What is said and what what is said says

Secret Messages – What
did you
by meaning
that meaning?

Below are excerpts of
an email message I sent to Marti and her response. More than the content
of my message, I’d like to draw attention to the question I ask Marti before
I begin the „real message,“ and Marti’s reply to that question, before
she begins her reply to the „real“ message. My question and Marti’s response
are oblique in more ways than one. Each occurs prior to but not preliminary
to the „real“ question and „real“ answer“ Through a typographical coincidence
[I’m exploiting the word „coincidence“ for all its meanings, eager to get
all the milk possible from twisting the horn of that rabbit, or goat-stag]
both pre-question and pre-answer are located in a prespace- [the text’s
reproduction’s inadvertent representation of a spatio-temporality] that
is at once accurate and deliberately ineffective – a metaphoric rendering
of a space-time primacy that also neutralizes the valence of that metaphor:
the priority is merely temporal, merely spatial – its priority is also
its peripherality and never a primacy.] From this asynchronic modulation,
the question and answer form an answer that questions the questions that
raise regarding the
answer to a question never
asked but certainly the Knight’s invention. If only we all had eyes not
to see something that isn’t there.

But, I digress. In short,
the message below is divided into two trajectories.

The first trajectory
: my first question, and Marti’s response form my message to Nichole and
Anthony, which, in its deliberate calling attention to the particularity
of its aim, becomes yet another message to the group who is after all the
recipient of this message, a message for them all the more so in its denial
of their inclusion, it solicits their attention by declining to elicit

The second trajectory
– my „real question“ and Marti’s „real answer“ are abbreviated here if,
for no other reason, to underscore the peripherality of the center, the
strategic emptiness of content, and the versatility of cathexes in signifying
practice. I hope this was perfectly clear. By „clear“ I mean I hope that
was a good knock-down-drag out argument. That’s glory for you.


On Mon,
1 Feb 1999 Tomrip5@aol.com wrote:

Marti –
[by the way, do you wish to
be called Marti – i was only doing it

because of the email address,
but it occurred to me I should ask].

I was gripped by your
response to Hippolytus -and you have some statements right at

the beginning we could
really do a lot with in discussion.

sneak preview:
write „meaning is misrepresented“. Where is „meaning“ in

relation to its representation (or
in relation to some „thing“ which bears it

or points to it [or some representation
of a thing that ditto])? Is a

misrepresented meaning simply the
same meaning that it would have been if

represented properly? Does the true
meaning lurk behind the misrepresentation,

or does the misrepresentation inaugurate
a new meaning? And meaning for whom?


you write:
not have happened had the truth been told.“ Which

truth do you mean? Phaedra never
acted on her desire, and Hippolytus was

completely innocent of such
desires. [so i’m literally asking, „which truth“?]

And when should it have been
uttered in order to avoid the calamity? Remember,

Phaedra doesn’t lie until she’s
already dead. [It’s her suicide note that

lies.] This at least half the
tragedy has already fallen before this lie gets

told instead of a „truth.“ More





True my name is Martha Esperanza
(very cultural) but Martha reminds me of

an old boring woman, so
I hate that name and the meaning or implications

behind it. I love Esperanza
(which means hope in Spanish), [but] I don’t go

by Esperanza because very
few people can say it with the proper

pronounciation, so I just
go by Marti, so you can call me Marti or

Esperanza if you say it

Sorry, I’m just now getting to your response to my response on

Hippolytus, but I hadn’t checked my e-mail until now and I was ill last

weekend and that was why I didn’t attend class on Tuesday. I can answer

your questions on what I was thinking when I wrote my response using

(my absence as an example) Me not going to class could have been is

The reason implied could have been avoidance of your suggestion to

discuss my response in class, when the truth behind the misrepresentation

was that I was not feeling well and didn’t receive your e-mail until

So, meaning in relation to representation is in both the true meaning

the false one. Meaning is meaning at the time it is meant (it is real

time) and cannot be retroactive. So if you understood my absence as

avoidance that can never be taken away, but now that I have clarrified

then you have a new meaning which can only exist as it built on the

former misrepresentation. So, I think both things you suggested. True

meaning lurks behind misrepresentation and misrepresentation inaugurates

a new meaning. The meaning are for both you and I. The minute I got

e-mail I realized your possible meanings of my absence which at that

moment of my realization gave my absence more meaning to me than I

thought it had at the time I decided to stay home.

At the time my staying

home meant: I don’t feel well, I won’t be missed, Earl won’t even notice


Then when I got the e-mail I was automatically given new meaning.

In regard to Hippolytus for the second response of your question about

„which truth“ If phaedra had never hidden her lovesickness to her

husband and she had said, „I love and want your son.“ He would have

her killed, which was a truth that would have happened anyway, and his

son would have lived which would have never happened had the truth about

phaedras desire been told even if it never got acted upon. Being in

and wanting someone is an act of desire which her husband would not

tolerated as his intolerance was revealed toward his son when the truth

was hidden.

Your questions helped me to understand (or at least I think I understand)

meaning, misrepresentation, and truth a little better. They are all

connected and can be coupled in ways that make reality bizarre.

Marti :-)

Back to Marti’s real response.

To the Knight’s song

To Technical Difficulty

To the Syllabus

To the Lexicon