Autocommunication II

Torop, Peeter 2002. Locations in Intersemiotic Space. In: Sarapik, V., K. Tüür and M. Laanemets (eds.), Koht ja Paik II. Place and Location II. Tallinn: Proceedings of the Estonian Academy of Arts, 59-68.

In the case of nonverbal texts, the more abstract segmentation into the continual and the discrete systems of language became important. hereby it is important that a text with the continual dominant creates its meaning through the whole, or in the deductive way, and a text with a discrete dominant through its elements, or in the inductive manner. At the same time, a general principle is that continuality and discreteness are two co-existing parameters. (Torop 2002: 59)
An interesting supplication to the Lotman-Uspenskij (1973) distinction between discrete/continuus sign systems: here deductive/inductive and whole/elements aspects are added.
The juvenile book is an example of a metacommunicative whole in which the prototext is supplemented by a range of verbal and visual metatexts. While in culture the metacommunicative connections of a single prototext are usually separated and they are connected by time, or collective cultural memory, then in the book as a cultural text it is possible to create coherence in terms of space and time. (Torop 2002: 61)
I'm not exactly sure how this could be useful, but it may help explain intertextual "loans" and prototextual connections between dystopias and the biblical paradise myth.
A process taking place in intersemiotic space can be compared to a textologist who tries to sense, through notes, blueprints and versions, the working of the writer's mind and the story of the creation of his work. In the case of literature we can talk about the macrotime of the manuscript and the microtime of a concrete page of the manuscript. (Torop 2002: 62)
These are valuable terms for the #metablog discussion. Namely, that I consider "academic blogging" to be the best possible way to conduct humanitarian science. It is a "thinker's diary" where the influences from other thinkers are oblique/transparent, so that when future readers do read my papers, for example, they can check every reference and even see the connections with similar ideas that I have come across. I can only imagine how incredible it would have been for modern semioticions if Juri Lotman and others had conducted their scientific work this way...
Blueprint is like culture. In blueprint we can distinguish the complementarity of sign systems in the creative process, follow the shaping of an intention into a conceptual work of art, analyse the world of thought of the creator and his location in the intertextual space. For example, Fyodor Dostoyevsky's notebooks contain ideas, pictures, blueprints of others, but also details of attacks of epilepsy, facts connected with housekeeping, and also social and political thoughts. Being a notebook belonging to the pre-material of a novel, it contains a lot of information that is seemingly of secondary importance, though belonging to the same era. The result of complex study of a blueprint is the peculiarity of the creation process, and together with that, understanding the specific nature of the final text. Analysis of the creative process is holistic by nature, since the final result is already known. (Torop 2002: 63)
Indeed I have thought about including non-academic material (still about nonverbal communication) for a while, and tried to survey estonian web for notes on body language, etc. Maybe I should start recording my own observations as well? Well, I'd like to record an idea from my discussion with Jamie. She claimed that Estonian body language is reserved and shy, and there seems to be a lot that is so subtle that she does not understand it. For example, someone left the company and another person turned to her and told her that the person who left the company must have been deeply offended; yet Jamie noticed nothing like that herself. This would actually make for a theme in nonverbal communication - something to the effect of attention-blindness.
The accepting of a text into culture and the creation of a text are both autocommunicative process. The autocommunicativeness of culture is not much different from the autocommunicativeness of an individual creator. In neither case do we know with certainty if the case is about mnemonic autocommunication, i.e., about reporting the already known in another form or other sign systems, or with discovering autocommunication, i.e., with the creation of nover correlations in what exist in memory. (Torop 2002: 64)
Torop as if acknowledges the difficulties with discriminating varieties of autocommunication and downplays these differences. I tend to believe that there are significant differences in individual and supraindividual (cultural) forms of autocommunication - so much so that they seem like completely different processes, similar merely in outward appearance.
The intersemiosic aspect of culture is due to the partial overlap of signs and languages or sign systems of different arts - first, on the level of independent existence of these languages and texts created in them (e.g. film and theatre). The existence of a text as different simultaneous texts (e.g. novel, film, performance, picture) on the level of mental interference in the second. The third: the level of projection to the propositional texture or intertextual background. At the intersemiotic description of culture the recognisability takes place not only in the reception of individual holistic texts, but also in fragmentary reception processes. In the intersemiosis of culture, making sense and the hierarchisation of signs does not depend merely on texts - the same signs can belong to different texts and sign systems, and possess different meanings in different systems. Understanding cultural perception mechanisms in the basis for the understanding of the interlingual, intertextuality, interdiscursivity, and intermediality; thus the ontology of signs of different cultural texts is based on the nature of intersemiosis. (Torop 2002: 64-65)
This may become useful for concursivity: not only is it intersemiotic but there's an intertextual and even interlingual aspect, as certain descriptions "live their own life" burrowing into different texts.
The result comes in the need for a functional classification of signs outside the classification of types of signs. For the purposes of recognisability, it is useful to distinguish a priori or generally known signs, processual or authorship signs that bear a conception and aro often of an ad hoc nature, and a posteriori signs, i.e., signs making sense of the text as a whole. The functional aspect enables cultural autocommunicative sign processes and transformations to be followed, e.g. the translation of processual or authorship signs into a priori or conventional signs. This goes both for the translation of a verbal sign into another verbal sign, and the translation of a verbal sign into a visual or audiovisual. (Torop 2002: 65)
A neat simplistic sign-distinction. In broad terms, "body language" discourse deals with conventional (a priori; "coded") behavioural signs and nonverbal communication discourse deals with unconventional (ad hoc; "uncoded") behavioural signs.
A new parameter is mental text, or the notion of a text as a prototext with metatexts rooted in it that actualises as a mnemonic picture, and the peculiarity of which depends on the hierarchy of communication channels in culture. Mental text is not easily analysable as assembled text in the collective or individual memory. The same metacommunicative situation can also be described as a complementary text in which there is the coexistence of a text and metatext of different types either inside the text (comments, illustrations, foreword, etc.) or outside it (criticism, advertisement, parody, staging, etc.). In addition to relations between text and metatext, description can be based on the complementary nature of perception processes that allow us to talk about the multimodal text. If multimodality sways outside the text, i.e, when text is realised in a different material, we can talk about the multimedial text (e.g. multimedial commentary on a book). (Torop 2002: 66)
Just as there is a variety of understandings of autocommunication there is a variety of understandings of text. In fact, this seems to be the case with most notions of Tartu semiotics: code, language, semiosphere, space, culture, etc.

The Russian Perspective on the Notion of the Self: Mikhail Bakhtin’s “Inner speech” and Yuri Lotman’s “Autocommunication” (by Kim Soo Hwan, Hankuk University of Foreign Studies) [PDF]

The concept of “inner speech” by Bakhtin, which represents the semiotic connection between consciousness and unconsciousness, was suggested as a conceptual alternative to the Freudian unconscious. Meanwhile, a theoretical concept relevant to Bakhtin’s inner speech in Lotman’s thoughts — indeed, one of the most original and creative concepts of the latter — is that of “autocommunication.” Autocommunication refers to the case in which the subject does not transmit information to another person but directs it back to himself or herself. If Bakhtin tried to show why monologue-like inner speech was not a monologue but a complicated dialogue, Lotman proved why surplus repetition was creation instead of repetition. (Hwan)
In the first instance, semiotics is notably careless and/or carefree when it comes to the probems of the unconscious. In the second instance, Lotman indeed had a deal with repetiton, which was most likely influenced Jakobson's parallelisms. Lotman even claimed, that repetition could function as a metaphor. Now I realise that this may have something to bo with Bakhtin: the latter spoke of how the Devil, in Dostoevsky's works, repeated what a character said and although the words were exactly the same, the meaning was different.
In thinking of the self/ego, Russian theorists take a standpoint different from that of their Western counterparts. Their strategy is to concentrate on justifying the multiple, creative, and dynamic self-creating semiosis instead of revealing the emptiness of and cracks (fissures) in the subjectivity. Can we call it a characteristic strategy of “peripheral” thinking, which is distinguished from the “central” one, or is it merely another piece of evidence that shows the theoretical frailty of Russian thoughts on the issue of the subject? This is an open question. (Hwan)
I feel as if Hwan is falling for that same trap that is the first questions in my list of issues with autocommunication. Namely, he presumes that autocommunication and inner speech have to do with the concept of self or ego or subjectivity. To me it seems that these are indeed Western themes that Russians aren't very interested in, at least were not during the Soviet era.

Broms, Henry and Henrik Gahmberg 1983. Communication to Self in Organizations and Cultures. Administrative Science Quarterly 28(3): 482-495.

An autocommunicational text (e.g., a novel) may be read many times over; its function, however, is not to add information in the quantitative sense, but to enhance the ego. (Broms & Gahmberg 1983: 482)
Really? Really really really?
The founder of modern sociology, Vilfred Pareto, said some sixty years ago, "Actions come from sentiment, not logic. Logic is applied a posteriori" (Pareto, 1968). (Broms & Gahmberg 1983: 482)
I quite like this.
At the center of this store are the group's myths about itself - "we Americans." These images form and maintain the culture. The symbols, images, or simply call them group habits, are stored in typical words, pictures, and actions. Images can be transmitted from generation to generation in initiating courses, in schools, street corner societios, and, on the corporate level, in seminars and bull sessions. They cal also be transmitted by way of signs, the flags of nations, or evocative corporate trademarks. (Broms & Gahmberg 1983: 483)
I'd like to know what these "typical actions" exactly are.
The phenomenon of communicating to oneself is a mechanism and a procedure that produces "mythic" information, i.e., those very symbols and shared images that form the nucleus of any culture. There are a number of instances in which such an information flow from "I" to "I,"as Lotman expressed it, is apparent. These are situations in which man turns to himself, as in diarywriting. Writing in a diary may be done in order to remember dates and events, but diary writing is also a medium through which to clarify one's own thoughts. Such turning-to-oneself processes to pacify and clarify the mind, with the help of autobiographies, diaries, monologues, and meditational formulae, are typical features and important elements even in our present-day cultures. (Broms & Gahmberg 1983: 484)
Again some marked differences from Lotman's autocommunication. For example, Lotman (to my knowledge) doesn't say AC produces mythic information (if "new" information itself is not a mythical dream). Crarifying one's thought I like - that I can see.
Barnlund's (1971) model of intrapersonal communication is interesting in an autocommunicative sense, since it implies that a person, while sending a message, is "cueing" himself. The diary writer, while writing in his diary, is in fact cueing himself at the same time. Similarly,when a person is writing a memo, he is both informing the other person and "cueing" himself. The word "cueing" seems to hint at a self-imposed change. (Broms & Gahmberg 1983: 484)
And this sounds awfully lot like Blumer's self-indication.
The communication system "I"-"He" makes it possible to transfer quantitative information, when information quantity is seen as central. In the second communication system, "I"-to-"I,"a qualitative change takes place in the person or group in question, which leads to enhancement of the ego of a person or of the team spirit of a group. This change leads to a displacement of context and thus to the introduction of a code, which turns the original message into a new one. When the sending of information to oneself is particularly strong, the result may be a reconstruction of the inner self. (Broms & Gahmberg 1983: 485)
This is where Broms is inventing stuff for his own purposes (something to do with corporate culture, I guess).
But in autocommunication, the ego-enhancing information is not additive and cannot be measured in quantities. The novel Anna Karenina does not really add to our knowledge anything substantive about Russian railways, regardless of how many times we read it, but there is another kind of information intertwined in the text, between the lines, a sort of qualitative information. (Broms & Gahmberg 1983: 486)
Whoa, in this sense every non-scientific (or non-"informative") text is automatically autocommunicative.


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