Page 126

126 |

Gérard Gasiorowski, Le Village des Meuliens, 1981 (earth paintings), Musée d’art contemporain, Nîmes

LOUIS ARMAND

BETWEEN A CACTUS & LÉVI-STRAUSS The Primitivist Poetics of Véronique Vassilou

1. “Savage thought,” in Claude Lévi-Strauss’s once familiar dictum, “can be defined as analogical thought.” Analogical because inhering in a grammar of to, with, between—hence a predilection for, and dependence upon, tropes of similarity, parallelism, imitation, resemblance, and all forms of correspondence or, to give it its proper etymological inflection, proportion. It is on such a basis that the complex totemic structures which fascinated Lévi-Strauss are said to have evolved: a radicalization of analogy to the point of a direct causation between things otherwise arbitrary in their remoteness—mediated,

somewhat magically, by what Lévi-Strauss called the Totemic Operator. Analogy—foundational for the operations of logic and reason—here tends to perversity, a paranoiac method that inflates and generalises itself into an un-reason (an ideology). The demon of analogy is thus to the “savage mind,” what the Cartesian theatre is to the rationalist mind, each to some extent a reflection and distortion of the other. In her 2001 book, Le coefficient d’échec, Marseillaise poet Véronique Vassiliou exploits Lévi-Strauss’s double analogy between “savage thought” and “analogical

Profile for Litteraria Pragensia

VLAK  

VLAK: Contemporary Poetics & the Arts (September, 2010), edited by Louis Armand, Edmund Berrigan, Carol Watts, Stephan Delbos, David Vichnar...

VLAK  

VLAK: Contemporary Poetics & the Arts (September, 2010), edited by Louis Armand, Edmund Berrigan, Carol Watts, Stephan Delbos, David Vichnar...

Advertisement

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded