Transcendental Transdisciplinarity inflects circularity with Onwardness
, infusing life with thinking, thinking with life, and all by way of abandonment.
One of the breakthroughs that Clare makes in his mature sonnet-writing is the development of a sophisticated ability to write alternately with and against the grain of a line's metrical flow, creating movement within the sonnet that enjoys the pleasure of counterpointing resistance and abandonment to the onwardness
of the verse.
See Porter Abbott, "The Trope of Onwardness
," in Beckett Writing Beckett: The Author in the Autograph (Ithaca & London: Cornell University Press, 1996), 32-42.
, a poetics in keeping with the ongoing nature of Talmudic
(8) Jonathan Levin was referring to Emerson's theory of individual growth when he wrote, "What matters is onwardness
, a perpetual development designed to resist the 'mischievous tendency' to settle into a definitive form.
I love the fact that this Luigi Nono composition, "La lontananza nostalgica utopica futura," to which I'm listening, now, as I write, makes so little sense to my ear, makes so many different demands, is so decentralized, apparently disorganized, often sounding as if it were about to end, but then continuing to travel, finding a new pretext for onwardness
, like the murmur of a crowd gathering to scapegoat but then disbanding, changing its mind.
And Abbott's writing on the 'trope of onwardness
' in traditional fiction and in Beckett is exemplary and economical, like all the best things in this book.
Within this paradox Beckett contemplates (to give two of Abbott's more forceful cases of explication as examples) his horror of fatherhood (Company) and his need for "onwardness
" (Krapp's Last Tape).
Hence, his concepts of "narratricide," of the "trope of onwardness
," and of a "continually self-reconstructing oeuvre" provide the basis not only for a powerful and exceedingly rich analysis of the texts in question but access to a more fully integrated view of a life work--recontextualized by Abbott as a life project to which the writer was consciously committed--than could be offered by practitioners of any of the temporally grounded critical approaches cited by Contat, et al: above.
This continuation of the task of philosophy after philosophy is, in a sense, impossible constitutes "our poverty," Cavell tells us in The Senses of Walden, "what hope consists in, all there is to hope for."(10) The philosophical self is thus condemned not to founding' its existence by reference to traditional philosophical categories, but rather to what Cavell's reading of "Experience" calls "finding." And likewise, the project of the self becomes not so much "dwelling," the "inhabitation and settlement" of the world we find in the late Heidegger, but rather moving through it, "lasting" by journeying, what Cavell in "Thinking of Emerson" calls "the task of onwardness
" (SW 136-38).
In semantic force, oft and first should point to onwardness
; but all the Germanic family cognates for oft, though of somewhat obscure ultimate origin, are end-stopped, before often enters early Modern English (c.