Tuesday, August 27, 2013

A new Religion of the Grotesque Part 2: A Homeoteleuton of Origins, Rhyming Figurality, Transcendence, and the 'Irronic' Gaze



In the first part of this essay, I began with the example of rhyming figuralities as a way of introducing nested echoics. In this second part of the essay, I would like to perform a more complex action of showing which is itself an echo. This enaction of echoics is something I usually call 'irronics' and is really a sort of structural rhyme whose connective are transcendence itself, or simply 'unknowing' or what is usually termed coincidence. Consciousness, Monstrousness, and Coincidence; What sorts of things are we coining here?

As rhymed endings go, Consciousness, and Monstrousness illustrate a perfect homeoteleuton,
but there is another deeper rhyme afoot between the two, and there is a long tradition of both explication and concealment of the fact, both noted and noticed, and unmentioned and unknown.
Firstly to describe socially ascribed to connectives. Since I don't have my OEM up and running today, we'll have to rely on Wiktionary, as sad as that makes me, but using it reveals just how easy it is to find this information from anywhere on the planet.

If you trace back the origins of the word consciousness, you come first to this etymology:

From Latin conscius, itself from con- (a form of com- (“together”) + scire (“to know”).

Note, here we will pause to interrupt this explication with an example of the 'irronic gaze', namely,
see in scire, the word 'scary' and 'sire', also 'sere', 'sear', and 'seer'.. This example of nested echoics is a good one for showing a kind of 'motivated structural nodality', or what may only be coincidence informing the designation of a "linguistic unconscious".. continuing we find:

1. scīre: present active infinitive of sciō "to know"

and then:

From Proto-Indo-European *skey- (“to split, to dissect”), (compare Ancient Greek σχίζω, Avestan [script?] (fra-sānəm), English science, Proto-Germanic *skajjǭ.) [script?]

Wiktionary's page on sciō, has a wondeful sentence by way of illustrating usage:

Scisne ubi habitemus?
Do you know where we live?

I know carnally.

Carefully note the look of the word 'scisne', and how it echoes our familiar prefix 'schizo-":

From Ancient Greek σχίζω (skhizō, “I split”).

Now, moving back up the chain back to *skey, notice an echoics with sky, or ski, or skew, but also notice that with the s effaced we see a 'key'.

Note: This discussion is meant to inform us of a kind of rhyme, or of the 'irronic gaze', and not to formally suppose linguistic association of the traditional sort, though there is some suggestion of a completely traditional context for these echoes.

And so, at this point, in deploying a sense of what an irronic gesture might entail, we have in fact enacted by action a rhyme with the etymology of the term consciousness itself, we have found by dissection a 'dissection', but dissection itself may have more than one sense, or 'translation'..

Now we will look at the term Monstrousness which procedes from Monster:

From Middle English and Middle French monstre, itself from Latin monstrum.

Wiktionary does not include the common resonance with "monstrado" which is often listed as well, but we will return to this:

monstrum n (genitive monstrī); an evil omen, a monster, monstrosity (by extension) a thing that evokes fear and wonder..

From moneō (“advise, warn”).

It would be amiss if we did not notice here, the irronic echo with "money", which as most contemporary critics warn us, is already a "cautionary tale" about representation, however you skew 'that term'..

present active moneō, present infinitive monēre, perfect active monuī, supine monitum
I warn, advise. I remind.

Via memini from mens.

And so we finally arrive at the 'perfect', 'true', or depending on how one takes it all, 'irronic' rhyme
between Consciousness and Monstrousness, namely, "mens":

mēns f (genitive mentis); third declension mind

From Proto-Indo-European *mn̥ti-, oblique stem of *méntis (“thought”). Cognates include Ancient Greek αὐτόματος (autómatos) and Μῆτις (mētis, “wisdom”) (?), Sanskrit मति (matí), and Old English ġemynd (English mind).

And now, to create another 'perfect rhyme', but one which is immanently suited to the display of 'the irronic gaze', I would like to present something which I am sure most people have widely seen, namely, the famous painting Las Meninas (Spanish for The Maids of Honour) which is a 1656 painting by Diego Velázquez, the leading artist of the Spanish Golden Age, from the Museo del Prado in Madrid. Note: Attempt to consider the painting as both a 'dissection' of the painter's craft, but notice the 'dissection of perpsective' which procedes from the composition of the frame!



It is my contention, that the "key" to the painting's proper 'sciolation' is to return a missing 's' to Las Meninas to create 'Las Mensinas' or to 'irronically' concoct the title "Lost Mensigns", a monstrous act of departure from the given, but there is some basis in this. For one thing, menina does subtly rhyme with memini, or at least in its parts, me-me, and min-nin, and furthermore, when we look into the history of the painting, even into the most cursory of interpretations we find evidences, if only subliminal ones for the germaneness of the rhyme I have proposed, but within this interpretation we will also find, the seeds for our next discussion. And look closely at the image, and compress and alter it, the image in the deep background is vaguely 'parental' or 'etymic'.. Figure this image as a kind of silent placeholder for an enunciation of the two figures in the foreground.. Is one menina whispering memina to the other by way of iconographic echo?

Las Meninas has long been recognised as one of the most important paintings in Western art history. The Baroque painter Luca Giordano said that it represents the "theology of painting" and in 1827 president of the R.A. Sir Thomas Lawrence described the work in a letter to his successor David Wilkie as "the true philosophy of the art". More recently, it has been described as "Velázquez's supreme achievement, a highly self-conscious, calculated demonstration of what painting could achieve, and perhaps the most searching comment ever made on the possibilities of the easel painting".

So there, in one stroke, do we find the ground for our 'Religion of the Grotesque' as discovered by the 'irronic gaze' in the Homeoteleuton of Origins between Consciousness and Monstrousness.
To complete the picture, and to give further, and traditional credence to these claims, I will here insert a google books frame which does include the missing etymological element of "monstrado"
which includes both a theatrical sense, and an imperative to impart knowledge, to show by display, and which completes a further of irronic echo of this text itself as a nesting of nested echoics, and it is from this Theater of Knowledge, that this 'prodigal surgery' will continue afterwards with another inserted page, a medieval example of monstrosity figured within a primitive mathesis
of numerology, itself an echo of the 'irronic gaze'..




And so to recap, and make some slight emendations; we didn't quite get to Flannery O'Connor's so called "Religion of the Grotesque" as part of an echoic structure which reveals Post-Modernism, Surrealism, Dada, Folk Art, Modernism, and indeed, Theology to all be parts or reflections of a single self-elaborating process, but we're getting there.. It is also useful to note that at its possibly its 'deepest' layer, the term techne as well, is a reflection of monstrado.. In Indra Kagis McEwen's Socrates' Ancestor: An Essay on Architectural Beginnings we find this (and you can find more if you read it):


And it is important here to notice the symmetry of nuance, all at once, between 'Platonic remembrance' as production, Post-Modernist textuality as contingency, and Post-Structuralist immanence, or the decentralization of agency, which in a way conflict, but only if one read's any of these with too literal a gaze. When we look at the history of mathematics and science, art, etc, we always seem to find these prophetic forms of unfolding. Quickly, one very good example comes to mind, and it may be nothing earth-shattering, but it has played a large if quiet part in our contemporary scene; the discovery of a completely perfect rhyme between Boolean algebra, and circuit design, seems as if fate were something more than the vicissitudes of an accident of chemistry, and something more in line with a temporally distributed consciousness, but that is beyond the scope of this rustic inquiry..