- January
Posted By : Adrian Chan

one of today’s email exchanges

One reason I think you’d like luhmann! he separates communication and interaction. Unlike w/ habermas, under luhmann’s approach you can put associate writing with the dissemination of communication, speech as the utterance whose information content is distinct from the performance itself. Do you think there is a relationship bewteen salons, letters, and writing? Is there between emails, private messages, online tribes and burning man camps? Isnt the exchange between people, be it intimate or polite still a performance and “interpenetration” of 2 egos (ego/alter) and, so, fundamentally distinct from a discursive regime, whose primary task is production of meanings/interpretations that outlast the performance and utterance, and whose content is not entirely contingent on the intent or motivation of the utterer? … We don’t seem to talk about friendster or tribe or craigslist discussions while in real life gatherings. I think the medium screens the connection. But I wonder if back in the 20s that there was a more assertive connection between f2f cultures and discursive regimes and practices. Or if that was the time, precisely, when the culture of letters sought out an intimacy not only in writing/sending/delivery but also in language… From codified letters of love to highly personal confessionals (e.g. Diaries)…

Thanks for hearing me out… That was ramble!


in response to:

Hey Adrian,

Thanks for thinking of me again and sending me this! Barbara Hahn’s work is interesting! She’s written a lot on the genre of journals, autobiographies, letters and salon holders from early 19th-century German (mostly women, mostly Jewish). There was a time when I thought it would be fun to write a Master’s Thesis on the relationship between salons, letters and Derrida’s postcard and other contemporary theories of written vs. spoken, etc. etc. The, it all seemed too obvious and done. Sometimes I wish I’d written it.



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