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Reading Parentheses and their Voicing as Dostoevskij-Philology (Krotkaja) or: Institutionally Homeless (Bracketing)

( -, , , , -- -- ) (a foreign critic once remarked that that while many novels, [all] 1 German ones for example, begin with a date, it is only Russian authors who, in keeping with the honesty peculiar to our literature, omit the final digit) The first of 774 brackets in the text of Nabokovs The Gift

1. Reading (Dostoevskij), Dostoevskij Reading(s), Philology


(!) (Order!) The 3rd of 33 brackets in Dostoevskijs A Gentle Spirit ( , : , - ) (as he said this Porfiry Petrovitch, who was scarcely five-andthirty, actually seemed to have grown old; even his voice changed and he seemed to shrink together) The 108th of 239 brackets in Crime and Punishment

Reading Dostoevskij is that (still) possible? Has it been (ever at any time) feasible? What does it mean to read Dostoevskij? The answer I would like to give in this paper is that the possibility of answering this question can be tested by reading a particular type of typographical sign (i.e. of punctuation), one which has never attracted the specific attention of Dostoevskij scholarship: the parenthesis. It would seem at first glance that reading parentheses alone or reading at the level of individual punctuation marks would be a classic example of reading too slowly as famously quoted by Paul de Man as the motto of his Allgories of Reading: Quand on lit trop vite ou trop doucement on n'entend rien. In implementing this sentence and/as sententia as a motto (an thus bracketing it, placing it everywhere and nowhere in the text), de Man underscores the paradoxality of the sequentiality of (poetic) language. Concentration on bracketing in general potentially brings sequentiality to the fore in a similar manner. By reading that which breaks up the syntactic flow (purportedly) guaranteed by grammar, one always seems to be going either too quickly or too slowly. This is due to the simple fact that parentheses are a remarkable and radical violation of the rules of syntax so radical that linguists have yet to
1 It is not clear why Nabokov allows to be translated as most German ones in the official English translation of Dar, but the original version is certainly closer to the opinionated national philology propagated by Nabokovs narrator.

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come up with a comprehensive theory to account for them. To be more exact: to find a reason to care about them enough to develop a theory for them.2 The context of the particular analysis I allow myself to present to the reader is a story (filmed by Robert Bresson as Une femme douce in 1969 with Dominique Sanda as the leading actress in her very first film role) which appeared in Dostoevskijs Dnevnik pisatelja (Diary of a Writer), Dostoevskijs periodical column for the propagation of his philosophy, in the Fall of 1876, i.e. after the completion of Podrostok (A Raw Youth) and during the emergence of Bratja Karamazovy.(The Brothers Karamazov). It thus has a doubly unusual status: it is fiction in a non-fiction or at least essayistic context, and it is a short story in a time of monumental novels, including the last and most monumental of all: The Brothers Karamazov. Due to its standing in the shadows of these canonical texts, it has up till recently not been the subject of a great deal of critical or analytical comment.3 It is however a quintessential and apt experimental ground for close examinations of Dostoevskijs voice work. The short story consists two chapters with six and four sections respectively, in which an approx. 40 year-old (unnamed) pawnbroker tells the story of his marriage with an (also unnamed) 16 year-old girl who has just plunged to her death in an act of suicide with an icon of the Mother of God in her hands. The story which is told by the pawnbroker-narrator is preceded by a prologue of the author/editor, discussing the story as fantastic (this being the subtitle of the text), mainly due to the paradoxical conditions its notation' (with the help of a non-existent, ie. fictional stenographer). The pawnbroker-narrator tells the story while pacing up and down in the room in which his dead wife has been placed on a table a few hours beforehand. The plot is the story of their brief marriage (at times self-critically) describing in a first chapter entitled Kto byl ja I kto byla ona (Who I was and who she was) their first meetings (at one of the first of which she brings the icon of the Mother of God in exchange for a loan), his own way of disciplining the young woman and her acts of protest and rebellion (in section 5 entitled Krotkaja buntuet [A Gentle Spirit in Revolt]), culminating in her pointing a revolver at him while he is lying in bed, apparently sleeping. In the fourth and last section of the second chapter entitled Vsego tolko pjat minut opozdal (I Was Only Five Minutes Too Late), the pawnbroker-narrator describes arriving home and
In a typically impressionistic analysis, the Cambridge English Grammar (2002, p. 1748) notes that the parenthesis has an insulating effect and that the sentence cannot depend on the bracket construction. The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Language speaks of an alternative to commas and an inclusion of a grammatical unit (207). The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the English language covers the issue of parenthesis various contexts. In the next and other footnotes, the studies of Schwyzer and Lampert (she refers heavily to Schwyzer) will be discussed. 3 Of particular interest are the comments on Krotkaja in Mirjam Gollers book Gestaltetes Verstummen and several articles in the 2000 issue of Dostoevsky Studies (Bieber 2000, Freise 2000 and Holland 2000).
2

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finding his wife dead on the pavement after she has taken her own life by jumping out the window.
I will now quote and comment on the summary offered by Mirjam Goller, who includes several insightful analyses of this text in the context of her concept of structured silence, or, to be more exact, growing silent in a structured manner (gestaltetes Verstummen).

Der innere Monolog, der sich als solcher schon vorab im Jenseits aller Lautlichkeit bewegt, erzhlt vom Kennenlernen, der Eheschlieung und dem Scheitern der Ehe zwischen einem Pfandleiher mittleren Alters und einer knapp sechzehnjhrigen Waise, die sich schlielich aus dem Fenster der gemeinsamen Wohnung in den Tod strzt. Der Pfandleiher erzhlt dies alles in einem sich gleichsam erbrechenden lautlosen Monolog vor dem aufgebahrten toten Krper der jungen Frau. Er spricht lautlos, der anwesende tote Krper ist todesstill. Er wiederholt nacherzhlend die erste Begegnung in der Pfandleihe, bei der sie, was ihm auffllt, nicht spricht. Er zitiert sich in einem Gesprch, das er mit ihr ber Annoncen in der Zeitung Golos/Stimme fhrt, in der sie um eine Anstellung als Gesellschafterin, Gouvernante und schlielich Hausangestellte inseriert, und in einem weiteren, als er sich mit ihr ber Goethes Faust unterhlt, und schlielich in einem, in dem sie versucht, eine Ikone der Muttergottes zu versetzen. Er wiederholt, wrtlich, den berstrzten Heiratsantrag, den er ihr macht, als er von einer aus materieller Not geplanten Verheiratung mit einem ihm bekannten Kaufmann hrt. Er spricht vom Beginn des gemeinsamen Alltags und von seiner Strategie, seine Frau, die, wie er, den ganzen Text ber namenlos bleibt und nur durch eine Funktion markiert wird, ihr Sein als Krotkaja/Sanfte, durch Schweigen zu veranlassen, sein wahres (vermeintlich edles) Wesen zu erkennen. Und er spricht davon, da sie ebenfalls beginnt zu schweigen, da sie immer bleicher wird, da sie hustet, whrend sie ber ihren Nharbeiten sitzt, da sie im Fieber spricht und sich schlielich, als er zu erkennen meint, was er falsch gemacht hat in der gemeinsamen Ehe und ihr dies gesteht, in seiner Abwesenheit in den Tod strzt. Er spricht weiter davon, da er nicht wei, was er tun kann ohne ihre Anwesenheit, und da er nicht wei, was er tun soll, wenn am folgenden Tag ihr bleicher, toter Krper in weien Stoff eingeschlagen und weggebracht wird. Die wiederkehrende Frage nach der Ursache ihres Fenstersturzes wird zum Katalysator seines sich berschlagenden inneren Sprechens, das sich vor dem toten aufgebahrten Krper seiner Frau abspielt. Schweigen, Verstummen und die stille Folie des Todes kennzeichnen mehrere Positionen des Textes. Die tote junge Frau liegt in stiller Prsenz vor ihrem Mann und kontrastiert (und beantwortet damit) in dieser tdlichen Stummheit sein permanentes Sprechen. Er legt vor ihr eine Beichte ab, eine zweite gleichsam sakralisierte Handlung, hnlich der, als er das Marienbild (genuin nicht sprechend) in den Heiligenschrein stellt, vor dem eine Kerze brennt. Der Pfandleiher, der sie aber zu Zeiten seiner Ehe absichtlich angeschwiegen hat (um etwas zu verschweigen), lt in seinem aktuellen Sprechen sein ehemaliges Sprechen laut werden und das, was die junge Frau sagt, verschwinden. Als sie verstummt und schlielich in den Tod springt, beginnt der Pfandleiher gegen diesen stillen Tod anzusprechen (und der Stenograph damit zu schreiben). In dieser Erzhlung sind smtliche Aspekte von Verstummen prsent, die den Analysefokus dieses Phnomens bestimmen: der von der absoluten Stille des Todes, dem horror vacui, ausgelste Zwang zu sprechen, das strategische Schweigen des Pfandleihers, das allmhliche Verstummen der jungen Frau bis in den Tod, die Implikationen der imaginren (Krper-) Schrift, des Rahmens und des verdoppelten Krpers. Als Text, der eine besondere Form des Sprechens oder eben NichtSprechens vorfhrt, ist Krotkaja schon als Schweigen fr zwei Stimmen oder apokalyptisches Sprechen vom Ende [] bezeichnet und analysiert worden. 4
4 Goller 88-89. Gollers quotes at the end of the quoted passage are formulations from Aage Hansen-Lves analysis of Dostoevskijs story in the context of his conception of apocalypse and end-texts (Hansen-Lve 1996).

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Goller is certainly correct in underscoring the fact that the gentle woman becomes (in the account of her widower) more and more silent as time goes on, this culminating in the ultimate silence (absolute Stille) of death. It is also true that the pawnbroker often speaks of his own silence, e.g. , . (I am masterly at speaking without words. All my life I have spoken without words, and I have passed through whole tragedies on my own account without words.). But there is no indication that the monologue we are reading was conducted in silence. The author indicates that , , (he speaks with himself, tells the story, explains it to himself), but does not refer to silent speech. Indeed, stating this would minimize the paradoxicality of the texts notation, which seems to be one of its key features. Many of Gollers formulations indicate that her interests dictated by the general topic of growing silent (Schweigen) distract her attention from this very issue of the notation of the text, which in turn is the basis of discussing its bracketing practices. Goller writes, for instance: erzhlt dies alles in einem sich gleichsam erbrechenden lautlosen Monolog, sein permanentes Sprechen, and particularly beginnt der Pfandleiher gegen diesen stillen Tod anzusprechen (und der Stenograph damit zu schreiben). Later we read: Er spricht und spricht und geht und geht dabei hin und her. But what does er spricht mean here? The issue here is not deciding whether the pawnbroker-narrator really conducted his monologue in silence or in audible speech (whatever decision one has to make here, one would have to find some place for the stenographer, i.e. the stenographer of a speech not spoken), but rather precisely that there is no indication for one or the other possibility.

1.1. The ubiquitous Stenographer

What is absolutely irrefutable is the mention of the issue of the stenographer herself or himself, e.g. the connection of the fantastic orientation of the text with the (im)possibility of a stenographer in the preface of the author. Here is the passage in the original with my own translation.
, , , , , , , , . ( ) , . If a stenographer could have listened in on him and have noted everything after he said it, the result would have been somewhat rougher and less finished than as it his presented in my version, but it seems to me that the psychological order would remain one and the same. It is this

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supposition of a stenographer having noted everything (after which I would have put that which had been noted into a finished form), that I term fantastic in this tale.

Later on in this text I will be attempting to analyse this passage and the stenographic fantastic in general as a self-representation or allegory of the emergence of Dostoevskijs dictated text, thus positioning Dostoevskijs own silently noting wife-secretary as a key factor of the notation of the pawnbrokers speech. This in turn would replace the figure of silence with that of voice-notation in a particular discursive configuration. I would like to underscore the contours of this argumentation now for they give the entire problem shades of significance which it is important to be aware of from the very outset. As a rule, Dostoevskij dictated all literary texts - starting with the simultaneously emerging Prestuplenie i nakazanie (Crime and Punisment) and Igrok (The Gambler) in 1866 - to Anna Grigoreva Dostoevskaja (ne Snitkina). The dictation sessions with Anna Grigoreevna were essential for the production of a good part of Fedor Michajlovi Dostoevskijs great novels (up to and including Bratja Karamazovy [The Brothers Karamazov], which he dedicated to Snitkina-Dostoevskaja). One could hypothesize that the reference to the stenographer is no less than a reference to this factor of Dostoevskian writing. One could further hypothesize that the dead wife lying on the table during the stenographed monologue of the husband is none other than a figure of the wife-stenographer who was pivotal for the actual emergence of the text and indeed all of Dostoevskijs great or, to use Joseph Franks term: miraculous fiction. When I say none other, I do not mean to say that the depiction of the young wife is a portrait of Snitkina-Dostoevskaja, but rather that the dead wife is a figure or an emblem of notation and its order precisely as a formerly animate notational apparatus. In this sense both the concrete existent Snitkina-Dostoevskaja and the fictional dead wife of the pawnbroker are part of a voice-notation configuration whose self-representation is an essential component. If this were the case, then reading the text with its stenographic background would also be reconstructing and perhaps also deconstructing the emergence of literary notation, also of the short text at hand. This in turn could in many ways be distilled into a reading of the parenthesis in the passage just quoted:
( ) , . It is this supposition of a stenographer having noted everything (after which I would have put that which had been noted into a finished form), that I term fantastic in this tale

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A focus on the existence of notes committed to paper (by a dead woman) and on the text itself being a retrospective work with these notes is created by nothing other than this bracket. This bracket in turn has an ambivalent function with respect to the definition of the fantastic of the text. Is the revision part of the supposition of a stenographer and part of the fantastic, or is it in brackets precisely because it is bracketed out of this definition. Is it perhaps even a completesly alien voice which speaks (with) another tongue than the figure defining the fantastic nature of the text? Could one go as far as to assume that the two Is in the two sentence are not two different eyes of the same subject, but two completely separate subjects entirely? This voice division and/or separation is, as I would like to demonstrate in the course of this paper, the potential effect of every bracket, particularly in a literary (more generally: a voicing) text. A retracing of the genealogy and the function of this and other brackets is located in several fields simultaneously: in traditional philological text criticism, in narratology, but also in an examination of the degree and manner in which the Dostoevskian text particularly the in the case of the late Dostoevskij - negotiates its own discursive status. When I say discursive status, I also mean the positioning of the text with respect to the emerging Aufschreibesystem 1900, in which, as Nietzsche astutely notices, Dostoevskij plays a significant role as an artist of the body. Or perhaps one who makes the body speak. This is a key difference. Indeed, the entire media and semiotic configuration surrounding Nietzsche and the typewriter as developed by Kittler can be linked to Dostoevskijs practices and figures of stenography. It even allows some fine tuning, since the fictional work with the persona of the stenographer in Dostoevskijs text raises issues which Nietzsche cannot deliver to Kittlers theoretical analysis. This in turn makes it clear that not only new notation processes are coming into place (worked out in most detail in the monographs of Stefan Rieger5), but that these processes represent themselves during their emergence. One might even go so far as to say that the miraculous Dostoevskij in the monumental novels of 1866-1881 not only devises a way of representing the fundamental dialogicity of language (Bachtins master thesis), but also at least in Krotkaja manages to embody in writing an almost diametrically apposed tendency of signification in his day: the corporeal notation of speech as the source of a narrative text and the simultaneous negotiation of the conditions of this notation. This tendency seems to be diametrically opposed to dialogicity, since it is a marking of gaps and breaks, not of a location always already in dialogue, which is based on figures of continuity and linkable to the mega-continuity of carnival. The voice in
5

Cf. Reiger 2001; 2002.

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and of the bracket is not the voice of dialogue, but rather the insistence of the work of producing the written text on its being co-represented with and as the monologue. It is thus not a voice at all, but rather the breaking and interruption of voice itself in an order of writing. Thus the paradigmatic significance of the bracket quoted in the first motto of this section: (order!). Contemporary Dostoevskij philology must be in a position to take an interest in and come to terms with bracketing practices such as these and their background in the texts staging its own stenographic origins (as just outlined). It should do this not only because it reveals fundamental characteristics of Dostoevskijs writing, but also due to the Russian spin which Dostoevskij gives to tendencies of his age (Aufschreibesystem 1900), infusing them with a degree and type of self reflection unknown in other cultural contexts (yet another thing at least unconsciously picked up on by Nabokov6).

1.2. Under Eastern Eyes (philology/culture)


A/The Russian philologist Roman Jakobsons epitaph

As I mentioned, the term Dostoevskij philology goes in two fundamental directions: as a disciplinary background of reading Dostoevskij and as an activity performed by Dostoevskij himself. The late Dostoevskij - for instance his quirky but epoch-making reading of Pukin at the unveiling of the Moscow monument in 1880 is the creator of a particular russophilological strategy which goes far beyond readings of Pukin and reaches to institutional readings and Russian philosophy in the twentieth century7 and to this day. But this is not all: precisely in his stenographic reading in the text I will be examining in this paper, Dostoevskij presents an alternative, strikingly modern and self-reflective strategy of reading emerging four years before the Pukin speech - a strategy which one might call postphilological or meta-philological. It is precisely this double orientation of Dostoevskij which makes the analysis of his writing and speaking philology so productive also for an assessment of the ends of philology. There is more at stake here than meets the eye.

The author of these lines read a paper at the AAASS conference in November of 2006 in which the fourth chapter of Nabokovs Dar (The Gift) is analyzed in this vain. Publication is forthcoming. 7 Cf. Lunarskijs speech Dostoevskij as an artist and a thinker (, ) on the occasion of Dostoevskijs 100th birthday, in which he fully accepts Dostoevskijs prophetic words on Pukin as applying to the Russian people as a chosen people. (http://www.magister.msk.ru/library/politica/lunachar/lunaa002.htm)

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When I say that the issues discussed in the paper are significantly connected to the contours, limits and ends of philology as an institution, a framework, a concept and a strategy of reading, I am trying to indicate that bracketing practices are not of a culturelessly theoretical or philosophical nature, and at the same time are not simply an object of unreflected philology. The most significant cultural component which also needs to be accounted for is the problem of East and West which is universally brought to bear on Dostoevskijs writing. If, for instance, an association of the scriptural and oral (media) versions of language with (rational, civilized) Western and (irrational, barbaric [or other-civilized]) Eastern culture is in any way relevant to notation and positioning of voice in Dostoevskijs texts, then the complex and in the final analysis undecideable issue of whether parentheses represent an intervention of the oral or an increase of a specifically written factor can be brought to bear on this question. To be more specific, one could ask whether bracketing disrupts, destroys or even deconstructs a Slavophile voice which Dostoevskij seems to be developing in his philosophical discourses in the (surrounding or simultaneous) Diary of a Writer. This repeats the question already implicitly addressed by Bakhtins dialogicity (as a technique which makes an ideological position of the novel itself impossible), but perhaps in a more radical, modern and revealing form. One could even ask whether the bracket is quite precisely the place and/or the theater of Dostoevskij philology as a kind of reading activity performed by the literary text itself (again: here in the particular context of a literary text surrounded by non-literary material and thus somehow set equivalent to it and at the same time all the more distanced from it8). One might more specifically speculate on the possibility that the paralysis of the main figure, pacing up and down his room beside the body of his dead young (young dead?) wife, is not itself an allegory of a speech which does not go forward, also in the sense of a Russian man confronted quite literally with the demise of his family planning (he is old enough to be his wifes father, which brings a kind of stagnation into this planning from the very beginning). If this were the case, then the brackets as mechanisms of stalling or breaking down sequentially (as pro-gressio in the most literal sense of the word) could be viewed as aiding and abetting the perpetrator of this crime against (Russian) humanity. Going beyond the borders of Dostoevskijs texts and casting a glance on his heritage (which also includes Freuds reading), one might take up an oddity of Dostoevskij reception: the question why the most energetic anti-dostoevskians of the early 20th century, Joseph Conrad9

In his preface the author in an interesting double gesture apologizes for the introduction of a fictional text in the context at hand. 9 Cf. Epstein 1999.

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and Vladimir Nabokov10 (both in their own way Westerners to be more exact advocates, like echov (in contrast to the others, not a very heavy bracket-user), of Slavic rationality and enemies of a kind of Slavic irrationality associated with the writings and the biographical character of Dostoevskij) immediately continue the tradition of bracketing in the prose novel which they must have noticed during their irate readings of the monumental irrationalist, resulting often in direct parodies (e.g. in the case of Conrads Under Western Eyes11). In other words, one could attempt to link the issue addressed in this paper to that which Nabokovs narrator in the first bracket of The Gift (quoted in the motto of my text) - be it wishful thinking or inscripted enactment - calls [] [] [the honesty peculiar to our literature] and ask whether and in which sense the narrators claim and advocacy of a particular Russian honesty includes or excludes (or even brackets) Dostoevskij and/as Dostoevskian bracketing.12

1.3. Non-Readings (Erasures of non-finalizability) Considering many readings of the 20th century, one might get the impression that reading Dostoevskij means precisely not reading him. Reading itself is bracketed, and what remains is ideological, theo-ideological instrumentalization and/or logocentric substantialization (Dostoevskij is partially to blame for this precisely due to the philosophical reflections in the Diary of a Writer, a best seller of his time but clearly marginal from a literary point of view except perhaps for its having included literary the text discussed here: A Gentle Spirit). Berdjaev, for instance, sets forth on the project of uncovering Dostoevskijs spirit,, .. his deepest comprehension of the world and intuitively reconstructing his world view13 Russian President Vladimir Putin participated in an example of this type of reading when he travelled to Mount Athos in September of 2005 and was filmed while he was engaged in the following dialogue with one of the monks:
" , ", - . As I will note later, the only Russian studies paper as of yet on literary parentheses is on Nabokov. As the number of parentheses in Dar indicates, there is much more work to be done on this particular author alone. 11 On Conrad and Dostoevskij cf. GoGwilt 1995, particularly p. 38, where he discusses the hidden dialogue with Dostoyevsky in the form of a profoundly unsettled mimicry of Dostoyevskys open-ended interior dialogue. 12 This issue can be connected to the canon work within Russian literary works themselves (cf. Meyer 1997 and Meyer 2006), starting in its modern form with Pukins Monument poem of 1836 (on this poem cf. R. Lachmann 1990). 13 , . (Berdjaev 1923: 7).
10

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", , . [] .14

As Dostoevskij said, Russia is obliged by love to save the world, - remarked Igumen Vasilij. Of course, you are right [] noted Putin.

But even a well-known and well-respected study like Georg Lukcs Theorie des Romans (Theory of the Novel) ends with an account of Dostoevskijs place in the history of the genre15 which is so global that one is not at all sure what kind and which object of reading it is based on.16 What room is left for reading here? None at all, if all of Dostoevskijs writing is reduced to this particular function: giving Russia a mission and seeing Russia completely and absolutely engaged in this mission, in other words founding a philosophical school for a very particular (and at the same time supposedly universal) Russian philology. One could say, in grammatical terms, that this is tantamount to reading Dostoevskij exclusively in the perfective aspect, i.e. a temporal view of an event or state as a simple whole, apart from the consideration of the internal structure of the time in which it occurs. In other words, in a mode of completion bereft of all processuality and all wavering of purpose and discourse, and above all lacking all scriptural sequentiality. His writing itself would according to this reading have be a fulfilment of this sacred obligation in the future or an account of the degree to which the obligation has been filled. It is clear that this view is diametrically opposed to the one which views Dostoevskij as the epitome of what Gary Saul Morson and Carol Emerson in their description of Bakhtins philosophy call unfinalizability17. And my analysis attempts to describe unfinalizability no as much in the field of voice as in the realm of writing. The consequences of an ideologically motivated closure of Dostoevskijs for the possibility of reading Dostoevskij at all are grave, indeed fatal. This applies just as much to the voices (which Bakhtin views as having been unleashed by their author) as it does to the strategies

September 10, 2005 web site of Vesti (http://www.vesti.ru/comments.html?id=37413&tid=30229) This is the passage in question: Erst in den Werken Dostojewskijs wird diese neue Welt, fern schaute Wirklichkeit abgezeichnet. Darum seht er und steht seine Form auerhalb dieser Betrachtungen.: Dostoewskij hat keine Romane geschrieben, und die gestaltende Gesinnung, die in seinen Werken sichtbr wird, hat weder bejahend noch verneinend etwas mit der europischen Romantik des neunzehnten Jahrhunderts und mit den mannigfaltigen, ebenfalls romantischen Reaktionen gegen sie zu tun. Er gehrt der neuen Welt an. (Theorie des Romans, dtv 137). 16 Lukacs did make extensive notes on Dostoevskij, which were published in Budapest in the 1985. They show that he, of course, did read very intensively. But here I am referring to reading in terms of reading-as-writing, as a theory of the novel, theory in turn being a text genre which positions the novel as a whole in a history of writing. 17 Morson/Emerson 1990: 36ff.
15

14

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of notation which produce the particular Dostoevskian version of writing and of writings own self-representation. A side-effect of these considerations and deliberations is a certain reflection on strategies of reading the novel. This would involve (among other things) following up on the problem of Lukacs, Kunderas and others Dostoevskij-novel-reading in terms of theory (Lukacs) and/or art (Kundera) both in general and with respect to Dostoevskij. In the context of this paper I cannot but hint at the implications of such reflections.

1.4. Reading ( Parentheses) as (and against [the background of]) Philology

The overriding concern which this investigation is part of or an expression of is the issue of Dostoevskij-philology as a part of the general question of philology, i.e. the question of which discipline is responsible for reading Dostoevskij, particularly with respect to the relationship among linguistics, literary scholarship (from editing practices to poststructuralist literary theory), philosophy, history and theology. Linking this question to the issue of reading parentheses seems at first glance to underscore the role of linguistics, since one would think that linguists would consider themselves to chiefly responsible for parentheses and/or acts of bracketing. At a second glance, one discovers that this intuitive impression is misleading, since there seems to be no real subdiscipline of current (state-of-the-art) linguistics which might get interested in parentheses.18 This does not mean that one can do without linguistic descriptions entirely. But it does mean that these descriptions are all but adequate for a comprehensive account of the issue of texts profiting from parentheses. In any case, one notes that it is scholars of philosophy, rhetoric and (last but not least) literature who seem to make the issue of bracketing most productive. At the same time, none of them would necessarily view herself as chiefly responsible for this object of study. So in a
In one of the few extensive works on parentheses coming out of linguistics, Martina Lampert notes that the topic has a peripheral status in modern linguistics, and that neither a formal nor a functional description of any importance has emerged. She sees the reasons for the lack of a formal description in their variability and heterogeneity, as well as in the lack of set rules for their use:
Die Parenthese konnte sich bis heute nicht als eine Kategorie der Grammatik etablieren und blieb infolgedessen auch fr diesen Bereich der Sprachbeschreibung von eher peripherem Interesse. In erster Linie sind vor allem strukturelle Grnde dafr anzufhren, da sich ein Forschungsparadigma Parenthese nicht konstituierte: Sowohl die interne Variabilitt parenthetischer Strukturen, die Vielgestaltigkeit der mglichen Relationen zur sprachlichen Umgebung sowie die geringen Beschrnkungen ihrer Topologie sind dafr verantwortlich, da auch in den wenigen Untersuchungen zur Parenthese kein Konsens ber ihre f o r m a l e Charakteristik erzielt werden konnte, obgleich diese im Zentrum des Interesses der vorliegenden Arbeiten zu Parenthese und verwandten Strukturen stand. F u n k t i o n a l e Beschreibungen oder gar Erklrungen der Verwendungsweisen von parenthetischen Strukturen im Text wurden nicht angestrebt, sie finden sich selten als beilufige Andeutungen. (Lampert 1992: 25).
18

Lampert sees no progress in the linguistic investigation of parentheses since Schwyzer 1939, which was published in 1939.

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way, the analysis of bracketing is institutionally homeless. This homelessness could be viewed as a special case of the homelessness of writing itself, e.g. its simultaneous location in and resistance to national philology, to theoretical linguistics and to media studies. I would now like to briefly sketch some of the contours of individual disciplines bracketing responsibilities. Philosophy: As for the use of the typographical sign parenthesis or bracket etc., be it round or square, it is clear that Wittgenstein and modern logic make heavy use of bracketing in a mathematical function. In addition, Wittgensteins use of bracketing in the discursive parts of the Tractatus is of interest. But these bracketing practices are mechanical and unreflected. One could turn to a more conscious use of brackets and bracketing in a broader sense, i.e. including conceptual, not only typographic bracketing. In addition to the most obvious case of Edmund Husserls Ideen zu einer reinen Phnomenologie und phnomenologischen Philosophie, which introduces the technique of bracketing (in Klammern setzen19) empirical data away from further investigation, leaving pure consciousness, pure phenomena, and the pure Ego as the residue of phenomenological reduction, the use of bracketing both in a typographical sense and in a broader rhetorical sense by a number of philosophers is of great interest. I will be taking up one of the most interesting studies of the use of bracketing in philosophy: Warminskis treatment of Heideggers strategy of bracketing Hegel. It is one of the many cases where the competition between that which is inside and that which is outside the brackets for primacy becomes particularly tight. Warminski considers precisely the possibility that the parenthesis, rather than being an incidental remark interrupting the text of the essay, is instead (or at the same time) the very context of the text, that in which the text is inscribed the thesis rather than (or as well as) the parenthesis. The central issue here is the interface between bracketing and example (the exemplary), hinging on Heideggers elaboration of giving an example for what he calls being (Sein). Towards the end of my argumentation I will demonstrate that the order of Dostoevskijs text has a similar status to Heideggers Sein and/or the impossible example for Sein. This brings us to the problem of rhetoricity as sequentiality. Rhetoric: At the outset of this article, I touched on Paul de Mans concept of allegory, particularly with respect to temporality/sequentiality and the Pascalian problem of the velocity of reading. This is clearly a key component of the relevance of rhetoric (as a regulation of sequentiality) for the issue at hand. I also mentioned bracketing both in a typographical sense and in a broader rhetorical sense. This broader rhetorical sense is covered
19

Husserl 1995: 63.

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by the concepts of digression and parenthesis, which straddle the border between (typographic) punctuation and (semantic) digression, making the issue of bracketing so complex and so significant. Rhetorical parenthesis is on the one hand (in a negative sense) related to other techniques of disruption such as anacoluthon20 and hyperbaton21, but is on the other hand (in a positive sense) a technique in its own right, albeit one which can become am error, a vitium, if used excessively22. Systematic (and Quintilianian-normative) rhetorics evaluation of the paranthesis produces a group of figures which introduce breaks, interruptions and general problems of order. This is clearly significant in reference to the effects and constrictions of languages sequentialities. It seems, for instance, that this type of disturbance of sequentiality calls attention to sequentiality itself and thus also of the performing of the rhetorical speech in time. It has a particular kind of meta-rhetorical potential, as do all techniques which systematic rhetoric is not sure how to assess. In the analysis of the Dostoevskij text, we will see that the meta-rhetorical component of the texts self-negotiations also has repercussions in the far-removed areas of rhetoric such as the genera dicendi (genus iudicale). Literature: Looking at the scholarship in Slavic studies on literary bracketing as a type of parenthesis in the broader sense, one can note two basic facts: 1. The only author who has been the subject of the literary use of parentheses is Vladimir Nabokov that being in exactly one study concentrating on playful stylistics (igrovaja stilistika).23 2. Digressio seems to have its place in nineteenth century Russian literature not in the works of Dostoevskij, but rather in those Pukin and Gogol. The classic formalist studies of klovskij on Evgenij Onegin24 (in its relationship to Lawrence Sternes Tristram Shandy) and of Ejchenbaum and others on Gogols skaz25, well known to most specialists, argue convincingly for viewing digression as a substantial component of the poetics of the two canonic Romantic writers. In addition, Pukins Evgenij Onegin contains a sizable number of parentheses, the examination of which might expand on klovskijs analysis, especially considering the heavy use of parenthetical constructions in Sternes novel.

Cf. Sanders 1992. Cf. Branca-Rosoff, 1998. 22 Cf. Lhnemann / Rupp 2003. 23 Rakhimkulova 1999. In principle, one could also Lamperts monograph as a contribution of Slavic Studies to the study of parentheses this all the more since she takes up an essay by Vclav Havel as one of her main objects of study. It is however only peripherally important for the problem of Slavic literarures. 24 Cf. klovskij 1923. 25 Cf. Ejchenbaum 1969.
21

20

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I would however argue that the parentheses of Dostoevskij are of at least as great if not greater contemporary theoretical interest precisely as a particular type of digression which augments the dialogicity theses of Bakhtin. This is all the more convincing and has all the more import given previous approaches of nonSlavic-studies literary scholars to the use of parentheses, going beyond the limited issue of playfulness. The two key positions here are those of John Lennard and Robert Grant Williams, the former if only due to its being so voluminous (and its touching on key issues of the lyric parenthesis), and the second due to its success in getting to the core of the literary parenthesis. I will be treating these two positions in more detail later on, so I will only mention two pivotal thoughts of these analyses here: Lennards positing an ontological disjuncture between the bracketed and the non-bracketed and Williams treatment of the parenthesis (in Lawrence Sternes Tristram Shandy, particularly as quoted by the OED) as an index of literature itself, the treatment of them as a indicator of a certain attitude towards literature, Williams effectively equating the parenthetical with literature (by describing their suppression as a fear of literature). Scholars of literature have - in a diffuse manner and often under the unfortunate conditions of ignorance of each others work presented a wide range of interesting approaches to the function and meaning of bracketing in literature. A few of the aspects discussed (I already meantioned Rakhimkulovas playfulness) are as follows:

Individual usage as a style feature (various studies on Proust such as Sera-Rolland 1995[stressing the metalinguistic: Epstein 1999 on Conrad; Deneau on Claude Simon, Fiddian 2003 on Borges, Henriksen 2001 on Ezra Pound, Rouffiat 2001 on Mallarm26)

Editing (for Shakespeare: Thompson) Reconstructing the genesis of the text and its compilation (for Barthes: Boucheron)

The last-mentioned classical philological issue is, by the way, quite interesting for A Gentle Spirit and will be taken up again, but only after the ground has been prepared to make inroads into the questions answer.

1.4. The other deconstruction on the periphery (after philology)


Cf. Elbon on Digression (unfortunately without special comment on a particularly interesting parentheses in the Mallarm text read: La Gloire).
26

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(car il y a aussi une autre logique de la paralyse que j'avais nagure, dans Pas, distingue de la logique de l'analyse) The 76th of 116 brackets in Derridas Rsistences27

At the outset of my argumentation I brought Paul de Mans deconstruction into play, more specifically his treatment of reading too quickly and/or too slowly and its relevance for bracketing. It seems necessary at the end of these methodological reflections to pay attention to the other key figure of deconstruction, Jacques Derrida Examining parentheses might seem to be an example of attention for the peripheral, the frame and the margin as recommended and practiced by Derrida. Indeed, one could relate the parenthetical directly to his suggestion of a method he calls paralyse as a alternative to analyse, put forth in his text Pas, as referred to retrospectively in the passage from Rsistences a text quite rich in parentheses with an average of approximately three on each page quoted in the motto of this text. Another logic ( une autre logique) is addressed in the bracket in Rsistences, and simultaneously another text: Pas. Without being able to get into detail on this here and now, I would first like to point out the significance of this double gesture: addressing method (paralysis instead of analysis) and bringing in a further alien/own text, the latter being the usual function of a footnote.28 But it is this is the message of the placing of the text material - important and consistent to intervene into the text itself with this bracket, with this seeming digression which moves to an own/alien method with reference to an own/alien text (i.e. an own text from an alien time). And of course it is no coincidence that this bracket admittedly one of 116, not all of which do this - touches on paralysis, on the (curable? incurable?) inability to move forward. Another bracketed phrase (the 80th) continues this technique and line of thought

Toutes ces rsistances organises peuvent tre distingues par une analyse logique, conceptuelle, mthodique mais en ralit elles s'enchevtrent et se surdterminent. Surtout - voici la scansion la plus dcisive mes yeux et donc celle qui pliera mon expos en deux- quand on cherche dterminer l'unit de ce concept, celui qui sert de tuteur smantique ou de rfrence paradigmatique aux cinq rsistances, on rencontre une rsistance l'analyse qui la fois figure la plus rsistante des rsistances, la rsistance par excellence, la rsistance hyperbolique et pourtant celle qui dsorganise le principe mme, l'ide constitutive de la psychanalyse comme analyse des rsistances. (Rien de surprenant d'une srie lui est aussi transcendant et, soustrait au sens qu'il confre, il en vient priver de son sens cela mme quoi il donne sens.) On pourrait dire en effet que la multiplicit des rsistances ne menace pas ncessairement le concept de rsistance. Celui-ci serait un genre

27 28

Derrida 1996: 35. Schwyzer (1939:5) underscores the proximity of footnotes and parentheses at the very beginning of his quirky but often helpful text: im Grunde sind Parenthesen oft nur Anmerkungen und Exkurse im Text.

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espces multiples. Son unit de sens et de lieu, comme sa validit, serait mme confirme par cette diffraction : cest lui, lui-mme, le mme, qu'on retrouverait partout.29

Again, the depths and repercussions of this passage must be left for other occasions I must concentrate on the role and function of the bracket. In this context it is particularly interesting that issue of the series30 is addressed here, for it brings the problem of sequentiality to the fore which must be at the core of every bracket analysis.

But isnt this very bracket inviting, even forcing us to read too slowly in the way discussed by Pascal (as quoted by de Man), i.e. to lose track of the flow of syntax? The common ground on which one might begin reconciling the de Manian and Derridian strategies is the problem of the sequentiality of speech31 and the status of its disturbances. Sequentiality as temporality of language is at the core of de Mans concept of allegory, which he characterizes - not coincidentally in a piece on Pascal - as sequential and narrative, its topic, however, being not necessarily temporal at all32. This in turn raises the question of the referential status of a text whose semantic function, though strongly in evidence, is not primarily determined by mimetic movements33. Against this background, it might be possible to view parenthetical interruption as the voice of allegory, i.e. the introduction of a discontinuity which relativizes the syntactic and narrative continuity of the non-bracketed text, thus making the bracket primary and the non-bracketed secondary (in the spirit of the Derridian upgrading of the margin). The problem and the disturbance of the sequentiality of speech can also be linked to paralysis in the conventional sense of the word the inability to move, i.e. for speech to present itself as moving (in a particular direction), in other words as taking steps (pas) which are - to re-quote (requite?) Derridas self-quote quoted above - in effect saying no (pas) step (pas).34 This seems to be contained in the paralyse which Derrida proposes as an alternative to analyse. The issues of resistance and psychoanalysis (linked in paralyse) are linked to a resistance to theory as addressed by de Man, but which is also, as we shall see, relevant to

Derrida 1996: 36-37. In the English translation we read: the principle of a series also transcends it and, withdrawn from the meaning that it confers, it comes to deprive of meaning the very thing to which it gives meaning (Derrida 1998: 23). 31 Rethinking sequentiality : linguistics meets conversational interaction ; [based on papers from the 7th IPrA conference, Budapest 2000] / ed. by Anita Fetzer; Christiane Meierkord, Amsterdam 2002. COMMENT 32 De Man 1996: 51. 33 Ibid. 34 See Meyer (1995: 118-120) for a development of this word play in the context of romantic orientation. This not-step-argument is relevant particularly for a possible further step in the argument on the text, linking the protagonists aimless wandering to romantic models of motion.
30

29

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the Dostoevskij text, which presents a clearly mentally disturbed person blocking off all effective analysis of his own actions.35

2. Reading Dostoevskij (writing) My claim is that reading Dostoevskijs parentheses is revealing both for the interpretation of the individual works and for addressing the general question of reading Dostoevskij I broached at the outset of my paper. Addressing the issue of parentheses is also revelatory for performing, conducting and describing Dostoevskij philology, i.e. the discipline which is responsible for reading Dostoevskij in a scholarly manner and Dostoevskijs strategies of (self-)reading. The specific object of my investigation is the late novella A Gentle Spirit (Krotkaja), which has a very high percentage of brackets in comparison to other works of literature, of Russian literature and even to other Dostoevskij texts, scoring a more than respectable 4.1 parentheses per space, a result aptly placed between Evgenij Onegin (2,9) and Tristram Shandy (5,9; see Appendix 2 for more results). My claim is that it is precisely the combination of A Gentle Spirit and addressing parentheses which is revelatory: it allows for truly close reading and at the same time shows how most readings, including academic readings, are not sensu stricto readings of the text material itself.

It seems to me that the ambivalent genre status emerging from the context makes the text particularly interesting for the examination of parentheses, since it is extremely compact and at the same time might display traits of non-fictional, even scholarly parentheses. The (auto-) forensic-examinatory nature of the text makes the proximity to the non-fictional and also to the rhetorical-judiciary defense speech particularly relevant. The specifically Dostoevskian combination of juridically-based and metaphysically-based confession also gives bracketing practices a specific significance, since bracketed speech is often a turning to a second audience, a second hearer who might well be a judge and/or/as a priest, as in many of the parentheses of Crime and Punishment.

35

This is a completely different approach from the one to be found in Straus 2002, which sketches Dostoevskys Derrida in terms of deep philosophical connections between Dostoevsky and Derrida involving their shared Kantian sensitivity to questions of proof and the links to each through Nietzschea general reverence, in other words, for lifes darker undecidabilities (Straus 2002: 556). I am linking their theories and practices of inscription, getting beyond issues of world view and philosophy mentioned in the passage just quoted.

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The specificity of A Gentle Spirit is the stenographic discourse, which brings the issue of the notation of the story to the fore. It is precisely the paradoxical time accentuated by this stenographic discourse which makes the parentheses these particular parentheses particularly worth reading. Other key factors touched on by the stenographic discourse are 1. the oral and the written, particularly with respect to the Bakhtinian Dostoevskij 2. the border of the literary itself marked by the juridical (virtual court reporting) 3. Dostoevskijs own stenographic work with this second wife All of these factors can be informed by carefully read parentheses, since they hover oddly between the oral and the written (ad 1), they have a side effect of resembling factual and/or conceptual explanation often found in juridical discourses (ad 2) and raise questions as to in which phase of text production the brackets and/or bracketing was inserted (ad 3). It is the third issue which seems the most conventional but is actually the most radical for an assessment of Dostoevskij philology. For it makes the status of the parenthesis as a staged afterthought particularly visible. This would be part of the answer to the question of what it means to read Dostoevskij? To read his writing in the perfective and imperfective mode. To read his notations and his voices. I would like to forestall the stenographic problem and elaborate on the latter problem by expanding on a Bakhtinian voice argument.

2.1. Parenthesis use starting with Prestuplenie I nakazanie (Crime and Punishment)

Bakhtin mentions the discussions between Raskolnikov and the prosecutor Porfirij Petrovi as a prime example of the dialogicity he is trying to get at. Bakhtin argues as follows:
- ; , " " ( ), , ( ). - .36 The three meetings between Porfirij and Raskolnikov are by no means normal interrogations; this is not because they take place not according to regulations (as Porfirij constantly points out), but rather because they violate the psychological foundations of the relationship between an interrogator and a criminal (as Dostoevskij stesses). All three meetings of Porfirij and Raskolnikov are authentic and remarkable polyphonic dialogues.

Bakhtin is clearly right in underscoring the particular intensity and density of the answerability to the alien word in these discussions. At the same time, one might ask if the

36

Bakhtin 1965: 95.

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parentheses in these passages are also only gates for the entrance of the words of the other. It seems that they are more than this. Without being able to go into the issue in depth, it seems that a number parentheses in these discussions are apt material for the investigation of Dostoevskijs parentheses in general. Here is a prime example:
- , , , -, , , , , - , , -; , ; -; , -, , , , , -, , , , . -. --, , , : - , , , , , - , --! , , , , , , , . , , , ... . -, -. -, , , -, --! -, , , -: , , , ! , , , ( , : , - ), - -... ? ? , : - , , -! , -, -: , -, -; , , , , , , , , , , , -! - -, ! , " " ( ). No, I see you dont believe me, you think I am playing a harmless joke on you, Porfiry began again, getting more and more lively, chuckling at every instant and again pacing round the room. And to be sure youre right: God has given me a figure that can awaken none but comic ideas in other people; a buffoon; but let me tell you, and I repeat it, excuse an old man, my dear Rodion Romanovitch, you are a man still young, so to say, in your first youth and so you put intellect above everything, like all young people. Playful wit and abstract arguments fascinate you and thats for all the world like the old Austrian Hof-kriegsrath, as far as I can judge of military matters, that is: on paper theyd beaten Napoleon and taken him prisoner, and there in their study they worked it all out in the cleverest fashion, but look you, General Mack surrendered with all his army, he-he-he! I see, I see, Rodion Romanovitch, you are laughing at a civilian like me, taking examples out of military history! But I cant help it, its my weakness. I am fond of military science. And Im ever so fond of reading all military histories. Ive certainly missed my proper career. I ought to have been in the army, upon my word I ought. I shouldnt have been a Napoleon, but I might have been a major, he-he! Well, Ill tell you the whole truth, my dear fellow, about this special case, I mean: actual fact and a mans temperament, my dear sir, are weighty matters and its astonishing how they sometimes deceive the sharpest calculation! Ilisten to an old manam speaking seriously, Rodion Romanovitch (as he said this Porfiry Petrovitch, who was scarcely five-and-thirty, actually seemed to have grown old; even his voice changed and he seemed to shrink together) Moreover, Im a candid man . . . am I a candid man or not? What do you say? I fancy I really am: I tell you these things for nothing and dont even expect a reward for it, he-he! Well, to proceed, wit in my opinion is a splendid thing, it is, so to say, an adornment of nature and a consolation of life, and what tricks it can play! So that it sometimes is hard for a poor examining

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lawyer to know where he is, especially when hes liable to be carried away by his own fancy, too, for you know he is a man after all! But the poor fellow is saved by the criminals temperament, worse luck for him! But young people carried away by their own wit dont think of that when they overstep all obstacles, [as you wittily and cleverly expressed it yesterday].

I would like to briefly discuss some of the many interesting features of the first parenthesis (I will have to leave the second one uncommented): (as he said this Porfiry Petrovitch, who was scarcely five-and-thirty, actually seemed to have grown old; even his voice changed and he seemed to shrink together). The Russian , translated by Constance Garner as actually seemed to but literally meaning really apparently suddenly totally, is a virtual powder keg of ambivalence. The action it describes is in turn the gerund . It is translated as as he said this, but could also be translated as in saying this, by saying this, while saying this or even despite saying this. The polysemic quality of the gerund37 is important here, for, in qualifying speech itself, the range of meanings delineates the complex relationship between voice and the aging process described as really apparently suddenly totally occurring. The aging seems to have somehow been provoked by using the word starik (old man), or to be more exact, the words (translated as listen to an old man, theoretically also translatable as listen to the old man), these in turn also referring to speech (in this case with respect to its reception). Given the interest of the oral and the written, it is important to underscore the fact that the apparent sudden aging in turn has the effect of changing Porfirij Petrovis voice. And it is of course anything but insignificant that what is described in this paradoxical grammatical time structure is itself a problem of time, of paradoxically suddenly aging; the semantics of the sentence also has an impossible discontinuity (this being the function of the parenthesis itself) as its main effect. The three levels of time-paradoxicality, i.e. the relationship between the speaking-gerund and the contradictory adverbs, the semantics of sudden aging and the discontinuous syntax (i.e. the syntax-breaking syntax) of the parenthesis itself, produce a kind of apotheosis of interrupted temporality (or interruption-temporality). Bringing in the context of the passage, one might note that Porfirij Petrovi as a figure of authority and juridical power could very much profit by appearing to be older, since it would have a positive effect on his ethos-factor, this in turn being a significant feature of a speech in the genus iudicale. At the same time, he seems to grow too old, beginning to shrink and
Cf. Samuel Webers analysis of the performativity of the present participle in the first chapter of his Treatricality as Medium (2004).
37

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thus miss the time in which age would add to stature. This clearly complements Porfirij Petrovis own self-denigration, referring to himself as having taken up the wrong profession, it being better in hindsight to have become a military man. At the same time, he describes his figure as one which can awaken none but comic ideas in other people. The background of Porfirij Petrovis doubting his own choice of profession has something to do with the implicit attack on rhetoric as [] (translated as [p]layful wit and abstract arguments; the term is actually sharp wit [cf. Germ. Scharfsinn]). A proper general relies not on wit, but on real force, which is apparently what Napoleon did, in contrast to the loser General Mack. The notation of Porfirij Petrovis speech is decidedly oriented towards its actual oral performance (e.g. he-he-he!). But it seems at the same time to detract from its own rhetorical effect, to its own power, thus seemingly performing the very lack of force which is associated with his poorly chosen (rhetorical) profession. This, in turn, seems to complement the bracket I focused on in this section, for his missing the age of proper stature mirrors he indecideabilty between effective force (Napoleon) and mere wit (Mack). This, in turn, seems to be a rephrasing of the Pascal thought quoted by de Man Porfirij Petrovis (or at least his rhetorical ethos) seems to age too quickly and too slowly at the same time. This in turn could be applied to Bakhins comment that these are psychologically unusual interrogations. Concluding my exemplary argumentation on a bracket in the first of the great novels, I would like to repeat that there is much more to be said about this passage. But I hope to have demonstrated the extremely complex work with voice and time involved in this particular parenthesis. One last comment is relevant for the problem of East-West-philology in the background of my consideration of bracketing (e.g. between the Eastern-uncivilized oral and the Westerncivlized written): Napoleon is nothing in Russian eyes if he is not an agent of the West. Here, he is an agent of efficacy beyond mere wit. And it is precisely Raskolnikovs viewing himself as a Napoleon which is depicted as allowing him to justify the murder which is the decisive event for the plot of the novel. Thus, this passage also docks into the main philosophical discourse of the novel. How exactly is does this will have to be the object of further study at another time and place.

2.2. (Parenthetical) Order Having addressed such large and global issues of reading Dostoevskij, I would like to point out that the task I set before myself in this text is both very small and very large: it attempts to
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account for the parentheses in Dostoevskijs novella A Gentle Spirit (Krotkaja), indeed, mainly of two parentheses, the second being (in the original and Constance Garners translation):

(!)
(Order!)

and the first being (in the original and my translation followed by Myerss38) ( ) (after which I would edit that which had been noted)/(to be subsequently polished by me)39

The issue in both cases is order. In the first case I mention (chronologically in Dostoevskijs text the third one), a secondary voice cries out order! after the primary voice has already said (I will simply tell it in order. ). In the second case I mention (chronologically in Dostoevskijs text the first), the issue an order of text production: (after which I would edit that which had been noted). I remind the reader that all information and the perspective come from the pawnbroker except for a brief preface by the author. The parenthesis ( ) // (after which I would edit that which had been noted) comes from this preface, while the parenthesis (!)// (Order!) is the first one in the account of the widower. I would claim that this call for order poses the question of the order of writing in general. This in turn reflects on the literal order of writing which is made explicit by the stenographic discourse. I would now like to recall the issues raised by this discourse which I mentioned at the outset and address the first two in slightly more depth: 1. the oral and the written, particularly with respect to the Bakhtinian Dostoevskij (and parentheses hovering oddly between these two modes)

38

Garnett for some reason did not translate the preface of the author, which contains two parentheses (see the complete list below). 39 The latter translation is by Alan Myers (Dostoevskij 1995: 60). In toto It is this notion of a supposed stenographer noting everything down (to be subsequently). It presents a large number of problems, the main ones being that it makes the active construction into a passive, eliminates the passive participle zapisannoe [that which was noted], and translates obdelat into polish, which is a strong interpretation. In addition is poorly translated with the notion of a supposed stenographer noting everything down, for is unnecessarily weakens the positing of the stenographer as somehow fantastically existent. The word supposed is misleading and superfluous. Constance Garnett probably would have done better.

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2. the border of the literary itself marked by the juridical (parentheses having a side effect of resembling factual and/or explanation often found in juridical discourses) 3. Dostoevskijs own stenographic work with this second wife (concrete questions as to in which phase of text production the brackets and/or bracketing was inserted).

I will touch on these three points briefly:

2.2.1. Alien-Oral/written (media)

Is the voice crying order an alien voice? Is it the same voice somehow echoing itself? Is it a voice at all? The second call to order seems to be homeless and authorless. Semantically it refers within the fictional world to an act of speech. But the parenthesis itself cannot been part of a speech act. It is only a feature or writing. Thus, the pawnbroker-narrators resolve to tell everything in order gets a particular spin by being repeated in brackets. It gets cast into the paradoxical stenographic fantasy world sketched in the authors preface: its existence as a repetition is sequential and oral, but its existence as a bracket is scriptural and suggests much more the existence of two parallel and simultaneous inscripted voices. The call to order of this speaking/writing to itself takes place at the outset of a selfjustification (in the next section I will address the problem of juridical self-exoneration) of a husband pacing up and down a room in which a dead gentle woman lies. This situation seems to repeat the contradiction between (spatial-scriptural) stasis and (temporal-oral) motion contained in this paradoxical order-bracket and bracket-order. What would the desired order consist of? Perhaps a moral and/or juridical exoneration. But also of a proper placement of words adequate to the revision of stenography which - in the fantastic double or even triple fiction of the authors preface is the source of the text itself, including (perhaps even above all) its parentheses. In this sense, the bracketed word order refers first and foremost to its own brackets, to that which gives it its own place in the text. Paradoxically, it is this secondary call to order which is of primary significance, at least with respect to the texts negotiation of its own order. The texts negotiation of its own order is also philological, particularly when one considers the two key brackets simultaneously (although within the fiction of the author, the first bracket is temporally the second, having supposedly emerged after the notation of the storyspeech itself). The authors description of his editing the (non-existent) stenographic notes is nothing if not a philological comment on the concrete emergence of a text although this
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very scenario of emergence is deemed fantastic (just as the whole story is called fantastic). It is thus in some sense an example of Dostoevskij philology in the second (more unusual) sense of the word: Dostoevskij as a philologian. Interestingly, this double philology suggested by the double bracket leads us directly back to the question of what (post)philological strategy should be applied to reading this text. Is seems that all linguistic theory rapidly reaches the limits of its possibilities here. It is the role of literary theory to account for the negotiation of languages double-mediality as spoken and written as the import of these brackets and perhaps of brackets in general. This particular example, in turn, repositions the problem of digression-hyperbatonanacoluthon as rhetorical vitium and/or virtus. The breakdown of a speech calling a second time for order and a reference of the author to his stenograph editing as the basis of the fantastic quality of his text seem to destabilize both speakers main rhetorical goal reconstructing the plausibility of their respective arguments. But if the agenda is a completely different one, then vitium turns into virtus. If neither primary plausibility, but rather the discovery of the scriptural and thus medial conditions of representing plausibilization is the actual effect of the text, then this very disruption, this superfluous repetitive bracketing performs and thus demonstrates the text-work at the core of the writings real (both hidden and revealed) agenda. And it seems that these very brackets are a trace of this very agenda.

2.2.2. Literary/Juridical-Rhetorical

Is there any way of relating this agenda back to the moral-ethical-juridical negotiation on the semantic surface of the pawnbroker-narrators speech (and perhaps then also to the issue of his [not] understanding her, her being in a particular discursive place etc.)? Is there, in other words, some path back from the meta-rhetorical to the rhetorical; from the virtus of bracketed interruption to the issue of the speaker (not) being put into the role of a vir bonus? It seems to me that the remarkable modernity of this text makes this path difficult at best. I would argue that it is precisely the notation of a confession which is the central issue of the text (I wouldnt necessarily claim this for Crime and Punishment, but might for The Possessed with Stavrogins elaborately written-up and read confession), legitimating its being named a fantastic one. So if the juridical-rhetorical mode (genus iudicale) as the set of rules for making a speech of defense is directly relevant here, then it is to a great degree precisely with respect to the effect of a written recording of it. This would apply also to the question of parenthesis-hyperbaton-anacoluthon (and thus also to bracketing practices) as virtus or vitium.

Meyer - Reading Parentheses and Dostoevskij-Philology - 24-

In this case, the way to the assessment of the vir (non) bonus seems simple: the textual assemblage and representation of the vir bonus as an effect of the transcript, the stenographic recording of his speech, seems to be the issue at hand. The question of whether the pawnbroker-narrator really has conceptual access to (the space of) his wife pace Goller seems moot.

2.2.3 Stenography I have thus positioned the issue of stenography as one of inscripted rhetoric, but also of metarhetoric. This also applies to the link between sequentiality and rhetoric addressed at the very outset of my paper with particular reference to allegory in the conception of Paul de Man. The fantastic image of a writing emerging in real time recording is nothing if it is not a paradox which draws attention to the complex affects of languages sequentiality. Parenthetical order under the conditions of fantastic stenography thus also raises the question of an inscripted voice originating from arrested language flow and representing the non-narrative meaning or effect of the text as a whole. It seems that the pawnbroker-narrators cry of order if it is indeed his cry could be viewed in this light. One (no doubt unanswerable) question to be asked here is whether one is meant (within the realm of the fiction put forth in the authors preface) to view the brackets as a factor introduced by the stenographer or by the author himself in the process of editing the transcript. If it were the stenographer, then it would be a spoken second voice recorded simultaneously and transferred by the author into his edited version. If, on the other hand, the bracketing in this and all cases is to be attributed to the author (and his own two brackets in the preface might indicate this), then it is an effect of the translation of stenographic recording to the actual literary text40 Otherwise I will put off the discussion of these topics particularly with respect to the actual text production in its drafts and stenography as a factor in the emergence of Dostoevskijs own texts - one more time. For there is still some work to be done before it can be assessed in the proper perspective.

3. (Parenthesis) Reading: three approaches Now, having made it clear what my take on the issue of brackets is and what the nature of the material is, I will temporarily leave the terrain of Dostoevskijs work and return to the issue of
40 Similar questions arise with respect to the various levels of authorship and editorship of Pukins Tales of Belkin, particularly in Vystrel (The Shot) with its complex narrative situation within the story itself. On this issue see Meyer 2001 and Menke/Schmidt

Meyer - Reading Parentheses and Dostoevskij-Philology - 25-

parenthesis reading itself which I addressed at the very beginning of my paper. This is necessary in order to comprehend the full scope of reading Dostoevskijs parentheses. I hope to have already demonstrated that parentheses are an important factor in Dostoevskijs work at least in his texts of the last 15 years of his literary production. I would now like to bring in three signal approaches to the literary parenthesis which might help us go into more depth in the analysis of these particular ones.

3.1. First Approach: Lennard

At the end of his seminal monograph of 1991 entitled But I Digress. The Exploitation of Parenthesis in English Printed Verse, John Lennard notes: In undertaking this work I have encountered two typical reactions: that there is no subject there at all, and (about five minutes later) that the subject is far too large to tackle. In the book in general, Lenard takes on the seemingly impossible task of giving an overview of the problem named in the title from the very beginning of parenthesis use (in and outside of literature) until contemporary poetry. There is an even more general question of parentheses in and outside of literature, in various types of non-fictional texts, in mathematics, etc. In prose and/or narrative texts, the most obvious trait of the parenthetical construction is the syntactic isolation of the bracketed words, which interrupt the sentence they are contained in. and/or disrupt the flow from sentence to sentence. Later on, in our reading of Williamss essay on Reading Parentheses, we will see that certain scholars call the seeming simplicity and cleanliness of this isolation into question, asking equally simply: if they are not worth integrating into primary text, why bother to insert them at all?41

In his study, concerned with one genre and one literary language, Lennard underscores the following aspects above and beyond (or as more detailed versions of) the general concern I outlined above (ontological disjuncture).
Poets use lunulae to register ontological disjuncture; and when the poet is consciously and/or intuitively using lunulae for that purpose in poems that deeply engage with the contemporary and mental worlds, the practical critic can, and should, regard the lunulae (and other punctuation) as incorporating the text into its proper relative context, there to be explored. In short, punctuation (and especially lunulae) are a diagnostic resource for both poets and critics.42

Aside from his excellent historical overview on the beginnings of lunulae and their connections to humanist philology and the development of the printing press, Lennards
41 42

Williams 1993: 58 Lennard 1991: 242.

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observations are in their majority in the context of individual analyses and thus difficult to retrace in a manner relevant for this study. The general concept of ontological disjuncture is a satisfactory resum of his general concerns.

3.2. Second Approach: Warminski

Two studies, one called Reading Parentheses, the other Reading the Parentheses, certainly need to be consulted. The first, published by Andrzej Warminski in the mid 80s, is located in a philosophical discourse (interaction between Hegel and Heidegger); the second, published by Robert Grant Williams in 1993 deals with literary prose; that of the uncontested master of literary digression and parenthesis: Lawrence Sterne. Let me briefly sum up the arguments in these texts and resum what each text means by reading. I would like to comment on Warminski rather extensively, since he brings many central issues to the fore, although his text comments on philosophical and not on literary texts. () Warminskis concern is indeed a question of reading; to be more exact: reading Heideggers readings of Hegels Phenomenology of Spirit (or, as it turns out his refusal to read43), on of which makes use of a parenthesis in a particularly significant passage. Warminski begins with an explanation of the difficulty or even impossibility of reading Hegels Phenomenology, among other things due to Hegels inability to decide whether he is writing on the Phnomenologie des Geistes or a Wissenschaft der Erfahrung des Bewusstseins, as the title was originally planned. He then describes Heideggers refusal to read in his text Hegels Begriff der Erfahrung which was a lecture held in 1942-1943 and published in Holzwege in 1950. A long interpretation of the beginning of Hegels Phnomenologie and Heideggers approach to it follows. I cannot reproduce the argumentation in full here, but would like to quote a rather extensive and symptomatic formulation
If the reading (and the writing) of the text of "Hegel" is a rereading (and a rewriting) of the reader (and writer) of the text himself, or, better, "ourselves," then "we," the (reader and writer of the) text, are also (always already and always not yet), for example, the reader (and the writer) of the text of "Heidegger." But who can be the reader (and the writer) of the text of "Heidegger" if "no one" can read (and write) the text of "Hegel" because only no one can dispossess himself of his self and fall into the text as the reader (and writer) already inscribed in the text? The reader (and the writer) of the text of "Hegel"that is, more precisely, of the text of "no one"as the selfdispossessed (first) person (plural) "we," finds himself, "we" find "ourselves," in a double bind: on the one hand, if the only way "we," the text, "we" the reader (and writer) of the text, can appear in truth is by disappearing as ourselves, as readers (and writers) of the text (and reappearing in the
43

Warminski 1987, 116.

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text as the text); if the only way we can read (and write) the text is by not reading (and writing) as reading (and writing) but as always having read (and written) the text, then "our" reading (and writing) of the text cannot take place precisely to the extent that it takes place as our reading (and writing). But even if our reading (and writing) of the text does take place as not taking place, not as our reading (and writing) but as the reading (and writing) of no one, then it still takes place as already having taken place in, as already inscribed in, the text of "Hegel" (i.e., in the text of no one). Our reading (and writing) of the text cannot take place either as our reading (and writing) or as our not reading (and writing). On the other hand, if "our" reading (and writing) of the text takes place not as the reading (and writing) of the text of "Hegel"that is, not as already inscribed in the text of no onebut rather as the reading (and writing) of an other text"our" own, "Heidegger's," somebody's, anybody'sthen to the extent that this "other" text reads (and writes) itself as the other of the text of "Hegel" (i.e., no one), it remains inscribed in that text as its other, as the death to itself that the text of no one carries within itself, and therefore it cannot take place. Whether it takes place as the reading (and writing) of the text of "Hegel" or as the reading (and writing) of an "other" text, the reading (and the writing) of the text cannot take place in the first place. And yet the text of "Heidegger" takes place as both the reading (and writing) of the text of "Hegel" and the reading (and writing) of an other text; or rather it would read (and write) the double bind as "both. . . and" in order to reread (and rewrite) it as "neither. . .nor." The reading of "Heidegger" beginsbut, of course, it has already begunby rewriting the text of "Hegel": "Only in passing [by the way, by the by] and so that he hides it in a dependent clause [literally, "side-clause"], Hegel nevertheless says this {Nur beilufig und so, dass er es in einem Nebensatz versteckt, sagt Hegel jedoch dieses)" {H, 119-20). By turning what Hegel says "in passing" {beilufig) about the absolute's being with us {bei uns) into the Leitmotiv of the reading, by staking out in a main clause {Hauptsatz) what Hegel hides in a side-clause {in einem Nebensatz versteckt), the text of "Heidegger" also rewrites what Hegel says into what Hegel does not say. Namely, Hegel does not say: "The absolute is in and for itself already with us and wants to be with us {Das Absolute ist schon an und fr sich bei uns und will bei uns sein)" {H, 120); but rather: "if the absolute were not and did not want to be in and for itself already with us {wenn es nicht an und fr sich schon bei uns wre und sein wollte)" {PhG, 64). Turning a conditional dependent clause in the subjunctive mood into a declarative independent clause in the indicative mood is not an unproblematic act of rereading and rewriting "But mere reversing [overturning] is always a suspect activity {Aber das blosse Umkehren ist jedesmal ein verfngliches Tun)," says Heidegger in "Zur Seinsfrage" (Toward the question of Being)for in making "visible" that which is "invisible," in revealing that which is concealed in the text of "Hegel"the text of "Heidegger" also conceals that which is revealed and makes invisible that which is visible: in turning Nebensatz into Hauptsatz, Heidegger also turns Hauptsatz into Nebensatz.44

In this passage, Warminski quite precisely outlines the procedures and problems in Heideggers reading as refusal to read and its relationships to Hegels own unreadability. A prime example is his manipulation of one part of Hegels text (wenn [das Absolute] nicht an und fr sich schon bei uns wre und sein wollte) by turning a conditional dependent clause in the subjunctive mood into a declarative independent clause in the indicative mood. Shortly afterwards, Warminski formulates his verdict on Heideggers reading:
[] if the movement of Hegel's narrative, the text of Hegel, is read, or rather reads itself, as a movement, a process of becoming, that seeks to recuperate the meaninglessness of the Nebensatz the meaninglessness of the absolute's being already and not yet with usthat seeks to read its own unreadabilitythe unreadability of its always already and always not yet having been read then Heidegger's strategy in suppressing this movement, this process of becoming, is a suppression of the text.

44

Ibid., 131-132

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In this way, Warminski has prepared us for reading of Heideggers Identitt und Differenz, which was written in 1956-1957 and contains the parenthesis in question. I again quote extensively a passage from Warminskis analysis

About fifteen years after his reading of "Hegel's Concept of Experience," Heidegger, in the second essay of Identity and Difference ("The Onto-theo-logical Constitution of Metaphysics")"an attempt to begin a dialogue (Gesprch) with Hegel" (ID, 31)opens a parenthesis and gives an example. The status of both the parenthesiswhere, when, and upon what does it open?and the examplewhat is it an example of?is problematic. It is worthwhile to follow the logic of the parenthesis and of the example separately before reading the writing of the one within the other. "Here a parenthetical remark is indeed required concerning what we said about the matter of thinking. . .(Hier bedarf es freilich einer Zwischenbemerkung, die unser Reden von der Sache des Denkens angeht. . .)" (ID, 57), writes Heidegger to interrupt his text with an "incidental remark, a digression, an aside" (Zwischenbemerkung)"let us call it, along with the French translator," "parenthesis""a remark thrown in without having been asked for; keep your parentheses to yourself!; may I allow myself a parenthesis?" (eingeworfene Bemerkung, ohne dass gefragt worden ist; behalte deine Zwischenbemerkungen fr dich.'; darf ich mir eine Zwischenbemerkung erlauben!). Although this parenthesis may be a "digression," it is far from being an "incidental remark," for it is "a remark that demands our attention, our marking, ever anew, again and again (eine Bemerkung, die immer neu unser Aufmerken verlangt)": "When we say 'Being,' we use the word in the widest and most indeterminate universality [or generality]. But already then when we speak only of a universality, we have thought Being in an inappropriate way. We represent Being in a way in which It, Being, never gives itself (Sagen wir 'das Sein,' so gebrauchen wir das Wort in der weitesten und unbestimmtesten Allgemeinheit. Aber schon dann, wenn wir nur von einer Allgemeinheit sprechen, haben wir das Sein in einer ungemssen Weise gedacht. Wir stellen das Sein in einer Weise vor, in der Es, das Sein, sich niemals gibt)" (ID, 57). In terms of "context," the remark that demands our attention, our re-marking, again and again would be a reference to an earlier parenthetical remark (and its re-marking) on the use of the word "Being": on the second page of the essay Heidegger opens a parenthesis"(In the seminar, the manifold and yet unified use of the word 'Being' was discussed. Being for Hegel means first of all, but never only. . . [(Im Seminar wurde der mehrfltige und doch einheitliche Gebrauch des Wortes 'Sein' errtert. Sein besagt fr Hegel zunchst, aber niemals nur. . .]" (ID, 32-33)and closes it, but then comes back to it again later: "The remark on Hegel's use of the ambiguous key word 'Being' shows that. . . (Die Bemerkung ber Hegels Gebrauch des mehrdeutigen Leitwortes 'Sein' lsst erkennen, dass. . .)" (ID, 41). But the parenthesis is a remark that demands our re-marking again and again in terms of still another "context": that is, insofar as the parenthesis is a re-marking of the use of the word "Being"whether it be in the text of the history of philosophy in general or in the text of the History of Philosophy as read (and written) by Hegel, and, for Heidegger, as we have seen and as we shall see again and again, there is no difference between the two (precisely because the difference as difference has been forgotten)it is no mere digression, incidental remark, or aside, but it is rather a re-marking that marks Heidegger's entire enterprise from the project of fundamental ontology through the step back (out of metaphysics and into the essence of metaphysics) to the thinking of Being on the basis of Ereignis ("taking place," "self-appropriating event"). In other words, in terms of the other context, the parenthesis is no interruption of the text of the essay but rather it is the context: rather than being inscribed in the text of the essay as an incidental remark, the parenthesis is that in which the text of the essay is inscribed. This is the sense in which the parenthesis demands our re-marking it again and again, and this may also be the sense in which the parenthesis may never be closed (or, for that matterthe matter of thinking [die Sache des Denkens]?opened). In any case, if the parenthesis, rather than being an incidental remark interrupting the text of the essay, is instead (or at the same time) the very context of the text, that in which the text is inscribedthe thesis rather than (or as well as) the parenthesisthen a great deal would be at stake for Heidegger (and for Hegel and for Hegel by Heidegger) in the (re) reading (and [re]writing) of the example that the exemplary parenthesis gives.45

45

Ibid., 151-152

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Warminski comments on Heideggers reinterpretation of Hegels beings in terms of his own Being. This leads him directly to the issue of parenthesis and example, in other words, of parenthesis being used to transgress the border between concept and example and vice versa, or, as he puts it: the difference between the example and that of which it is the example, between Beispiel and Spiel, between giving and not giving the example, between reading and rereading (writing and rewriting) the examplein short, between reading and not reading (writing and not writing) the example of reading (and writing)46 Heideggers example is as follows:
"Hegel once mentions the following case to characterize the universality of the universal [the generality of the general]: someone would like to buy fruit in a store. He demands fruit. One offers him apples, pears, offers him peaches, cherries, grapes. But the buyer rejects that which is offered. He would have fruit at any price. Now that which is offered to him each time is fruit and yet it turns out: fruit is not for sale (Hegel erwhnt einmal zur Kennzeichnung der Allgemeinheit des Allgemeinen folgenden Fall: Jemand mchte in einem Geschft Obst kaufen. Er verlangt Obst. Man reicht ihm pfel, Birnen, reicht ihm Pfirsiche, Kirschen, Trauben. Aber der Kufer weist das Dargereichte zurck. Er mchte um jeden Preis Obst haben. Nun ist aber doch das Dargebotene jedesmal Obst und dennoch stellt sich heraus: Obst gibt es nicht zu kaufen)" (ID, 58).

Warminski comments:
Although we may wonder about Heidegger's giving Hegel's example rather than his own, the example itself would appear to be above suspicion and its straightforwardness beyond reproach. Nevertheless, even aside from the question of its being Hegel's exampleand that is a question Heidegger's giving, shall we say "offering," of the example remains problematic [] [I]n saying "that nowhere in beings is there an example for the essence of Being (dass es fr das Wesen des Seins nirgends im Seienden ein Beispiel gibt)" and then giving an example of the impossibility of giving an example, Heidegger inscribes his (not) giving in the example of giving"Now that which is offered to him each time is fruit (Nun ist aber doch das Dargebotene jedesmal Obst)" and not giving fruit"and yet it turns out: fruit is not for sale (und dennoch stellt sich heraus: Obst gibt es nicht zu kaufen)." But "Heidegger"and at stake here and now (as everywhere and always) is both the name and the quotation marksis inscribed in the example not only as the fruit vendor who gives and does not give fruit, for the parenthesis continues: "It remains infinitely more impossible to represent 'Being' as the universal in relation to particular being. There is Being only at all times and every time in this or that destined coinage: Phusis, Logos, Hen, Idea, Energeia, Substantiality, Objectivity, Subjectivity, the Will, the Will to Power, the Will to Will. But that which destines is not given lined up like apples, pears, peaches, lined up on the counter of historical representing (Unendlich unmglicher bleibt es, 'das Sein' als das Allgemeine zum jeweilig Seienden vorzustellen. Es gibt Sein nur je und je in dieser und jener geschicklichen Prgung: Phusis, Logos, Hen, Idea, Energeia, Substanzialitt, Objektivitt, Subjektivitt, Wille, Wille zur Macht, Wille zum Willen. Aber dies Geschickliche gibt es nicht aufgereiht wie pfel, Birnen, Pfirsiche, aufgereiht auf dem Ladentisch des historischen Vorstellens)" (ID, 58). In other words, Heidegger is also inscribed in the example that he has just (not) given as "the buyer" (der Kufer) who would have fruit and yet refuses the fruit that is offered him: in saying that it is infinitely more impossible to represent Being as the universal in relation to particular beingsand this is the relation that the example characterizes (zur Kennzeichnung der Allgemeinheit des Allgemeinen)Heidegger says that the example he has just given of the way in which Being does not give itself is still insufficient, indeed infinitely insufficient, to characterize the (not) giving of Being. In short, he refuses the example he has given and not given as an insufficient example of giving and not giving. And yet Heidegger the text, the parenthesisdoes not just refuse the example he gives without giving, for in repeating, as it were, the gesture of the buyer of fruit (just as he had repeated the gesture of the
46

Ibid., 152.

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fruit vendor) Heidegger once again and very precisely inscribes his refusal in the Beispiel of the refusal: that is, just as that which is offered each time is fruit, so there is Being in this or that destined coinage; but just as it turns out that fruit is not for sale, so it turns out that that which destines is not given lined up like apples, pears, and so on.47

Warminski insists that his reading is not merely literary:


And these inscriptionsthe text of the essay in the parenthesis, the parenthesis in the Beispielare not fanciful "literary" reading (and writing) but rather a necessity inscribed (from the beginning and in the end) in the text of Heidegger: that is, "Heidegger" can and must be both the fruit vendor who gives and does not give fruit and the fruit buyer who takes and does not take fruit because he has inscribed (but without inscribing "himself") the entire history of Western philosophy thought as the destiny (Geschick) of Being's giving and not giving itself on the basis of aletheia in the example of the fruit as the fruit itself. From phusis to "Will to Will," the destined coinages of Being are so many apples, pears, and peaches lined up on the counter of historical representation, but insofar as they give themselves in this way they do not give Being in the way that that which destines gives Being. Hence if Heidegger's text is not to suffer the same fate (Geschick!) and wind up on the counter of historical representation as another apple or pear, as another destined coinage of Being that nevertheless gives Being in a way that Being does not give itself, all it can do is to give and take fruit while saying that fruit is neither to be given nor to be taken, and it does so by giving and taking the coinages of Being as thought on the basis of beings (Seiendes) but at the same time not giving and not taking them because they are given in a way (i.e., on the basis of Seiendes) that Being does not give itself. Heidegger's text may be unable to give Being in the way that Being gives itself, but it can at least not give Being in the way that Being does not give itself, and it does so by inscribing all the exemplary coinages of Being, all the exemplary ways in which Being does not give itself, in its own exemplary text of the destiny of Being's self-forgetting. These exemplary ways in which Being does not give itself have recognizable names: for examples, Anaximander, Heraclitus, Parmenides, Plato, Aristotle, even if in some cases they would most appropriately have the names of several philosophers: for example, "subjectivity" would cover the coinages of Being from Descartes through Hegel. In short, by inscribing himself in the example as the fruit vendor and fruit buyer, Heidegger would keep from being inscribed in it as an apple or pear while at the same time inscribing in it all the destined coinages of Being"Hegel," for exampleas apples, pears, and so on. Hegel would be one of the (forbidden) fruit (not) given and (not) taken by Heidegger.

But Warminski is also discussing the conditions of the inscription of philosophy as a series literally a series of voices and voicings perhaps even voice-overs.48 His concern with Heideggers Sein-strategies blocks out to a certain degree the moment of inscription (which is clearly implicitly present, for instance in the presentation of the dramatis personae Hegel and Heidegger. Warminski does address writing as rewriting:
But Heidegger's rewriting of the example(s) is not limited to his giving an example that is not exactly the example of Hegel: in rewriting the examples, Heidegger also rewrites that which they exemplify. Namely, at stake in Hegel's text is not exactly, not merely, the "characterization of the universality of the universal (Kennzeichnung der Allgemeinheit des Allgemeinen)" (ID, 58) but rather a more subtly dialectical distinction between the universal and the particular, especially

Ibid., 154-155 On the polysemic thrust of the term voice over cf. Meyer in print (referring in this case to Nabokovs Sogljadataj/The Eye. In the context of the concerns of the current paper, one of the passages I analyzed there becomes particularly interesting due to its conspicuous and complex bracket: , "" ( "" [Nabokov 1991: 166]; (agents sent from over there [and that from over there sounded so eloquent and horrifying my translation]).
48

47

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as it has bearing on the distinction between "philosophy" as such and particular philosophies' as they appear in history.49

But he does not really address writing as writing, as the inscription of (absent) voice and as the only apparently secondary. What is reading parenthesis for Warminski? In sum, it is the examination of a strategy of positioning words as by-play which are not by-play at all, but rather context in the most primary sense of the word.

3.3. Third Approach: Williams Like Lennard and unlike Warminski, Williams comments on literature. But unlike Lennard, he also comments on readings of literature (this meta-perspective on reading itself bringing him closer to Warminski) and on prose as opposed to poetry. Aptly the reading of literature Williams refers to is the Oxford English Dictionarys attempt to define parenthesis itself and to use a quote from Tristram Shandy as an example. Like Warminski, Williams asks exactly what the example is an example of. He also brings up this issue of a fear of reading parentheses which could be part of a fear of literature.
the quotation from Tristram Shandy has undergone editing without any notification to the reader: "The phenomenon had not been worth a parenthesis." The OED, dispensing with its scrupulous attention to detail, not only capitalizes "the," but most importantly of all, leaves out the dashes. The quotation has been tampered with; the line has been rewritten. And with the rewriting, a possible reading has been omitted. The OED retains the denunciation of the parenthesis, but represses the parenthesis as such. On the authority of the OED, the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuriesas represented by the quotationsdisparage the parenthesis as if its inferiority were a constant throughout modern history. And surely the few handbooks we have examined would corroborate this genealogy's humble blood-line. But where the OED goes one step further, and brings the story of the insignificant parenthesis to its compelling finale, is precisely in the act of transcription. Rewriting the line from Tristram Shandy executes the OEDs overall judgement of the parenthesis and of literature too. But might this omission, this exclusion, this barring, expose a linguistic complex or phobia? A fear of the parenthesis? Even a fear of literature? Suspiciously enough, can the entry for "parenthesis" cast aside the parenthesis and remain a credible definition?50

The most interesting factor here is the problem of retaining the literary quality of parentheses in (philologically51) quoted formulations. This in turn brings up the proximity and tension between quoting and bracketing both within and external to the parentheses themselves. Indeed, philology and bracketing have multifarious connections, including the trivial case of

49 50

Warminski 1987: 158 Williams 1993: 60. 51 The producer of the OED explicitly referred to itself as the Philological Society. Cf. Winchester 2003.

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etymological data containing brackets (including in the OED, of course). Williams seems to imply that philology has an inherent tendency to elide poeticity.
[] if the parenthesized comment is just an insertion with no grammatical connection to the text, why did the author not spend the time to integrate the lazy fragment properly? Have those authors who employ the parenthesis never heard of second drafts? Even if the writer inserts the parenthesized comments later on, why can he not change the entire passage so that it will accommodate these afterthoughts? And then again, if they are not "worth" integrating into primary text, why bother to insert them at all? Whether afterthoughts or beforethoughts, the parenthesized comments remain lodged in the text. Furthermore, if parentheses are as worthless as our first reading of the epigraph indicated, why are they, nonetheless, included in all kinds of writings from different historical periods? As we observed in Tristram Shandy, discriminating between primary and parenthetical discourse soon turns into a problematic venture, once the reader realizes that apparent digressions acquire pivotal positions in advancing certain images, motifs, ideas, and other signifying patterns. Thwarting the rhetorical and philological handbooks, literature has a way of confounding the schematic, auricular, grammatical, and cognitive restrictions applied to this figure. Texts as diverse as Gravity's Rainbow, The Sound and the Fury, Moby-Dick, The Tale of the Tub, The Anatomy of Melancholy, and The Faerie Queene riot in the parenthetical, so much so that we are obliged to reconsider the difference between narrative and digression. 52

Here, Williams deepens the rift between philology and literature and gets more specific on the question of narrative (as the main thing) in its relation to digression (as an expendable side effect). He also implicitly calls for the differentiation of parenthesis use among the writings of Pynchon, Spenser, Melville, Burton, Faulkner, etc. and among various types of texts (verse narrative, essay, novels of various periods). This, in turn, is particularly interesting for the Dostoevskij story at hand, its being imbedded in an essayistic context (perhaps as a literary parenthesis serving as an example or illustration of the philosophical observations around it?). The OED is counter-productive here going in the diametrically opposite direction:
Although the thought that the dictionary codifies the first and the last word on any given word comforts those who have no time to bother with "semantics," the dictionary's institutional status does not protect it from a critical cross-examination: the accusation brought against the bulwark perhaps, bull-workof the English language, the OED, is that through selecting value-laden quotationsepigraphsit coerces the reader into repudiating the parenthesis's significance. 53

In repudiating the parenthesis's significance, the OED as a philological tool also performs rhetorical coercion. Given my argumentation on rhetoric, one might also say that this rhetoric blinds its recipient for meta-rhetoric.

3.4. Bracketing all three approaches together Let me briefly sketch the surplus value of reading these three positions together in terms of reading parentheses.
52 53

Williams 1993: 55. Williams 1993: 54.

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Building Lennards, Warminskis and Williamss extremely helpful insights and the surplus knowledge attained by contrasting the three readings in the text genres poetry, narrative prosa and philosophy, we are now in a position to read Dostoevskijs parentheses, but also to address a number of fundamental questions which still have not been completely answered, but are quite relevant for Dostoevskijs text.

What particularly Warminski and Williams impress upon the reader is the paradoxicality or even impossibility of completely accounting for the function not only of example, but also of Bei-Spiel, of by-play, this applying not only to issues as lofty as Heideggers Sein. In a broader sense, we are dealing with the entrance of a second voice which is not a second voice at all, because it is the first voice. It, in turn, is the first voice because the supposedly first voice is a second voice, or because there is no real second voice. In both of the parentheses from the beginning of Dostoevskijs Gentle Spirit which I quoted earlier, the issue of first and second voice is essential, first and second in this case referring to both priority and temporality as two ways of conceiving of order. The cry for order in the first parenthesis of the narrators text is clearly primary in terms of priority. And the reference to the retrospective writing up of the notes of the fantastic stenographer in the first of the two parenthesis of the authors text (after which I would edit that which had been noted) refers to a temporal chain of (fictive) speech, (equally fictive) stenography and (existent) editing of the supposedly preceding first two media forms of the words.54 In both cases, the second voice in terms of priority and of temporality represents a by-play whose secondary nature is a gesture, a staging of voice in terms of secondness, which in fact is a firstness, among other things underscoring a primacy of writing (as editing) to be more exact: of the notation of voice - and its order. Writing as marking up is exemplified in parenthesis in general, but particularly in these parentheses which refer to the order of writing itself. We saw this in Williamss reading of Sterne, stressing the parenthesis calling itself a parenthesis and bracketing itself at the same time. In the case of Dostoevskij, the reference to voice itself (as the origin of the notes of the fantastic stenographer) in the authors text gives the self-reference of the parenthesis a media quality, but places all of the speech of the narrator which follows in a particular position. It is precisely this positioning which is brought home by the parentheses in the narrators speech (again: who notes these parentheses and what do they refer to?), particularly the first one very early on, calling for order.

54

The same could be said for the authors equally temporal second parenthesis: /and has time.

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Going back to Warminski for a moment, one could claim that the order called for here has a similar status to Heideggers Sein and/or the impossible example for Sein which he attempts to give by appropriating Hegel. In this case, Sein is the voice transcripted, existing, however, in a negative mode and clearly not meant as a potent substrate inaccessible for the mere world of phenomena. What is at stake here is the order of writing as an afterthought which is no afterthought at all. In the case of a bracketed example for a concept, the afterthought serves the purpose of clarifying the concept, speaking in a different mode for a moment in order to ground an argumentation in fact. In the case of Dostoevskijs bracketing by-play, the other mode of speaking uncovers the impossibility of that which is not by-play. It thus once again returning to Warminski has the same function as Heideggers appropriating Hegels voice for giving an example of Sein, for which no example could possibly be given. But it is once again returning to Williams also related to a statement that a phaenomenon had not been worth a parenthesis itself being in parentheses, thus crossing out its own worthlessness. One could at the same time claim that Heideggers distorting appropriation of Hegel is similar to the OEDs quoting the words of Sternes novel without parentheses for the sake of defining what a parenthesis is.

4. Krotkaja redux Lennards, Williams and Warminskis concerns, namely the ontological disjuncture, destabilizing self-referentiality and its treatment by Oxford philology and the paradoxes and strategies of giving an example for something which by definition can have no example (namely Sein), can be brought to bear on the two key brackets. After this, I will comment generally on the problems of impossible stenography and order which frame the discourse of A Gentle Spirit and on the bracketing practices in the text as a whole. I already addressed the overdetermined interruption-temporality of the Crime and Punishment bracket with its topic and effect of aging to slowly and too quickly at the same time, this in turn uncannily reflecting Pascals reading too slowly or too quickly, which seems to be the problem of the bracket itself. Bringing together the three strategies of reading (the) parenthesis, one has to keep in mind that all of the readings, but particularly Williams and Warminskis, address the problem of bracketing as a technique of reading in its own right (and write?). This is particularly interesting when one considers the fact that the two key brackets at hand also address reading and are framed as a result of reading. The first author-bracket refers to a reading of
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a (non-existent) stenographic recording of the pawnbrokers monologue and a transposition of the writing into the actual text on the basis of this reading (this, by the way, being a way of making the pawnbrokers speech pay-off, thus making it into a kind of pawned item itself). The first protagonist-bracket projects the always already inscribed speech into an order which somehow replicates the actual order of events, while, paradoxically, the repetition of the word order introduces another voice, the voice of a reader which calls for an order which may or may not be the same order which the protagonist-narrator is projecting into speech-writing-reading. The introduction of the stenographer (one last comment on the Crime and Punishment bracket) implicitly introduces a courtroom scene, thus producing an analogous situation to that in the dialogues between the state attorney and Raskolnikov, which in turn brings up once again the issue of the (rhetorical) effect of reading transcripts. What, however, is important here is the bracketing of the time of reading and the reading of time which not only represents a negotiation of guilt (and debt), but also negotiates its own reading. This own reading produces in turn not as much an interchange of alien and own voices in the Bakhtinian sense, but much more a discourse of reading itself precisely on the break, on the border line between the spoken and the written. This border is an ontological
disjuncture (Lennard) mainly in the media sense of a rupture between two voices-as-

inscriptions. More importantly, it raises the question of where (discursively speaking) reading takes place and seems to answer the question by pointing to figure looking for a kind of zero ground from which reading ground start. Every actual discursive description of this zero ground of speech-writing-reading seems to fall into a gap, to a temporal lapse similar to that which Warminski opens up between Hegel and Heidegger and which Williams opens up between Lawrence Sterne and the OED. The latter instances attempt or read over this gap in order to posit a legibility of an unreadable writing (that of Sein and that of parenthesis itself) and in order to pursue a politics of concept-to-example which will never make the return journey of example-to-concept. For the example is not and cannot be a legible exemplum of that which it is trying to illustrate. That, as Williams eloquently argues, is the ultimate wit and import of Sternes bracketing the words The phenomenon had not been worth a parenthesis and irony of the OEDs the eliminating those brackets in order to define them this being (these are my words, not Williams) an issue of philological necessity. Dostoevskijs placing these parentheses in the place and the manner he does can be viewed as an example (!) of Dostoevskij philology in the second sense of the word, i.e. of Dostoevskij performing philological operations, e.g. by staging a reading process and giving it an institutional-rhetorical frame. Again, the issue could be broached here if the introduction of
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stenographer and the second (bracketed) voice of order could be viewed as figures of Western civilizatory contamination of Russian speech. This could be viewed as a metaphilological pointe of considerable sharpness.

4.2. A broader assessment of the brackets in A Gentle Spirit

As of yet, I have been commenting on a very limited quantity of text in Dostoevskijs text. It seems clear that such a reading must at one point or another be imbedded in a plausible account of the work (its genre, its narrative structure, its lyric techniques, its dramatic dynamics) as a whole. For there is a great danger of going the opposite extreme from the ideological (non-)reading of Dostoevski: of concentrating on details so small and so abstractly technical that they are of no real significance somewhat like trying to derive someones political opinion from his blood type. One way of allaying this suspicion might be showing brackets seminal importance for central problems of a particular work (this is what I am attempting to demonstrate in this article); another might be showing how a particular author uses parentheses in a particular manner which is unlikely to be purely coincidental and/or peripheral. In this context would like to mention two motifs around which significant parentheses are grouped, stressing in both cases the stenographic significance of the motif. In both cases, we are dealing with two sets of brackets which in turn form brackets around the text. I thus call them corresponding brackets.

4.2.1. Motif I: The Icon in the Arms (as a bracketing) Corresponding brackets: 7 ( ) / (she had brought herself to pawn it!) 32 ( ) / (that same icon of the Mother of God) The bracketed reference to the icon in these two central passages55 is highly significant and can be most closely linked to the previously highlighted brackets, just as the two brackets are clearly linked to each other, among other things marking the nameless girls entrance into the pawnbrokers life and her exit from it (and from her own life as well). The first bracket is in a passage which is clearly marked as a beginning:
, , , , - , - , . , , , . . , ( )... , ! ! , ... ,
55

For a discussion of the icon with particular stress on the religious dimension of the story cf. Freise 2000.

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, , . - , , ... And so it was, two days later, she came in again, such a pale little creature, all agitation - I saw that something had happened to her at home, and something really had. I will explain directly what had happened, but now I only want to recall how I did something chic, and rose in her opinion. I suddenly decided to do it. The fact is she was pawning the ikon (she had brought herself to pawn it!) . . Ah! listen! listen! This is the beginning now, I've been in a muddle. You see I want to recall all this, every detail, every little point. I want to bring them all together and look at them as a whole and - I cannot . . . It's these little things, these little things. . . .

The section is marked as a beginning, but as one in which grave dangers lurk for a coherent narrative. The bracket represents an uncertainty as to whether it is better to say that she brought the icon or rather that she decided to bring it. At this point, on the topic of this little thing, the pawnbrokers discourse derails, and he discusses this derailment in terms of his need to remember every little detail. He begins the account of his derailing with the words listen! listen!, i.e. with vocabulary from oral communication, but the occasion is one of writing, of notation. The fact that he puts the decision to bring the icon into brackets and the fact of her bringing it into the unbracketed text sets up a hierarchy which might be seen as putting the appearance of the icon itself into the foreground. In any case, is sets up a dilemma which is insoluable for the narrator, and the parentheses mark the borderline between the two sides of this dilemma between the (outwardly viewed) act of bringing and the (inwardly viewed) decision to bring the icon. This is quite precisely a question of the order of discourse, of the object of reporting (inner or outer operations of the figures). The fact that it is the bringing of the icon which is the occasion of this negotiation of (dis)order is significant for many reasons. Among other things, it seems that the absolute authoritative writing of the icon of the Mother of God is a foil for the disintegration of the pawnbrokers discourse. A writing of absolute integrity is contrasted to a discourse not only in the process of exploding or imploding but also one which comments on this discursive destruction. The bracketing of the subjective side of the appearance of the icon can be best explained by bringing in the second icon bracket. This one is part of the closing act of the drama - to be more exact, part of the paragraph (containing two brackets) in which Lukerjas account of the suicide is reproduced:
(, , , , ), , , , - - , - - , , , ( ) , , . " , ?" - ", , ... , ", - . " , , ?" - ", " - ", , ... , " ", , , , ", - , .

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, : " , , , , . , , . , , , . , , , , , . , ", , ", , , , , , . , : ", !" , , , , - !"

Here, a voice other than Lukerjas indirect reported speech underscores the fact that the very same image of the Mother of God still plays a central role, but has shifted its place. The bracket marks the continuity of the image, while the language around the bracket tells the tale of its wandering onto the table and later on out the window and onto the ground in her arms. By saying that same icon in brackets, the intervening voice leaves open a many possible intonational and semantic interpretations, ranging from the neutral clarifying of facts to a highly emotional expression of despondency due to the fatefulness of what is about to transpire. The constancy of the icon intervenes in a positive way, maintaining the authority which served as a contrast to the total lack of integrity in the pawnbrokers discourse. The bracket here contains a trace of integrity as an alien factor belonging to the icon. There are significant differenced between the two brackets, particularly in their respective voicing. The first refers to an act of consciousness, and the second to an inanimate object (albeit one which seems to have independently set itself into motion). The voice itself seems to be the same in both cases a narrating voice underscores the key aspect of what is taking place, sets accents at the fundamentally significant motifs in order for them to be comprehended properly. The context of the first is the decision on the part of the future wife to bring the icon. The context of the second is the icon itself, a statement of its identity with the one which serves as the object of the act of will and consciousness of the first bracket. The first is an action, a decision, an event, the second the underscoring of a continuity, of the constant presence of the icon after its appearance. The bracket itself establishes an equivalence between the two passages. And the basic function of the bracket as a break in the flow of voice establishes a bracketing role for the icon itself, making the decision to bring the icon at the outset and the conspicuous presence at the end into fixed points which relativize the motion of the narrative, indeed the passage of time itself.
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The writing of the icon seems to structure the entire narrative. It is however claimed that the driving force of the writing is stenographic. Precisely the two icon brackets allow one to negotiate these two seemingly contradictory factors. The disintegration of the discourse represented by the extreme frequency of bracketing, of breaks in continuity, but ones which directly or indirectly reflect on the discourse itself, is contrasted not only to the ideal of a by definition coherent writing system (the icon), but also to the ideal of the dead wife as a stenographer (or perhaps a deaf stenographer as a wife). This relationship is metonymically designated by the wife/stenographers suicide with the icon in hand. From this point of view, the bracketing of the wife/stenographers thinking (the decision to take the icon rather than the act of bringing it) represents remarkably precisely the problem of this discourse on the primary level and its astonishing brilliance on the meta-discursive level: the derailing of the discourse in the first bracket means that there is no way to make inroads into the young wifes decision making, that her subjective thinking is not capable of being integrated into this writing without a forceful marking of discontinuity which causes everything to collapse. The dead wife as a stenographer is one who by definition does not think, does not decide. The pawnbrokers discourse derails because he clings to this model of notation, even associating it with the ultimate authority of icon writing of that very same icon which always already is present as the source of truth but not in the a religious sense, but rather as a media affair. The young wife has enacted this very ideal by shutting down her brain for good. The slight detail which the pawnbroker claims to need to integrate into his discourse - the fact that the nameless young girl might have made a decision cannot fit into the system. His claim and program are belied by his own bracketing; the gap between the bracketed and the nonbracketed signifies the impossibility of what the pawnbroker wants to do with all elements of the story and cannot: to bring them all together and look at them as a whole. Here it is extremely significant that the Russian original is decidedly writing oriented: literally he claims to want to bring everything together in one point, one dot, one rounded closing operator or writing: . But the dead stenographer as wife and dead wife as stenographer are the truth of his discourse. The young girls corpse, achieving the stasis of the Madonna, is the material representation of the ideal of the pawnbrokers notation. Her thoughts have ceased to exist, and this is precisely the way the speaker wants to have them. Thus one can say that it is not as much the silence of the dead wife, but rather her brain-death which is the emblem of her role in this notation as a non-thinking stenographer. The speaker can only remember everything when the thoughts of his wife are imprisoned in brackets and as such enter into equivalence with the absolute immovable icon of the Mother of God.
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4.2.2. Motif II: (Discussing ones own) Remembrance 10 ( , , , ) / (I remember that expression, I thought of it on the way and was pleased with it) 33 ( ) / (that I remember)
, , , , , ... -, : ", , ". , . , . , , , . , ? . pro contra, . , : , , , , , , , , ( , , , ) - , - . , - , . On the spot, at the gate, in the presence of Lukerya, before she had recovered from her amazement at my sending for her, I informed her that I should look upon it as an honour and happiness . . . telling her, in the next place, not to be surprised at the manner of my declaration and at my speaking at the gate, saying that I was a straightforward man and had learned the position of affairs. And I was not lying when I said I was straightforward. Well, hang it all. I did not only speak with propriety - that is, showing I was a man of decent breeding, but I spoke with originality and that was the chief thing. After all, is there any harm in admitting it? I want to judge myself and am judging myself. I must speak pro and contra, and I do. I remembered afterwards with enjoyment, though it was stupid, that I frankly declared, without the least embarrassment, that, in the first place, I was not particularly talented, not particularly intelligent, not particularly good-natured, rather a cheap egoist (I remember that expression, I thought of it on the way and was pleased with it) and that very probably there was a great deal that was disagreeable in me in other respects. All this was said with a special sort of pride - we all know how that sort of thing is said.

Like the first bracket of the first pair, this one recounts a thought or decision, this time on the part of the pawnbroker.
, , , . , . , ... . , , , - . , . , . : , " , , !", . , , , , ( ), : " , !" - " "? - , , , ... , , ! ! ! ! I only remember that when I went in at the gate she was still warm. The worst of it was they were all looking at me. At first they shouted and then suddenly they were silent, and then all of them moved away from me . . . and she was lying there with the ikon. I remember, as it were, in a darkness, that I went up to her in silence and looked at her a long while. But all came round me and said something to me. Lukerya was there too, but I did not see her. She says she said something to me. I only remember that workman. He kept shouting to me that, "Only a handful of blood came from her mouth, a handful, a handful!" and he pointed to the blood on a stone. I believe I touched the blood with my finger, I smeared my finger, I looked at my finger (that I remember), and he kept repeating: "a handful, a handful!"

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What do you mean by a handful?" I yelled with all my might, I am told, and I lifted up my hands and rushed at him. Oh, wild! wild! Delusion! Monstrous! Impossible!

This bracket follows immediately upon the second bracket of the first pair. The threefold repetition of the word palec (finger) is followed again by a sign of memory. Here again, the linear, horizontal speech reporting is interrupted by brackets which not only represent breaks, but also add an additional line accounting for what is remembered and what is not. They also set up a vertical equivalence with the first memory bracket, in which the narrator in turn refers to his own speech and discursive strategies. This leads to the question of just what it is what is being noted by the stenographer the account of events or the analysis of what has been remembered. In the second case, the dead wife as a silent and motionless stenographer hears and marks a confession on the part of the agent of her own demise, bearing witness to the very workings of memory which make the story possible in the first place. The bearing of witness to his own act of memory refers to nothing other than the viewing of his own bloodied or stained finger, i.e. to the material remains of his dead wife. This blood a conventional material of mnemotechnics becomes the ink of a notation which accounts for memory itself. This in turn can be read as a sign that the dead wife is a stenographer by means of her material corporeal presence. Like the victim of Stavrogins pedophile rape in the Possessed, this girl is a corporeal witness, i.e. a martyr of a mans confessional discourse, and this status is marked by her blood on the finger of her torturer and the bracket notation of the fact that this mark has been noted. Looking back to the first pair of brackets concerning the icon, one can note that the two memory brackets are in a chiastic relationship to them. While the icon brackets move from the derailing of the discourse (due to the failed attempt to enter the young girls thoughts) to the constancy of the icon as an analogy to the thoughtless dead wife, the memory brackets begin with the emphasis on recalling of a language expression and end with the underscoring of the trace of blood as a memory trace. This in turn corresponds to the first icon bracket, since the corporeal evidence of the death of the wife is the reverse side of the same coin: discursive evidence of the impossibility and indeed undesirability of penetrating into the young girls mind, this in turn being a condition of proper stenography. The hopeless striving for proper stenography is that which constructs the order of the text, and this is precisely what the (order!)-bracket is referring to: the vain hope of putting everything into its discursive place.
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5. The Meaning of Textology and the Textology of Meaning I would now like to bring in the data which a normal philological approach might have felt obliged to bring in at the very beginning: the concrete genealogy of the brackets in the text and the relationship to Dostoevskijs text dictating practices. It turns out that normal textological philology supports the theses and hypotheses as of yet put forth. 5.1. Genealogy of Brackets As I already mentioned, there are studies on the actual time of the placement of brackets, the most interesting being that of Boucheron on Roland Barthes, who in the text at hand (Le Plaisir du texte) demonstrates that the parentheses were not added ex post, but rather emerged simultaneously with the text. As is clearly visible in the rough draft of the Dostoevskij text, the order parenthesis was added on the margin retrospectively. In the first draft, it wasnt just the one word order, but rather a whole sentence: (! - , ) / (Order! Yes, that is the trick of it, that there be order). In a further preliminary draft, this was then reduced to the one bracketed word/sentence order!. Given the analysis contained in this text, the question is what the meaning of this result of philological research really means. The most obvious and relevant result is that it is clear that the parenthesis in this particular form was thoroughly considered and the result of a double editing process. But can one go further and make something of the fact that the bracketing as a whole was a retrospective act? It seems that all argumentation based on this would be speculative and would give the reader a false sense of security: the fact of the retrospective entry is a clear fact, but all paths from this fact to facts of interpretation are shrouded in darkness. It is all the more inacceptable to relate the temporality of bracketing as a textual effect to the temporality of the actual entry of the bracket into the scene of the text. One possibly interesting conclusion might be retained: the bracket was most probably entered after the process of stenographic dictation on which the first draft was no doubt based. 5.2. Dictating writing to Anna Grigorevna
( , -- ?) (thats good, isnt it?) The last and 774th bracket in the text of Nabokovs The Gift

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Most of Crime and Punshment and all subsequent Dostoevskij texts were first dictated to Anna Grigorevna Snitkina, who quite quickly after her taking up this job (almost as quickly as the Krotkaja for the pawnbroker) became Dostoevskijs wife.56 Given the conclusion drawn at the end of the last section, I would like to address the possibility of discussing the author Dostoevskijs dictation practices and Krotkaja as a representation thereof. This aspect of the text is worth discussing and certainly should not be ignored. At the same time, it seems to me that one needs to be very careful in jumping to unlogical and non-literary conclusions just as was the case with respect to the issue of text genealogy. As in that case, I would argue here as well that all of the arguments presented as of yet need to be comprehended before one attempts to take account of this possible referent of the narrative text. Mirjam Goller writes on an imaginary body writing emerging from the corpse of the narrators wife. It is intriguing to relate this notion to the idea that Dostoevskijs own wife as a stenographer may somehow be implicated somewhere in the text. This gives as special meaning to the hypothesis that perhaps the corpse itself is the recording device which produces the stenographic transcript edited by the author. She is, after all, the only other human entity present. If this were the case (and this would be truly fantastic), then the monologue of the narrator-pawnbroker would be a scene of dictation comparable to the emergence of Dostoevskijs first drafts, and Dostoevskij will have killed his beloved second wife in an allegory of writing. More importantly, this would be a self-ironic comment on the sequentiality of language in its inscripted genesis, giving a meta-philological touch to Paul de Mans insights into the paradoxical sequentiality of allegory. (I will bracket the question of whether this would be an example of the notation [or transcription] of the texts Being [Sein])

APPENDIX 1 : The parentheses of Krotkaja [All but 1 and 2, which I translated myself, are from Constance Garnetts translation] 1. ( )
1E. (after which I would edit that which had been noted)57

2. ( )
Anna Grigorievna Dostoevskajas memoirs (Dostoevskaja 1980), at the beginning of which she goes into great detail on the stenographic activity (cf. also her diary of 1867 Dostoevskaja 1992), only to hardly mention it later on in the account. 57 As noted previously, Myers translates: (to be subsequently polished by me).
56

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2E. (and has time)

3. (!)
3E. (Order!)

4. ( , , , , , , , )
4E. (I fancy she was the same with all strangers, and in her eyes, of course, I was exactly like anybody else - that is, not as a pawnbroker but as a man)

5. ( ) ,
5E. [NB NO BRACKET! 58] But once she ventured to bring her last rag, that is, literally the remains of an old hareskin jacket,

6. (, )
6E. (rubbishy little ones)

7. ( )
7E. (she had brought herself to pawn it!)59

8. ( , , )
8E. I always had the lamp burning as soon as the shop was opened60

9. ( , , )
9E. that is, it was general, because certainly at that time she did not distinguish me from others, so that she said it almost without malice [

, ]

[six children, one smaller than another]

10. ( , , , )
10E. I remember that expression, I thought of it on the way and was pleased with it

11. ( ),
11E. I happened to have business there, by the way In conreast to Garnett, Myers (Dostoevskij 1995: 62) does use a parenthesis: to bring the remnants (I mean literally) of an old jacket 59 Myers (Dostoevskij 1995: 64): (nerved herself to do it). 60 Myers (Dostoevskij 1995: 64): (the lamp had been kept permanently lit since I had opened the office). He seems to have corrected Garnett here, who translated as if it were imperfective.
58

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12. ( !)
12E. the enchanting chatter of innocence

13. ( , )
13E. and I emphasize the fact that it was ruthlessly

14. ( ).
14E. note that

15. (, , !)
15E . (Oh, what does it matter!)61

16. ( , , ?)
16E ! (And was I a villain in the pawnbroker's shop? Did not she see how I acted? Did I extort too much?)

17. (, !).
17E (mine in particular).

18. ( );
18E (her characteristic movement);

19. ( )
19E (I say it to my credit)

20. . (: . . , , , , , . . , , , . , , , , , , . .)
20E (note that the revolver was already an object familiar to her. I had kept one loaded ever since I opened the shop. I made up my mind when I set up the shop that I would not keep a huge dog or a strong manservant, as Mozer does, for instance. My cook opens the doors to my visitors. But in our trade it is impossible to be without means of self-defence in case of emergency, and I kept a loaded revolver. In early days, when first she was living in my house, she took great interest in that revolver, and asked questions about it, and I even explained its construction and working; I even persuaded her once to fire at a target. Note all that).

21. ( )
61

Myers (Dostoevskij 1995: 74): is closer to the original construction: (Who cares! Who cares!), thus better representing the strategies of repetition which characterize the text as a whole.

Meyer - Reading Parentheses and Dostoevskij-Philology - 46-

21E (soI felt)

22. ( )
22E (these doctors are sometimes superciliously careless)

23. (!)
23E (the veil!).

24. ( - ),
24E (it was some sort of ballad)

25. ( , ).
25E (you know how it is when people laugh with shame)

26. ( - !).
26E (without her consent).

27. ( )
27E (that was on Wednesday)

28. (! !);
28E (one instant! one instant!)

29. ( - )
29E (it was after yesterday's hysterics),

30. (, !)
30E (this morning, this morning!)

31. (, , , , )
31E (oh! I will not let Lukerya go now for anything. She knows all about it, she has been here all the winter, she will tell me everything!),

32. ( )
32E (that same ikon of the Mother of God)

33. ( )
33E (that I remember)

Meyer - Reading Parentheses and Dostoevskij-Philology - 47-

APPENDIX 2: Statistics for Russian literature and Tristram Shandy


Title Sterne: Tristram Schandy Pukin: Evgenij Onegin Gogol: Mertvye dusi / Dead souls, vol. 1 Dostoevskij: Dvojnik / The Double Dostoevskij: Prest. i nak./ Crime and P. Dostoevskij: Idiot/ Dostoevskij: Besy / The Possessed Dostoevskij: Podrostok / Raw Youth Dostoevskij: Krotkaja Dostoevskij: Bratja Karamazovy Turgenev: Otcy i deti / Fathers and Sons Tolstoj: Anna Karenina Gonarov, Oblomov Saltykov-edrin: Gospoda Golovevy Saltykov-edrin: Istorija odn.goroda/ Story of one city Total paren. 590 40 13 29 239 344 298 344 33 320 50 151 23 84 93 Paren per letter/space 5,9 2,9 0,3 0,8 1,8 2,6 2,3 2,9 4,1 1,7 1,3 0,8 0,2 1,3 2,6

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