THE X FACTOR

Maybe this edition of the 25th letter should have been called the 24th letter because X is a letter I'm becoming increasingly intrigued with. Not only is it Y's neighbour in the alphabet, it also shares many unique realtionships with Y. Think of the X and Y chromosones, of X and Y co-ordinates on graphs and of X and Y factors in mathematics.

In fact X could easily be interpreted as Y's binary opposite. It was the French Post-Structuralist philosopher Jacques Derrida who first highlighted the importance of binary opposites. He theorized that "all of Western thought behaves in the same way, forming pairs of binary opposites in which one member of the pair is priveleged, freezing the play of the system, and marginalizing the other member of the pair". Derrida pioneered a technique known as Deconstruction which "attempts to subvert the central term so that the marginal term can become [temporarily] central." In the final stage of Deconstruction "both terms of the opposition are seen dancing in a freeplay of non-hierarchical, non-stable meanings" (all quoted from DERRIDA FOR BEGINNERS - Jim Powell)

I hope this explains my new interest in X. My work to date has clearly focused exclusively on Y and I'm now starting to venture into exciting new territory. Examples of this have started to pop up all over my website but for those interested, the best place to start would be at Xchange, which is one of the more accessible entrances into my (X)change in direction. If you follow the links from there you'll discover "the spot marked X", Xcerpts, Xenophobia and many others.

I must assure readers that I'm not dumping Y for X (so that Y, for me, simply becomes an "ex"). The final stage of any deconstruction does not simply replace an old hierarchy with a new hierarchy wherein the arginalised term now becomes the priveleged term (all too common in present day politics). Rather, it deconstructs the very notion of hierarchy. It explores new territory and extends old boundaries. Y's continued existence is therefore guaranteed.

And, while I'm on the subject, a sequel to A BRANCH OF WISDOM is busy bubbling and brewing at the moment and there are zillions of book titles swimming around my head. One contender is THE X FACTOR. Completion is at least 2 years off though as I'm presently busy doing my Masters degree in philosophy. (an exasperating project!)

Time for me to make my exit.

Until Next time,

©hristopher

XXX (strictly for X-chromosoned readers)
the WORD
project
www.thewordproject.com

(maybe I should go have my head examined)