Water Drip

Notes toward a future archive of Preliminism:


Prof. Graham Conroy in his outline of Philosophy 199, The Philosophy of Surrealism. Portland State University. nd.

Preliminist Manifesto I by Graham Conroy, D. Prelim.

Preliminism is not to be confused with any waggish panaceas presently on the market whether mirthful or serious. For example it is not to be equated with dada, democracy, Freudianism, 'pataphysics or Marxism -- a few of the basic celebrants on the present scene in spite of the excellent cavortations of figures such as the serious Breton, the mad Marx, the indefatigable Jefferson, the funky Freud, or the inestimable Alfred Jarry bicyclist extraordinaire and splinterer of flavored death bed toothpicks. No preliminism is beyond imperturbability; yet all is. It is beyond all starts and stops and staying. It is truly the beginning beyond (or in front of if you prefer) all beginnings. It must perforce give one a start when he contemplates the magnificence of the preliminist position. Without preliminism there is no commencement. But it must be understood by all (preliminists and supposedly self-professed non-preliminists alike) that there is no commencement (in the strange sense of ends) but only commencing. This is not apparent to the unguided poor soul (pour soi) who occasionally (although mistakenly) actually thinks that he is getting somewhere. There is no-where! There is only movement, but the movement Is only through the overture never to the symphony because the symphony can only be looked upon as an overture to another overture and so on. Thus you see that Schubert was an early preliminist In music when he titled his most melodic (hence most flowing and moving) work the 'Unfinished Symphony.' Musically it was In a way finished since what was there was all there. Yes the there was, of course, preliministically considered a no-where as it was a leading to a further development and so on. There are no resolutions, only temporary pauses. Stops are only a series of rests between successive notes. The great Beethoven understood this. The 'end of the Fifth Symphony Illustrates this most ably. Ludwig struggles to find the right note to end the work. He thinks it is there somewhere: he just has to find it. He struggles with himself. He knows all is preliminism. He tries to end it but fails. The "ending" of the Fifth shows the preliminist mind attempting to overcome itself and only ending (?) in a struggle that rushes the composer forward to 6's and 7's. You can't stop; you only think you do. The whimsical Rossini also illustrates this principle excellently by his many false codas and new endings to his overture La Gazza Ladra. He appears to be finding a stopping place only to begin again, tantalizing his auditors. The magpie is an excellent choice of a bird for this example inasmuch as it never says anything; it only repeats itself.

Similar examples can be found in other arts. Pure preliminist theater would end (? hah) with the burning of the theatre near the (can I say "end" of) first act. The glorious preliminist playwright Rex Amos has shown this to be true. So dedicated Is he to these principles and so exacting in their execution is he that he has written no plays.

Preliminism is rendered more accessible to the contemporary mind through etymology. Let us look at its derivation. Pre-limen-ism. One meaning, and an extremely Important one that it is too, is that of "before the door." Which door, you may ask. The door of life or the door of death? But, my dear friend, you must understand that they are the same door. There is only one door -- the door. And where does that lead? To the vestibule, of course. We must, and will, discuss the theory of the vestibule in a further discourse rather than pursue it at this time, since this concept is a very important preliminist concept. For now, however, let us pass beyond the vestibule (to the extent that that Is possible) and proceed apace. One who understood fully the concept of the door (a most important concept prior to that of the vestibule) In the ordinary accepted public notion of that idea was Franz Kafka who In his brilliant novel The Castle stood before that door, which he called 'The Door of the Law" and asked himself the primary questions of preliminism.

Notes toward a future archive of Preliminism

Another meaning of preliminism (again pre-limen-ism) is "standing before the stone." This can take us off in several beginnings. Two possible directions that must, of course, be seriously considered are those of Mary standing in front of the rock leading to the vestibule in which her son (a preliminist religious figure -- he said there would be more) was temporarily stored away. The other important figure in theological preliminism is the often suppose-to-be

(He was real and also a real symbol for preliminism.) Sisyphus with his rolling rock.

A codicil to the above:

Suggestions for a Preliminist Logic

The Anterior Analytics

Like most good forms of contemporary logical thinking, preliminist logic Is unabashedly non-Aristotelian. Unlike most other forms of contemporary non-Aristotelian logics (whether of the Russellian, the Polish, the Prague. or the Duodecanese notations) nothing follows from its preposition, theorems and arguments since in preliminist logic there are no conclusions to be reached. Hence, (and I use that indicator loosely) nothing follows, strictly or otherwise, inasmuch as everything precedes. Therefore, (not ergo) we call our beginning treatise into the investigations of preliminist thought the Anterior Analytics.

Conroy, ibid.

SUPERLIMINAL NOTE: THE BEGINNINGS OF PRELIMINIST ANTHROPOLOGY The great Belgian scientist, Arnold van Gennep, in his seminal work"Rites of Passage" distinguishes among liminal, preliminal and postliminal stages in passage rites. (this triune notion has a certain resonance with Soren Kierkegaard's aesthetic, ethical and religious states in his "Stages on Life's Way."). This rediscovery of preliminism, although van Gennep didn't develop the full and striking potential of the preliminist philosophy, does show prgress in both directions from the doorway. This alone makes him one of the most important Belgian literary figures of the twentieth century along with Rene Magritte and Hercule Poirot.

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