Hdl Handle:
http://hdl.handle.net/10142/12585
Title:
Classachresis
Authors:
Bowman, Paul
Abstract:
This paper explores the following. All thought involves classification and translation. It is not just translation that classes differences as equivalent. All interpretation involves translation and classification. Thinking itself cannot be thought outside of translation and classification. Knowledge is out of joint: ways of thinking, ways of knowing, presuppose, announce and elaborate themselves according to an anachronous imposition of ways of classifying and equivalating. Can thought be thought otherwise than a violent, ‘originarily’ unthinking institution of ways of classing and translating? But there is also ‘Class’. Marxism translates: classifying everything as class antagonism. We could class this, in turn, as a theoretical fetish, an (unthinking?) invocation of a referent whose qualities are presupposed, yet always nowhere to be found. This, in turn, could be classed or interpreted as our fetish. And this we can translate again, and assert: the academic fetish par exellance is classification. How might this translate? But thinking through ‘Class’ was constitutive of cultural studies. If we kill ‘class’ as a simple, singular, meaningful academic category, does this amount to a traumatic loss? Do we mourn it? Does its absence initiate desire? For what? From what to what? What are the symptoms? Because ‘class’ may no longer be a valid analytical category, must we reject class as a motif, or ‘point de capiton’ structuring political thought, orienting it? For ‘class’ might not be an analytical category, but it remains bound poetically or teleiopoetically to the political imaginary, and so remains a prime mover in political activism. How does one address this spectre? How does one classify the abyss between ‘the political’ and ‘academic political thought’? Does the eradication of simple or crude Marxism from cultural theory amount to something of a trauma, a lack, or absence, which must be compensated? If lack initiates mourning, yearning, and is productive, then what has been produced? The loss of simplicity in political positioning that ‘class’ had promised or even given, the death of ‘class’ as an essentially true or correct term has had to have had effects – what are they? where? how? why? ‘Class’ remains a symptom, and a sore point. But, also, methods of classification or definition, just like translation, always employ some kind of ‘equivalator’, or ‘universal’ – i.e., some ostensible Archimedean ‘fixed’ point, by which things are able to be compared, and hence translated, defined, specified, at all. So, speaking of ‘class’ is already a translation from something that is not necessarily there or ‘true’ (catachrestically), but which is drawn into being by an inaugural act of translation based on a putative equivalence. If translation is the opening of conceptuality, then classification is the result. ‘Class’ is the opening of political activity/subjectivity (from a point of knowledge (which can perhaps be translated to its remainder, ‘belief’)), and enables all sorts of translations….
Issue Date:
Sep-2003
URI:
http://hdl.handle.net/10142/12585
Submitted date:
2007-07-05
Type:
Article
Language:
en
Appears in Collections:
Department of Humanities Collection

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.contributor.authorBowman, Paul-
dc.date.accessioned2007-07-05T12:34:06Z-
dc.date.available2007-07-05T12:34:06Z-
dc.date.issued2003-09-
dc.date.submitted2007-07-05-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10142/12585-
dc.description.abstractThis paper explores the following. All thought involves classification and translation. It is not just translation that classes differences as equivalent. All interpretation involves translation and classification. Thinking itself cannot be thought outside of translation and classification. Knowledge is out of joint: ways of thinking, ways of knowing, presuppose, announce and elaborate themselves according to an anachronous imposition of ways of classifying and equivalating. Can thought be thought otherwise than a violent, ‘originarily’ unthinking institution of ways of classing and translating? But there is also ‘Class’. Marxism translates: classifying everything as class antagonism. We could class this, in turn, as a theoretical fetish, an (unthinking?) invocation of a referent whose qualities are presupposed, yet always nowhere to be found. This, in turn, could be classed or interpreted as our fetish. And this we can translate again, and assert: the academic fetish par exellance is classification. How might this translate? But thinking through ‘Class’ was constitutive of cultural studies. If we kill ‘class’ as a simple, singular, meaningful academic category, does this amount to a traumatic loss? Do we mourn it? Does its absence initiate desire? For what? From what to what? What are the symptoms? Because ‘class’ may no longer be a valid analytical category, must we reject class as a motif, or ‘point de capiton’ structuring political thought, orienting it? For ‘class’ might not be an analytical category, but it remains bound poetically or teleiopoetically to the political imaginary, and so remains a prime mover in political activism. How does one address this spectre? How does one classify the abyss between ‘the political’ and ‘academic political thought’? Does the eradication of simple or crude Marxism from cultural theory amount to something of a trauma, a lack, or absence, which must be compensated? If lack initiates mourning, yearning, and is productive, then what has been produced? The loss of simplicity in political positioning that ‘class’ had promised or even given, the death of ‘class’ as an essentially true or correct term has had to have had effects – what are they? where? how? why? ‘Class’ remains a symptom, and a sore point. But, also, methods of classification or definition, just like translation, always employ some kind of ‘equivalator’, or ‘universal’ – i.e., some ostensible Archimedean ‘fixed’ point, by which things are able to be compared, and hence translated, defined, specified, at all. So, speaking of ‘class’ is already a translation from something that is not necessarily there or ‘true’ (catachrestically), but which is drawn into being by an inaugural act of translation based on a putative equivalence. If translation is the opening of conceptuality, then classification is the result. ‘Class’ is the opening of political activity/subjectivity (from a point of knowledge (which can perhaps be translated to its remainder, ‘belief’)), and enables all sorts of translations….en
dc.description.provenanceSubmitted by Pat Simons (p.simons@roehampton.ac.uk) on 2007-07-05T12:34:06Z No. of bitstreams: 1 bowman classachresis.pdf: 191836 bytes, checksum: d008a92eca3de64c74d52bd6b01b282d (MD5)en
dc.description.provenanceMade available in DSpace on 2007-07-05T12:34:06Z (GMT). No. of bitstreams: 1 bowman classachresis.pdf: 191836 bytes, checksum: d008a92eca3de64c74d52bd6b01b282d (MD5) Previous issue date: 2003-09en
dc.format.extent191836 bytes-
dc.format.mimetypeapplication/pdf-
dc.language.isoenen
dc.subjecttranslationen
dc.subjectepistemologyen
dc.subjectclassificationen
dc.subjectthoughten
dc.subjectclassen
dc.titleClassachresisen
dc.typeArticleen
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