LITERATE TECHNOLOGIES / LANGUAGE, COGNITION, TECHNICITY
by Louis Armand
ISBN 80-7308-138-5 (paperback). 250pp.
Publication date: October 2006
Price: € 14.00 (not including postage)
“A brilliantly learned and provocative book…“–J. Hillis Miller
“Literate Technologies develops a general system of signs and meaning capable of combining theory and practice in a technological world, a world in which literature still has a vital role to play. The overarching effect is that of a concerted deployment of theories of language, signs, the letter, literacy and technology as applied to the works of the main literary experimenters of the 20th century. Armand unfolds a very convincing thesis that slowly displays its myriad ramifications.”–Jean-Michel Rabate
“Armand is unafraid to ask the most basic questions, to go beyond the zone in which most cultural discussions operate in order to ask what underlies our capacity for thought, for imaging, for communication. Time and again he takes his reader to the edge of what is thinkable, subjecting familiar concepts to stringent analysis and casting an original light on old debates.”–Derek Attridge
It is a basic contention of the present volume that only on such a basis of generalised technology can we begin to approach the phenomenon of language in its broadest sense. That is to say, of any system of sign operations in which an event of transmission or transcription can be said to take place. At the same time, it is necessary to treat this universalising aspect of ‘literacy’ as a constellation-effect bridging the entire field of discourse–from atomic and molecular structures to the transcriptive coding and decoding processes of DNA; from the evolving neural structures of the human brain to computing programmatics and artificial intelligence; from simple binary procedures to the most complex topologies–which is thus also to say, the entire textual field.
Essays in this volume treat the work of Walter Ong, Ludwig Wittgenstein, Jacques Lacan, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Nicholas Rescher, Ernest Fenolosa, Roman Jakobson, Alan Turing, Claude Levi-Strauss, Thomas Sebeok, Juri Lotman, Sigmund Freud and Claude Shannon.
Louis Armand is director of the Centre for Critical & Cultural Theory in the Philosophy Faculty of Charles University, Prague. His books include Solicitations: Essays on Criticism & Culture; Techne: James Joyce, Hypertext & Technology; and Incendiary Devices: Discourses of the Other.