Google Hangouts good setting for group conversation. Richard, Sergio, and Ulmer hung out for an hour or so the other night, in the context of Richard Smyth's course on Electracy for the Underacademy. Ulmer met Sergio at Clemson originally. The point of departure was the uncanny experience of reading Roland Barthes, Preparations for the Novel, Barthes's last lecture course at the College de France, concluding in February 1980. Barthes was struck by a laundry truck while crossing the boulevard near the College, and died after several weeks in the hospital. Ulmer showed up in Paris in March (Spring Break at UF), having met Joseph Beuys in Dusseldorf, and Derrida already in Paris, and upon inquiry with a concierge at the College, learned that Barthes was in the hospital.
What questions would I have asked Barthes in 1980? He was 63 when he started the course, and I was 36 that March (using Tarot reduction of numbers, both a 9). I could not have asked him what I needed to know, but his lecture course, turns out to confirm posthumously the direction my work took. Applied Grammatology (1985) took Derrida as the point of departure, but Teletheory (1989). is based primarily on Barthes's A Lover's Discourse: Fragments. Internet Inventin (2003) introduced "image logic" through Barthes using Haiku poetry as the best poetics of photography, for generalizing image experience. It turns out that the first lecture course in Preparatins for the Novel is devoted to Haiku (Barthes wrote Camera Lucida in the interval before the final seminar series). These lectures do more than confirm commitments in the past to follow Barthes's lead. Barthes's reflectinos on his "Vita Nova," his commitment to the search for a new mode of Writing "in the middle of his life" (which dates not chronologically but existentially), also is relevant to the search for a genre of konsult for Ubimage (a mode capable of supporting the convergence and integration of the modes separated in literacy: knowledge, poetics, praxis).
Here is the record of the session.
Juxtaposing Internet Invention with Barthes's Preparation for the Novel.