Jason (jcreed) wrote,
Jason
jcreed

Woke up late (circa 11:30am) due to late (circa 5:30am) awakeness during the previous night. Watched pete's friend karl play "wild arms 3" for a while. Eventually pete woke up and drove me back to my mom's house. Ate, showered, ktp. Nearly have finished "rethinking writing". I'm beginning to see the faint glimmerings of an actual, interesting thesis the author has. I'm not sure if it's causing me to rethink writing so much as rethink the spoken language, though, specifically the validity of langue not parole in the standard french-imported jargon. So the author makes this big stink about there being a distinction in all writing systems between a notation on the one hand, and a script on the other. My notation might be setting aside the fixed set of 26 or so graphic forms of the letters used in english orthography, and my script might be the actual rules of english writing. Now the standard Sausseurian position to take here is that all that matters is negative features, not positive: All that really matters is that I can tell your t's from your l's, not exactly what your t's and l's looks like. But by this definition Harris claims that the spoken language has no notation or notation-analogue, since it is just a set of distinctions among an infinite number of possible sounds: it never occurs that two languages have "the same phoneme set", only with different structures atop that, whereas it is quite easy to have two written scripts that use the same (written) notation. Decimal and binary numerals for instance. I'm really not convinced that this claim of fundamental irreconcilable different between spoken language and written language might not give way in either direction, but it's an interesting question.

Later in the evening at Borders doing christmas shopping. Felt myself tugged over by unseen forces to the litcrit section for a while. I have no good excuse. Mmm, Barthes, Kristeva, and friends. Also powerful, but thankfully transient, urge to acquire goatee, turtleneck, all-but-spent cigarette, cup of coffee, permanently bleak outlook on all existence. I did skim "A reader's manifesto" therein, though. It makes some good points against what it saw as overblown, pompous, pretentious "literature", but I am still skeptical. It lays into Mark Leyner pretty heavily, for example, and I kind of liked what little I read of him, anyway.
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