Logoclasody

 

ody / ode / aeidein, to sing

 

of logoclastics and of eidetics and of pannarrativity

 

 

The Logoclasody Manifesto .pdf

 

The mind knows the word in the figure of its substance.

The mind knows the word in the figure of its substance.

The mind knows the word in the figure of its substance.

The mind knows the word in the figure of its substance.

The mind knows the word in the figure of its substance.

The mind knows the word in the figure of its substance.

The mind knows the word in the figure of its substance.

Or, what is a crash course in eidetic poetry.

 

For only in eidos do words have the substantiality of things.

 

 

 

  

A response to Logoclasody
by Carey Scott Wilkerson

 

In the turbulent economy of contemporary critical theory, there exists a restrictive and, therefore, regressive distinction between the philosophical and poetical projects.  To be sure, this distinction is more than merely a received view insofar as the philosopher and the poet might imagine differing objectives.  Indeed, there may be real, determinate limitations to what either can accomplish, given the exigencies of form, to say nothing of the tyrannies of tradition. 

 

For Gregory Vincent St. Thomasino, however, these exclusionary principles and boundary conditions are, finally, points of departure and as much open to conjecture as the puzzles they presume to resolve.  Tracing that conceptual arc, “Logoclasody”—his sustained encounter with the question of “poetry as discourse”—delivers an astonishing inter-penetration of logical inquiry and lyrical invention.  It is a major theoretical gesture and, therefore, a significant methodological provocation.  I propose, here, to begin an exploration of the logoclastic synthesis and speculate on its implications for the critical enterprise of textual poetics. 

 

As an exegetical object, “Logoclasody” documents quite brilliantly an ontological crisis in poetry and is, by design, an exemplar both of the problem and the solution.  St.Thomasino conceives the central aporia of writing as one of recovering, from the ruin of a necessarily incomplete knowledge, the deep-structure(s) of representation.  And by exploiting the tension between grammatical function and the irruptive energies of text itself, the St. Thomasinian program deploys logos as an expressive motif, through which are diffracted both meaning and its contested relationship to language.  This “reverse nominalism” of logoclasticity authorizes the artifacts of poetic syllogism without invoking or displacing templates of semantic calculus, a delightfully subversive reading of the rules subtending metaphoric logic! 

 

St.Thomasino’s image of “poetry as discourse / the poem as revealer,” is an open rejoinder to the instrumentalist motivation in criticism, that odd, reflexive tropism toward zero sum explication.  And if, as he further suggests, passage into “the confidence of the poem” requires a double integration of the poet’s “creative intuition” and the reader’s “receptive intuition” turning on an axis of “tentative consent,” then logoclasticity becomes that sense in which language’s triple trajectories converge not upon, but rather, beyond the essentialist horizon of knowledge.  It is on the strength of St. Thomasino’s eidetic idiom that we are permitted a glimpse of this exotic space. 

 

That his system both invites and resists critical interrogation is evidence of a struggle to derive, from the metaphysical expenditures of writing, an exit strategy for the poet in peril: “the mind knows the word in the figure of its substance.”  Yet it is precisely at this moment of casting off formal encumbrances that his “break in discourse” restores, to this aesthetic schema, the mechanism of a complex spatial grammar.  This is perhaps the characteristic logoclastic moment, a stately modulation from the scattered coordinates of phenomenological mapping to the vertex of epistemological triangulation, from place to space, from modes of writing, to nodes of knowing. 

 

“Logoclasody” is, at once, a work of scholarly elegance and poetic gallantry.  St. Thomasino’s considerable achievement here is to illumine some of the foundational architectonics that animate the narratives of post-modernity.  Because so much of contemporary poetry and criticism is propagated without risk—and, therefore, surely without revelation—speculative sophistication must become the new exemplar of investigative rigor.  We have now, before us, precisely that object, conjured in the admonition to “make room for that-which-is” and, thus, a celebratory vision of what-might-be. 

 

 

 

Poet and theorist Carey Scott Wilkerson teaches at Columbus State University.  This response first appeared online at Word For/Word, in the Field Notes column for October 12, 2005.