Sacrifice To The Signifier, In Comic Praise Of The Logos

1340 words - 5 pages

Sacrifice to the Signifier, in Comic Praise of the Logos

When Socrates wanted to inspire Glaucon with knowledge of the pure forms, he conjured up a rhetorical fantasm—a word-picture whose referent could appear no other way, and whose signified emerged from a cluster of signifiers (men chained before a blazing fire, shadows on a cave wall, etc.). At once self-consciously artificial and didactic, Socrates’ allegory prompts an understanding, produces a knowledge that leans upon fantasy and imagination as its only supports. Replying to Socrates, Glaucon registers his appreciation of the allegory: "All this I see."

Perhaps this primal scene of philosophical instruction can most productively be grasped as a deaf moment, or as an occasion of occult second sight that funds the philosophical drive toward the absolute. An ambitious, and careless, reading of this allegory might suggest that it illustrates a logic of signification grounded in imaginary (as opposed to symbolic) identifications—that sight, and not sound, image and not voice, is the most fundamental sensual modality, and that, consequently, all rhetoric is "visual." Herman Rapaport tempers ambition with caution: "More interesting is how a prop such as the cave image can suddenly turn into a stage, how an mage, itself framed, can immediately stage itself as stage and in that way absent itself or disappear from the viewer’s consciousness as image, object, or prop." That disappearing or absenting harnesses a sensual response, a response that, paradoxically, evokes a disembodied gaze. "So much, then, depends on a stage prop, on the theatricalization of philosophy." And more than that, so much depends upon the reduction of significance into sensation, the return or even radical collapse of all language in/to the body.

To some degree, such observations have durable pivots, not only in the allegory of the cave—which I take to be one of the archaic master-texts for any theorizing about visual rhetorics—but moreover in vernacular manifestations of (alleged) understanding. Glaucon’s utterance—"All this I see"—is a paradigmatic figure of speech, not a literal knowledge-claim, which composes a prominent pattern of response to the words of others. "I see what you mean," "I see it clearly now," "I’ve seen the light," etc.—such a pattern of response pins abstract cognition to sensual particularity. Furthermore, the rhetorical/poetic category of imagery suggests similar principles of anchorage. Vividness, clarity, scope, proportionality, elegance, and other criteria for rhetorical excellence all imply firm grounding in the utilities and pleasures of sight.

The prominence of that pattern or grounding may indeed imply a hegemony of vision over other sensory modes, but it does not perform a radical break from what Gadamer terms "linguisticality" or what we typically refer to as the logos. Nor does it recommend the displacement of other ways of essentializing human subjectivity, e.g., homo...

Find Another Essay On Sacrifice to the Signifier, in Comic Praise of the Logos

Comic Art: The Seduction of the Innocent

3330 words - 13 pages National Book Critics Circle Award in 1987), but it was the first to have won. The ensuing uproar at the awards ceremony and the umbrage that many took at a mere comic book winning instead of a standard-print story resulted in the rules of the awards being changed. Henceforth, no comic book could be nominated, much less win. Like the people at the World Fantasy Awards in 1991, most of us would not think that a comic book could reside on the same

A critical review of the article "In Praise of Cultural Imperialism" by David Rothkopf.

702 words - 3 pages In the article, In Praise of Cultural Imperialism, David Rothkopf illustrates a progressive new world order where information is the new global currency and the United States, "the indispensable nation," is the bank. In his article, Rothkopf contrasts the victimizing tendencies of 'cultural barriers', which are the unmistakably causing ethnic, religious, ideological, tribal or nationalistic conflicts, to the uniting tendencies of western

The title of the essay is "sacrifice".This is a college application essay for the University of Miami. In the essay I talked about what sacrifice means to me.

517 words - 2 pages He gazed up at me with the clear bright eyes of a child who was clearly experiencing a rare moment of happiness, and I knew instantly the sacrifice had been worth it. The sacrifice I am speaking of was awaking at five o'clock on a gloomy Saturday morning to take poverty-stricken children in our area shopping at a local department store before it opened. I can't help but to notice life is full of these little decisions. I have longed been plagued

Aristophanes the Comic Writer

1229 words - 5 pages Aristophanes Aristophanes was a comic writer who lived between 450 and 385 BC and composed about forty plays in his lifetime. His plays were all comedies, which usually addressed very serious political and social issues in a direct and crude manner, which, like much of today's comedy, is what made them funny for the audience to watch and appreciate. Many of the comedies would even go as far as mocking members of the audience or making personal

Canterbury Tales - Linking Griselda of The Clerk's Tale to the Biblical Sacrifice of Abraham

2333 words - 9 pages Linking Griselda of The Clerk's Tale and the Biblical Sacrifice of Abraham       The Clerk's Tale seems to strike most readers as a distasteful representation of corrupt sovereignty and emotional sadism; few can find any value in Walter's incessant urge to test his wife's constancy, and the sense that woman is built for suffering is fairly revolting to most modern sensibilities. Nevill Coghill, for instance, described the tale as

How does Shakespeare create comic effect in the first part of the play?

858 words - 3 pages Comedy in Twelfth NightHenry Eshel 1ES2How does Shakespeare create comic effect in the first part of the play?Twelfth Night is a comedy by Shakespeare. It is also known as "What You Will", which prepares the audience for a jovial atmosphere, consisting of drink, dance, and giving in to general self-indulgence. Often said to be one of Shakespeare's more 'mature' comedies, it would be interesting to see just how he creates this comic effect in the

Use of Logos, Ethos, and Pathos in the Article, Is Santa Claus a Conspiracy?

1270 words - 5 pages Jay Mocks article “Is Santa Clause a Conspiracy?” first appeared on The River Journal website on December 11th, 2009. Mock, an online blogger who has the mindset that there are conspiracies behind many things that go on in the world, seeks to encourage readers to discover whether there is a conspiracy behind Santa Claus. If so, whether or not it is maintained by the lies of parents, and whether or not their intentions are good because they

Comparing the Theme of Sacrifice in My Antonia and The Song of the Lark

2758 words - 11 pages Theme of Sacrifice in My Antonia and The Song of the Lark         A common trait for Willa Cather's characters is that they possess a certain talent or skill. This art usually controls the lives of these characters. According to critic Maxell Geismar, Cather's heroines who possess a skill often either do not marry or marry men whom they dominate; if they do marry the marriage is without excitement because their passion is invested in

Writing for the Medium. How to write for Comic books.

2235 words - 9 pages Writing for the Medium Entertainment is a major focus in our society. Nothing can interest us more than watching a good movie, television show, or a great comic book. Many people have interests outside of these mediums, but you would have to go pretty far to find someone who has not seen a fictional work in the visual form. At one time I thought that television shows and movies worked straight from books in novel form, I was wrong

The Comic view of Love in "A Midsummers Night's Dream" by William Shakespeare.

2319 words - 9 pages Sometimes in our lives reality can seem like a dream come true, in "A Midsummer Night's Dream," by William Shakespeare, to the characters, their dreams are reality. Shakespeare focuses on comic love scenes to portray dreams within reality and reality within dreams. The funniest part of this play seems to be when Puck, the trickster, keeps mixing up the people who he is assigned to put the love juice on. Even when he did put the love juice into

Purity and Civility in The Praise of Folly by Desiderius Erasmus and Of Cannibals by Michel de Montaigne

1521 words - 6 pages Purity and Civility in The Praise of Folly by Desiderius Erasmus and Of Cannibals by Michel de Montaigne Both in “The Praise of Folly” by Desiderius Erasmus and “Of Cannibals” by Michel de Montaigne-relating to the common point to which attention is tried to be drawn-inquiry of true civility with regards to the Nature and its necessity according to certain circumstances are substantiated. First of all,Erasmus stating

Similar Essays

The Sacrifice Essay

557 words - 2 pages Aspects of Killing in The Sacrifice      To kill does not only mean to take ones life, but instead it also carries the meaning of ending an important factor in ones life. Killing also has a lot of other meanings, but the main factor of killing leads to death there are many more the author Adele Wiseman displays the many different aspects to kill in the novel The Sacrifice, by dealing with a lot of situations that

The Sacrifice Of College Athletes Essay

1133 words - 5 pages Playing in the NCAA ( The National College Athletics Association ) is almost every high school athletes dream when they think about their futures as an athlete. As an athlete playing for the association, they may struggle, and have to sacrifice a lot, for no return.AAA Athletes that make billions and billions of dollars for this association, could very well be the ones struggling just to get by. There sport dominates their lives; there is no

Effective Use Of Dialogue In The Sacrifice Of Isaac

1504 words - 6 pages Effective Use of Dialogue in The Sacrifice of Isaac        In the Brome version of The Sacrifice of Isaac, the suspense created by the emotionally charged dialogue is likely what kept the audience's attention. While it is incredibly likely that the audience knew the entire story, the emotional flavor of the dialogue, such as Abraham's innocent expressions of his love of and thankfulness for Isaac at the beginning of the play, is bound to

Theme Of Sacrifice Leading To Transformation Illustrated In Hughes' 'the Negro Speaks Of Rivers' And 'the Secret Of The Sea'

906 words - 4 pages sailors it might be an opportunity to develop themselves. While “The Negro Speaks of Rivers,” connects the spirit and history of the African/African-American community, and the poem, “The Secret of the Sea,” expresses the strengths and potential of the hearts of sailors, and in both of poems they illustrate that sacrifice can lead to transformation. “The Negro Speaks of Rivers,” by Langston Hughes has many symbolic meanings about the name of