Inscription et identité : absences, traces, cicatrices


Inscription and Identity: Absences, Traces, Scars

The article talks about a current inscription crisis. It considers a deadlock in the imprinting of things in the mind, because, in a disenchanted world, according to Marcel Gauchet’s formula, it is no longer clear which meaning still matters and which does not. Here I investigate a certain historicity of the idea of inscription, starting with the thinking of the ancient Greeks, continuing with the medieval period, then modernity, and ending with the perceptions of the contemporary period. The examples brought to the reader’s attention are in fact pretexts to probe, briefly, the evolution of attitudes towards writing, from its position as a graphic sign to that of a social signal. The changes in the history of writing and reading indirectly indicate how one society or another would change its systems of signification, favoring some notions and disfavoring others. Thus said, a series of habitus that defined our way of being in the world in a certain era or another, were overvalued or, on the contrary, undervalued. By capturing those ideas and practices that surrounded writing in the infinity of its manifestations, this article highlights various cultural codes, mental universes and collective imaginaries.

Keywords: writing, inscription, trace, vestige, reminiscence, trauma

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