Thursday, September 3, 2009

Gregory Ulmer Evening Lecture

Gregory Ulmer gave an excellent lecture entitled "ON A TOOT"

The talk, if memory serves, was inspired by a lengthy meditation on the term Der Zug and culminated in a Eureka! moment when looking at a wooden train whistle. This whistle then featured prominently in the talk.

"If memory serves" is an important statement - as I am "friends" with Ulmer (on Facebook, and I look forward to becoming more friendly as we get to know one another), I am a bit embarrassed about the notes I have here. If you think what I present here is only so-so, I assure you this is entirely a reflection on me as a student and in no way is a proper introduction to Ulmer's thinking.

For a better introduction, see Ulmer's own site, or perhaps Michael Jarrett's pages

Der Zug
means a lot of things: drawing, pulling, move, draught animal, railroad train, passage, drift of clouds...section, yoke of oxen, lineament, disposition, draught of a drink, rifling of a gun barrel..., trait... (just google the term)

Electracy : electronic devices :: literacy : texts

This talk about der zug: the trait as blues train whistle

Derrida's deconstructionism caught on, but his On Grammatology didn't.
  • Grammatology is a social machine attempting to overcome technological determinism.
  • Grammatology as a philosophy of techik
  • We should keep to Bashō's motto: do not follow the master's footsteps but seek what they sought
Heuretics is the science of inventing the new

Today the situation is interesting: in Socrates' day he would ask his partners to define terms, that would be like us walking down into Saas-Fee and asking the locals to program our computers - it's just not in their skill set.

What was Aristotle's metaphysical insight? Entelechy. What was observed in the Real that suggested this?

Khôra - potential in the acorn, immanent in the material - the tree becomes what it already is says Aristotle

It's at the intersection of two semantic fields

Has philosophy been talking about anything other than what Aristotle was arguing with Plato? about khôra? Mary's womb was khôra, a place for the birth of God.

Whenever Heidegger says metaphysics, substitute literacy - this is what grammatology gives us.

Der Zug is an affect in music, the procession of tension and the progression of chords; Der Zug is the tension at the interlinking point between trains and its incumbent pulling

What are the political implications of Der Zug?

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