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  everybody’s tropal
gary e. davis
March 29, 2016

But this isn’t about me. For the moment, it’s about anyone acting at some time (necessarily concealing the background life, for the sake of the shared situation), necessarily acting figuratively, as if simple action is allegorical.

One “is” a long story, emblematically: as what one’s to be, always standing at some time, a situational persona standing for one’s implicit whole selfness or identity of Self—selfidentity (a term I like more than ‘self-identity’): a felt, non-reflective efficacy of cohering, of “being” oneself as one Self (unless one feels that one’s sense of self or secured identity is insecure).

There, I’m implicitly—now explicitly—distinguishing a concept of self (not capped) from SelfS. SelfS can be usefully distinguished from self, the former being the whole background of oneself (SelfS, nonaware in usual activity, never wholly presentable) as implicit full cohering of feeling (same selfness over time and across involvements or relaxed self-sameness over time). This is different from easily-articulable sense of selfidentity: “me” doing whatever. The difference is ordinarily obscure; clarification is easiest relative to an actual person’s articulable sense of “self,” which easily implies depth of “psychality,” so to speak, which is demonstrably implicit. I don’t pretend that the difference is meaningfully obvious. Here, my point is basically that there is more to oneself than articulable sense of self, which is obvious. Yet, I would like
to dwell with that—but only very briefly now.

That innerworldly difference can be usefully emblemized as S/s difference. Outer-worldly, interrelational personality (P) would trope one’s ambiguous sense of “self” (nebulous S/s difference) in relation to kinds of being oneself (plural selfidentity—Ps —relative to kinds of being oneself): parental personality, professional personality, intimate lack of difference (i.e., S/s/P merger), creative merger (energetic S/s liminality), etc., all part of one SelfS (S/s/P or: S-> s <-> P1,P2...).

I know: That’s too much. I don’t want to be difficult, but bear with me through this one page.

As days go by, occasions evince differences between personality and persona (P1[pa, pb], P2[pc, pd]), e.g., professional personality at special meeting vs. professional personality with regular colleagues; parent with a child’s teachers or between parents at a playground vs. being with one’s child at home. So, in a sense, psychality is a dynamic S(s(P1[pa, pb ,...], P2[pc, pd,...]))-differentiality relative to important relationships and situations.

OK; I’ll not continue with embedded variables. But working more simply makes that tropal of more-differentiated understanding. Simply, a difference between [1] oneself wholly and [2] explicitly cohering representations (self-representations and representations with/to others) could be more-simply emblemized as s(S)/P difference: a sense of oneself (s) concepting an omnitemporality of the life (S) with others (P)—full of future, full of past, full of awareness of present times, era of one’s life, etc., but always appropriated to interest in coherence and evincive circumstance. SelfS is meaningful relative to one’s sense of selfidentity (s)—yet sense of oneself is necessarily concealing the wholeness of one’s life (S) as manageable coherence for enactive efficacy and integrating interpersonal life.

Writing S(s), rather than s(S), is a way to trope SelfS as explicitly prevailing over selfidentity (s), as if self serves a coherently prevailing greater coherence, self becoming a function of SelfS. This is easily creepy, from a normal adult perspective, but it’s common to early childhood (so-called “low ego strength,” personification of things that are important); common to poetic inspiration (spirituality—personi-fication again!—romanticism [spiritualization], ecstatic inspiration [accrediting intelligence to discernible process, etc.])—and common to symptomatic projection
in a psychotherapeutically-relevant interaction (transference relations in terms of “object relations,” i.e., acting as if the identity of the other is not a mirror of disowned features of oneself).

I suppose that S(s)/p(P) could trope a sense of improvisational (S[s]) performance (p) or being artistically creative, exemplified by overt characterization in authorship or designing a dramatic presentation, putting one’s “heart” into one’s presence as someone else.

So, saying that one is a long story tropes the manifold psychality of situationally being in time. An interested appearance of oneself with others (and to oneself) is emblematic of one’s always-contextualizing life Project (life as an ongoing Event of appropriation in terms of events here and there, now and then), filled with projects and activities relativized to evincive others. One appears in address—project-ive engagement, appealing presence, or well-formed performance.

So, this isn’t about me or my narrative here because it’s about tropology as normal conceptual “architecture” of living a life.

Consider Sophia: Greek virtue, east Mediterranean goddess—which I’m going to play with later. She’s a figure of history—from classical Hellenes through gnostic secrecy to contemporary feminist literary theory. Yet, to me, she’s also “Mythogeny Meets Audacious Ontogeny.” As trope, she presents hereself as a genealogy of troping in life as essentially tropological (if not tropogenic or highly individuative).



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