[D-G] The letter "A"
ma at panix.com
Thu May 5 11:48:51 PDT 2011
Are we talking about the same thing - i.e. the concepts of "virtual" and "actual" in Deleuze, and in particular in WiP? 'Cause I wasn't talking about the "reason" or "meaning" for the letter "A"; I was explicating what I thought is meant by the virtuality of the letter "A", or (relatedly) the concept of the letter "A", in the Deleuzian sense. If that's not what you are taking about, then perhaps it would help this discussion if you could be more specific as to what meaning of "virtual" and "actual" you are thinking about, and in what way it is relevant to WiP.
In any case, your passage
>But when I write, I don't need specific actualizations of letters; I don't consider their font size, color or weight, etc. I just need the letters in their virtual state. It is only when I use them, i.e. when I write (or read when I am reading) that they become functional, and that I am concerned and confronted with their actual form.
is a bit confusing, since first it says that when you write you don't need actualizations of letter, and then it says that you only need those actualizations when you write. But what exactly is the relevance of ascertaining when, and under what circumstances, you _need_ actualizations of letters? The letter "A" is actualized whenever a specific instance of it, regarded as the letter "A" (rather than regarded as an abstract shape), is produced or received in any medium. If you think of the spelling of a word that contains the letter "A", you are actualizing the letter (in thought, in this case). If you hit the "A" key on your computer keyboard with the intent of producing an "A", you are actualizing the letter. If your cat accidentally hits that key on the keyboad, it is NOT actualizing the letter (just actualizing one of infinitely many virtual cat-versus-keyboard interactions); but if you then walk up to the screen and use that cat-produced entity as part of a word, you have now actualized the letter "A". At least that's what I think is Deleuze's drift.
At 11:44 PM +0200 5/4/11, Rutger H. Cornets de Groot wrote:
>Yes, Malgosia, I must admit to all these things; these are all functions of "A". But this is just common sense; of course there is a meaning, a reason, for "A"; of course it functions, and indeed in many ways. But that's not what I was referring to. I took the example because of the apparent distinction between actual "A"'s, i.e., those in books, on computer screens, etc., and "A" as the idea of these actualizations. This is not Platonic, we are not talking about the idea of "Table" or "Cloud" to hold all manifestations of such. I don't believe that the table I am sitting at is governed by a Platonic idea of that table; at least I have no interest in that idea because the actual table is fitting for my purpose. But when I write, I don't need specific actualizations of letters; I don't consider their font size, color or weight, etc. I just need the letters in their virtual state. It is only when I use them, i.e. when I write (or read when I am reading) that they become functional, and that I am concerned and confronted with their actual form.
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