… I had an identity crisis

 “The two of us wrote Anti-Oedipus together.  Since each of us was several, there was already quite a crowd.”[1]

I recently read Deleuze and Guattari’s chapter on Rhizomes for the first time.  I’m still in a phase of working out how best to use their work in relation to my own writing, but the chapter resonated with thoughts I’ve had about the nature of my own identities.

I may be experiencing an identity crisis, I’m probably not the only one.  There is, to me, a clear distinction between the objects of my employment (the work I do) and my academia (the things I research).   There also seems to be a clear distinction between the ways I construct these objects and how I situate myself in relation to them.

On one (professional) hand my working day is least problematic when it follows order, procedure, hierarchy, predictability, when there are check-lists, right or wrong answers, start and finish times, a building.  Structure.  On the other (philosophical) hand, I think in post-structuralist terms of para-inter-hyper-extra-meta-texts (and now rhizomes); subjectively constructed polysemic texts with an infinite number of meanings[2].  Further complications arise when I start to list my extra hands, and such a project seems counterintuitive (and a little silly) while I’m experiencing a leaning towards the self as infinitely multifaceted.

These rather disjointed thoughts are works-in-progress, but so are my selves.  I admire anyone who can read persuasive postmodernist and post-structuralist arguments and not face an existential crisis on some level.  How do I satisfactorily resolve paradoxes of the self without resorting to philosophical babbling?  Is there an Easter egg that’s revealed once I complete World of Academia: Level 5?

I know who I am, as long as I don’t think about how I know.  Or how I know.  Or how I know.  And I haven’t even started on the implications for my selves of my research and much of my academic activity being online.

[1] Deleuze, G. and Guattari, F. 1992 (1980).  A Thousand Plateaus. London: The Athlone Press. p. 3

[2] Or neutrosemic texts with no meaning at all, see Sandvoss, C. 2005.  Fans : the mirror of consumption. Oxford: Polity.


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