Transcendental Orphans

There is a smart aleck joke in the notes to Stephen Scobie’s bpNichol: What History Teaches. First the text block on page 118 that provides the “anchor” for the note in question.

But, given the multiplicity of language, this whole myth can also be read in another direction, and the The Martyrology can be seen as a drama of the continuing redemption of language. Poststructuralism celebrates the absence of the “father,” that is, of the very notion of a “Transcendental Signified” which would act as origin, source, and sanction for a stable system of signifiers. As I put it in Chapter 1, “The sign is empty; we are all orphaned in language.”10

And so the note:

10 See above, p. 00 [in TS, Chapter 1, pg.17].

Page Double Zero? No title abbreviates to TS in the bibliography. Transcendental Signifier? [Signified?] There is at page 17 of Chapter 1 the self quotation:

Roland Barthes observes that “every narrative (every unveiling of the truth) is a staging of the (absent, hidden, or hypostatized) father”: 26 the idea of narrative as an Oedipal quest should come as no surprise to any reader of Journal. Here we may briefly anticipate a later stage of the argument, and observe that the missing parent (a prevalent figure in Canadian literature)27 is equivalent to the absence of the “transcendental signified” in poststructuralist linguistics. The sign is empty; we are all orphaned in language. As Nichol longs to reach the (m)other through the diversity of language, that very diversity demonstrates the impossibility of concluding the quest.

Amazing if you squint a little that double zero 00 looks like an infinity symbol.

And so for day 2061

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