Voices on voices

…the sender of the voice, the bearer of vocal emission, is someone who exposes himself, and thus becomes exposed to the effects of power which not only lie in the privilege of emitting the voice, but pertain to the listener. The subject is exposed to the power of the other by giving his or her own voice, so that the power, domination, can take not only the form of the commanding voice, but that of the ear. The voice comes from some unfathomable invisible interior and brings it out, lays it bare, discloses, uncovers, reveals that interior. … One could indeed say that there is an effect- or rather, an affect -of shame that accompanies voice: one is ashamed of using one’s voice because it exposes some hidden intimacy to the Other, there is shame which pertains not to psychology, but to its structure. … The trembling voice is a plea for mercy, for sympathy, for understanding, and it is in the power of the listener to grant it or not.
quote via Long Sunday / book

.. reading across some favorite blogs to get an update of current discussions again I got fascinated by the theme of the voice – described of symptoms of transference as picked up as an issue of blogging on Long Sunday. .. don’t miss the interesting comments on icite for the same post.
The author of the post wonders about the effect of the abscence of a vocal voice, which usually introduces the ambivalence of the voice, the voice as an object of authority and of shame. And concludes: it may be that in the silence of blogs, in the absence of the voice, we are left with subjects and others that have no tie at all. That only clash.
I would like to add that I am thinking about blogging as adding a different level to the implications of voice we have had so far. If the voice itself already can be considered as an always inbetween medium (see excerpt from review below) the blogging – virtual online life – increases the instance of inbetweeness. Similar to most of the abilities of modern and mostly digital devices it allows a remark, opinion, conception and tenor (in a metaphorical sense), … to come in at a instantaneous and spontaneous level, which so far related most of the time only to a real-time remark – a heard voice. At the same time blog posts and comments connect to the written comment – which traditionally are considered as the captured voice of writing. Without going here too much into details I cannot provide at the moment (again I would like to refer to the review below) I would like to dare to make here a connection between the blogging voice and the captured, disembodied voice of a recording – both bear marks of spontaneity and authenticity which is much harder to constitute for publication of thoughts which went through the process of self-verification before being expressed. .. But as Jodi wrote the blog’s main expression is a silence, which might not be adequate to the words put down – as one usually associates with the more thoughtfully and less instantaneous written word.
At this point I am being finally redirected to the review on Shaviro’s blog of Mladen Dolar’s new book, A Voice and Nothing More and his concluding thought about the not yet thought through part of the “aesthetics of voice”:

A Voice and Nothing More as its title indicates, works to complicate our understanding of the role and meaning of the human voice in culture. Dolar rejects as overly simplistic Derrida’s famous opposition between voice and writing. For Derrida, the stress on voice and speech, at the expense of writing — a valorization found in philosophers from Plato to Rousseau, and also in such modern thinkers as Heidegger — is a symptom of the metaphysics of phonocentrism and logocentrism. To champion the voice against writing means to embrace the illusions of self-presence, immediacy, identity, interiority, etc. And Derrida works hard to show how all the assertions of the authenticity of the voice, throughout the Western philosophical canon, in fact surreptitiously discredit or ‘deconstruct’ themselves, by calling in spite of themselves upon the difference and mediation and metaphoricity which are figured by writing in contrast to vocal speech.

Dolar, however, argues and demonstrates that the phenomenon of Voice is in fact far more uncanny and slippery, and already inclusive of difference, than Derrida gives it credit for. The voice always stands in between: in between body and language, in between biology and culture, in between inside and outside, in between subject and Other, in between mere sound or noise and meaningful articulation. In each of these instances, the voice is both what links these opposed categories together, what is common to both of them, without belonging to either. The logic here is in fact not all that different from a Derridean or deconstructionist one, except for two things. First, it complexifies the role of the voice in the deconstructionist schema of binary oppositions and the instance that both produces and disqualifies them. And second, it gives a psychoanalytic location — in terms of the contradictory imperatives of desire and drive — to what tends to remain just a cognitive or logical paradox in deconstruction.

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