Re: [xmca] social memory

From: Tony Whitson <twhitson who-is-at UDel.Edu>
Date: Tue Jan 01 2008 - 15:01:21 PST

In case it matters, the translated line is not from Genesis, but from the
Gospel of St. John, where the word in the original is "logos" (which was
then translated into Latin as "verbum").

On Tue, 1 Jan 2008, Paul Dillon wrote:

> Andy, Michael,
>
> I personally don't remember the beginning since I wasn't there and I don't believe anyone who wants to tell me what it was since one thing I do know is that they weren't there either. Also it seems to me that the stories about what the beginning was all about change over time.
>
> Paul
>
>
> Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net> wrote:
> I presume everyone talking about "Vygotsky's quote" knows that it all comes
> from Goethe? Apart form the Book of Gensis.
>
> 'Tis writ, "In the beginning was the Word!"
> I paused, perlex'd, Who now will help afford?
> I cannot the Word so highly prize;
> I must translate it otherwise,
> If by the spirit guided as I read.
>
> "In the beginning was the Sense"!" Take heed,
> The import of this primal sentence weigh,
> Lest thy too hasty pen be led astray!
> Is force creative then of Sense the dower?
> "In the beginning was the Power!"
>
> Thus should it stand: yet while the line I trace,
> A something warns me. once more to efface,
> The spirit aids! from anxious scruples freed,
> I write, "In the beginning was the Deed!"
>
> Translation from the Dover edition (Im Anfang war der Tat") Marx and Engels
> also take up the theme, Bruno Bauer I think?? and even Bukharin and Trotsky
> has their own twist on at more or less the same time as Vygotsky was writing.
>
> Andy
> At 01:01 AM 1/01/2008 -0500, you wrote:
>> Michael
>>
>> Thanks for this. Let me do some tasting. I hope you don't mind if I
>> use my brand of ketchup :-) .
>>
>> Okay all of this seems to be in response to a question I asked Paul
>> (and, by the way, Paul I am fine if you remember me as somehow looking
>> over your shoulder :-) ). So let me try to get a very simplistic grip on
>> the phenomena. Paul and I were in conversation. Due to some words he had
>> written, I had responded in writing. Due to the words in my response, you
>> had responded to my writing. And so forth. Given all this Vygotsky is
>> clearly wrong. Neither the word or the deed is in the beginning. As James
>> says it is turtles all the way down.
>> Hmmm. Let me make a hermeneutic move. Perhaps I have misinterpreted
>> all this. You quote Vygotsky as saying "In the beginning was the deed."
>> This may be a purposeful 'misquote' of John's
>>
>> I. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word
>> was God. [2] The same was in the beginning with God. [3] All thus were
>> made through him. Without him was not anything made that has been made.
>>
>> So perhaps a place to start is a taking seriously of this 'misquoting' by
>> better understanding the original. Beginning in the English, Word seems to
>> designate a 'him' on which, in a sense, the very existence of the world
>> rests and a 'him' that is different from God, but so close to be God. In a
>> sense, thinking about some things David Kellog has written (thanks David),
>> perhaps the ultimate, in a sense, interaction. How does this reading stand
>> up in the Greek (please note, for me, a reading and a translation are, in
>> a sense, different). The first sentence is "En arch n ho logos, kai ho
>> logos n pros ton theon, kai theos n ho logos" which roughly reads 'From
>> the very first was the Wisdom-in-action of God.'
>> So, perhaps, Vygotsky has nicely made the point here-contrary to the
>> usual translation-that it is not that the word-as-rules (I am using
>> David's wording here) is first. I would like to think that he might say
>> that it is also not action-as-rules that is first, but the word-as-action
>> (David's interaction seems, in a sense, to work here. Notice I have
>> interchanged wisdom or word; however, I mean wisdom). This seems to fit
>> into how I often read Vygotsky (and, for me, reading and quoting are, in
>> a sense, different).
>> This seems to begin to address the phenomena a bit better. My words to
>> Paul aren't (pause here and take a breath) without my action with the
>> send key. Pressing the send key without any words doesn't solve the
>> problem. Somehow word-as-action creates the interaction. However, l
>> disagree with both Vygotsky and myself as I make yet another hermeneutic
>> move. I'll put it this way, 'In the beginning was.' Being in the world,
>> existing in the world - wasing - is the beginning of development. Action
>> and words seem to be derivative. Seems trivial doesn't it? Don't believe
>> it. Of course, I could be wrong (and that's another hermeneutical move :-) ).
>> What would Vygotsky say to all this. I like to think he would say,
>> 'Interesting point. Have you thought about ..?' However, such
>> speculations are, of course. not quoting. On the other hand, I am rather
>> sure he would say, "Writing this stuff on New Year's Eve? Get a life."
>>
>> Ed
>>
>>> Hi Ed,
>>> here is what Vygotsky (1986, p. 255) says:
>>>
>>> "In the beginning was the deed. The words was not the beginning-action
>>> was there first; it is the end of development, crowning the deed."
>>>
>>> Just some "food for thought."
>>>
>>> Michael
>>>
>>>
>>> On 30-Dec-07, at 12:52 PM, Ed Wall wrote:
>>>
>>> Michael
>>>
>>> Do you mean the correct order is: "Thank you in advance", why do
>>> people write? :-)
>>>
>>> Ed
>>>
>>>> On 30-Dec-07, at 12:21 PM, Ed Wall wrote:
>>>>
>>>> A general question for you: Why do people write "Thank you in advance."?
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> Ed,
>>>> you are reversing the question of praxis and theory, the former
>>>> generally emerging prior to the latter. We may do things to achieve
>>>> purposes, and then find reasons for doing them. Or this is how Marx saw it.
>>>> Cheers,
>>>> Michael
>>>> _______________________________________________
>>>> xmca mailing list
>>>> xmca@weber.ucsd.edu
>>>> http://dss.ucsd.edu/mailman/listinfo/xmca
>>>
>>> _______________________________________________
>>> xmca mailing list
>>> xmca@weber.ucsd.edu
>>> http://dss.ucsd.edu/mailman/listinfo/xmca
>>>
>>> _______________________________________________
>>> xmca mailing list
>>> xmca@weber.ucsd.edu
>>> http://dss.ucsd.edu/mailman/listinfo/xmca
>>
>> _______________________________________________
>> xmca mailing list
>> xmca@weber.ucsd.edu
>> http://dss.ucsd.edu/mailman/listinfo/xmca
>
> Andy Blunden : http://home.mira.net/~andy/ tel (H) +61 3 9380 9435,
> mobile 0409 358 651
>
> _______________________________________________
> xmca mailing list
> xmca@weber.ucsd.edu
> http://dss.ucsd.edu/mailman/listinfo/xmca
>
>
>
> ---------------------------------
> Never miss a thing. Make Yahoo your homepage.
> _______________________________________________
> xmca mailing list
> xmca@weber.ucsd.edu
> http://dss.ucsd.edu/mailman/listinfo/xmca
>

Tony Whitson
UD School of Education
NEWARK DE 19716

twhitson@udel.edu
_______________________________

"those who fail to reread
  are obliged to read the same story everywhere"
                   -- Roland Barthes, S/Z (1970)

_______________________________________________
xmca mailing list
xmca@weber.ucsd.edu
http://dss.ucsd.edu/mailman/listinfo/xmca
Received on Tue Jan 1 15:10 PST 2008

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.8 : Wed Feb 13 2008 - 12:33:27 PST