Presentation Abstract

From Socrates to Electracy and Beyond

Socrates, they write, did not write.

I am interested in exploring the literacy of (the literalness and the possibility of reading) this timeworn proposition. Neither first nor last, neither the first writer nor the last illiterate, Socrates is read, established as an institution, the institution of intimate speech that prompts others to write, makes them write.

Let us, in this exploration, call Socrates' method that place that gives place to literacy, occupies the same geography of institution that electracy occupies in the electronic. The very literalness and reading of the term appear to retain the concept in such a place that the place displaces. The literacy of electracy is not its electracy.

But perhaps the genitive misleads here, establishes a false genealogy, and in so doing returns us to the bastard writing, whose filiation disrupts the family peace.

Two pieces of Derrida, _The Post Card_ and "Plato's Pharmacy," offer guidance in the literacy of our investigation: Plato's nightmare, from which we have yet to awake, even in electracy, is that Socrates did write.

In other words, electracy is a conservative concept, one that repeats the literacy from which it attempts to wake.

Author: John Leavey


Target Audience: Not Applicable

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