Wednesday, 2 June 2010

The Poetics & Politics of Relation

fisttap Dollarbrand for link to the video

I believe that Relation is the moment when we realise that there is a definite quantity of all the differences in the world. Just as scientists say that the universe consists of a finite quantity of atoms, and that it doesn’t change – well, I say that Relation is made up of all the differences in the world and that we shouldn’t forget a single one of them, even the smallest. If you forget the tiniest difference in the world, well, Relation is no longer Relation.
Now, what do we do when we believe this? We call into question, in a formal manner, the idea of the universal. The universal is a sublimation, an abstraction that enables us to forget small differences; we drift upon the universal and forget these small differences, and Relation is wonderful because it doesn’t allow us to do that. There is no such thing as a Relation made up of big differences. Relation is total; otherwise it’s not Relation. So that’s why I prefer the notion of Relation to the notion of the universal.
....we were talking about what’s specific in the definition of the Other. Whether in the Francophone, Anglophone, Arab, Chinese, Japanese world, what’s specific in the definition of the Other is that this Other is not just considered different. The Other is considered as contrary. Now, in the world, there is no contrary.
The dialectic of differences is something I agree with, but not the dialectic of contraries, because the dialectic of contraries assumes that there’s a truth over here, and its contrary over there. Now I don’t believe there is a truth...
nothing is true and everything is alive,
nothing is absolutely true,
meaning [t]here isn’t one absolute truth, but truths. Everything is alive;
everything is a Relation of differences, not contraries, but differences.

Edouard Glissant in Conversation with Manthia Diawara

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Amiable dispatch and this post helped me alot in my college assignement. Thanks you for your information.