Thursday, July 28, 2005

talking to one's self

a combination of lying, reassuring, and just plain venting. I was reading a critique on Ovid's Cephalus (Mary Douglas -- Confabulating Cephalus: Self-Narration in Ovid's Metamorphoses), and how he creates the story of his past into an image acceptable to him. This seems like a form of self-creation, but at the same time is just an attempt at self-delusion. Kipling, in his introduction to "Life's Handicap", wrote something along the lines of 'a story is true as long as it is being told'. But in the case of Cephalus both stories are being told at once and are seemingly mutually exclusive. One involves the spear, one of the gifts from Diana, doing what we are told that it will do, and the other involves it doing what we are told that it actually does. there seem to be two people telling stories here, the narrator (the old Cephalus) and the narrated (the young Cephalus), but they are the same person. There could be a third person, on a plane where these two stories are not mutually exclusive. It is this third person that I want to say is the most real of the three, but what kind of person are they that they can embody two such mutually exclusive ideas within themself.

Most writers on identity would probably say that the old Cephalus is exhibiting second-order volition or some other explination tending toward a morality that shows that he is trying to align himself with what he wants to be: some form of self-creation. But as I allused edarlier, this does not tell the full story, but only a biased abridgement of it. There must be some way of explaining both parts of this person within an undivided union, similar to an explination of an individual as an undivided union of reason and passion. But I don't know what it is. I like stories, but I do like to get to the end of a story.

2 comments:

Samuel Douglas said...

Michael:
What in the sweet f*#k are you on about? You need to read some good solid analytic philosophy, or at least some less insane continental stuff.

michael said...

I am on about the creation and subjectification of the self by the self, and the guidance that the subjectifying self uses in its subjectification. But this ends in a self-referential loop (its the theory that's loopy, not me).
Crossing the theory here with Foucault's article 'prelude to transgression' (or something lie that), all about the nature of limits, I am sure there is some intersting ideas that can be gained, I just haven't worked out what they are yet.

Well spotted, I am confused, but There is some sense here, and I just thought that someone may find it interesting or have something to say on the matter.