Flirtations: Rhetoric and Aesthetics This Side of Seduction (Idiom Inventing Writing Theory FUP)

By Daniel Hoffman-Schwartz

What is flirtation, and the way does it range from seduction?

In ancient phrases, the actual query of flirtation has tended to be obscured by means of that of seduction, which has understandably been a huge preoccupation for twentieth-century suggestion and demanding idea. either the discourse and the critique of seduction are unified through their shared obsession with a really determinate finish: strength. against this, flirtation is the sport within which not anyone turns out to achieve the higher hand and not anyone turns out to surrender. The counter-concept of flirtation has hence stood quietly to the aspect, by no means fairly attaining an analogous prominence as that of seduction. It is that this elusive (and principally neglected) territory of taking part in for play's sake that's the topic of this anthology.

The essays during this quantity deal with the under-theorized terrain of flirtation no longer as a subgenre of seduction yet fairly as a phenomenon in its personal correct. Drawing at the interdisciplinary historical past of scholarship on flirtation while it re-approaches the query from a pretty aesthetic and literary-theoretical standpoint, the members to Flirtations thus give an account of the perform of flirtation and of the determine of the flirt, taking over the act's dating to problems with mimesis, poetic ambiguity, and aesthetic pleasure. The artwork of this poetic playfulness-often learn or misinterpret as flirtation's "empty gesture"-becomes by surprise legible because the wielding of a specific and sophisticated type of nonteleological power.

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But is it a foray, a take hold of, in any respect? Is it now not even more the gesture of a grab and/or the take hold of as gesture that generates reality/life as intensity—specifically by way of interrupting functionality within the functionality? a primary foray or clutch is encountered within the beginning sentence of the autobiographical notes, which start with the phrases “As I take in my pen” (C 1). the 1st sentence in complete reads: As I absorb my pen at relaxation and in entire retirement—in strong future health, incidentally, although drained, so drained that I shall purely have the ability to continue through brief phases and with widespread pauses for rest—as I take in my pen, then, to devote my confessions to this sufferer paper in my very own neat and engaging handwriting, i'm assailed by way of a short misgiving concerning the academic again floor I carry to an highbrow firm of this type. (C 1)11 LIFE IS A FLIRTATION sixty nine Freud’s “A word upon the ‘Mystic Writing-Pad’ ” concludes with a writing scene that transfers the rhythmic tasting of the exterior international through the equipment of belief to the countermovements of 2 fingers, of which “one hand [is] writing upon the skin of the Mystic Writing-Pad” whereas “another periodically increases its covering-sheet from the wax slab,”12 on which, as Derrida notes, the “traces . . . produce the distance in their inscription simply via acceding to the interval in their erasure. ”13 Krull’s Confessions commence with a writing scene. At factor in either texts isn't really what's written yet really the staging of the act of writing itself. Krull’s taking over the pen has temporal dimensions that reach during the sentence with every one established clause starting “while” or “as” (indem). In different phrases the taking over of the pen brings forth the sentence. during this the anaphoric repetition of indem finds the temporality of the take hold of as that that is suspended in itself: In taking on the pen, writing is then ready to jot down. The beginning and pausing of transcription coincide within the taking over of the pen. this isn't the functionality of the act of writing yet quite the interrupting/deferring of it within the functionality of a gesture of writing, because it have been, writing as a gesture, during which writing is utilized again on itself. via pausing (deferring), the taking over (the foray) turns into the pen for tasting writing—writing turns into a hint. This indem don't need to purely be learn as “as” or “while” within the temporal feel; it additionally concurrently articulates the performative measurement of the grasp/foray. Indem this is additionally end result of the proven fact that “I absorb the pen. ” The gesture of the grasp/the taking over of the pen not just brings forth the writing (“handwriting”) in its materiality; it additionally initiates a rhetoric of digression. Digression and the parenthetical are the dominant rhetorical figures within the first sentence,14 the place a rhetoric of flirtation is initiated and looks the following as its personal artifice. Like Krull’s aesthetics of life, the aimless target of the writing of existence is additionally intensification, that is played relating to writing qua rhetorical grasps— deferral/digression—and strokes of writing (Schriftzüge).

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