Unreal Nature

October 27, 2010

In the Midst

Filed under: Uncategorized — unrealnature @ 7:24 am

… Ordinary speech, although it potentially contains the richness of the unsaid, in its very ordinariness allows what is hidden to “float” lazily in the midst of the words.

… The silence of the context … is not a blank or total silence, it is the near silence of what can be said.

This is further from Listening and Voice: Phenomenologies of Sound second edition by Don Ihde (2007):

… Things show themselves as “faces” but never as mere “faces.” They are situated and hide within themselves as latently significant another side. This is a significance which I implicitly recognize and expect: I am not surprised when the block is turned around and it shows a different “face.” The thing presents itself as having a back, as having depth. This may be spoken of as a local or latently present horizonal feature of the thing. It is the hidden side of presence which is enigmatically “in” presence.

Again the approximation has been primarily a visual one, so the next step is to locate the same feature auditorily and, in the present context, in terms of word. The voiced word, however, also shows itself as having a hidden depth, a latently meant aspect. This is concealed within but detectable in listening to language. In everything said there is the latent horizon of the unsaid, which situates the said. Yet, as in all horizonal phenomena, the horizon is that which withdraws. It is easily overlooked or forgotten. Easy or naive listening attends only to the center, but in doing so the latent meaning of the horizon remains taken for granted and its latent meaning situates the saying by its unsaying.

… The silence of the context … is not a blank or total silence, it is the near silence of what can be said. In this the example is similar to the visual example of the latent “face” of the thing. I can turn the thing around and view its other “faces” and see only a relative degree of hiddenness at any one time.

… But it is also important to note how such a degree of the unsaid may be heard. Its silence is one that implies that in some sense what was not said explicitly has already been said. While not all can be said in a saying (there remains a ratio to the unsaid which is the transcendence of the context) what was not said has been said in a community with a history. Existentially implied in the context is some kind of tribe, or community with a history. Learning to hear the unsaid gains entry into this community and history to some degree. The learned is the initiate who has already heard and thus has entered into the community and the history.

There are technical “tribal languages” whose sayings hover near ordinary speech, but in which there are highly determined meanings that are heard only by the initiate and not by the ordinary listener. The unsaid can be missed in unlearned listening.

… The listener hears more than surface in listening to word. The clarity or opacity that he discerns in the saying remains in part dependent on the learning to listen which probes beneath surfaces, which hears the interior of speech.

… [However] There are occurrences when in word there may be heard an intimation of a wider limit. Such is poetic word. Poetic word elicits a new context. It brings to saying what has not yet been said. There is here a sense of violence to word in that the poetic saying disrupts the clarity of the sedimented unsaid.

… The sample of Dasein in such analysis is sufficient to suggest the possibility of a wider saying. In its ordinary context, Dasein is what is thought of as an ordinary existent or thing. But in Heidegger’s thought Dasein becomes Da-sein the “being-here” that I am. “Being” as an active experiencing and “here” as the finite position which I occupy are my Da-sein in a way more significant than the mere “being-there” of an inert object. By opening the word to a wider and deeper context, the word becomes “poetic” in the sense of a bringing-into-being of a meaning that I almost “knew all the time.” Philosophical poeticizing is such an opening of language-as-word. It is making silence speak. The silence is the horizon, and the word opens toward the horizon.

Skipping ahead two chapters …

… In the midst of the conversation that is humankind there are beginnings. But not all the beginnings belong to the center of language-as-word. There are beginnings that occur before and after speech.

… Every conversation, every meeting of the other hides within itself the possibility of a beginning. This beginning may be as prosaic as the generation of new sentences that the linguist today recognizes as a problem in the understanding of speech. Or it may be more intimate as in the beginning of a conversation that opens a friendship for a longer conversation. But as the beginning it is a beginning in the midst. Beginnings occur within the whole range of language. When they occur in the midst of language-as-word there remains the hidden pointer to the forms of silence, the pregnant silence bespoken by the face, the “outer” silence that masks inner speech, and the ultimate horizon of silence as the Open. In this sense the beginning of man is in the midst of word, but word lies in the midst of silence.



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