Rhythm-Sense-Subject, or: The Dynamic Un/Enfolding of Sense

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Abstract

This article traces Henri Meschonnic's concerted attempts to grasp the interaction rhythm-sense-subject, and situates this with the broader concerns of his work: the critique of ‘sign-thinking’, the elaboration of rhythm as le continu, his reflection on historical subjectivity. Meschonnic's thinking of rhythm is of an exigency from which he himself often shrinks back, notably through a series of equivocations (between language and sense, between rhythm as such and an individual rhythmic figure, between discourse as activity and an individual's discourse/idiom). The article focuses on these equivocations, and argues that within them we come to see the complexity, and mutability, of the rhythm-sense-subject interaction. It ends by proposing that we think the place of rhythm in this interaction in terms not of continuity/discontinuity, as per Meschonnic, but rather as a ‘dynamic unfolding/enfolding of sense’.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)349-367
JournalComparative Critical Studies
Volume15
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2018

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