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by Federico Federici
James Joyce, Finnegans Wake
Asemic writing points to a gradual weakening of the correlation between sign and meaning or, within the language of Biology, to contradict the «form follows function» statement. Any textual hermeneutics based on an archaeological approach (restoration of a minimum set of alphabet signs from fragmented subsets, recovery of the original syntax from noisy communication channels etc.) would hopelessly fail. The reason for this failure is programmatic. The flux of symbols does not tend to intercept and duplicate encrypted information. It works around the uniqueness of each code by blending familiar patterns out of context, devising new ones or introducing modifications. This is one of the most subversive traits, legitimizing the paradox of asemic communication. There is no recognisable genome, nor any implicit one accepted by the community. Each text, regardless of its extent, embodies the highest expression of a unique and obscure language, which constitutes its stimulus and essence. This powerful, iconic synthesis absorbs all the traditional phonic elements, turning the act of reading into a pure visual experience, contemplative, even where the persuasive sequence of figures on the page seems to encourage the recovery of possible narrative dynamics, such as in The Giant’s Fence  or Action Figures  by Michael Jacobson.
Each asemic form is not a statement in itself. It’s rather an unaussprechbare Aussage, triggering the interpretive schemes of the subconscious, making the idea of an a priori meaning redundant. Reading no longer consists of two contiguous but distinct phases, namely decoding and interpreting; it becomes a unique and creative activity, acted upon the free surface the text, drawing from unknown resources. The psychological effects of brief asemic activities, stimulated in individuals with schizophrenia and alexithymia, have recently been investigated . The comparative analysis of the writings, Continue reading “Asemic phenomenology”