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December 08, 2006

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Alain

Because of demands from work and family, I have faced real conflicts regarding how much time I spend blogging. And this has lead me to a larger issue - the esoteric discussions I participate in online are perceived as "escapist," or even self indulgent, by some people close to me. Last year, when I was spending alot more time blogging, I ended up creating issues with friends. Since then I have stepped back and have found that I really miss the interaction. But ultimately I had to make a choice - my family is more important to me than what takes place in the blogoshere, no matter how much I enjoy it.

I suppose this is a bit different than what you are talking about here, but it seems related. How does one negotiate between one's virtual existence and the one in the "real" world. Clearly, they are not absolutely separate - each tends to bleed into the other. And it is not always easy to negotiate between the two.

Sinthome

Was the lawsuit blog related? Spooky. I've noticed that I continously get visited by someone from Herndon, Virginia the exact moment I sign on to my blog. Herndon, apparently, is a burb of DC, so I've developed all sorts of paranoid fantasies that I'm being watched by the government for writing about Marx and Marxists. Of course, I think these fantasies, troubling as they may be-- I hardly want to go to a secret European prison --reflect a desire to say things that matter or that have an impact. They actually embody a certain sort of jouissance.

I'm not sure why the blogosphere evokes transference and that phantasm so much beyond the obvious point that in some respects it's a bit like the analysts couch and the way we project our fantasies onto the analyst due to her enigmatic way of related to us. Another question might be what to do with the fantasy or how to handle the symptom. I mean, what is it really to traverse the fantasy? Does it mean we're free of fantasy? But if the fantasy is what gives us a minimal ontological consistency and is the frame through which we encounter reality, then how could that be possible? At the risk of irritating you (you complain over at Kim's blog about people who make all sorts of personal remarks about you), you've blogged on a number of related phenomena pertaining to intersubjectivity. You talk of how you're treated by bloggers that behave as if they own you 23 hours a day and who treat you like objet a, abusing your person without recognizing you as a subject. But you've also mentioned similar reactions to the Other or the neighbor outside of blogging. For instance, a recent post on public restrooms, another one that mentioned people taking food from your plate, the recent one on how you encountered some job candidates, and so on.

I think these self-observations are all forms of traversing the fantasy or at least tracing the contours of the fantasy, as the fantasy is essentially how we interpret the Other in relation to ourselves. I do something similar over at my blog. But I guess for me the question is what difference this makes or how tracing the fantasy transforms our relation to the Other. Will I change as a result of my tracing of my fantasies? Somewhat. But it might just be that I'll embrace my fantasy, my idea of how the Other perceives me or what the Other wants. Is fantasy something that we're supposed to get beyond? Is it something to be purified like making brandy from wine? I confess I don't know.

Adam Kotsko

I like the implicit disjunction between theorizing and understanding.

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