difference and repetition
Let me first state my question as succinctly as I can and then add a few qualifying comments.
What repetition has as its correlate the maximum difference?
1. I was not sure if this question fit under the category of hegemony. The question is something that really interests me in that I would like to know about the (ontological) nature of change, its conditions of possibility, the formal expressions it assumes, etc. I was thinking of this question after last class when we were discussing how symbolic change happens through a specific process of iteration and repetition. It seems that in historically-linguistically different circumstances a signifiers iterability suggests the possibility for a repetition that may cause the signification as such to "slide" or glissage away from a hateful usage to a more "benevolent" one or something like that [deluca talks about this with "black" in Jamaica following Hall, Butler talks about "queer" and such things. So this seems like a key thing for rhetoricians to think through. If we agree that the structure of language as such is that iteration forces repetition w/ chance for difference, what kind of difference are we talking about? Is it just that things can mean differently? No doubt, this must be significant because for one thing to mean otherwise an entire chain of signifiers must also shift along with that one thing. ---still! Saussure says this happens only by accident, yes? if that then are we ultimately theorists of accident? surely we are not talking about self-identical subjects strategizing about how a word could change its meaning, or are we?---
2. There must be different kinds of difference, kinds we cannot imagine. I like this (derridean inspired from Brian Lain) example (iteration):
Follow this procedure to see maximum difference:
1. Look at the words below
2. Look away
3. Look at the word again
The word has changed, why? The word has changed again. Each iteration must include within itself the maximum quantity for difference. So is it that the most precise repetition has as its correlate the maximum amount of difference? Some ways this makes sense: as difference in kind--bergson/deleuze/happy here--the word may only differ, truly differ, in its difference from itself not from another word or a thing from another thing for that matter. So this then is about potential rather than possible. There are any number of possible differences like cello door or cellar dook or cellar doors or anything, but the maximum potential for difference must be within and from the word itself, yes?
3. I guess I'm wondering how the butler stuff fits in with my thoughts about difference in kind rather than difference in type.