Thursday, June 07, 2007

Metablog: Failing Your Way to Success

Not sure if yesterday's post was sharp or a pile of wet refuse. But, notwithstanding a bunch of micro-edits today, I'm going with it. I have not written a significant amount of criticism or rhetoric since I finished my dissertation in 1997. The ideas ... juxtaposition and reversal, the tyranny of relevance, reversal of authority and authenticity, as-if consciousness ... keep swimming around up there, and they influence how I observe and think. But applying them to subject matter and then publishing what I think is not an instantaneous route to success, as it were. Still, one must fail in order to succeed.

Part of the problem is in switching from a near-decade ago mode of dissertation writing in which no limit on length imposed itself to the decidedly aphoristic medium of a blog. Yesterday's post was around 1100 words, and I think that is the longest I have posted.

Clearly, I need to tease out what I think about relevance before I can rest with it. I distrust relevance as a concept because its validity escapes its statement. By that I mean, that the proof of relevance is not in itself, or in absorbing it, but in the relationship to which it points which is the relationship between a topos and some social being, whether that is an individual or a group. From my vantage, that means that there inheres in the idea of relevance a false consciousness in the present day precisely because of the expanding yet debased ideas of identity that we have adopted. If the proof of relevance is in a relation between an idea and a person, and a person is defined by an identity, then the speciousness of the idea of identity inheres in relevance.

This is the basis of the notion of the tyranny of relevance. I like to say that anything human is relevant to me, but that relies upon a smug conceit that I can be somehow more ineluctably human that others, particularly those who would not adhere to my distrust of identity. So even my own embrace of relevance as non-specific is founded upon a character flaw.

Ah, to err is human. And to be airy is human. I think I have managed both at once.

No comments: