Typography and the Textual Economics of the Mise-en-Page
- Brendon Wocke (University of Perpignan Via Domitia)
In “Desistance,” Derrida’s introduction to Lacoue-Labarthe’s “Typography: Mimesis, Philosophy, Politics,” Derrida meditates on the “onto-typo-logy.” While he is interested in the ineluctable which permeates Lacoue-Labarthe’s text, even more interesting is his consideration of typography. Not in terms of constituted domains but rather in terms of the use of the letter, which Derrida refers to as “rythmotypical” or “typorhythmic,” considering the manner in which Lacoue Labarthe uses parthenthesis, italics, quotation marks and dashes as part of the apparatus which “opens upon an entirely different thought of mimesis, of typos and of rhuthmos.”
This seminar would like to consider the manner in which the graphic configuration of the text can form a bridge between the artist and the scientist (or philosopher). We seek to investigate the economy of (textual) capital, the distribution of letters upon the page, the investment and the stakes of the “typo-graphic” layout, linking capital and expenditure to the aesthetics of the text. Does typography not hide the textual “unthought”? What are the “economic” stakes? Consider, among others, Derrida’s “Glas,” Mallarmé’s “Un coup de dès” or Genet’s “La sentence.” We would like to consider the economics of expression, how “typo-graphic” writing, in the use of capital letters, parentheses, italics, dashes and gaps, encodes a vital textual supplement. Does “typography” interface with the “metaphysics of subjectivity”? Are “typo graphics” representative of the ineluctable? This seminar would like to investigate the importance of the printed character and the mise-en-page as an emergent negotiation between the artistic, the poetic and the philosophical.
SEMINAR KEYWORDS: Derrida, Lacoue-Labarthe, Typography, Poetic economics, mise-en-page, layout, esthetics,