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[Xmca-l] Re: now out in paperback



Larry,
Yes, we can consider these various forms as related (genetically), but not
as equivalent.  My understanding of speech & text is that it is a
sequential process (and hence remains at the level of consciousness).  One
cannot (I believe) flit between speech/text in the same manner as images
which can be considered in parallel (operationally, with less conscious
attention),

If it wasn't for this consideration, I would be tempted to offer a
functional metaphor of the swift that has evolved a functional basis of not
requiring to use its legs.  But my poetic sense would position the flight
of the swift in the realm of flight of images, and not in the serialisation
of appending boxes to boxes that is entailed in speech.

>From my fleeting encounters with Shpet's thought, it seems that he wished
to retain a wider sense what is meant by the word (because otherwise it
reads like nonsense) this is the interpretation that Zinchenko provides in
the last few pages of the cup chapter.

Huw



On 28 January 2015 at 15:27, Larry Purss <lpscholar2@gmail.com> wrote:

> Huw,
> If Gal'perin is accurate in his depiction of Vygotsky's "style" of
> understanding and grasping meaning then it opens up a place to hear what
> Zinchenko is saying and indicating with new ears.
> I read Zinchenko as suggesting that the relations Vygotsky understood
> between thought and word ALSO extend to other "places" [topos] such as
> image and action and music.
>
> Fascinating
>
>
>
> On Wed, Jan 28, 2015 at 5:29 AM, Huw Lloyd <huw.softdesigns@gmail.com>
> wrote:
>
> > This is account, regarding Vygotsky's fluency, is from Haenen (1996, pp
> > 27-28):
> >
> > "There is a point concerning Vygotsky's personality that needs special
> > mention.  Being a psychoneurologist and a medical practitioner, Gal'perin
> > (1986a) got the impression, that in a certain respect there was something
> > pathological about Vygotsky.  He was in an unusual way, exceptionally
> > verbally gifted.  If, for example, he had dictated some texts, they could
> > be published straight away, after minimum correction.  This explained why
> > he published such a large list of titles in just one decade of being a
> > psychologist.  That was only possible because he dictated so much and
> these
> > manuscripts could directly be sent to the publishers.  From this it is
> > evident that he had an exceptional command of intellectual speech.
> >
> > However, according to Gal'perin (1986a), there was something curious
> about
> > Vygotsky's verbal giftedness.  Gal'perin had once read at Luria's a note
> > written by Vygotsky himself in which he wonders what kind of primitivism
> he
> > is suffering from and what is happening to his senses.  At the end of the
> > 1920s, Vygotsky used the term 'primitivism' in his defectological
> writings,
> > in which he first gave a general outline of the cultural-historical
> > approach.  He considered primitivism the inability to use certain
> cultural
> > tools (see Van der Veer & Valsiner, 1991, p. 73).  Apparently, Vygotsky
> > felt himself somehow blocked in his cultural development, because the
> > following occurred.  When he saw a depicted or displayed representation
> of
> > something, he didn't understand  anything about it.  He could say what he
> > saw, but he had no grasp of the reference, the meaning or the quality of
> > it.  On the other hand, if he had to tell somebody else about this very
> > representation, he came up with more than that person could see in it.
> > With him, everything emerged in speech!
> >
> > The same happened with music.  Music meant nothing to Vygotsky on
> hearing
> > it.  On the contrary when he read something about works of music, the
> words
> > he spoke sounded better than the works on paper.  According to Gal'perin
> > (1986a), this aspect of Vygotsky bordered on pathology, because it was
> not
> > explainable as merely one-sidedness.  You speak of one-sidedness, when
> one
> > personality trait is more strongly developed than another.  With
> Vygotsky,
> > however, it was more a question of the complete absence of something.  In
> > Gal'perin's view, it was something like agnosia, but that wasn't really
> it
> > either.  Vygotsky knew, for example, that a particular object was a
> chair.
> > But that chair held no meaning for him; if he put it into words, then he
> > could tell you everything about that chair: the history of it, the part
> it
> > played in the life of the man who sat on it, etc..."
> >
> > Personally, I consider the business of determining exactly what someone
> > wrote, or said, as an imperative to be already a capitulation to
> > understanding.  Instead of understanding one hankers after what someone
> has
> > said, what the signs are rather than the meanings --- what time the clock
> > says, rather than what time really is, what the professor has said,
> rather
> > than what is speaking the professor.
> >
> > I came to Vygtosky's thought and speech/language with an array of
> > thought-problems (which are inherently not about signs) and as such it
> was
> > a pleasure to read.
> >
> > Huw
> >
> >
> > On 28 January 2015 at 12:17, Peter Smagorinsky <smago@uga.edu> wrote:
> >
> > > Annalisa, thanks for your thoughtful response here, and generally since
> > > joining this conversation.
> > >
> > > Your consideration of LSV's difficulty as an author provides many
> > > possibilities. I can't remember if "indifference to readers'
> > sensibilities"
> > > was a line I got from a source, or one I made up based on sources. If
> > > "indifference" is the problematic term, then I'm sure something more
> > gentle
> > > could be identified.
> > >
> > > I'm not too good at mind-reading, so don't think I can speak to LSV's
> > > motive, even if claiming his indifference, or however you might
> > > alternatively phrase it, suggests that whenever I wrote those lines, I
> > > thought I could. So I need to get out of the business of attempting to
> > > explain his motives, only the outcome: Most people agree that reading
> > > Vygotsky is pretty challenging, and for those of us who speak no
> Russian
> > > and rely on translations, often unreliable.
> > >
> > > I will offer another contextual factor in addition to others I've
> > > suggested (He wrote quickly and prolifically because his illness might
> > end
> > > his life at any time; he wrote by hand or dictated and did not appear
> to
> > > revise, a problem that I've also heard contributed to difficulties in
> > > reading Piaget--from Irving Sigel, I think, before he died.) This
> latter
> > > problem, I suspect, was exacerbated by terrible paper shortages in the
> > > Soviet Union. One of the most remarkable testaments to this problem
> > > concerns Bakhtin and his insatiable tobacco habit. During one severe
> > paper
> > > shortage, he began rolling cigarettes out of his written manuscripts,
> > thus
> > > depriving us of his whole corpus. (I think this story is related in the
> > > introduction to Speech Genres and Other Essays.) So even if Vygotsky
> had
> > > been inclined to revise, he might not have had the paper to do it with.
> > >
> > > Complicated stuff! p
> > >
> > > -----Original Message-----
> > > From: xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu [mailto:
> > > xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu] On Behalf Of Annalisa Aguilar
> > > Sent: Tuesday, January 27, 2015 6:34 PM
> > > To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
> > > Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: now out in paperback
> > >
> > > Hi Peter!
> > >
> > > Thanks for your very robust and bursting reply. Here's my reply in kind
> > > and kindness.
> > >
> > > I do not disagree with anything said about the difficulty we all face
> > when
> > > we face the texts we have inherited from Vygotsky. So for this train of
> > > thought pulling away from the quay, I'd ask you leave that concern on
> the
> > > platform.
> > >
> > > What I troubles me, I suppose, is the notion that he "was indifferent
> to
> > > his reader's sensibilities." I don't believe that that is a fair
> > > representation of the historical facts, and perhaps all we are doing is
> > > arguing about interpretations of the history and the facts, and that is
> > > certainly fair game.
> > >
> > > However, what I see in Vygotsky, when I think about Vygotsky and his
> > > texts, is a great comet in the sky ready to burn out at any time and
> the
> > > faster he writes the brighter he burns.
> > >
> > > What I cannot help but see, employing my top-down-thinking sensibility,
> > is
> > > that Vygotsky may not have been interested in inner speech of children
> > > _just because_ it was an intriguing phenomenon uncovered by Piaget,
> that
> > it
> > > was the "cool hot topic," as we might say in today's vernacular. Could
> it
> > > be that Vygotsky had a *personal* interest in inner speech? that this
> was
> > > the shape of his own thought? an awareness and understanding of his own
> > way
> > > of thinking? Perhaps the writing that he left behind was not written
> down
> > > as indifference to his readers, but because he knew he lived in a time
> > and
> > > space in which the light might go out in his life at anytime. Perhaps
> the
> > > man didn't want to lose that thought which would lead to the very next
> > > thought and the train that would reveal more amazing vistas of the
> > > countryside of thoughts.
> > >
> > > In other words, the man was in a hurry to see a man about a dog.
> > >
> > > Or if I might decode that metaphor as I mean it: all his own work began
> > as
> > > inner speech, as a technique to capture his own thought. The written
> > > fragments we have before us are archeological remains of these flights
> of
> > > thought. He wasn't indifferent, it's just he wanted to interact
> privately
> > > with himself, a kind of inner speech.
> > >
> > > As I write this myself I suddenly thought, perhaps the writing was
> > nothing
> > > more than a tool to help him think, like the Einstein and the
> chalkboard.
> > > And maybe when Vygotsky first began the practice of writing down his
> > inner
> > > speech, he thought he'd have more time to decode, but as it became
> nearer
> > > the day for his comet to leave our orbit, he couldn't stop the train to
> > > revisit past stops, the train was fast in motion and what motivated him
> > was
> > > to get to his destination rather than considering where he'd already
> > been.
> > > Late trains have few opportunities to dilly-dally.
> > >
> > > Is it possible for us to look at his commentary about inner speech in
> > > children, and then "decode" his own writing? I don't know! But it was a
> > > thought of mine I'd had while reading your text.
> > >
> > > I also wonder, naively of course, whether the shards of his writing are
> > > actually carelessness, but "formlessness" ?
> > >
> > > Here's another emerging thought: Could this formlessness have been a
> > > possible obfuscation for political reasons? To my mind, if that were
> > true,
> > > such political reasons cannot be justly rendered as indifference, but a
> > > whole heck of a lot of care and carefulness.
> > >
> > > These are not claims I make strongly, but rather thinking out loud, to
> > > offer that Vygotsky did not seem to me in any way a muscular academic
> > > speaking to his own tribe with a devil-may-care attitude for everyone
> > else.
> > > What saddens me is that your phrase promulgates that kind of idea, at
> > least
> > > it did for me, and this possibly creates further obfuscation, something
> > of
> > > which we require less not more. My heartfelt wish is that you might
> > reflect
> > > on other possible reasons why the writing came to us in the forms that
> > they
> > > have.
> > >
> > > At first we can think, "Confounded these hieroglyphics!" or we can
> > instead
> > > look closer and realize there is actually a Rosetta stone before us. If
> > so,
> > > it means we have some decoding work to do, and that is just the way it
> > is.
> > > But we also have a responsibility to make those who come after us
> > > understand why it is Vygotsky must be handled with care. That seems to
> be
> > > something you and I share when thinking about his writing.
> > >
> > > But it was the affect effect that I had, a little disruptive "Oh my!"
> > when
> > > I'd read your interpretation that included this word "indifference,"
> for
> > I
> > > think if you look to his character, "indifference" would be the very
> last
> > > word I would use to describe him.
> > >
> > > Kind regards,
> > >
> > > Annalisa
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> >
>