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Fr. 338

June 8, 2013

What worth is there in Paragraphs and in being a Paragrapher?

Much the same worth that there is to be found in being an iterator. For what does one iterate if not iterations?

So, what worth is there in iterations? Quite simply, Paragraphs and iterations make one weird, strange, stranger. Strange to oneself, a stranger to oneself. For Paragraphs are moments of seeing, watching, becoming. In the Paragraph, the watcher passes into the watched, the seer into the landscape. The watcher becomes in someway like the watched. Note that this does not entail a subsequent harmony on the part of the watcher with that which is watched. On the contrary, in passing out of oneself and into another, that watcher becomes something else entirely in much the same way that the watched, from being itself one thing, becomes something else new and different, unrecognizable in its new aspect to the watcher. Much as the aspect that the watched presented before eluded understanding in some way and, thus, exercised a certain fascination on the watcher, so shall this new aspect stand in a similar relation to the altered watcher.

It is important to place the emphasis here on the making and the aspect of production that is bound up with the Paragraph. Contrary to what one might believe, watching is never simply observing, a passive apprehension of some object. Watching is ever a production of new states in and of the watcher. Watching is ever a determination of one’s surroundings, for the mere fact of watching alters the constitution of that environment in some way, at the very least, through the simple fact of its being observed by the watcher. This watching hangs over the environment in some sense. In watching, the watcher always becomes other than itself. This is what the Paragraph serves to capture: the production of newness, of otherness between watcher and watched through the determination that is watching. In watching, the watcher determines both itself and the environment to be something other than that which they are presently. Both take on an unfamiliar air under the gaze.

Yet this becoming other than what one is happens not just within the Paragraph, in the passage from one of its elements to another, but also from Paragraph to Paragraph. The aforementioned worth of the iteration consists precisely in that something happens from one iteration to another, passes from one iteration to another. The mere fact of being iterations makes it such that Paragraphs bleed into one another. In being juxtaposed, the transformations that one Paragraphs brings about and, hence, captures are brought to bear on another Paragraph. In other words, the consideration of one Paragraph seemingly alters the content of another or, perhaps better, the manner in which that content is perceived. Having first read Paragraph A and then Paragraph B, the experience of Paragraph B alters the experience of Paragraph A, which is now something other than it was before. Similarly, the fact of having read Paragraph A prior to Paragraph B tinges the perception of Paragraph B.

From this mutual work of shading, alteration and transformation, there emerges a continual process of production through the linkage of Paragraphs, a production of newness that can be expanded to infinity. Indeed, that which emerges from the Paragraph is precisely a form of unending variability that reproduces itself under infinite forms from one to another Paragraph to another. Even after countless readings of Paragraph A, the juxtaposition of a new Paragraph x to the former will bring about something new therein, as well as in this Paragraph x. Watching, qua determination and production, is a logic to which all can be subsumed, a logic from which, nevertheless, something continually escapes.

Such is the interest and worth of the Paragraph and the Paragrapher.

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