The unknown tongue : postponing language and the anonymous
in the following thesis, I argue for an interpretation of relationality on the basis of the opacity that separates perceiving subjects. Although a great deal has been written about relationality, my own project tries to demonstrate that paying close attention to the role of language and time in the explication of separation can provide us with further insights into the conditions upon which relationality is based. The structure of the thesis directly supports, at a formal level, my interpretation of subjectivity as that which, because it revolves around the absence of a unified identity "I" could call its own true self, is always in the process of arriving out of obscurity. The link between the structure of the thesis and its thematic development is inscribed in the question that guides my interpretation of relationality: How to name the anonymous? My invocation of this long-standing and recurring question in the disciplines of philosophy and the practice of narrative is intended to highlight the important role signification plays in the explication of opacity as itself a name appropriate to the discussion of relationality. In the first section I provide an introduction to terms that will figure prominently throughout the thesis against the background of Emmanuel Levinas' critique of the Other and Jean-François Lyotards critique of the sublime. In the Interlude I provide an argument supporting the inclusion of a number of Latin American authors in the thesis (namely, Alejo Carpentier, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Carlos Fuentes, Juan Rulfo and Octavio Paz) on the basis of their relation to absence. It is this relation that helps to clarify the terms introduced in the first section and which provides a close analysis of duplicity in the explication of the separation of relation. Finally, in section five, I take the reader back to the middle, to the very temporality of the between, the separation which conditions relationality, in an explication of postponement, a term I employ in varying degrees throughout the thesis. My critique of postponement is based on Carlos Fuentes' reading of Denis Diderot and Nikolai Gogol and Elizabeth Deeds Ermarth's Sequel To History: Postmodernism and the Crisis of Representational Time, both of which provide us with a language by which to conceptualise the role of postponement in the approach to the question 'How to name the anonymous'. In this way, I hope to construct, through the tight linkage between form and content in the thesis itself, the very thing which the language and the temporality of the thesis are seeking to name.