Distribution Automatique

Thursday, July 17


The narrative is only the beginning

The achievement of the
narrative is only the beginning
of the story of the devlopment
of language. Anthropologists
are now speculating that the
acquisition of speech followed
the ability to utilize gestures
for communication after
erect posture was achieved.
With increased fine motor
control of the fingers came
fine motor control of the
tongue. Then speech.
On this model
speech *follows* fine
motor coordination.

It is this gestural
aspect of writing which
unites it with such media as
painting, dance and
architecture. Body
movement is tracked along
a path through the mind,
and its relationship
to the body
and movement is made
further towards the
mapping of the common
code that unites the
natural evolution of the mind to the
history of ideas.

What lies beyond the
narrative? After a
full century of investigation
we are as yet only seeing
the outlines. Why is that?
And what does the outline
gesture towards?

Once freed from a rigid
historical perpective, and at home in
the strange, new world of the
continuous present, what is to
be found there?

First, this territory
has much less use for
climax, apotheosis
and even, perhaps of
transcendence. In fact,
it may be that the
continuous present is the
reward and product of the
usefulness of those
techniques. As ends in
themselves, they have an
interesting use for nostalgia,
but not much else.

From the perspective of
the narrativist, the
non-narrativist may be
indeed a dull character.
Although the non-narrativist
moves quicklly and nimbly,
s/he is going nowhere, because
Erewon has been found,
by foregoing
linearity. Without
linearity there is no
"point." Dialectic is
very useful, but stops
only for
the necessity to
take into account human
intervals. The biological clock
and the chronological clock
are interchangeable and
equally random. Without
a "program," things are
done as one pleases.

The continuous present
unity. The historical present
thrives on the classification
of simlar outcomes.
Within the continuous
present, similar outcomes
are ordinarily useful.
Within the historical
present, similarities
(coincidences) justify the
maintenance of that
posture towards temporal
discontinuity. The
continuous present itself,
in fact, is simply the
birthright of the historical
present, itself a
direct achievement beyond
the llimitations of the present
founded upon the immediate

The discontinuous present
is thus now seen newly
founded upon the
achievement of the continuous
present. The crossing into the discontinuous
present is to move freely from one
temporal zone into another
without loss of orientation.
It is through the
achievement of the
discontinuous present that
time travel is born.