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  Dear Jacques, thanks for your preface,…

gary e. davis
February 15, 2024
  “Author’s Preface,” for Psyche: Inventions of the Other (pp. xii—xiv). I’m unsure when it was written, but I’ll guess 1987, since the 2nd edition, 2003, merely added a couple of essays (according to the editor). That presumed fact causes me melan-
choly about my life during the late 1980s, which was an exciting period, an era which would lead to more exciting eras, but the late ‘80s was unique in its way.

I’ll bypass getting into that.

Your sense of immanence in writing expresses a candor, even intimacy, which is refreshing. I’m not alone!—which was never lonely, you know, just so singular, solitudinous by now.

You begin,
  These texts have accompanied, in some fashion, the works I have published over the last ten years. But they have also been dissociated from those works, separated, distracted.
  My correlate experience has been relative to a project which is unpublished, over the last ten years of its evolving, such that texts which I’ve put online accompany the Project as distractions—as responses to appeals which take the Project in new directions, thus being also accompaniments, like lovers who unwittingly compose one’s youth.

You’d agree that such “distraction” isn’t a slacking, but that the Work (the life) always was an intimate wandering which evinced its way through openness to emergent appeals.

The Project evolves by manifoldly emergent appeals, never having a sense of origins other than the ever-emerging horizons of so many appeals.
  This is marked in their formation, whether one understands with this word the movement that engenders by giving form....
  Yes, the Work.
  …or the figure that gathers up a mobile multiplicity: configuration in displacement.
  The work, the text, of the Work, which the author authorizes (thus releases into good form) by authorship (relative to the text) is imputed by the reader (writing the authorship by projective engagement) who also [re]writes the text as a coherence of the reading, displaced from oneself (though “written” by oneself with the authorship) analogously as the intiating author displaces herself, himself as that authorship (who risks being misgendered by the reading).
  A formation must move forward but also advance in a group.
  The constellating of the Work—working Work (“mobile multiplicity”)—emplaces itself in the public constellaltion of its presentations (“configuation in displacement”).
  According to some explicit or tacit law, it is required to space itself out without getting too dispersed.
  Yet, the author secretly resists the law of requirement while caring that the reader find a coherent authorship across works in time, for the virtue of a proper name is at least the integrity of its proffered singularity.

So, alleged law is really an appellant valuing of constructive and constellative freedom which gains normative efficacy for and as the Work.
  If one were to make of this law a theory, the formation of these writings would proceed like a distracted theory.
  But the formation is something else: a conception of textual genesis.
  …these texts, then…correspond to one another, despite the evident difference of their motifs and themes,. the distance that separates the places, moments, circumstances.
  Likewise for personal identities: Cohering senses of oneself with others differs among others while implicitly co-responding to one another by oneSelf who sustains fidelity to an authentic lifecycal cohering. A personal identity—an inter-personal relationship, durable through time—has its own motifs: the enduring appeal of what’s “ours”—though the differential identity of oneSelf is manifoldly “distracted” by its pathmaking singularity.
  And the names, especially the names…Each of the essays [like each {inter}personal relationship] appears in fact to be devoted, destined, or even singularly dedicated to someone…
  So, given that facticity, the appearing is genuine, really devoted, etc.
  …this quasi-epistolary situation…
  of writing life, as if intimacies are letters formed into lasting bonds.
  psyche [which, in French, associates to mirroring, like Narcissus and Echo]…seems to pivot on its axis so as to reflect in its way the texts [and relationships, as such] that preeceded it and those that followed.
  Loves known echo in loves discovered. New eras mirror unknown potential integral to the past. Yet, for love and eras, not as destiny disclosed; rather as open horizon calling for furtherance.
  By the same token [an odd idiom], a mobile mirror feigns to gather the book together[, like times of a singular life]: in any case in what resembles it, its image or phantasm.
  So the narrative of constellation, formed from the Work of constellating, is inevitably tropical of there being so much time having given, granting ways.
  This remains, after all—technique of the simulacrum—always the proper function of a preface.
  But resistance to law was already preceded by flexibility toward proper function. Humility admits to vulnerability of narrative pretense to questions of validity. Maybe a life comes to anxieties about the pretense of its example, but coming into formation is not itself a play for exemplarity.
  Simulacrum and specularity. It is a matter here of speculating on a mirror and on the disconcerting logic of what is blithly called narcissism.
  Blithly, so called—but at heart caring that one is True, in the original sense of fidelity to oneSelf for the sake of durable sharing, even bonds.
  There is some complacent self-satisfaction, already, in the gesture that consists in publishing. Simply publishing.
  This is avoided by publishing in revisable form, which online work that I own allows. There is no final release, though I’m glad I don’t often feel need to revise, mainly because I don’t go back to read what I’ve done, because I’m so drawn to appealing ways to explore.
  What then should be said of the gesture that gathers up previous writings, whether or not they are unpublished?
  Let it be said that a gathering can be re-constellated.
  But the mirror named psyche[, i.e….] the gesture that gets caught wanting to show the mirror[, is not] just one gesture among others. Whether or not it is granted this right[, which is actually its privilege], whether or not it makes of the right a duty[—but will not], it has no choice but to watch itself showing while listening to itself speak. Is that possible?
  Was there not always writing in speech, such that here, there is always Working distance in the immanence of presence, “our” intimacy, displaced from each lives’ eras, while nonetheless True in “our” persencing?

Yes, we both entertain our presence as also our ability to frame and be framed as manifoldly being at once authentic (reliable) and re-configurable, because we’re alive.
  And why expose oneself to this risk?
  So called, by those averse to enthralls of exploration.
  To [that] other each time addressed, the question also becomes a demand.
  But such becoming merely symptomizes one’s difficulty with the address. Instead, receive the address as invitation.
  In its most general and most implicit form, it could be translated in several words, thus: What is an invention? And what does invention signify when it must be of the other?
  Because we are here reading each other in writing one’s reading.
  The invention of the other would imply that the other remains still me, in me, of me, at best, for me (projection, assimilation, interiorization, introjection, analogic appresentation, at best, phenomenality)? Or else that my invention of the other remains the invention of me by the other who finds me, discovers me, institutes me? By coming from her (or him), the invention of the other would then return to him (or her).

Is there a choice between these modalities?
  In any case, here we are, still alive to possibility, to wholly flourishing as some protean degree, some high love of being True, and Good, and, maybe, Beautiful together?

Still alive, though you do fine without me. Fine.
  The other without me, beyond me, in me[, like a muse], in the impossible experience fo the gift [we could be, or were] and of mourning, in the impossible condition of experience, is that not still something else?

The gift, mourning, the psyche, are they thinkable beyond all psychologism? And what, then, does thinking mean?

…perhaps it is necessary first of all to transport oneself / surrender oneself to what comes before the question.
  Yes: You’re alive to me, and we are being with our times.


  Be fair. © 2024, gary e. davis