herstory

England Darlington 1972

Introduction

1949 1950 1951 1952 1953 1954 1955 1956 1957 1958 1959 1960 1961 1962 1963 1964 1965 1966 1967 1968 1969 1970 1971 1972 1973 1974 1975 1976 1977 1978 1979 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017

Son

Son Josef is born in March. We fly to New Guinea, France, and then England, where Ian works as an engineer.

1972 House martin, Acrylic on cotton duck. Private collection, Melbourne

 

The Women's Electoral Lobby was set up to force politicians to reveal their attitudes to women's issues.

David Williamson's play Don's Party played at Sydney's Jane Street Theatre.

Cleao magazine, complete with discretely nude male centrefold, published.

Australia elected its first Labour Government in 23 years after Gough Whitlam defeated William McMahon at the polls. The election was Australia's first to be conducted along the American Presidential model. The advertising company of Hansen Rubensohn-McCann Erickson packaged a campaign slogan 'It's Time'; the Labour Party made effective use of electronic media on a scale previously unknown, particularly with talk-back radio sessions.

In Tasmania, the Lake Pedder Action Committee failed to stoop the flooding of Lake Pedder after unsuccessfully attempting to have another Select Committee of Inquiry appointed. The following year a moratorium on flooding was recommended by the Federal Committee of Inquiry but not acted on by the Tasmanian Government.

Labour Government recognized Communist China; diplomatic relations with Taiwan were immediately severed and Dr Stepehn Fitzgerald became the first Australian Ambassador to Peking.

Last Austrlaian troops withdrawn from Vietnam. Dring the war 420 servicemen were killed in Vietnam.

The National Service Scheme abolished.

The Snowy Mountains Scheme completed.

The Australian Almanac, Pub. Angus & Robertson 1985

 

 

...the paper was burning, and there was some question of all things drawn and all paintings projected there of the regularly distorted manner, while a phrase was saying: "There is the external surface."

Derrida, 1972, Numbers, cited in Strathern, Paul, 2003, p.32, The Essential Derrida, Virgin

'Bullshit' was the allegedly 'undecipherable' opinion that sprang to the mind of more than one English-speaking reviewer. Even someof Derrida's closest admirers hoped that this work was an aberration. Where could he (sic) possibly go from here?,/p>

Strathern, Paul, 2003, p.34, The Essential Derrida, Virgin

In his ensuing works Derrida demonstrated with a vengeance his attitude towards clarity in language. In 1972 he once again produced three book. These were Margins of Philosophy, Positions (consisting of several interviews), and dissemination. The latter was indicative of the direction Derrida's thought was now taking. Dissemination argues ince again that there can never be a single fixed meaning to any text. The force of different meanings, puns, associated ambiguities, and similar features is irresistible. This causes a dissemination of meanings, of different interpretations. Derrida makes great play of the fact that the word dissemination contains echoes of 'seme', the ancient Greek word for meaning (hence our work semantics. He also points out that it has echoes of 'semen', thus ejacluates meaning. The final essay in Dissemination was called 'Dissemination'. Derrida himself proudly proclaimed that this text was 'undecipherable' and 'unreadable' - thus forestalling the hapless critics. But this alas was not the point. Here Derrida achieved an apotheosis (ascention to glory?) of 'textuality' - the play of differences in meaning, association, undecipherability, and so on, ad incomprehensum. Two random examples. First a heading: 'The Double Bottom of the Plupresent.' Then a sentence: 'Expropriation thus does not proceed merely by cyphered suspension of voice, by a kind of spacing that punctuates it; it is also an operaion within the voice.

No brief quotes can possibly do justice to theh full extent to which Derrida here managed to elude all meaning in his text - all sense, all sanity even.Likewise any attempt to give an exegesis of the text is doomed to failure. Indeed, in the view of its author, to do so would only do a serious disservice to the text.The attempt to give it a meaning would merelyeliminate any past meanings that it might have contained, as well as the possibility of any future interpretations.

...Derrida solved 'the problem of philosophy' by the simple expedient of exploding language from the inside, detonating its meaning into myriad fragments of ambiguity, self-contradiction, and punny jokes...

Wittgenstein, on the other hand, viewed philosophy as arising from the tangled knots of meaning arising when words were applied to inappropriate categories. (For example, it was simply impossible to ask 'What is the meaning of life?' because such words as 'meaning' and 'life' could not be meaningfully applied to each other.) What we call philosophy arose only from the mistakes in our use of language.When the knots were unravelled, the mistakes would simply disappear. Not only was there no answer to such philosophical questions, there was no question in the first place. What Wittgenstein and Derrida both had profoundly in common was thier view of phiosophy as a conjuring trick.But where Wittgenstein made the white rabbit in the hat disappear, Derrida produced an endless cornucopia of them.

Strathern, Paul, 2003, p.31-34, The Essential Derrida, Virgin