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Ekaterina Zorina, Language and Poetics Towards Myth

Language and Poetics Towards Myth

Essay for the Degree of Master of Fine Arts

Ekaterina Zorina

University of Gothenburg Valand School of Fine Arts Gothenburg, Sweden, May 2012

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Ekaterina Zorina, Language and Poetics Towards Myth

Contents

So, what is the problem?

3

Logos is paradox

3

Acknowledgements

4-5

Introduction:

5-7

On the poetic world On structure On similarity “Silentium” Factorial We don’t hear each other

8-10 10-11 11

On the Addressee

12-13

Towards myth

13-14

Seme

14-16

Suggestion

16-18

Myth reality

19-21

Backwater

21-23

“Nausea” The word

23-25

The End

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Ekaterina Zorina, Language and Poetics Towards Myth

So, what is the problem?

See you in hell or in communism.1 Slavoj Zizek

Today’s world stands on a fracture between language and commodity. In other words between communism and capitalism. Boris Groys writes in his book “The Communist Postscript” that communism is the transcription of society into the medium of language. He understands communism to be the project of subordinating the economy to politics in order to allow politics to act freely and sovereignly. Central to Groys’s understanding of communism is his notion of the “linguistification” of society. This term as used in his book means to organize and shape society using language. For Groys linguistification entails social practices and beliefs become open to discursive criticism and challenge, it exacerbates social divisions and contradictions, since any political decisions are themselves reached in the medium of language. Communist society can be defined as one in which power and the critique of power operate in the same medium. Under capitalist conditions every criticism and every protest is fundamentally senseless, for in capitalism language itself functions as a commodity.

Logos is Paradox

Plato was the first in the Western philosophical tradition to elevate language to the medium of total power and the total transformation of society. In The Republic he declares the rule of the philosophers to be the telos of social development. Philosophy uses language in such a way that it addresses the whole of language. “In this sense communism stands in the Platonic tradition: it is a modern form of Platonism in practice”. 2 On this basis, it makes sense to look to Plato for an answer to the question of how language can exercise sufficient force to allow the speaker to rule over and through language. For Socrates, hero of the Platonic dialogues, the force of conviction radiated by the well-constructed speeches of the sophists in no way suffices for government. For Plato, at least at first glance, the criterion of 1

Slavoj Zizek’s interview on the cultural show, 2010. Accessed April 30, 2012. http://www.youtube.com/watch? v=Vf5L6kwJJtA 2

Boris Groys, The Communist Postscript. Translation Thomas H. Ford. (London: Verso, 2009), 2. Henceforce cited as TCP with page number. 3


Ekaterina Zorina, Language and Poetics Towards Myth

logically valid, convincing speech likewise appears to be its coherence, that is to say, its lack of internal contradiction. Socrates shows that no speech can avoid being contradictory. “If we understand philosophical thinking to be the exposure of the inner logical structure of a discourse, then from the perspective of genuine thinking, the logical composition of any discourse can be described in no other way than a self-contradiction, as paradox. Logos is paradox”.3 Socrates shows that no one who speaks under the conditions of freedom of opinion knows what he actually means. Speech that hides its paradoxical structure becomes a commodity that invites penetration into its paradoxical interior. But all speech that is presented as logically valid is sophistical. Ultimately, every proposition can be interpreted as a proposition about the whole of language because every proposition belongs to the whole of language. The sophist replaces the whole of language with the whole of capital. “A paradox is an icon of the whole language. That is, a paradox consists in simultaneously holding A and not-A in the mind as true. But the whole of language is nothing other than thinking the unity of all possible propositions A and not-A - which follows already from the fact that, according to the rules of formal logic, all the sentences of language can be derived from paradox”.4

Acknowledgement

As I have mentioned in the beginning, today’s world stands on the fracture between language (“communism”) and commodity (“capitalism”). And there are a lot of discourses concerning such thematics. I will not go into political theories so far, but it is important to mark the beginning of my interest in language itself and why it is actual to talk about. Boris Groys says in his book I have mentioned, that Plato defines the philosopher as someone who conceives of society as a whole, so “to think the totality of society means to think the totality of the language that this society speaks. This is what differentiates philosophy from science and art, each of which uses specialized language of one form or another. “Science claims to employ only language that is free of contradiction and logically valid. Art claims to employ language in an aesthetically challenging way”.5 So as an artist, who reasons while writing this essay, I plug in all the three hypostasis. In this essay I would like to palpate the boundary between Language and Art. To my humble opinion 3

TCP, 7.

4

TCP, 15-16.

5

TCP, 1. 4


Ekaterina Zorina, Language and Poetics Towards Myth

the boarder or their co-existance could be found in Poetry, which is for me a simultaneous visibility of external and internal spatiality. Through examples of poetry I would like to show several things: 1. the true meaning of the poetic piece is determined not only by plot, but also by structural elements; 2. determined structural elements can detect mythological component, that exist in any piece of art. The essay appears as a narration type of rhizome 6 . I would say it contents different “stories” , sprouting from a single stem, defined with following themes: art, poetics, language. Each of them is crucial in my art practice. And it is important for me to deepen the research of my desires. My first inspiration, that motivated me to start the essay, was V.Propp and his book “Morphology of the Folk Tail”. As Propp I am interested in the structure that remains unchangeable, while subjects replace one another. Being an artist I am searching for the “primal plant”, Goethe’s Urpflanze. Propp, basing on the “Metamorphosis of Plants”, analyses fairy tails that take their beginning in myth, and finds the formula. I am interested in the language itself, and to go further in understanding contemporary events I need to get to its roots. The essay is inspired by allied sciences as physics, linguistics, biology, philosophy etc. And such authors as V. Propp, R. Jakobson, M. Backhtin, J.W.Goethe, F. Tutchev, O. Mandelstam, F.W.J.Schelling and many other poets and thinkers. I believe that quite specific things I am talking about in this text, could be easily applied to the fine art methods of presentation (by which I understand the presence of spatial parameters, objects, composition). In other words - transmission of methods from the plane of the line to the plane of the exhibition space, whatever this space is. Visual literacy - rara avis. But that is another story and the next essay. I invite you to embrace the entire text with your view, as I am not defending, but showing.

Introduction

Three chapters (“On the poetic world”, “On the structure”, “On similarity”) - the base of understanding of the bottom from which I repel. A “text” and where the aesthetics of my artistic practice draws its ideas are going to be discussed.

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Rhizome is a philosophical concept developed by Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari in their Capitalism and Schizopherina (1972–1980) project. It is what Deleuze calls an "image of thought", based on the botanical rhizome, that apprehends multitplicities. 5


Ekaterina Zorina, Language and Poetics Towards Myth

On the poetic world

The poetic world in my understanding - an image/ a set of images in the mind, which is formed as the result of reading the text. It can be called the phenotype of art, produced by the genotype (a sign base of the text). If we are talking about particular product, it’s a poetic world, I will call it “inner world”, and if the body of works by one author - the “author’s world”. In general, the poetic world - is another “reality”, which I will call “artistic” or “poetic”. The word and, under its influence, the emerging image in the mind can be represented as two elements of some sort of a system. Obviously, they are connected by a chain of some transformations (visualization software), about program of which we know nothing. But if we can follow step by step the implementation of this program, we will understand exactly how the word is transformed into the appropriate image. It is a model representation of the author’s images and its description on the “morphological” level - the level of the structural elements of the poetic world. Related models are discussed and by philologists which try to imagine a mechanism for the generation of speech, the nature of poetic reality, a separate art image, or metaphor. To understand what I mean by the poetic world, we need to know more about the elements and their connection.

On the structure

The structure in a structuralist sense is not something that is constructed from the elements but what can be divided into elements on various conceptual bases. The elements are thought not as a-priori existing bricks, but as fragments of the structure to which it can be resolved. As an operation of the system expansion into elements different operations are used such as interactions, transformations, etc. Elements and operations of their transformation, separation, are one unit. Here are several examples: When we make paper boat from a sheet of paper, an analog of the structural elements will be fold lines or pieces of sheet bounded by these lines. These elements are given by the rules of bending (rules of generation), without which they do not make sense. The same example shows that almost impossible to identify the structural elements and rules for their conversion, viewing the finished design. But if we face a series of paper boats in various stages of assembly, by sequentially

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Ekaterina Zorina, Language and Poetics Towards Myth

comparing the elements of this set we can found the rules of its generation. Varying the system of rules, from the same sheet of paper you can get a variety of designs. Or another example of the structural elements available in the reactions of interaction, are chemical elements. Chemical element - is not an atom, but one of its properties associated with the structure of the electron shell. In addition to the chemical atoms possess many other properties. Chemical elements (chemical properties of atoms) can be ordered as shown by D.N. Mendeleev in the periodic system. Other properties, such as the spatial features of "packaging" can be ordered in a the crystallographic system. The chemical elements in its pure form are found only as symbols, and in nature they are found only in compounds. A chemically pure compound consists of atoms of one chemical element. The form of the connection depends on the conditions of its formation. For example, chemically pure carbon can take the form of diamond and graphite. It shows how many “faces� may have one structure, when viewed from a different perspective, not from the chemical, but from physical point of view. Such a polymorphism differs structure of a text, if the conceptual basis on which they are subdivided into elements defined not clearly and the point of view is not fixed. On similarity What is similarity while perceiving? The similarity of the child with his/her mother and father - a constant source of parent’s joy and their object of legitimate pride. What other proofs are needed to consider that the child is the successor of the race? That is why the idea that similarity can due to the no blood ties related reasons is difficult. Examples of non-blood familiarity are well known: frosting, resembling the leaves of plants, or spirally twisted shells of mollusks and spiral galaxies. According to the general system theory, between any two polymorphic7 sets at least one relationship of similarity exists. The resemblance, therefore, by itself does not prove the existence of any real connections between the maps of the system, not to mention their relationship. But ordinary thinking stubbornly resists the introduction of common system principles of analysis of similarities, because they contradict the prevailing practice, and deeply hidden instinct. In other words snowflake does not give birth to another snowflake, though there is a similarity.

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Polymorphic - in biology occurs when two or more clearly different phenotype exist in the same population of a species. 7


Ekaterina Zorina, Language and Poetics Towards Myth

A text, of course, is a polymorphic set of features, so it is not difficult to establish any number of similarities as between any two texts and within each of them. General solution of the problem of similarity does not exist. In each case a specially formulated criteria of similarity is required. Further in a chapter “Silentium”8 I will examine a text from the perspective of a poem. I would like to describe some interesting features that characterize poetry, that could give a deeper understanding of some functions of both prose and verse. To my mind the angle stated in that chapter could serve as a unique instrument of methodology of working within art.

“Silentium”

All that is not prose is verse; and all that is not verse is prose. Molière Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme

Lyric poem has no addressee in the usual sense. According to me it is not so much the message as "speaking," a live recording of a human voice. Therefore, the whole structure of poems serves to disrupt the usual focus on the perception of "newspaper" informative. The paradoxical structure of a poetry, which allows to express the fact that is impossible to express in prose. The unique ability of direct transmission of the poetry intonation - hence, the human emotion: why poems do not lose their relevance, do not become obsolete over the centuries and millennia? To answer this question I would like to give an example of the Russian poet Fedor Tutchev, who wrote his poem “Silentium” in 1829. Silentium9 Speak not, lie hidden, and conceal the way you dream, the things you feel. Deep in your spirit let them rise akin to stars in crystal skies that set before the night is blurred: delight in them and speak no word. How can a heart expression find? 8

Silentium (lat.sileo) - silence.

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Translated by V.Nabokov. 8


Ekaterina Zorina, Language and Poetics Towards Myth

How should another know your mind? Will he discern what quickens you? A thought, once uttered, is untrue. Dimmed is the fountainhead when stirred: drink at the source and speak no word. Live in your inner self alone within your soul a world has grown, the magic of veiled thoughts that might be blinded by the outer light, drowned in the noise of day, unheard... take in their song and speak no word. Tutchev says that language face us with ineffability - “A thought, once uttered, is untrue”. He says it is impossible to describe the prelinguistic element of sensation using words. Another poet Afanasy Fet answers us with his poem “How poor our language is”10 (1887).

How poor our language is! -I want, but I cannot Pass on to either friend or foe, That rages in my chest - translucent wave. The heart's eternal languor is in vain, And sage has bend his mature head In front this fatal lie.

And only you, the poet, who has the winged sound of a word That grasps and fastens on-the-fly The dark delirium of soul and vague smell of a grass; As for the boundless to leave pathetic vale, An eagle flies above Jupiter’s clouds and sheaves immediate of lightnings in secure claws.

The expression "fatal lie" evokes Tiutchev's "A thought, once uttered, is untrue". As one can see from this stanza, Fet discerns the problematic nature of Tiutchev's rhetorical structure. "Fatal lie" raises the idea of verbal skepticism and simultaneously alludes to the notion that "our

10

My translation from the Russian verison “Kak beden nash yazyk”. 9


Ekaterina Zorina, Language and Poetics Towards Myth

language is poor". Hence "And sage has bend his mature head" in front of an insoluble contradiction. In other words Fet says that a poetic word is “winged”, that “immediate of lightnings” can hold an elusive inner movement. By giving you these examples I am leading you to the simple notion that is to my mind crucial - what cannot be said by words can be said with the means of poetry. Another question, which I have already talked above - what is the paradoxical structure of a poetry? What is the difference between poetry and prose? It is not in rhyme, as it was created nearly 6th century BC, and everyone knows the vers libre - the verse free from the rigid rhyme composition. So the difference is obvious - the verse is divided in lines. The poetical text is read fully and consistently - this feature is “intensive word”.

pic.1

pic.2 For example after reading a prosaic text we remember the last word, and the word before

the last word, as shown in the pic.1. In a poetic text we also remember the last word, but as it has strophic system, we remember the word, which falls on the rhyme, as shown in pic.2. So that your attention is focused in another way.

pic.3

pic.4 In pic.3 you can see links in a prosaic text. But the poem has not only logical and semantic

links - horizontal, as a text - but also vertical links - rhyme, repetitions and other means of artistic expression - pic.4. The poem reminds of a crystal structure. 10


Ekaterina Zorina, Language and Poetics Towards Myth

Factorial

There is one well-known legend about a chessboard. The chess game was invented in India, and when Indian king Sheram met it, he was fascinated by its wit and the variety of possible positions in it. When he learnt that the game was invented by one of his subjects, the king decided to personally reward him for the successful fabrication. The inventor - his name was Seth - came to the throne of the ruler. The king asked about the award that could satisfy the sage, he asked him not to be shy, as he would not begrudge anything to fulfill it. The next day Seth came back to the steps of the throne and surprised the king with the modesty of his request. Seth asked to give him one wheat for the first cell of the chessboard. The king was astonished - “A simple grain of wheat?�. Seth continued - command to output two grains for the second cell, for the third - four, for the fourth - 8, 16 for the fifth, six - 32 ... . King agreed to give him seeds for the all 64 squares of the board, according to the will. But the mathematics could not calculate the number for several days. In the end it appeared that it was not possible to find such a number of grains on the whole of the Earth. The number was - eighteen quintillion four hundred forty-six quadrillion seven hundred forty-four trillion seventy-tree billion seven hundred and nine million five hundred fifty-one thousand six hundred and fifteen! So it is 2 multiplied 64 times (2^64). What I am actually leading to is the notion of factorial, its sign is an exclamation mark (!). And the whole formula is (n!), where n - is the number of something. To find (n) you should multiply natural numbers, for example: 5!=5x4x3x2x1 = 120. Now lets take a poem for example with 40 words to find the total number of connections in the poetic text. As we remember from what I have said above, there are many connections in a poem - both horizontal and vertical. 40! - it is clear that the number is quite huge. So text potentially can express anything with the potential accuracy. Ad notam there are ~10^70 atoms in the universe.

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Ekaterina Zorina, Language and Poetics Towards Myth

We don’t hear each other

Poem is the text written in a column - that is what differ it from a prosaic text. If we divide any prosaic text in lines and read it as a poem, we will not understand anything (you could experiment with any newspaper article), as poems impede the understanding of information. Poems are not a message. Poems tell what only poems could tell. Pauses in a poem fix the intonation with which the words are read. Intonation is a medium of emotion. That is why poems do not “die” for a really long time. For example it is really hard to read ancient prosaic text, but the poems are quite easy to read and understand, as they bring you into the state of the person who wrote the poem some thousands years ago. To my mind poems are like talking, you become the instrument that dubbing the melody of that times. You should become an author to read a poem. As in Velázquez's Las Meninas, when you look at the portrait of the king and the queen, you find yourself in their place. Poems have an antinomic structure - what seems to be the same, really blurry, but what is blurred in fact the same. The rhyme identifies different words. I think everyone in a theater noticed during the actors’ play when they try to highlight the meaning of the poem they read from the stage, it becomes nonsense. Because semantic pause does not depend on a meaning. About this kind of “semantic saturation” I will speak later in a chapter “Suggestion”.

On the Addressee

Another difference between prose and verse as I said in the very beginning of the chapter “Silentium” and to which I was leading is that a poem does not have an addressee. Osip Mandelstam in his essay “On the Addressee” compares a poem with note in a bottle. Whoever finds it is intended to be a reader, a poem is like a last will thrown out to sea to an unknown audience. Mandelstam wonders “To whom does the poet speak?”.11 A poet is like a “seafarer” who “at a critical moment throws into the ocean wave a sealed bottle, containing his name and a message detailing his fate. Wandering along the dunes many years later, I find it in the sand, I read through the letter, note the date, the last will of the deceased. I had the right to do so. I have not

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Osip Mandelstam, “On the Addressee”, Works in two volumes, Moscow: Fiction, 1990. (Electronic publication RVB, 2010-2012). Accessed May 29, 2012, http://www.rvb.ru/mandelstam/dvuhtomnik/01text/vol_2/01prose/ 0635.htm. Henceforth cited as “On the Addressee” with page number set in electronic edition. 12


Ekaterina Zorina, Language and Poetics Towards Myth

opened someone else’ mail. The message in the bottle was addressed to its finder. I found it. That means, I have become its secret addressee”.12 But why not to address a particular source, a “‘representative of the age’, why not a ‘friend of this generation’?” Because appealing to a particular interlocutor, we “cut the wings” of the verse and “deprive it of air”. <...> “The fresh air of poetry is the element of surprise”, and “in addressing someone known, we can speak only of what is already known. This is - an imperious, unutterable psychological law. One can not emphasize strongly enough its value for the poetry ”.13 “When I speak with someone - I do not know with whom I speak, and do not want. <...> And the only thing that pushes us into the arms of the interlocutor, - the desire to be astonished by our own words, to be captivated by their originality and unexpectedness. The logic is merciless. If I know the person I am addressing, I know in advance how he will react to my words, to whatever I say, and therefore I will not succeed in being astonished in his astonishment, rejoice in his joy, to love with his love”.14 When we converse with someone, we search the face for sanctions, for a confirmation of our sense of rightness. Instruction is the nerve of prose, of literature, of newspapers. “Therefore the writer needs a pedestal. Another thing is poetry. The poet is associated with only a providential companion”.15 So if the individual poems may apply to a specific addressees, poetry as whole is always directed more or less distant, to the unknown, “the existence of which the poet can not doubt, without doubting himself”.16 As Osip Mandelstam confesses - “it is boring to whisper with a neighbor. Endlessly boring to gimlet own soul”. The comprehensive nature of dialogic discourse has been repeatedly stressed in the works of M.Bakhtin, in the sense that the process of human life has a dialogical nature, the dialogue is seen not only as a model of interpersonal interaction, but also as a fundamental category of the processes of human consciousness and cognition.17 Mandelshtam’s “reader in posterity” might be an instance of Bakhtin’s “indefinite, unconcretised other”, a particular addressivity, an utterance that is directed towards another who is not there.

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“On the Addressee”. 146-147.

13

“On the Addressee”. 148.

14

“On the Addressee”. 150.

15

“On the Addressee”. 149.

16

“On the Addressee”. 150.

17

M.Bakhtin, Aesthetics of Verbal Creativity (Moscow, 1979), 260. 13


Ekaterina Zorina, Language and Poetics Towards Myth

A poem thrown out to sea for an unknown reader - this is how I feel about fine art in general and specifically to my own practice.

Towards myth Introduction The analytical knowledge is by definition antithetical to mythical knowledge - I break down the world through discourse analysis - or, I think and perceive it as a myth, in the unity of the givens. In the tradition of classical German idealism, with which also Tyutchev’s art is naturally connected, primary importance was not so much the cognition, but the consciousness of ourselves and the world (cognition - is only one of the tasks or functions of consciousness). “Hence the problem can also be formulated thus, - Schelling writes in the “System of Transcendental Idealism”, - how does intelligence come to be added to nature, or how does nature come to be presented?”18 . In other words how does the nature acknowledge itself? As I know in the paradigm of modern European philosophy, the scope of knowledge is always limited, it really involves the dismemberment of the world. For the cognizing subject the world appears as an action object of the mind and the reason - and in this respect his intentions are destructive. But precisely in the era of the 30s, through the influence of Schelling’s concepts on the socio-philosophical concept of the consciousness of Europe, doctrines of Saint-Simonians, the priority of the synthetic forms of knowledge was stated as an alternative to analysis. The synthetic form of knowledge finds itself in the contemplative and intuitive empathy to the world, especially to the natural world, the cosmos. The end result of a synthetic activity of mind is not the destruction of the world, but his creationist contemplation - the creation of the world as a myth. The mythical law of correspondence is realized as the law of the subject-object identity in the philosophy of Schelling: “For in this work it will become apparent, that the same powers of intuition which reside in the self can also be exhibited up to a certain point in nature; and, since the boundary in question is itself that of theoretical and practical philosophy, that it is therefore indifferent, from a purely theoretical standpoint, whether objective or subjective be made primary, since this is a matter that practical philosophy (though it has no voice at all in this connection) is alone able to decide.”19

18

F.W.J.Schelling, “System of Transcendental Idealism”, 1800. Translated by Peter Heath (University Press of Virginia Charlottesville, 1978, Fifth printing 2001), Introduction, 5. Henceforth cited as “STI” with page number. 19

“STI”, Indroduction, 3. 14


Ekaterina Zorina, Language and Poetics Towards Myth

Seme

Everyone who is familiar with the poetry, certainly knows poems, the contents of which are either completely neutral or are difficult to logical analysis, but which, nevertheless, inexplicably call a strong emotional response. Examples of these poems can be found in the work of nearly every great poet, regardless of the direction to which he belonged, and the era in which he lived. Mystery of the impact of these poems is close to the secret influence of spells, so in the future we will call them shamanic poetry. Very rarely come to us poets, poems, most of which can be attributed to the shaman (note parenthetically that shamanic poetry, as a rule, splash in the highest moments of inspiration and almost never "made"). One of these poets was Osip Mandelstam, with whom we are already familiar, who invented, among many others, for example, the line â&#x20AC;&#x153;I have studied the science of parting//At night bareheaded complaints ...â&#x20AC;?. In these lines there is no rational image. But to my mind they produce a very precise emotional response. The main point of poet Mandelstam - the creation of special meanings. His values seemingly, the values of indirect that may arise only in a verse, which become mandatory through the verse. No words, but "the shadow of the words". We note that: 1) the verse forms new shades of meaning of the word, 2) these new shades, or even new meanings occur only in a verse, 3) all the words in the verse, that are used in the usual sense and as used in the new sense, that do not exist out of the exact poem, painted one emotion, and 4) trying to found in Mandelstam's poems the rational sense - "trying to open with their own key someone else's space, though, the space is open". In linguistics, a word is usually considered in two ways: the plane of expression and the plane of content. The expression plane is one set of sounds in which the word exists. The content plane - those concepts that are associated with a given set of sounds. The plane of the contents of each word is made up of combinations of a set of semantic quantums. Under the semantic quantum we mean the smallest, at the moment indivisible wordâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s unit of the meaning, or seme. The process of selection of semantic series in a verse can be regarded as a well-known mathematical process of factorization. The semantic series (and in factorization - factor sets) could have feature of the elements they consist of. The semantic series itself could be elements on which operations could be performed.

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Ekaterina Zorina, Language and Poetics Towards Myth

It remains to add that conformity can only exist in space or time, and that Space and Time have common seme - the seme of extension. Another example of the creativity of Osip Mandelstam - an excerpt from his free translation of Petrarch's sonnets. Compare the two versions of the translation of one line: 1. my days have swept by as running doe 2. my days have swept by as doe's slanting race The second translation is made by Osip Mandelstam. You do not have to be a connoisseur of poetry to understand that it is brighter, stronger and better, despite the fact that the Mandelstam's phrase is out of logic. Doeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s slanting race - what is it? Running that cuts the doe? The running that slant the doe? Or running of a doe slant by someone? And what slants the running? And who slants it? The mind stumbles upon this phrase. And begins to scroll through the various options. Slanting running doe. A scythe, which cuts the grass. Death with a scythe-run, cutting down doe. Braid, drizzling autumn rain etc. These images are arranged in a row, as they are combined by two semes - the seme of death, decay and the seme of swiftness, which itself is included in a row of deaths (since the days have swept). A quoted string creates a very powerful suggestion/hypnoze.

Suggestion

I have already mentioned that the formula of suggestion arises where there is repetition, rhyme, semantic row. The repentance of the same seme gives rise to resonance phenomena in the brain (like a frame, seme - an irritant of a brain nerve centers). I am sure that the resonance phenomenas are the basis of our ability to enjoy a work of art. 20 In this chapter I will try to determine the conditions of high-quality implementation of the formulas of suggestion. 1. Apparently, one of the conditions of a high-quality implementation of the formulas of suggestion - its invisibility, encode, unawareness by perceiving. It is difficult to hypnotize a person who does not want to be hypnotized. He resists the suggestion. But where there is no awareness of suggestion - there is no resistance. The encode of a formula of suggestion is

The research that the Institute of Neurophysiology named after Bekhterev showed that the same brain cell is excited while irritation by seme, sound and picture. If we remember that the brain communicates with the body language of electric impulses, and that the excitation of a nerve center changes the oscillation frequency of the electrical impulses that generate the human brain, the assumption of resonance phenomena seems not too improbable. By the way, the resonance points and the famous phrase "internal tremor", which we describe our state while perception of very good works of art or piece of music. 20

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Ekaterina Zorina, Language and Poetics Towards Myth

provided by the feature of "logical" thinking - not to capture the semantic links between words of one semantic row. What common does our mind pick up with the words "lonely", "circle" and "wind"? Probably a little bit. And at the same time as used in the phrase, they create a mood (â&#x20AC;&#x153;As circles wind alone" or "circling loneliness of wind " or â&#x20AC;&#x153;circles of wind and loneliness" etc.). These words belong to the same semantic row - a row of loneliness. The front repeat will only lead to the semantic saturation, perhaps because in this case the formula of suggestion is not hidden. 2. We know that the formula of suggestion arises where there is repetition, symmetry, rhyme, semantic row. In order to instill the seme, obviously, you need a certain number of repetitions. Conclusion: The quality of the formulas of suggestion should depend on the number of repetitions of instilled seme. If seme is repeated fewer times than necessary, the suggestion just does not happen - the reader will not believe, will remain unmoved. This is understandable. If seme is repeated too often, there is a reason to believe that the formula of suggestion will be destroyed again, the reader will not believe, will remain untouched. The next problem to be solved to determine the boundaries of a given seme repeat (or in other words, saturation of the text with seme), and implement a suggestion formula, involves the use of associations. All associations that will arise in the perceiver, must form a series of semantic rows, which identifiers are in relations of repeated symmetry or inversion symmetry with the identifier of the leading semantic row.

pic.5 Is it always a resonance? Will the piece be perceived by readers as the author sees it? No, not always. A repeat itself can not lead to the resonance. To cause a resonance, the total number of semes instilled in the piece should be distributed according to the space in accordance with a harmonic law, gradually increasing to a local maximum, then dropping to the locally maximum

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Ekaterina Zorina, Language and Poetics Towards Myth

inversion symmetric seme, then again increasing, and so on, and growth is possible in two ways, as shown in a pic.5. Parts ab and bc correspond to the two parts of the text the same length, ab part - swinging of the seme quatity in words with a gradual increase, with the constant number of repetitions per unit length; bc part - the quantity of semes in words does not increase, but increases the number of repetitions per unit length of the text, figure illustrates the well-known in the physics principles of amplitude and frequency modulation. What I am trying to say is that the proper distribution of seme in the space of the text leads to a gradual rocking of consciousness; due to the gradualness the process gathers speed, and because of inertia increases the probability of selection of the semantic field of each word in the desired value. The pause role within it - saves the correct semantic rhythm oscillations, or untimely filed, or nonconforming portion of the quantity of semes will slow the process caused by the suggestion (of perception), or even destroy a realization of the right suggestion. To make a work of art had an effect on a person, it must contain the optimal number of optimally oscillating leading seme. An important consequence of the review process of perception is the following requirement for the proper implementation of the suggestion formula in a piece some elements must be present: inversion symmetric elements, and therefore doomed to failure works in which the "best" "conflicts" with "good". This requirement is simply a manifestation of the action in the field of human endeavor known dialectical law of unity and struggle of opposites. Earlier we talked that the suggestion formula can have a perfect implementation. Also in a chapter â&#x20AC;&#x153;We donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t hear each otherâ&#x20AC;? I have mentioned the actors that highlight the meaning while reading a text from a stage. If we assume that it is possible to implement the formula of suggestion in a literary work, it would mean that any attempt to interpret a literary work in the theater language will be doomed to failure - any change in the text with seme saturation (as it inevitably will - the actors use gestures, modulation of voice and other theatrical means of influencing the viewer) will reduce the quality of the implementation of the formulas of suggestion. Interpreting the language of the theater can enhance the impact of the text with an imperfect formula of suggestion, but it is impossible to move to a stage an ideal text. Does that explain the fact that none of the play "Hamlet" by Shakespeare have not exhausted the text? Does this mean that we should abandon

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Ekaterina Zorina, Language and Poetics Towards Myth

attempts to stage an equivalent interpretation of the masterpieces of world drama? No. The fact that there is some subtlety here, which caught the creators of the Noh theater21. Plays of Noh theater - the masterpieces of Japanese literature. And the actors read the text expressionless monotone voice, swallowing syllables, "killing" the text. But plastic and dance, singing and music have a paramount importance. The actors wear masks,

which kill facial

impressions, but all masks have a leading seme. As a result, the actors of the theater re-create a powerful realization of suggestion. Loosing the suggestion in one place, they increase it due to other, purely theatrical techniques.

Myth reality

It should be noted that the internal ordering of art space was realized or felt by many artists. Russian philosopher A.Losev says: "All sustainable, all decorated and ordered, structured and organized was perceived by all the Greeks as coming directly from Apollo, or set directly by him, dependent on him".22 So designed, structured space of art was felt so strongly, that was perceived as a source of order in the world in general. It's time to say that in our model, the symmetry relations not only structure the space of art, but also our minds at all. And it seems that this feature of the human mind acquired the days when people just learnt to think and did not know the cause-and-effect relations. This feature is not so much mind, but subconscious. To clarify what it means, we have to refer to attempts to study the mechanism of association. It is Aristotle who developed an incomplete, but so far the best classification of associations. On associations there is a huge literature, but we are primarily interested in literature about the association experiments. Association experiment was first performed by Sir Francis Galton, a cousin of Charles Darwin, the famous English scientist. He chose 75 words, write each one on a separate card and did not touch them for a few days. He then took the cards one by one and looked at them. He timed the chronometer on, starting with the moment when his eyes fell upon the word, and ending with the moment when the word Noh or Nogaku - derived from the Sino-Japanese word for "skill" or "talent" - is a major form of classical Japanese musical drama, that has been performed since the 14th century. Many characters are masked, with men playing male and female roles. 21

22 A.Losev,

Ancient Mythology (Moscow, 1957), 430. 19


Ekaterina Zorina, Language and Poetics Towards Myth

caused two different ideas. He wrote down these thoughts for each word from the list, but refused to publish the results. "They reveal - wrote Galton - the essence of the human mind with such vividness and accuracy that is unlikely to be maintained, if published and made known to the world"23. Dan Slobin makes the conclusion that the ratio of the polar opposition of the language is universal (do you remember Groys’ linguistic paradox in the very beginning?). It is worth recalling that any literary work is primarily the result of association. And since the basic operations that use an associative mechanism - operation of grouping and operation of opposition, then appears a symmetry of art works’ space. Surprisingly symmetry is clearly manifested in the sphere of ideology. What is that all oppositions, which permeated our ideology since immemorial time (pairs such as "we-they", "friend-foe", "good-evil", etc.), if not a manifestation of the symmetry relations? (or a political play of words in Orwell’s 1984 “War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength”). What, if not a manifestation of the symmetry relations, is a dualism which has penetrated the vast majority of the known religions? And does not it fit into the picture of clear division in the fairy tales of heroes on good and evil, the division, which stands for inversion symmetry of life and death, and therefore subjects of cosmogonic myths that have arisen during the period that is not available to historians?

At the heart of the myth and the birth of God's ability lay the ability of human mind to group phenomena and objects of the world in the semantic series. You can probably assume that the contents of the seme-id of the row participating in the "burning of the god " should be emotion, mental state of a person of that epoch. Therefore, all the gods "involved" in a person's life, were associated with him. A man of “god burning” times did not know the cause-and-effect relationships, did not try to explain the world logically. The world existed in harmony of human emotion, every new phenomena was included in the appropriate range of emotion which were evoked. If a person of Mousterian times, say, saw an animal, it was immediately placed in his view, among other phenomena of the world, causing the same or nearly the same mental state. It was not necessary to explain it as it was included in the semantic row. Logical filters, impermeable, and evaluating the information did not yet exist. But it was an ability to structure imaginative space of the world (or rather space representations of the world) in the symmetric semantic rows, all the elements of which were equal. That is the same ability, which leads to the creation of a "third plan" of art works. 23

Dan Slobin, Psycholinguisitcs (“Progress”, Moscow, 1976), 139. 20


Ekaterina Zorina, Language and Poetics Towards Myth

But why are we - the people who live in the age, which replaced the myth with the theory of relativity, does not include the logical filters, perceiving a work of art? Daily, logically structured state of mind - not only the state of consciousness that is available to us. Here is a partial list of altered states of consciousness: mystical, hypnotic, dreaming, a narcotic. All these states of consciousness characterized by disabling the logical filters. What mechanisms switch one or another state of consciousness, we do not know. But the mechanism of the inclusion of the hypnotic state of consciousness is clearly associated with repetition, symmetry, with the phenomenas which were on the "exit" of mythical state of consciousness. A work of art must contain a "switch", which includes a hypnotic state of mind. This implies an interesting conclusion: the space of images of art is akin to the space of representations of mythological consciousness. But if we admit, that the structure of a myth space and an art work is the same, should not we admit that an art work preserves some traces, vestiges of the myth? Even more, the art in general has evolved from a syncretic ritual action. If so and the myth rudiments could be found in art, then, probably, we should look for it at the level of semantic rows at the third plan. And the function of the third plan - instilling emotions, and it was suggested that emotions determined the stratification of the world on semantics rows by a person of Mousterian period.

Backwater

All of the above chapters lead to the following conclusion - the space of artistic images always structured by semantic rows, and as the mythological space and the space of mythological conceptions of the world also structured by semantic rows, then the conclusion is that a man of mythological era was supposed to take the current time from the future to the past. Paradoxically, the Orientalists reconstructed traces of just such a relationship to the time of Ancient Sumer and Babylon. Igor Klochkov (russian historian, orientalist, translator of many Babylon texts) in his book “The Spiritual Culture of Babylon” draws our attention to the fact that “looking back in time is peculiar to the cultures of ancient and medieval times” and suggests that “the psychological reversal of “facing the future” started, apparently in the middle of 1 millennium BC under the influence of messianic doctrines and eschatological expectations, which led to the transfer of attention towards future. This period finished in modern times.”24

24

I.Klochkov, “Dukhovnaya kultura Vavilonii: Chelovek, Sudba, Vremya” (Moskva, 1983), 150. / “Spiritual Culture of Babylon: Man, Fate, Time” (Moscow, 1983), 150. 21


Ekaterina Zorina, Language and Poetics Towards Myth

Maybe the reorientation process in time is associated not only with the messianic teachings, but with the discovery of other forms of consciousness, different from the mythological, that have logical filters. Actually, the Messianic doctrine - a consequence of the emergence of logical thinking. This process is not completed in modern times, as today, when we plunge into the world of dreams or fiction, we are again not realizing that perceive the current time around.

“Nausea” To understand the above information and how the time goes backwards in text, I will switch to Jean-Paul Sartre’s roman “Nausea” .

“This is what I thought: for the most banal even to become an adventure, you must (and this is enough) begin to recount it. This is what fools people: a man is always a teller of tales, he lives surrounded by his stories and the stories of others, he sees everything that happens to him trough them; and he tries to live his own life as if he were telling a story. <...> Nothing happens while you live. The settings changes, people come in and go out, that’s all. There are no beginnings. Days are tacked onto days without rhyme or reason, it is an endless, monotonous addition. <. . . > That’s living. But everything changes when you tell about life; it’s a change no one notices: the proof is that people talk about true stories. As if there could possibly be true stories; things happen one way and we tell about them in the opposite sense. You seem to start at the beginning: “ It was a fine autumn evening in 1922. I was a notary's clerk in Marommes.” And in reality you started in the end. It was there, invisible and present, it is the one which gives to words the pomp and value of a beginning. “I was out walking, I had left the town without realizing it, I was thinking about my money troubles.” This sentence, taken simply for what it is, means that the man was absorbed, morose, a hundred leagues from an adventure, exactly in the mood to let 22


Ekaterina Zorina, Language and Poetics Towards Myth

things happen without noticing them. But the end is there, transforming everything. For us, the man is already the hero of the story. His moroseness, his money troubles are much more precious than ours, they are all gilded by the light of future passions. And the story goes on the reverse: instants have stopped piling themselves in a lighthearted way one on top of the other, they are snapped up by the end of the story which draws them and each one of them in turn, draws out the preceding instant: “It was night, the street was deserted.” The phrase is cast out negligently, it seems superfluous; but we do not let ourselves be caught and we put it aside: this is a piece of information whose value we shall subsequently appreciate. And we feel that the hero has lived all the details of this night like annunciations, promises, or even that he lived only those that were promises, blind and deaf to all that did not herald adventure. We forget that the future was not yet there; the man was walking in a night without forethought, a night which offered him a choice of dull rich prizes, and he did not make his choice. I wanted the moments of my life to follow and order themselves like those of a life remembered. You might as well try and catch time by the tail.”25

This long passage from Sartre closely related to the range of issues of interest to us. In fact, Sartre says the following: 1. The events in the story must be ordered, but in life, they are not ordered (ie, the story space is structured). 2. The end of the story in the process of its creating determines the selection of words (ie, the semantic range of words, images can be formed only when the seme-id is known). 3. The images that means nothing in the context of the semantic range inject voltage. Seme-id is perceived by the reader long before the actual end of the story.

Jean-Paul Sartre, “Nausea”. Translated form the French by LLoyd Alexander, introduction by Richard Howard (A New Directions paperbook, 2007), 39-41. 25

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Ekaterina Zorina, Language and Poetics Towards Myth

4. You can not tell the story honestly, as telling, we are bound to structure the space of images of the story, thus distorting the space in which the actual event occurred, and which has not been structured in such a way as it has appeared in the story. 5. The presence of semantic series inevitably leads to reverse flow in the space-time images of art work (in order to create a semantic number, you must know seme-id. It is primary, and the semantic row is secondary).

The word

The time of reorientation of "logical mind” probably ended at the turn of the II-III century AD. This period is generally a period of global change: it is to the III century oratory dies, magic words are forgotten. At the moment when man has learned to perceive the world, the beginning of the end started. With regard to the language it meant the beginning of the process of crushing the seme. As soon as people began to open new features in the objects and phenomenas around the world, the emotions that previously were caused by these objects and phenomenas have changed. The bond between sound and seme ceased to exist. The language ceased to be a model for reflection of the world, has turned into a monstrous hierarchy, conservative, and not universal. The fact that the more qualities a man opened in the subject, the more fragmented was a meaning. Thus, language can not adequately express the diversity of existing values. (Is not that an imperfection Tutchev talks about in his “Silentium”?) However, not only the smallest particles of meaning, as it turns out, unable to express a word. Inexpressible are those first meanings from which it all began, the values that were once non segmented. That can explain the reasons which led to the rejection of words as a means of communication in a number of teachings of the East. One of the Dao’s maxims says: "That who knows does not speak, the speaker does not know". It is known that the followers of Zen Buddhism rejected the word as a means of communication: they believed that the reality must not be talked about, but should be lived through. The word called undifferentiated experience of mental states, those states in which a person has structured the world: all the things that cause this mental state, were part of a semantic row. 24


Ekaterina Zorina, Language and Poetics Towards Myth

Thus, if there was the word for a mental condition, then it necessarily follows that the word was God immanent. But if so, the myths, that are encoded in a work of art, must return us to that mental states that are close to the state experienced by a man of that time. Then, when the suggestive power of speech began to disappear due to fragmentation and loss of first seme and the loss of the link between the plane of the content and the plane of expression, in order to cause a certain mental state during ritual feasts, warfare, hunting, etc. people began to use poetry: myths, dissolved in the semantic space of the rows, provided the impact on the psyche of people, as an isolated word no longer could influence them. And now we realize that the creation of art works (including music and poetry, and originally, obviously, and the use of words), was so important and crucial also because the work was realized as a birth. Almost as a release of genie from the bottle.

The End

“But it is capital that should be pre-eminently regarded as diabolical, because capital can profit from A as well as from not-A. However the more profound suspicion can be neither confirmed nor disproved for this diabolical subject can be represented only in black on black, and thus cannot be seen. Now the philosophical subject - in other words, the revolutionary subject - is constituted precisely by appropriating this diabolical reason, which otherwise remains hidden and operated in darkness, and transforming it into dialectical reason by means of linguistification.”26

26

“TCP”, 24-25. 25

Essay language and poetics towards myth katya zorina