Sunday, November 8, 2009

self? (part VII)

The third species of content that populates the archive is prosthesis. As the etymology of the word suggests, prostheses are those articles “placed in addition”. Recalling the lessons of śūnyatā, they are those objects, events, people, etc from which the self has/is/will be dependently arisen. Two subgenres of prosthesis relate to the two senses of the term, the first being the 'etymological' and the second the 'definitional.' In the etymological sense of the term, prothesis acts as a "sign" (in the semiotic sense of the word) for those articles that prop up, undergird, give rise to, or condition the other two species of content. Examples in my case include: a surname; an asthma inhaler; a great uncle; petroleum; American English; alcoholism; the American highway and railway system; the Sun. The definitional sense of the term acts as a sign for those articles that function as continuation, substitute, extension, or augmentation of body or memory. Examples that apply to my archive include: a photograph of my mother taken during her senior year of high school; a pair of black and white Converse shoes; a digital copy of an essay titled Whitey X; a preferred/nick name; a passport; a “dear John” letter; my reflection.


Pryde said...

Its come to my attention that there is nothing that's not the self. In that way, the term "self" has no real meaning as there is nothing to compare it to.

How ya been? :-)

piiopah said...

Hey man, great to hear from ya! I am doing quite well. Still in Atlanta, only now I am working on my PhD and loving it.

What about you?