said, reply 1 /retake 10/26/95 posted by rg

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Posted by stephan pascher on August 04, 1996 at 12:32:24:

In Reply to: Re: traveling theory, text part 3 (third 5 pages) posted by rainer ganahl on August 04, 1996 at 12:23:58:

Msg#:15514 *TALK SHOW*
10-26-95 21:22:39
From: Stephan Pascher
To: Rainer Ganahl
Subj: Reply to Msg# 5046 (RS)

And so to get things rolling . . . First, to follow Said's logic, we must
consider Luckas' position already as a translation, i.e., historical. This
seems obvious from the text, nevertheless is worthwhile statinge. The
deconstruction project shifts the "quest" for origins to one of e(a)ffects;
hence an active priciple. However in considering the transition form Idea to
Theory to Critical Consciousness, as proceeding from that of a passive to an
active concept, it is unclear where one is to draw the line. When does one
achieve critical consciousness, and in what sense is activity conceived.
Clearly in taking Luckas and Goldmann, we are speaking of two very different
notions of "activity." In the case of Luckas, theoretical work is clearly
conceived of as attached to a political project. No such intervention can be
associated with the work of Goldmann; at least not in any direct form. To
complete Said's deconstruction, we would have to submit the very concept of
"critical Consciousness" to a principle of translation. Said, it appears, does
just this. But where does he end up? Does he actually arrive at a practice
suitably active by his own standards? For along with an implied relativism, we
find as well an ethos, one which would entail certain demands. I would like to
also just mention something else which is important in thinking about these
issues; that is, the question of translation itself. What does it mean to
translate a theory, or of importing a theory from one time/place to another?
Can this not be an act of terrible violence? When the conditions are forced to
accomodate a theoretical intervention, regarless how passive, i.e., without
obvious or direct consequence, that may be, then it seems to me a certain
violence is committed. This is not to state merely a misreading (Said adopts
the notion of "universal" misreading, yet insists on "creative misreadings"),
but to question the very relation between so-called theoretical work, and its
very conditions (I believe Foucault refered to these as "conditions of
emergence," a theme Homi Baba has addressed).

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