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February 1994


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louis schwartz <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Tue, 1 Feb 1994 10:55:43 -0600
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On Tue, 1 Feb 1994, Dirk Eitzen wrote:
> You wish to deny that you and I (the receiver and sender of this
> message) are separate beings?  Or are you one of those folks who insist
> that you are no more than a product of your culture--a sign, if you will?
> If so, what do you do about that bundle of cells you call a body?
No Dirk, I am quite happy to admit that you and I are separate beings.
What I mean is that in terms of a model of how film signifies, or of how
texts in general do I thing the sender message receiver paradigm is
useless. In my veiw when I am engaged with a text as receiver I am
partially constituted by the text itself. This is merely a nice
phenomenological view. Some attempts to analyse spectatorial response take
reflexive structures into account, e.g. the work of Cohn-Seat and the
Filmologists, while others are based on the naive communications model and
do not.
Dirk continues:
>  Phenomenology and cognitive science are interested in
> the register of experience.  For psychoanalysis, experience is not to be
> taken at face value.  It is no more (or no less, if you wish) than the
> symptom of unconscious (unexperienced and unexperiencable) forces.  It is
> doubly removed from the realm of the empirical.
This analysis of Phsychoanalysis sounds like it was taken from a text
book. I defy you to produce a reading of Freud that substanciates it. Not
all experinece in psychoanalysis is a symptom. Sexuality and the
unconciouds are inscribed in the psychoanalytical subject by experiences:
read Anna O. or The Wolfman. Further more much psychoanalytic theory is
phenomenological. Ever read Lacan?
Psychoanalysis posits *Eperienec* such that it need not be felt by the
subject undergoping it, Freaud's famous pleaure that is not felt. But both
the expertience and the pleasure exist as such. Read Laplanch's
introduction to The Language of Psychoanalysis for more on this.
As for phenomenology its true that Husserlians practice the reduction of
experience that you suggest is endemic to phenomenology. But after all
there are many phenomenologies. Phenomenologist from Hegel to Sartre to
Merleau Ponty and beyond have posited experience as an inscription in a
field constituted by the presence of the other. This field is what
sustains unconcious experience and experience that can only be analysed as
having more to it than *face value*. Even the face is not taken at *face
value* by some phenomenologist such as Levinas.
Before you say that I am riding a high horse or thinking that you should
condescend to me because we've met please do you reading.