It is we alone who have fabricated causes, succession, reciprocity, relativity, compulsion, number, law, freedom, motive, purpose; and when we falsely introduce this world of symbols into things and mingle it with them as though this symbol-world were an "in itself," we once more behave as we have always behaved, namely mythologically.
Why could the world which is of any concern to us--not be a fiction? And he who then objects: "but to the fiction there belongs an author?"--Could he not be met with the retort: why? Does this "belongs" perhaps not also belong to the fiction? Are we not permitted to be a little ironical now about the subject as we are about the predicate and the object? Ought the philosopher not to rise above the belief in grammar?
In these pronouncements from Beyond Good and Evil, Nietzsche had already raised the basic issues in postmodernist literature and poststructuralist criticism. The reality we discuss in language may in fact be language itself; the "we" that do the discussing may in our self-conception equally be aspects of the linguistic field. Fact and fiction cease to be opposites: to manipulate fiction is to transform fact, and to realize that this is so is to transform fiction.
Subsequent development of these ideas has, however, diverged. Three modern thinkers, all of them influential in poststructuralism, illustrate the range of possibilities. For Barthes, the language (langage) of a writer is a socioeconomic product, yet by rending apart the canonical codes of our culture, the modern writer can produce in the reader an erotic jouissance or évanouissement, an abandoned swoon of pleasure that Barthes also compares to Zen satori ( Barthes Le degré, 42; S/Z, 37; Le plaisir, 15, 33-38, 57-58). For Heidegger, language is the
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Publication information: Book title: Contours of the Fantastic:Selected Essays from the Eighth International Conference on the Fantastic in the Arts. Contributors: Michele K. Langford - Editor. Publisher: Greenwood Press. Place of publication: New York. Publication year: 1990. Page number: 29.
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