Fragment on Clarity
Is it possible that we thinkers who grow (happily) in the soil planted by the likes of Foucault or Derrida think too little of our own writing? Are we creating a space in which we must come to expect, ironically, a re-coupling of being and appearance–where the appearance is a reification, as it were, of an otherwise inscrutable and unknowable truth? Or, are we being overly complicated with only that end in mind so that we perform this kind of un-truth? Any answer to these questions put me on edge.
I have to wonder sometimes when I read a text whose complexity and unintelligibility are actually, in tandem, used as an attempt to mimic the hidden and thus unknowable void called Being—and thus becomes a kind of parody of its own philosophy. Are we dancing with words in spite of or despite Derrida’s warnings against logo-centrism and presence? Have our texts become the sites of an ossified becoming, and thus not becoming at all, because we have stopped thinking–overcome by a process that we think achieves an end, when there is no end to achieve? There must be an end, right? That end must be justice.
I fear that our texts, often turgid expositions that make little sense to most, and most sense to few, become their own unintentional satire of human life itself. On the one hand, we do not want to open a space in our own writing that expropriates life as mimicry of the everyday’s flux. But that is a risk we must take. On the other hand, we do not want to be so intentionally vague, cloaked, and challenging so that our work becomes grueling, repetitious, and meaningless. However much the referent and the reference does or does not have in common with each other; or however much our understanding of becoming should permeate the very style of our writing; or however much our politics of radical disruption should enter our grammar—I fear that human life sometimes becomes nothing more than the mocking scene of an epistemological theater.
I suppose my question is: Are we thinking at all when we disclose our thoughts on human life, however sheer or protected our conceptions of that life are? And if we are thoughtless in our disclosures, what kinds of violence does the obscurantism that follows perform?