Happy Mortal

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Allegory as the Proclamation of the Other

Cool Blog Sociale - 4th November 2008 -  Blood Bath Shower Curtain A.K.A. Carrie's curtain If we follow the etymology of the word ‘allegory’, we discover its desire. While, already, in the asking after the desire of a word, we uncover the etymology of our desire. Literally, allegory is a proclamation of the other; as such, it (is not, but) functions as the threshold, that non-space, the khora spoken of by Plato that is pregnant with the forms but not of like substance. Thus, it is the access point, the space between what cannot be uttered and what cannot be kept silent. In this way, allegory is what gives birth to the Logos which is the uncovered root of our desire: to speak the ‘other’, and beyond that, to speak to the other.

And yet, we cannot follow the ‘of the other’ without first sticking to the ambiguity of its genitive. To say ‘of’, to entitle the discussion of allegory as a ‘proclamation of the other’ is to beg for a subject. For it is either ‘I’ or the ‘other’ who proclaims ‘other.’

At least that is how the sentence reads. As it stands (it being the tacit skepticism toward the truth value of the title), allegory is divorced from context. Being divorced from context, allegory is free to proclaim; it is bound only by the convention of speech, which can only ever bind it to text. Allegory, seduced by its desire for the other, has been inscribed beyond the frame, where it must pass in order to proclaim what is other than the frame.

Likewise, having uncovered our desire for a proclamation of the other, we follow allegory to its (non)place of inscription, its outopia, so to speak. Is it any surprise that we find ourselves feeling out of place? Since Plato (before Plato really, but increasingly after him) we have sought the Logos within the khora, in which speech was never intended, or even possible. Thus we have estranged the maternally silent, the “la femme n’existe pas” of Lacan, in our effort to approach the father through the son (Logos). Allegory represents impossbile and neurotic desire to return to the womb as an unborn, yet in our current state of maturity. It is the decontextualization of the generative act realized in our effort to (re)place the Logos behind the curtain after we have discovered that the ‘other’ can never exist behind the curtain so long as we are looking.

Instead of letting the curtain fall, instead of allowing the khora to remain silent and thereby proclaiming the ‘other’ in its non-existence, we have insisted on fixing/improving the feminine in our dissemination of the masculine. And we have rent and torn the womb of the khora in our rape of its threshold, placing our act of speech in a place of silence.

Can it be that the other is there behind the curtain as long as we don’t speak of it? as long as we don’t look? I don’t know, but it strikes me that it is in silence that psyche lies extended, or failing that, we are extended only by an approach to, but not a violation of the threshold.

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