Tuesday, 23 May 2000

From "Introduction to Henri Meschonnic – For a Poetics of Rhythm"

By Piers Hugill.

For Meschonnic, critique is the historicity of theory (see CR), and as such it is both inherently a critique of the sign, which is in turn a critique of what he calls, after Horkheimer, traditional theory. Critique, then, is what refuses mastery, the status quo, and the maintenance of order; it is that which constitutes an adventure into the unknown, the unfinished, the unreachable, and therefore a movement towards knowledge, rather than the description of a knowledge. Also of significance here is the insistence with which Meschonnic distinguishes critique from polemic. For him polemic is the practice that stems from the Sophists (and Socrates, interestingly), an attempt to silence or subdue an opponent, rather than the opening up to thought that critique implies, and which his Talmudic seminar, in particular, embodies.

No comments: