Gregory Ulmer in Teletheory: Gramatology in the Age of Video brings the memoir work of N. Scott Momaday into conjunction with the schizo-analytic work of Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari. The one is The Way to Rainy Mountain; the other, A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia. The explanation offered by Ulmer:
Deleuze and Guattari provided an argument for the authority of a nomadic approach to thought at an abstract level of argument. Momaday offers something more specific — a text about a nomadic people, about a journey, that shows how to bring into appearance, for ourselves, the imaginative register of materials we are likely to need in the process of invention.
Earlier Ulmer quotes from Momaday in the context of “attending to the multiple dimensions of thought”. He quotes from the Prologue to The Way to Rainy Mountain. What he chooses to highlight reminds one of allegorical emblems with their multiple articulations of image and word. See …
He [Momaday] insists upon the value of both [oral and written] traditions, which is another way of attending to the multiple dimensions of thought, for “the journey is made with the whole memory, that experience of the mind which is legendary as well as historical, personal as well as cultural. And the journey is an evocation of three things in particular: a landscape that is incomparable, a time that is gone forever, and the human spirit, which endures […]”.
Ulmer’s ever so enticing dwelling upon the tripartite whets the appetite. One wants to see in situ what is incomparable, forever gone, and enduring. Explore more how spirit, time and landscape entwine. What informs this evocation of the three things is the figure of the journey and Momaday just prior to this is description of what is evoked appeals to an invocation of imagination.
The journey herein recalled continues to be made anew each time the miracle comes to mind, for that is peculiarly the right and responsibility of imagination.
“Treatise on Nomadology — The War Machine” is of a landscape and time incomparable and forever gone. This section out of Thousand Plateaus can endure through an act of imaginative reading, one that treats the text as a landscape. See …
It is not the nomad who defines this constellation of characteristics; it is this constellation that defines the nomad, and at the same time the essence of the war machine. If guerrilla warfare, minority warfare, revolutionary and popular war are in conformity with the essence, it is because they take war as an object all the more necessary for being merely “supplementary”: they can make war only on the condition that they simultaneously create something else, if only nonorganic social relations.
Towards the end of The Way to Rainy Mountain in the last of the numbered sections, Momaday leaves us with a way that is a way of reading
Once in his life a man ought to give himself up to a particular landscape in his experience, to look at it from as many angles as he can, to wonder about it, to dwell upon it. He ought to imagine that he touches it with his hands at every season and listens to the sounds that are made upon it. He ought to imagine […]
And reading as Deleuze and Guattari make us experience is a form of warfare.
And so for day 1191