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philological play

  an ethos of storied presence
gary e. davis
January 11, 2019
  I sometimes address you directly. As reader, you may have highlighted the event of writing as always presuming a sense of audience, of which you are an unknown instance, vicariously witnessing my presumption as typical of any reader’s witness to any written address.

If it seems I’m addressing a named other, then you who aren’t that person are given a stance that’s standard for stories: that cameraed presence witnessing, which actors are to ignore, as if—or given the classical omniscience of authorial narration of others’ thoughts and privacies that makes the history of reading so voyeuristic.

A difference between evident character and unknown actor (or known difference between life of the actor and expressed or implied life of their character) is easy to indicate for overt drama. The interpersonal relations in scenes and across scenes define the characters, if they aren’t enframed by voiceover, textual narrator comment (common for novels) or the character doesn’t self-distance her/himself from a scene or an interpersonal relationship.

A difference between interpersonal interaction and relationship across scenes is easy to recognize.

A difference between interpersonal relationship and selfidentity, cohering several relationships, might also be easy to recognize of oneself or irt the well-known other. Yet, commonly one does not (or cannot with others) know the difference: the self/[inter]personal difference.

Anyway, the difference between interpersonally-relative personality and selfidentity can be detailed. Conventional, sociocentric lives may have difficulty with the difference, but very individuated lives might not.

So, calling this difference dramactional isn’t obscure, though maybe uncommonly thematic for interaction (or in witnessing action).

Textually, we implicitly derive a sense of the author across paragraphs, etc., but that constructed authorship may be quite different from the authoriality constructing the narration (or discursively cohering a stance)—author enstancing a perspectival case (case having its own authorship) or a story (the narrator is presumably the voice of the author)—or displaying an interplay of stances (or modernist instability of voice: Is it the author or the authorship? Only some god and her/his partner may know for sure).

The reader gives a storial scene a dramatic frame—enframes the scene as storial. (Have you noticed how often that films are literally a series of multi-scenic vignettes presumed to be implicitly joined by the unrepresented lives of the characters between vignettes?)

The author enstances; the reader enframes. A self impersonates an interpersonal scene or relationship (though we commonly ignore s/p differentiality by saying/thinking that a person relates—ego constituted by relationship—which may be valid for dependent identities, having a dim capability for self distancing—frame independence or de-framing—from tendencies toward interpersonal dependency).

Better: For the s/p-differentiated life, personality tropes selfidentity, relative to various relationships: Being a parent symbolizes the engagement of a selfidentity (“the person”) in a life that includes many interpersonal relationships that aren’t parental. Likewise with a manifold profession (made of very different relationships), special friendships (very different from other friendships—special and not), and intimacies.

Beyond and behind the proximal life is one’s sense of entire life: feeling given to the future being lived (if you stop to think about it, or are brought to do so), including the life remembered, relative to living now for the sake of what’s to come. Such a cohering sense of Self is more than proximal sense of selfidentity relative to interpersonal life. No other person (Self) in “my” life likely understands “my” full life as being lived, obviously—no matter how intimate “we” are. So, a Self/self difference can make sense (be actual for awareness), according with one’s scale of interest in the difference (scale: depth, domain, range, immanence).

Beyond my discussion here (yet integral for me) is thematizable—I like ‘themizable’—tropality of identity as integral to relationships. Performance tropes trans-actional interests. Selfness—Selfality— is articulably a tropality in S/s/p-differential terms: s of S, p of s. I find this 3-fold very useful for thinking about action, dramatic performance, and psychodynamic psychotherapy.

So, one may understand interaction in terms of S/s/p differential dramactionality. All action may be understood as performance in a scene (interpersonal interaction), maybe even in a drama (interpersonal relationship). The proximal life lived (actual lifeworldliness) may be troped as a work of authorship, like a production by a theater. And the creative life itself is an authoriality beyond its various theaters, embodying individuated time “behind” its various theaters (the stuff of autobiography and intimate confession).

In interaction, what is nonconscious (but admittable by the person, the character, the author)? What is unconscious (but discernible by the reader or witness)? What is textual implicature (text as window) vs. what is reader projection (text as mirror)?

How goes the window-mirror of “our” relationship: lived, written/read, or/and read as if lived—yet, in all events, lived dramactionally?

What is unsaid in one’s presence or other-doing implicit to what’s said and done in apparent presence? What selfality is shown apart from personality presented (“style”)? What Selfality is supposedly concealed but actually shows? What fullness of the life is emerging (Selfality inferred from selfal presence over time) in the mirrorplay of our being together? Is belonging in the same identity also belonging with the same differences?: self with other person (“too personal”); self with self (deep friendship?); self of Self seeming uncanny to another person?; Self to other person (too confessional?),...

“I write, therefore I’m appealing to outwit death by reincarnation through your reading.” So many to remember, so little shelf space.

Anyway, we make momentary immortality through fictionist authorships allowing readers to play gods of narrative omniscience (or through biographical audacity). We make fictions of comprehensive coherence in philosophies, and give scientific integrity to awing horizons. We’re autogenists of ultimacy, and Earth is the only heaven.

next—> conceptual love



  Be fair. © 2019, gary e. davis