By Daniel Bardet, Michel Janvier
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Extra info for Docteur Monge, Tome 6 : La part d'ombre
The juggler was treated with serious scorn by Plato, and the paradoxical reason seems to be the connection with mimesis, that contagious imaginary fantasy that always wins over the philosophical word simply because of priority. Image comes first in Plato's world, in the same way that ideal, form and being precede the phenomenal world. Platonic dialectics is a struggle against this priority, a hopeless struggle since the philosophical word, which goes in search of the ideal, meets the ideal only as an image of the ideal.
And, since this suspicion can never be transformed into some positive conviction — the text keeps both possibilities open — we have to confine ourselves to adding repetition to mimesis, and to writing in that poison cupboard of Platonic poetics: as a pharmakon, drug and antidote within an unruly concept. The risk you take with thinking of Plato in terms of oppositions — such as orality/writing — is to become a Platonist. Which Plato is not. If you think of Plato as the promoter of written culture and of Homer as oral, thus arriving - with Parry - at the conclusion that "the one part of literature is oral, the other written/' 33 then you run into difficulties when it comes to explaining and understanding what seems to be common to all kinds of literature: such as repetition.
The epic hero always tries to conquer death, and his real enemy is therefore called Chronos. knew when he managed to dethrone father Chronos to make himself the Olympian regent, cunning counts just as much as courage in this struggle. Time cannot be conquered, but time can be manipulated. Plato's cunning version of this manipulative trick is to create a form for narration that is not recognized as narration: the philosophical dialogue. It is a form that recreates and repeats past time in the narrative present; a mimetic construction so cleverly made that it even allows for the criticism of mimesis.
Docteur Monge, Tome 6 : La part d'ombre by Daniel Bardet, Michel Janvier