Critiphoria and Lily Robert-Foley

April 1, 2010

posted by Caroline Picard

Our hero, (former volunteer and North Georgia Gazette transcriber/poet), Lily Robert-Foley recently published the following article in Issue 2 of Critiphoria. I’ve included the very beginning of the piece below but you’ll have to go to the original site to read all of it.

What Once to Read to Write: Locating the Other in Veils.

Lily Robert-Foley

Who writes the other. Well, Emmanuel Levinas for one. Or rather, Jacques Derrida. Or rather, Emmanuel Levinas, “…precisely where the words seem to get carried away and become disidentified in a discourse that opens each signification to its other (relation without relation, passivity without passivity, “passivity…more passive than every passivity,’ etc)”, writes Derrida. To open to the other in discourse is to disidentify the same with itself. It is
not written, the other is the other, or the same is not the other, or the other is not the same, but the same is not the same (the same without the same). Who writes the other. No one. Who: Something that is not, or won’t be, or isn’t yet, what it is. (I have a sudden memory of
Beckett, the final lines of Molloy, it’s Adieu, “It is raining. It is not raining.”).

Veiliiis is not a book by Helene Cixous. Veils is not a book by Jacques Derrida. Veils is a book by Helene Cixous and Jacques Derrida. Veils is a book of two: both authors not the other, two voices, too genres, two sexes too. Veils begins with a trope; Helene Cixous begins her Veils as a trope, “Myopia was her fault, her lead, her imperceptible native veil”iv. Leaving aside for the moment that both myopia and the veil function as a trope, both synonymously and antonymously at varying moments in Veils, this first phrase in isolation forges what will become a “prehistoric” alliance: a metaphor. What happens to Cixous’ veil and its substantiative counterpart, myopia, as it traverses and mutates (through) the text? In the beginning there was myopia, near ignorance, or a kind of ignorance that is based on indeterminacy. At first she has some sight, and navigates her way through the city based on little breaks in its “refusal” to her: there is a point of discrepancy between what she sees of the world and what the world is. If this makes her a foreigner to the world, unable to see what others see, it also locates her in a state of constant ambiguous unresolve, “To be and not to be were never exclusive”. The world, her vision, her self, is entrenched in otherness, in complete otherness, in “limitless pale nothingness…death” .

Read the rest by going here!

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