Zaragoza Twins’ Hupomnemata (or A Pedant’s Justification)


don't mean a thing if it ain't got that swing

don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that swing


Heen would like to apologise for not explaining himself properly. So this is his preamble and then you get a massive chunk of waffle by Foucault that neither of us understands but my brother pretends to. Thanks, Sheen xxx

Heen says: I would like to justify my previous post by including this bit from the man himself. You don’t need to know what he’s been rabbiting on about until he gets to this paragraph. You should get his drift even if – nay, especially if – you start reading here:


 This deliberate heterogeneity does not rule out unification. But the latter is not implemented in the art of composing an ensemble; it must be established in the writer himself, as a result of the hupomnemata, of their construction (and hence in the very; act of writing) and of their consultation (and hence in their reading and their rereading) Two processes can be distinguished. On the one hand, it is a matter of unifying these heterogeneous fragments through their subjectivation in the exercise of personal writing. Seneca compares this unification, according to quite traditional metaphors, with the bee’s honey gathering, or the digestion of food, or the adding of numbers forming a sum: “We should see to it that whatever we have absorbed should not be allowed to remain unchanged, or it will be no part of us. We must digest it: otherwise it will merely enter the memory and not the reasoning power [in memoriam non in ingenium]. Let us loyally welcome such foods and make them our own, so that something that is one may be formed out of many elements, just as one number is formed of several elements.” The role of writing is to constitute, along with all that reading has constituted, a “body” (quicquid lectione collecturn est, stilus redigat in corpus). And this body should be understood not as a body of doctrine but, rather —following an often evoked metaphor of digestion— as the very body of the one who, by transcribing his readings, has appropriated them and made their truth his own: writing transforms the thing seen or heard “into tissue and blood” (in vires et in sanguinem). It becomes a principle of rational action in the writer himself.

– Michel Foucault. Self Writing – hupomnemata (1983)

Source: “L’écriture de soi”, Dits et écrits, Vol. 4

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