A Taste for Algebra

From a file folder from the early 1990s a typescript of a single paragraph with heading:

Identity & Dichotomy

Has it ever struck you that when one colour associated with X is taken up by Y, it means something Z? How and when characteristics cross-over from one character to another as a narrative unfolds depends upon the play of identity formation. Both the cross-overs and the identity formation are shaped by the logical type of dichotomy from which they arise. Contradictory dichotomies (A/not-A) give rise to identities dependent upon the demarcation of space. They do not permit flexible appropriation/alienation of characteristics. Contrary dichotomies (A/B) offer more fluid boundaries and result in stories that accentuate temporal factors. Such considerations are valuable for not only examining the arch-Canadian theme of the two solitudes but also the social construction of gender.

Evident influence of the classic article by Nancy Jay "Gender and Dichotomy". A certain sensitivity to initial conditions. In rereading the scheme all these years later I am struck by the order: space first; time second. And in a very unAristotlean fashion I wonder what lies between contradictions and contraries. How does the passage from space dominance to time happen? A hint may be there in reading the slash of suture and the double movement of appropriation and alienation.

A gesture of child's play comes to mind: drawing a line with the index; drawing a stave with a rake of fingers.

And so for day 134