Unnamable Articulation: Detour

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comprehensive dread” of man can be compared with the guileless customer since he

“cannot be identified or qualified by the newspapers or commercial products he assimilates . . ., there is a gap of varying proportions opened by the use that he makes of them” (de Certeau 32). The inaccessible reality is wrapped by the appearance since it is “the claim to be speaking in the name of a reality” (sic) (de Certeau 185). The inability to tell the differences between the fallacy and the reality brings about the anxiety. Everything becomes the phantasmagoria that makes the milieu ambiguous.

Every person is inescapable from the hallucinatory as de Certeau suggests “since there are therefore no separate groups of false interpretations and true interpretations, but only illusory interpretations, since in short there is no way out, the fact remains that we are foreigners on the inside— but there is no outside (sic) (13-14)”. This

phantasmagoria is both real and fantasy. The reality and the fantasy coexist in the same circumstance.

The totalitarianism persuades people to believe what they hear rather than what they see. The value relies on the invisibility instead of the visibility. The

totalitarianism manipulates the advertisement as the marketing strategy. The more the listener hears, the less he knows about the commodity. To see or to hear cannot prove anything for the listeners. The words which the authority presents become

meaningless; therefore, the authority gradually loses the credibility. To hear is not to believe. Space is inescapable from the auditory citation which is manipulated by the fallacies and the simulacra.

3.4 Unnamable Articulation: Detour

Auden differentiates the radio sound with italics as it appears unexpectedly in part one, “Prologue,” and part five, “The Masque” in the poem. The last radio interruption is obscure. Human beings are divided into the sane and the mad as the

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anonymous narrator says that “[h]uman beings . . . can be divided, not into the hypocritical and the sincere, but into the sane who know they are acting and the mad who do not” (CP 518). As a medium for the totalitarianism, the radio broadcast follows the directions and describes the information without any credibilities.

Therefore, the radio content is incomprehensible. It does not broadcast the news or promote a certain product. It is similar to a delirium. Auden has once said in his

“Words and the Word” that “[w]e can, for instance, speak, not because we have anything we believe is important to say, but because we are afraid of silence or of not being noticed” (313). The radio keeps the sound loudly but the purpose of it is not to inform the listeners to know something important but to remind them of the very existence.

The modern media, as a result, loses credibility and turns out to be a derangement. No one knows what it says. The message of the broadcast is not important as long as it has its volume over there. The speech of the radio turns out to be the shelter of the loneliness since human beings cannot bear the sense of silence.

Therefore, the radio announces a series of strange names that the listeners can hardly figure out what they are: The Quaraquorams and the Quaromanlics, / The Arsocids

and the Alonites, / The Ghuzz, the Guptas, the gloomy Kirmchaks, / The Timurids and Torguts” (CP 518). It is too obscure to understand these unrecognizable names. The

listeners can only know these tribes’ names but they are ignorant about the locations or the meanings of these names. Auden indicates that the significance of the name is to distinguish itself from other (“Words and the Word” 310). However, these names, paradoxically, are equal to the babblings. The modern society does not care about what the names are or what they represent. The names are enigmatically unnamable.

The contemporary language loses its meaning for the very existence.

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Communication is scarcely successful and there is always a gap between the speech and the interpretations. Therefore, it is possible that every interpretation is a

misunderstanding and a misinterpretation as Auden indicates that:

This kind of corruption of language has been enormously encouraged by mass education and the mass media. . . . Today, I would guess that

nine-tenths of the population do not know what thirty per cent of the words they use actually mean. Thus, it is possible to hear someone who is feeling sick say I am nauseous, for a reviewer of a spy-thriller to describe it as

enervating, and for a television start to say of an investment agency which

was sponsoring his programme They are integrity-ridden (sic). (“Words and the Word” 313)

The mass media keeps chanting the unrecognizable words. They lose their meanings and float themselves above a void space. Each interpretation or paraphrase is a simulacrum. The radio broadcaster tries to present the so-called reality but in vain.

Words vary. Interpretations alter. Everything is in chaos and misconstrues one another.

Language, as a result, is always changing. Whatever the radio attempts to present, there is always a simulacrum, a myth. The myth is derived from the individual translation. According to Auden, “[p]ersonal speech presents much more difficult problems. Even when two persons share the same mother-tongue, neither speaks it in exactly the same way. . . . Every dialogue is a feat of translation” (“Words and the Word” 311-12). Every translation is the other, a foreigner as de Certeua has mentioned that “. . . it is rather the position which consists in being a foreigner at home, a

‘savage’ in the midst of ordinary culture, lost in the complexity of the common

agreement and what goes without saying” (sic) (13). Both Auden and de Certeau have recognized the problem of language and indicate the illusion in the linguistic system.

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There is always an elsewhere within the systematical space.

The system dominates the society in vain because the language detours variously rather being accepted and absorbed totally by the listeners. The auditory record can be repeated but it is hardly to be memorized by the listeners. The listeners not only misinterpret it but also forget it quickly. The radio says that “Music past midnight”

and follows the war news:

. . . For men in the armed

Forces on furlough and their feminine consorts, For war-workers and women in labor,

For Bohemian artists and owls of the night, We present a series of savage selections

By brutal bands from bestial tribes . . . . (CP 518)

The broadcast shifts the atmosphere in a moment. The listeners hear only the noises.

The inability to absorb the information turns out to be a consumption as Auden states that: “[w]e are all of us tempted to read more books, look at more pictures, listen to more music, than we can possibly absorb; and the result of such gluttony is not a cultured mind but a consuming one; what it reads, looks at, listens to, is immediately forgotten . . .” (“Words and the Word” 313-14). Language is transformed into the madness or the meaninglessness. The modern people are used to listening to the broadcast and seem to become numb about what happening over there. The diversity is always in space but ignored by most of people. Space can be divided into the strong and the poor called “a socio-economic space” where “the strong always win and words always deceive” and the two are constantly struggling with each other (de Certeau 16). The radio describes that there are “savage selections / By brutal bands

from bestial tribes” that reveals the existence of discrimination or a hierarchical

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prejudice. The word “We” and the word “savage” suggest that the society is filled with the hierarchies. The “bestial tribes” are voiceless and framed by the powerful

“We”.

Space, therefore, is dominated by the powerful authority. The ruler considers that

“the public is passive, ‘informed,’ processed, marked, and has no historical role” (de Certeau 167). Auden has once claimed that “the relation between words and the truth is problematical” (“Words and the Word” 319). The authority tries to take away or control people’s will and endeavors to establish a totalitarian society. Words are dominated; therefore, they are artificial in some aspects. Moreover, de Certeau also expounds that

As far as the actual power relationships were concerned, we can say that a lucid discourse cunningly turned up fake words and prohibitions on

speaking in order to reveal an ubiquitous injustice— not simply the injustice of the established powers, but, more profoundly, that of history. (16) The auditory voice constructs a mirage that is full of fallacies. It is obscure to

distinguish itself as a voice or a sound since both them lose credibility to the listeners.

The reality is concealed by the endless and the meaningless words as de Certeau mentions that “[t]hey articulate our existences by teaching us what they must be. They

‘cover the event,’ that is to say, they make our legends (legenda, what is to be read and said) out of it” (sic) (186). Paradoxically, the original intention of the ruler is to control space and make people believe through the radio broadcast but in vain since whether the event is a reality or a legend has no distinguish for the listeners. Space contains the possibility of uncertainty. This uncertainty is also one opportunity as a niche for the common people to create their own spaces within the totalitarian domination.

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The opportunity in the auditory filed is also song. It is obvious to notice that the four characters manifest their opinions or ideas through thinking, talking, and singing.

Thinking keeps its word without speaking out. Both talking and singing are ways of articulation. Precisely speaking, the two articulations play different roles in certain aspects. In “The World of Opera,” Auden indicates that we have the urgency to speak out and cannot just keep words in silence (290). The primary difference of speaking and singing is that “singing is a form of public outcry: it is on the voluntary level”

(290).

Singing can create an elsewhere within space. From de Certeau’s perspective, the song is both an elsewhere and a nowhere. These songs “provide the possible with a site that is impregnable, because it is a nowhere, a utopia” and “create another space, which coexists with that of an experience deprived of illusions” (17). The radio broadcast dominates space through the auditory chanting while the four characters create other spaces through singing. Space, consequently, can never be monopolized by one voice. The four characters use their physical voice to counter against the technical voice in space. In “The Masque,” Auden presents a theatrical or an opera scene in the poem. What the four characters create is another story but the form matters. Singing is different from statement as de Certeau pointed that: “the opera allows an enunciation to speak that in its most elevated moments detaches itself from statements . . .” (162). The articulation is not merely considered as a statement but also offers a kind of “secondary world” as Auden states in “The World of Opera”

(290).

Moreover, a song is the way to battle the hierarchical statement from the radio since “one can recognize the particular emotional state, love, rage, grief or joy, which the singer is expressing at any given moment, but one cannot tell whether the singer is

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a duchess or a chambermaid. . . song . . . abolishes all social and age differences”

(“The World of Opera” 291). The totalitarian manipulates technology to control space while the four characters sing songs to create other spaces. Space always contains the paradoxical elements as de Certeau mentions that “we are foreigners on the inside—

but there is no outside” (sic) (13-14). In space, people are both bound and free as

Malin describes that “Here we sit / Our bodies bound to these bar-room lights, / . . . but our thoughts are free . . .” (CP 462).

3.5 Conclusion

Albeit the radio broadcast is invisible, it is the representation of the

totalitarianism. The authority infiltrates the society to create a cybernetic system through the auditory device. The events are presented by the minimum information.

Therefore, the representation of the reality can only be partial. If the goal of auditory announcement is to offer the immediacy, it is impossible; if the aim is to make people believe, it is doubtful; and if the motivation is to construct a utopia, it is mythical. The goal to create the same circumstance is a myth since the identical phenomenon is only a simulacrum. The ordinary man interprets the simulacrum variously; therefore, there is always a misinterpretation which can be expanded and explored further. The interpretations or misinterpretations make space multiplied. The multiplicity invents more possibilities. Consequently, space is full of ways that will detour to elsewhere.

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Chapter Four Mental Space 4.1 Introduction

The four characters mainly stay in the interior place, such as the bar and Rosetta’s apartment. The exterior areas appear shortly in the fourth and the final section. However, the four protagonists multiply spaces through their meditations.

They create multiplicities in the present circumstance by the imaginations, the memories, and the fantasies. The social milieu is brimful of anxiety since the outside world is dominated by an unknown force. Living under the invisible supreme power, the ordinary man tolerates the stress. Therefore, the bar might possibly become the place for the four characters escaping from the totalitarianism. Besides the bar as an escaping zone from the reality, the mental space alters the inflexible surroundings as well.

The imagination makes things different. For example, Malin argues that “his tired mind / Biased towards bigness since his body must / Exaggerate to exist” (CP 463). The physical appearance will be distorted by the imagination. Therefore, seeing is not the only way to interpret and to believe. The physical world can be modified through the mental interpretation. The division of being here or there is blurred and the relationship between the reality and the imagination is no longer opposite. In the mental space, the concrete division of the reality and the fiction is obscure. What makes this vague phenomenon is time. Time makes space ambiguous and multiple.

The four characters all bear their past to the present moment. The ambiguous division is not necessary a suffering but it could be a way to alter the established social system as Malin says that “Here we sit / Our bodies bound to these bar-room lights, / The night’s odors, the noise of the El on / Third Avenue, but our thoughts are free . . .” (CP

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462). Malin specifies the essence of thinking, that is, the mental is not bound to limitation; it is liberal.

Time makes space multiple. Time, according to de Certeau, is the tactic for the weak. Time is presented through the forms of memory, imagination, fantasy, and so on in The Age of Anxiety. Therefore, there will be various juxtapositions in the mental space. These mental activities influence the way of seeing in the present conditions.

Some characters see the past as a pain while some see it as a wonderful land. The images could be diminished or enlarged in the mental space. The transformations in the mental space influence the present situation. Mental space contains the

ambiguousness which is “occupied with memories of a distant or recent, a real or imaginary past” (CP 481). The present, as Malin claims, is “the incessant Now of / The traveler through time” (CP 463). Time allows fluctuations in the ordered society.

The most impressive idea of The Age of Anxiety is that “man’s anxiety in time”

(Callen, “Allegory” 155). Callen also questions about the existence of time and space as he points out that Malin has “the problems of time and eternity and relationship of flesh and spirit” (“Allegory” 162). Auden gives numerous examples about the

oppositions which are not necessarily contrary but actually interchangeable. In The

Age of Anxiety, the physical and the mental world are possible to interact with each

other. In “The Age of Anxiety in W. H. Auden,” Tony Sharpe also demonstrates that there are two types of time in the work: “as measured by clocks and calendars” and

“as measured sub specie aeternitatis” (sic) (60), that is, the physical time and the mental time. The juxtaposition of the death and the living is also one of the features in the work as Sharpe implies that Auden keeps “incorporating the community of the death into the experience of the living” (60). The Ag of Anxiety is like collage that collects the oppositions in the same circumstance. It seems that the differences

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between these oppositions are no longer opposite to each other. These collages are the temporal trajectories that transform the ordered society.

The displacement of time is notable for many critics. In John Boly’s “The Romantic Tradition in The Age of Anxiety,” he asserts that the dream is also a displacement: “the dream itself, the means of repression, subverts the censor by revealing the truth through those displacements” (139). Boly suggests that through the displacement of repression can reveal the truth; nevertheless, I doubt the meaning of truth that Boly mentions about. Dream is not merely a repression but also a

duplication of the reality at the same time. Therefore, I suppose that the mental space can be both a repression and a reproduction. Furthermore, Boly considers the

displacement as a method to cure as a “potentially evolutionary force” (140) which is possible to go across the boundary of space and time. Time makes the mental space multiple; therefore, it alters the unity and the coherence on the surface of the

totalitarianism. This alteration transforms the ordered society into a fallacy and brings the evolutionary power.

The physical time or the calendar time is decided by the events which are called history. History is a nightmare for Auden as Stan Smith indicates in The Cambridge

Companion to W. H. Auden (11). Human beings are inescapable from history.

Therefore, Smith demonstrates that “[t]rying to live ‘the natural, unhistorical life’ is simply foolish, for there is no ‘natural man’ to find” (11). The society is full of histories, both public and private. The public history will be manifested as a series of chronologies. The historical events are the anchors that mark the physical time. The public will be memorized by and be memorable for most people. Public cannot represent the whole; as a result, Smith suggests that “[a] man is only someone acting the part of a man” (11). A man lives in both the public history and the private stories.

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Furthermore, Smith argues that “[i]f ‘Man’ has a nature, it lies (a recurrent Audenesque pun) in this very capacity to make himself up, in a ‘lying nature’,

inhabiting a universe of ‘tall tales’ and ‘verbal playing’” (11). Both of the history and the story are created by human beings and contain the vagueness at the same time.

The vagueness is the mixture of the reality and the fantasy. The Age of Anxiety is exactly the example of the storytelling as a part of history.

Storytelling is both subjective and objective. It contains parts of the reality and the fiction. The dilemma between being here and over there, and among the past, the present, and the future, mixes all together in space through various memories,

imaginations, or legends. Susannah Young-ah-Gottlieb’s “‘Time Tormented’: Auden’s

Age of Anxiety” emphasizes the importance of time in the work. She claims that “[t]he

narrating voice of The Age of Anxiety emphasizes, however, that the condition of displacement cannot simply be assessed by an objective record of movement;

displacement, rather, is a function of time” (72). What makes the four characters anxious are not only their physical displacements such as the immigration, the diaspora, or the movements but also their mental displacements with the different periods of time. Gottlieb also argues that “[t]ime may be oppositional by nature, which is to say, it places itself against everything that appears ‘in’ time. . .” (93). The essence of time is filled with the movements and the possibilities to resist the stability.

Time produces the cracks within space. It explodes and expands within itself.

Time produces the cracks within space. It explodes and expands within itself.

在文檔中 威斯坦·休·奧登的《焦慮年代》中的空間實踐 - 政大學術集成 (頁 70-0)