A Hermeneutic of Poe’s Tell Tale Heart

I happened to read the story since I had to teach it to eight graders. The story belongs to the genre of the Gothic Vintage. The protagonist of the story becomes obsessed with the killing of an old man. The whole story revolves around his pathological mania for killing. The reason for killing is psycho-analytically revealed in the story. The old man has an eye that resembles that of a vulture. The evil eye is haunting the protagonist. The wealth or possessions of the man like Gold does not interest the protagonist. He visits the old man’s house several times in the night and goes through the ecstasy of the thought of butchery. And finally one night he accomplishes the mission. He decapitates the body and buries it in the wooden planks that make the floor of the house. Then Poe brings in the cops who come to house on the pretext of having heard a shriek. The protagonist at first manages to maintain his composure but in the end looses it and spills the beans to the cops that he has liquidated the old man. It’s true that Poe has been characterized as a mad genius and as a tormented artist. The protagonist is suffering from narcissistic, psychotic melancholia. The narcissism is an obsession directed with quirk of violence that shifts the mind from reason to that of passion. The protagonist is going through an intense psychotic phase of psychosis where he is not able to distinguish murder as something diabolic and goes against the Super Ego, the laws of the society. Melancholia is pining for an object that cannot be obtained. Here it becomes a phantasmagoria, the vulture-eye of the old man. The psychotic character is unable to distinguish between fiction and reality. He does not want to take responsibility of the crime and willingly surrenders himself to the police. The psychological build up of psychotic anxiety is a super rendition of art.


Portrayal of Women in Bataille’s Blue at Noon

Blue at Noon by Georges Bataille is a fascinating avant garde novel. In this essay I would like to deconstruct the way in which women are portrayed. Most of the Women except his wife and Desire are sluts. The prominent whores featured in his novel are dirty (Dorothea) and Xenia. The entanglements of the protagonist with these women are symptomatically pathological. The protagonist betrays devastating hidden oedipal fantasies. The relationships with these women are more intricate and denser than remuneration for occupying the pleasures of the bed. The protagonist takes great pleasure in the disgusting and the revolting. For example: Dirty is drunk and puking and at the same time she exposes herself nude. Sometimes the protagonist becomes an archetypal feminine. For example he sobs: when he gets a letter from his wife. All his relationships with sluts are erotic a melancholia, a fantasy of longing which ceases to be fulfilled. He portrays whores as tender, loving oedipal objects on which he can gratify his emptiness, his angst. The novel takes places in three places, England, France and Spain. In France he encounters Xenia. He is very ill at that time. Xenia though a whore goes to a great extent of nursing him back. The amazing thing is that he does not feel grateful but treats her with intense repulsion. In Spain he encounters Desire. The Spanish revolution is going on there and she has intense communist views. Though he becomes close to Desire, he treats her like a wretch. He has no interest in her intellectual proclivities. There are no scenes in the novel which are sexually graphic. Drunkenness, puking and nudeness become orgies for the mind of the protagonist. Though the novel is experimental, the narrative is straight forward and goes on from the beginning to the end. The protagonist is an erotic Sisyphus who is tormented by the weight of his sexual entanglements and finds release of his emotion through sheer repugnance. The pleasure of the bed has become a narcotic stone which is rolled down by him in mental stupor. The protagonist is always in state of psychological fornication. As a work of Art he is Picasso’s bull who is limpid and strangulated by his own emotions. The author creates whores who are fond of him. The creation represents a maternal, oedipal reaching out. Is it a kind of oedipal narcissism that the author suffers from? There is no political consciousness for the protagonist. He maintains a stormy silence when Desire discusses ideas about communism. The creation of the psychology for the whores in his novel is a dystopian archetype. The women are his ideal and yet they are repugnant to him. Eroticism for the narrator is one of morbid loathing and ironically a state of ecstatic pleasure. I as a reader, I am totally ignorant how whores interact or behave. Of course I have had my chances but I have failed to follow upon them. Yes in the end, I feel whores are humane and can have genuine feelings.


In this article I would like to focus on how we try to discern a metaphor. I would like to focus on the cognitional faculty associated with metaphors. Discerning a metaphor can be aesthetic, religious, secular, cultural-historical and philosophical.
A metaphor in common day language is an adornment of words where there occurs a comparison between things. For example: His thoughts are a flying saucer. It means that his thoughts are fanciful and unrealistic. This metaphor has only one effect on the reader which is a pure aesthetic one, one of pleasure.

Let’s look at another example: He is a shady night. Here the metaphor embodies a semantic concept, meaning that he is not a straight forward person. This semantic attribute is related to a particular emotional quality and there by casting its roots into the soil of judging human qualities.
But some metaphors go beyond the aesthetic. Let’s take a Biblical metaphor which is also simile: ‘You should have faith as a mustard seed’. A simile is also related to the metaphor and uses like or as. Here mustard seed takes a meaning of the supra-sensible realm, beyond the aesthetic. Faith becomes dichotomized into smallness and reliance on the super-natural. We can utilize its meaning in the secular sense as the tininess of faith for obtainment of a thing or with a religious tinge, having faith as small as a mustard seed and relying faith on a transcendental power. The hermeneutic meaning is left to the discernment of the reader.
Next I would like to take an example of a metaphor having political and historical connotations. For example: Fascism and Nazism have become religious entities of fanatic Islam in the contemporary geo-political world. Here the meaning becomes a thesis (far- right dictatorships), an antithesis (unfair barbarism and cruelty and the holocaust) and synthesis (the aim of fanatic Islam to create terrorism and also dominate the world). I am using Hegelian Philosophy here. The meaning of this metaphor bifurcates into cultural, political and historic roots and brings up a daunting similarity with the contemporary comparison.
Next I would like to analyze a metaphor from feminist philosophy. For example: We or they are gender twins. This refers to woman who does not like to be labeled as she or he. Being gender neutral and the same time having a gender is an accepted norm of conceptual democratic post-modern philosophy.

Thus in my readings of the metaphor, I have left its discernment as aesthetics, as the religious, as the semantic, as the secular, as the historical, cultural and the political and also the philosophical.


Post-Structural Assemblage of the Sign

The assumption of this writing starts from the view that all signs are Signifiers. A signifier is a tangible reality with a sense of meaning. I have divided the post-structural assemblage of the sign into various categories.
(a) Semantoria
Semantoria refers to the phonic and graphic content of the letter. Here the letter of the language metamorphizes into a primary content of meaning which can be a spoken one or a written one. The presence or absence of meaning as implied by deconstruction can be considered as implying sensibilities. The essence of connotation can only be an implication of construction.
b) Verboria
In semantics verbs are performative, that is they perform an action. A verb such as swim is a signifier and it performs the action of swimming. For words to be the symptom of Verboria, they can form an idea that is sensible and not an abstract one like love, passion or kindness. For example: in a sentence: she dances, the meaning becomes complete and that state of completion is called verboria. Writing of Verboria taken in the grammatological sense of Derrida’s Deconstruction fails to become a deconstructive entity.
c) Logoria
Logoria is a state of forming a sign from a signifier and a signified. It was Saussure who introduced it into language. A signifier is a tangible entity and belongs to the sensate realm. For e.g. let’s take odor. Odor belongs to the sensate realm and it can be felt. Here Odor is a Signifier. If I say: the odor is nauseating, nauseating becomes a signified or a connoted idea. Nauseating becomes the Signified. Post-structuralists use deconstruction to deconstruct signs. When there is a presence in a sign, there is also an absence. Post-Structuralists argue that a sign privileges presence and marginalizes an absence. For example if I say that colored people cannot be intellectuals, I am privileging the presence of White and marginalizing the presence of the colored. For Derrida the stability of signs in a language is an articulated hegemony. Language by its very structure when prone to articulation becomes victim of structural inconsistencies. It is the duty of deconstruction to articulate critical readings to autonomic democracy.
d) Metoria
A Metoria is an effect of reading tropes or figures of speech. Let’s take a metaphor as an example. For example Palestine is a Volcano. The meaning implied here is Palestine’s political climate is very volatile. Palestine is the tenor the denoted part of the sentence and Volcano is the vehicle which carries the tenor. A metaphor can have a realism of meaning which is mere semantic content. At a secondary level, the meaning of a metaphor implies an aesthetic effect. The reader gets to appreciate the content of meaning created by the metaphor. For a reading of metaphor there is also a tertiary level of meaning and meaning becomes an ideology, a meta-narrative or a grand-narrative. For example: Palestine is a volcano suggests that it is nation longing for being recognized to an absolute status as a nation-entity. The opponents of this view might claim that Palestine is inducing terrorist activities and rampant unlawful behavior. The tertiary level of reading a metaphor can be deconstructive that is undoing the privileged status of meaning.

e) Symboloria
Mathematical and Scientific symbols fall into this category. For example the word DNA Deoxyribonucleic acid falls into the symbolic category of meaning. The structural presence of meaning is always one of being abstract and being in transformation.


Convenientializm a post post modern Philosophy

Convenientializm is a post post modern, post post structural Philsophy. Convenientializm in a nut shell means: anything is everything and everything as a semantic democracy and can mean all things or a nothing. I have developed some isms for convenientializm which I have already used in my earlier quodlibetical discussions.
From a Binary Divide to an eclecticism of Binary Fusion
The concept of Binary divide was propounded by Jacque Derrida, the guru of Deconstruction. It means in the History of Western Metaphysical tradition terms are explicated by privileging certain concepts and in the process marginalize others. This in my conception is linguicide (coming from lingual and killing). For example God was privileged as light, virtue, sinless while the Devil was marginalized as darkness, evil, covetousness, gluttony, fornication and all vices. Another example of Binary divide from Politics would be the privileging of the Bourgeoisie Capitalist and the marginalizing of the working class the Proletariat. What Derrida says is that the stability of language is defined by privileging of certain terms and by the marginalization of other terms. Derrida also claims that language is prone to structural inconsistencies.
Here, from the concept of Binary divide, I have developed a new conception called as Binary Fusion. In the conception of Binary fusion, the terms used attain neither a privilege nor a marginalization but a fusion which can be called as lexical syncretism of a democracy.
For example: let’s take the example of the word Human. Human privileges the man and demeans the woman. I have made an effort to binary-fuse the word. I have binary-fused the word into hu/WO/man. In hu/WO/man both terms attain a semantic cognition of being in democratic recognition. Another binary-fused word would be WO/man. Let’s apply binary fusion to the word colored. Colored has derogatory connotations in lexicography and as a derogatory term privileges the whites and marginalizes the Blacks and the Asians. If we Binary-fuse the word colored it would have racial connotation of being all encompassing. Colored as a racial democracy of an all encompassing term would mean Americanness, Asianess, Africaness, Austra-NewZealandness. Thus the word colored would become an appropriation of semantics in the Philosophy of democracy.


Phenomenological Ontology
The Philosopher Martin Heidegger has left the term (BEING) in a solipsistic conundrum, leaving being or Dasien as being historically conditioned and prone to temporality. Heidegger has not been able to provide a successful semantic appropriation of meaning to Dasien or Being. He said being is the throwness of being to history and time. The meaning of Being was later on taken up by the Existential Philosopher Sartre who defined being as a being-in-it-self (primary consciousness of being), being for itself (being directing its consciousness towards things, attitudes, situations or experiences). I would like to develop a new concept of being and I call the process of being not being but (UNBEING). We become an (UNBEING) when we go through a process of experience or knowing. Being makes us (UNBEING) as a processual ontology. (UNBEING) enters the structure of consciousness (phenomenology) as a process. We are always in the process of making being an (UNBEING). This is called the processual ontology of being. In the post post modern, structuralist era how can we make (UNBEING) creative, leading to a sybarite triumph of individuality? Here, I would also like to use post-structural psychoanalytic terms: the terms used by Freud, the ID, EGO and the Super Ego. The post-structural psychoanalyst Lacan propounds that there is no fixed stability of the self. The self has to do a tight-rope-walking between the needs of the ID, the conditioning of the EGO and the Holy Father Laws which impinge and punish the ID and the EGO for legal trespasses. A creative way for becoming the process of (UNBEING) would be, when we undergo the experience of (unbeing) we should gratify the ID, deify the EGO and Subvert the SUPER EGO for being a sybarite, for our individuality to triumph. I would also like to explain one more concept of being. I am stripping transcendence of its metaphysical and theological moorings. When we go through the process of (UNBEING), we are knowing, feeling, thinking, willing or experiencing. This processual aspect of UNBEING is called transcendence. Transcendence of UNBEING can be cathartic, perceptory and cognitory.


Rapturation of Being
Rapturation of being has a strong music -muscle of being erotically connoted. Rapturation of being is an intra-poetic-mytho-subjective experience when our mind becomes tremulous with experiential catharsis. Rapturation of being can also be Platono-Rapturation. An example of Platono-Rapturation would be the hyperbolic excitement I would get when I unravel a writer’s trope. It would also be a pleasure felt when I watch Picasso’s Guernica.


Demogeocracy would be the transformation of the United Nations into a conceptuality of oneness. Democracy would become open to the processes of dialogism (constructive dialogues) and reduction of authoritarian discourses. In a Demogeocracy the mad greed to own, possess, and dominate would be reduced. For example, China’s Ego Maniacal pride to own Tibet would become a democratic sublimation and China would autonomously give nation-hood-status to Tibet as being possessors of an ancient religion and culture. In a Demogeocracy the fanatic bend of Islam should be subverted through liberal reinterpretation of the Quran and Westernized proselytization as Liberal Islam. A successful Demogeocracy would enable the nations to reduce money spent on defense, arms and security. A demogeocracy should banish passports and visas and allow its global citizens to travel freely with an identity card issued by the United Nations.

Philosophy of Utiloracy and Bourgeolariat
In the philosophy of convenientializm Utiloracy and Bourgeolariat are economic terms. Money has to attain a function of Utiloracy that is it should be freed from competent-capability-ownership to a democratic distribution. The Bourgeolariat is a combination of Bourgeoisie and the Proletariat. There should be only one class of people the Bourgeolariat who have democratic access to purchasing power. If this is accomplished then ataraxia or eudemonism would not be a fantasy but an actuality. The Kingdom of God as proclaimed by Liberation theology could be accomplished on earth as a Demotopia.


Methodologies for Hermeneutics

Hermeneutics the art of interpretation has tons of literature on it. Here I am concerned about how it can be devised into a methodology. Here are some methodological tools for the art of Hermeneutics.
(a) Philosophical Etymology
Now what is Philosophical etymology? Etymology is searching for the root meaning of words and Philosophy comes from Philos love and Sofia wisdom. Let’s analyze Plato’s allegory of the cave using tool of Philosophical etymology. In Plato’s allegory of the cave, people are standing in a dark cave and they are separated by a wall; yet they are able to sight luminescence of blinding light on other side of the cave. This allegory is used explain the theory of forms that is we are imperfect copies of a perfect world. Analyzing Plato’s allegory in a postmodern sense can give us insight that the cave was Plato’s repressed and its external luminescence was in fact a projection of Plato’s vision to a metaphysical transcendence. This vision is highly narcissistic and couched in a language of absence if analyzed through structural conjectures of the language.
(b) Phenomenological Ontology
How can we adorn the garb of Phenomenological Ontology on the art of Hermeneutics? Phenomenology for a lay man means the contents of consciousness. Ontology refers to Being and its presence. I would like to say that Presence and Being is PROCESSUAL meaning that the structural presence of being is always dynamic and in the process of creation. This can also be explained as processual teleology. Teleology refers to a purpose of something. The presence of Being as processual involves historicity and temporality. Let me try to use an example from my own life. A UK friend of mine sponsored my ticket and invited me over there. I was thrilled on the prospect of visiting Stratford Upon Avon the home of Shakespeare and also visiting art galleries. When I went to apply for the VISA, I became the subject of ridicule. The officer a white treated me as a colored coolie. Seeing that I do not have a bank account or money and seeing that I am highly qualified he dismissed me with a curt: “good day”. In the UK consulate my BEING was created by another with a colonial bourgeoisie mindset as native who is colored and who doesn’t deserve to be given the right to travel to the land of colonized. History, prejudice against Asians and mind that’s warped in the grand narrative of colonial mindset created an identity for my being, an identity that hurts my skin and color. I was judged and labeled unfit due to no fault of mine. The creation of being by external factors can be interpreted in hermeneutics as a BEING IN PROCESSUAL ONTOLOGY.
(c) Deconstructive Theology
Deconstruction was pioneered by its Guru Derrida. Deconstruction is more than Philosophy and encompasses a trans-sense narrative which questions the Binary construction of all Meta narratives or grand narratives. Now what is Binary Construction or Binary divide? Let’s take the case of study of Semitic religions. Semitic religions like Judaism, Christianity Islam and Zoroastrianism assume the presence of God. God and light are privileged where as darkness and the devil are marginalized. Semitic religions tend to terrorize and manipulate the BEINGNESS of a believer by SIN and DIVINE punishment with HELL for the unrepentant soul. Deconstructive theology examines how language is constructed as a Binary Divide and it exposes the faulty nature of language as being a privilege of sense in meaning and nonsense of being marginalized.
(d) Pharmacological Psychoanalysis
Psychoanalysis has gone a long way from Freud its father to the ground breaking work of Jacques Lacan. Lacan is noted for having claimed that the Unconscious is structured like language. Notable are his contributions like the GAZE, MIRROR STAGE AND THE LAW OF THE FATHER OR THE PHALLIC FATHER. Lacan also has a drawback of being very male-centered. Lacan questions the subject’s ability to maintain a stable self. Our self is engineered by the society’s ideology and it has to struggle to maintain a sense of coherence. For LACAN the gaze is intentional and has sexual connotations. Today art films try to incorporate many types of Gazes and art films deviate from the typical male gaze to the feminine and gay gaze. But traditional societies incorporate only the typical male gaze which is rather the behavior of typical male who is a patriarch. Now what is the Lacanian Mirror Stage? The Mirror Stage is stage when the Child becomes weaned physiologically and psychologically from the Mother and enters the realm of the language which trains the child to develop the notion of an idea of a stable self. The Mirror Stage has also been used in Film studies. A film viewer becomes subject to the gaze of the camera, he becomes chained on to his seat and through the whole viewing of the cinema he is a prisoner. Films need addictive viewers and films are constructed in such a way so that it gratifies the instruments of the social self to be a consumption of a mass fetish. Only Art films have broken this barrier. There also other concepts of psychoanalysis that can be used in Hermeneutics like the Freudian Oedipal Complex and the Electra Complex where texts exhibit a symptom of expressing these complexes from the repressed. A phallic text would be the one which is male-centered. Psychoanalytical hermeneutics is opening up the Feminine Libido to new significations of writing. Women are opening up their bodies newer modes of dialogues and discourses.