0F804
Appears in Collections:Concentric: Studies in English Literature and Linguistics

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