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  meaning of significance: part 1

gary e. davis
December 8, 2023
 
 
When something is constellated—when a gestalt of meaningfulness results from
a constellating of made-to-be component meanings—that doesn’t imply that the gestalt is elemental. It’s constellational, due to a constellator’s process of gathering relevants into the region. Commonly said is that a gestalt is more than the sum of its parts. (I don’t find in a dictionary ‘constellator’ [person constellat-
ing] or ‘relevants’ [relevant items], but no matter.)

The constellator is, in some obscure sense, that which regions: a novel mind, psychality, Self which regions purposively, because the constellated something
was done by intent to articulate (for oneself or to another person) or to commun-
icate with another person, or to presume a virtual audience (normal writer’s plight), or muse to some idealized psychal presence.

But constellating always involves components (meanings), and constellating engages meanings as relevant—the regioning selects for relevance—one by one.

This can cause the linearity of narration to be misleading: as if the beginning expresses an origin. Beginning might intend to be originary (relative to its own engagement—though unlikely to be original in an academic sense), but a round-
about sequentiality of constellating is inevitable for constellations. So, a given one has an implicature which may be validly regarded to trope (troping) its constel-
lating (gathering and regioning) of meanings.

Poems are commonly grammatical constellations of meanings for a poet, belonging together in their linearized way (commonly with deliberate line
breaks). Prose poetry (proems) are narratives which don’t seem to have inten-
tional line breaks, but are “poetic” because their tropicality is novel, maybe
very creative.

But all good writing is compositional, having a narrativity which is deliberate—
a rhetorical sway—even when matter-of-factly without apparent style (like standard journalistic reporting). The rhetoricality of no style is a style of formal assertion (like scientific reporting, according with standard format). And duplicit-
ous assertion can posture itself as credible by proffering an impartial tone.

So, there’s always a saying in there being what’s said: a sentence / locution impli-
cates its being said, i.e., its enacted illocutionary dimension relating what’s denoted, given a speaker’s/writer’s relational purpose employing denotations.

But an immanent significance of denotation as its purposive implicature is not yet the tropical significance (trans-denotational or symbolic) which is normally called significance. An assertion may imply the actor’s valuing of its content (the signifi-
cance of the content), as well as implicate its enactedness through its component terms: “We need the rain” or “The rain is strong” evaluates a state of affairs as well as performing that attending to this matters.

Anyway, all implicature is figurative (tropical), at least trivially, apart from the standard (non-trivial) tropicalities of symbolism (metonym, metaphor [analogy / allegory], irony, and synecdoche).

Narrative, like life, can show a manifold of implicatures in its phenomenality.

Narrative, like life, is enacted relative to articulation or communication that it serves, which is always scenic: Living communication (between persons, as interpersonal relating through a shared medium) is part of an interactive scene
(or paragraphed passage).

Speaker/author and listener/reader both bring separate perspectives to the scene. Reading enacts the narratable point. Listening is a kind of reading. Projecting a character of “the” speaker beyond the scene is paralleled by constellating an absent author composing one presentation among many. Who’s the author may be “for your consideration” (there being an authorship invoked by the reader). An authorship is constellated, and done so relative to a reader’s implicitly given approach to understanding.

So, though the constellational process is only available to the actor (speaker / writer), not the reader, the fact of presented composition is available to both actor and audience. A text or other work gains a life of its own, which the author may entertain like any reader (which is a common part of composition: reading a drafted passage as if the author is someone else). The actor does the best s/he can to anticipate future audience, but the work is later found by strangers beyond the author’s times, such that the “real” author becomes a constellation of readings which is given a proper name because (presumably) the work wasn’t constellated by committee.

The author beyond the authorship constellated through texts remains possibly non-implied apart from confession and biographer-researched information. That’s not a situation of authorial duplicity. It’s an implicit avowal of the relative autonomy of non-confessional texts through Time, having been granted a “life” (and unwittingly borne a chronology of reception) which no texted speaker can largely anticipate.

So, good-faith reading / listening belongs to the reader / listener relative to her / his (one’s) ability to comprehend implicatures validly. The locale of significance is somewhere—there being a neblously constellated sphere of implicature—between author anticipating readers and readers writing the authorship.

   

 

 
  Be fair. © 2024, gary e. davis