PDF/EPUB Michel de Certeau ï L'Invention du quotidien, 1. : Arts de faire PDF Õ du ï

Michel de Certeau considers the uses to which social representation and modes of social behavior are put by individuals and groups describing the tactics available to the common man for reclaiming his own autonomy from the all pervasive forces of commerce politics and culture In exploring the public meaning of ingeniously defended private meanings de Certeau draws brilliantly on an immense theoretical literature in analytic philosophy linguistics sociology semiology and anthropology to speak of an apposite use of imaginative literature


10 thoughts on “L'Invention du quotidien, 1. : Arts de faire

  1. says:

    I teach this sucker so there's gotta be some good in it right? Oh but it's beastly dense in classic French post structuralist fashion Some of it is beautiful I love his reflection on traveling by rail and while I prefer Henri Lefebvre's place space distinction it makes intuitive sense that the empty homogeneous stuff would be space and the emotionally marked stuff would be place the discussion of how maps serve to make abstraction from itineraries ie lived experience is uite thought provoking Also note the length and meander of the previous sentence is EASY READING compared to what awaits whoever picks this up Expect to work to get the point and be prepared to wonder if the point is really so profound as to be worth so much struggle


  2. says:

    I'm giving this a full five stars while operating on the presumption that the parts I didn't understand are just as good as the parts I did de Certeau is by no means an easy read and I imagine a full comprehension of what he argues reuires a facility with many theorists and disciplines than I have for example I loved his critiues and analysis of Foucault and Bourdieu but couldn't wrap my head around his discussions of Freud and Heidegger largely I think because my psychoanalysis and philosophy are somewhat fuzzy That said his willingness to address the impossibility of theory while also making a suggestion of the types of work that might replace it is refreshing In essence de Certeau wants people to embrace a practice based way of looking at the world He sees an emphasis on analyzing users' practices as a way to grant them agency and power that the traditional production consumption model presumes nonexistent He shows how this might look in the investigation of such everyday practices as walking in the city and reading allowing metaphors of space and time to stand in for any attempts at generalizability In this way de Certeau is wildly successful at granting his subjects agency without as he warns allowing the particularities of their practices to become metonyms for all of existence


  3. says:

    I'm interested in what your professor expected you to get out of reading this By a paradox that is only apparent the discourse that makes people believe is the one that takes away what it urges them to believe in or never delivers what it promises 105When read as a series of aphorisms without a central initiating purpose to orient the reader the reader is in the position of pure wanderer; ie when read in excerpt the 110th floor view of the writing is hidden from the reader If the goal is to make the placespace distinction I'm left to consider the purpose of the dizzying turgidity of the prose The point can be made clearer that there exists no place without the subjective There exists only an abstract mathematical space in which nothing is prioritized and in which no left or right obtain The modalities of place are emergent distinctions of Dasein Yet place precedes space in that the subjective phenomena of experience and its survival reuisites must be met before an abstract Cartesian space can be posited by the subject Smuggling this insight into the realm of engineering yields the builder as the manipulator of pure space and the architect city planner as the master of place Both perspectives must be considered in creating a dwelling place space for humans but what is left out of the discussion is the fragmentation and organic swelling of the city from the inside the simultaneous independent builders whose summative actions are constitutive but who have no access to the view from nowhere let alone that of the 110th floor Is the building of a text akin to engineering or architecture? Awaiting your replyKnote this review is only of an excerpt specifically part III chapter 7 “Walking the City”


  4. says:

    Way too wordy dense and heady but full of wonderful ideas that assume the agency and capability of regular people We aren't just consumers We are doing things The world is terrible but every day we are resisting in really small ways Isn't that great to hear?


  5. says:

    I echo some of the previous readers' comments about the density and difficulty of De Certeau's sentences I had to look up words in the dictionary 3 times in one sentence at some point and this was at the graduate school level However I also love love his metaphor of walking in the city as a way of affirming individual ways of doing life of seeing of choosing of practicing everyday life in contrast to mainstream ways that society is constructed as expressed in the metaphor by the set routes and paths laid out for us in a typical city grid There are so many ways this idea applies to discourses of power identity memory and a myriad of other areas we look at in life and were challenged to look at in grad school I want to take another stab at the way he approached Derrida difficult but I think it will be worth mining for ideas


  6. says:

    If I needed an explanation for not going into sociology this book would provide it Do we need a 200 page book to examine “the practice of everyday life”? I feel a bit like the centipede worrying about which foot to start out on Still there are some interesting insights the tiny chapter 8 “Railway Navigation and Incarceration” could stand alone as an essay on the strange relationship to space experienced by passengers on a train and I was surprised and delighted to find a reference to Vermont’s Shelburne Museum as an example of a place where used objects from the past evoke the “presence of absences” 21 Chapter 7 “Walking in the City” interests me too but I need examples to understand de Certeau’s application of rhetorical terms to the practice of walking The translation by Steven Rendall may be part of the problem given that space place and location probably don’t have the same distinctions as the French words in the original but my French isn’t up to trying to find out Some peculiar spelling hetereogeneous? is also distracting The book has thought provoking references to reading writing and literature though making it worth the effort


  7. says:

    When I read the first paragraph of the introduction I knew I had found a theoretical home Michel de Certeau's investigation of the ways in which users commonly assumed to be passive and guided by established rules operate is about freedom resistance access and the art of dwelling in the everyday Reading de Certeau validated all the ways I have been teaching inductively My practice was found in his theory A reversal of good fortune Be certain to read Chapter 7 Walking in the City in Part III Spatial Practices I return to this text time and again for understanding about everyday life which invents itself by poaching in countless ways on the property of others xii Can't put a date that I finished this book It's an ongoing visit


  8. says:

    OK so I know this was very influential on the transition between the study of representation and production and the study of practice and use Despite that other than a few select chapters I found the book borderline unreadable I can handle Foucault Barthes and Baudrillard just fine and while DeleuzeGuattari is a stretch I can still do it This on the other hand just struck me as unreadable and largely bullshit So I can't say I was a fan you know?


  9. says:

    As an anthropology Phd student I’ve read so many books on this area and this is the first book I barely understood anything from it and suffered every moment of reading it


  10. says:

    I read de Certeau's PEL for a DMin course Below find my working outline and reflections on the textNote I found this difficult to follow—especially Parts 3 5 For this reason my outline will be much briefer than for other texts General Introduction “Everyday life invents itself by poaching in countless ways on the property ofothers” xii The consumersusers of popular culture actively put the products of the producers to uses unforeseenuncontrolledunpredicted by the producers The construction of individual sentences within an established syntax serves as a metaphor for this usage Speech act theory is helps sharpen this analysis of users reappropriation of producers’ products These users often rendered as powerless in scholarly discourse constitute a marginalized silent majority These uses must be approached as tactics making use of the class enemies’producers’ material to further the users’ ends as opportunity presents itself “The place of the tactic belongs to the other” xix The lack of a “proper” place for the user is a recurring theme in the action of the users as traveler as reader shopper etc These are “arts” as in “arts and crafts” of cunning cf Gk mêtis Usage can be analyzed both polemeologically and rhetorically Pt 1 A Very Ordinary CultureCh 1 A Common Place Ordinary Language The products of producers are rendered by the voice of “everyman” into an “indefinite citation of the other” 1 Literatures and other productions becomes an echo of “everyone” the anonymous Other This occurs even for the scientific Expert and the Philosopher who give up their definite place the moment they seek to represent that place to ordinary people sinking into either a practice of the ordinarygenerality the Philosopher or a mere echo of their proper field abandoned in favor of authority for the ordinary person the Expert Wittgenstein tracked this with regard to language intending “to bring words back from their metaphysical to their everyday use” by drawing its limits “from the inside” of this language 9 Wittgenstein’s project offers a model for how to discuss the ordinary Ch 2 Popular Cultures Ordinary Language A turn to polemeological analysis focalized by Brazilian popular devotion to Frei Damião Believers here subvert colonial religion “by using the very frame of reference which also proceeds from the external power They re employ a system” 17 tactics It is not the content employed so much as the use to which they are put Compare J L Austin to Lévi Strauss regarding proverbs We the “operator’s way of operating” 21 illustrated in the games people play in society the accounts the tell of playing these games and the individual “style” evident in these accounts Cf la perruue Ch 3 “Making Do” Uses and Tactics “Ways of operating” for oneself can be located and analyzed within the activities mandated by those in power superimposing a new space and new meaning on the received cultural forms Consumption itself can be understood an alternative mode of production These uses of cultural products can be analyzed in a way parallel to enunciation within speech act theory Pp 34 42 then repeat sometimes expanded often verbatim the Introduction regarding tactics Pt 2 Theories of the Art of PracticeCh 4 Foucault and Bourdieu Situating TPoEL in the scholarly conversation de Certeau first takes up Michel Foucault’s Discipline and Punish and the relation of these uses and the discourse within which they might be placed Foucault establishes how a non discursive move the arrangement of inmates as observable information within the institutional space “organizes the discursive space” 46 De Certeau interrogates Foucault’s procedures in selecting this non discursive move over against so many others that “have not given rise to a discursive configuration” 47 a “‘reserve’ of procedures” that include consumer practices; in narrating a coherence in the effects of this move; and with regard to the wider effects of so narrating this move on the unnarrated practices Next de Certeau turns to Pierre Bourdieu’s use of ethnography in establishing a “theory of practice” For Bourdieu even while he gestures to deny ethnological particularities are subsumed and transformed by theory in the name of bringing the two together “It is a delicate maneuver which consists in fitting the ‘ethnological’ exception into an empty space in the sociological system” 52 Particularities are located in their “proper place” 55 In this move the ethnologies eg Bourdieu becomes the Expert who is the one who knows what the society knows without the society knowing it A tactics of use cannot be well accounted by such an approach Ch 5 The Arts of Theory Foucault and Bourdieu demonstrate a common recipe for constructing theory from the reserve of everyday life “first cut out; then turn over First an ‘ethnological’ isolation; then a logical inversion” 62 Cutting out involves marking out and narrowing focus on a population or set of practices foreign to the discourse framed as a coherent whole Foucault’s panoptic procedures; Bourdieu’s strategies of Béarn or Kabylia This cut out element is then inverted so that it “illuminates theory and sustains discourse” 63 Here theory itself shows up as a way of operating just like the ways of operating it operates on Next reflection on the “arts” that fall outside of discourse as discussed in the late 18th century These arts comprise the outside beyond of discourse a position to which scientific discourse has yet fully to catch up In this position the arts constitute a knowledge that has “no legitimacy with respect to productivist rationality” 69 at home only in narrative not in discourse These arts constitute a know how reflected in Kant’s description of tightrope dancers “constant readjustment renews the balance while giving the impression of ‘keeping’ it” 73 That is a tactical tactful? know how Ch 6 Story Time Crafting narratives is a “textual ‘way of operating’” 78 that may render the ways theory is produced within other ways of operating Stories are a form of know how a “know how to say” 78 Narration works by cutting out a space apart from the “real” through many narrative techniues establishing setting uotation etc—it is a matter of “effects not objects” 79 Détienne exemplifies this in Greek myths—“They constitute an act which they intend to mean There is no need to add a gloss that knows what they express without knowing it” 80 The mêtis of the ancient Greeks represents a kind of knowing eual to this narration “a form of intelligence that is always ‘immersed in practice’” 81 Mêtis allows less force applied from a rich reserve of memory at the very right moment to create a greater effect see diagrams 83ff Memory here is tactical—manipulated by exterior circumstances momentary in action and ceaselessly evolving Pt 3 Spatial Practices In chs 7 through 9 de Certeau begins to utilize andor destabilize a theory of uses of space Walking constitutes the city just as it is constituted by it Walking approached as a speech act Places established by our memories of it An excursive reflection on railway travel as establishign nonplace Stories as vehicles of public transportation metaphorai moving us into spaces as “practiced places” 117 Cf Heidegger Cf narrated tours versus maps Stories create space and mark out and transcend boundaries through conflict Pt 4 Uses of Language In chs 10 through 12 attention shifts to the uses of language The reproduction and inscription of language distances it from the people and from the voice subjugating and colonizing the voice—a domination however that is slipping Writing produces in its own proper place the blank page physically politically medically power over the voice from which it is drawn Writing thus establishes a new mythology Cf Robinson Crusoe This inscription reuires instruments to mark bodies or pages But these very instruments testify to the persistence of the body the voice “Epistemological configurations are never replaced by the appearance of new orders; they compose strata that form the bedrock of the present” 146 The cry of pain or pleasure escaping as these instruments mark the bodypage hinted at by Kafka and Duchamp The fleeting memory of voice persists in uotations—both as pre text for writing and as interpretation of writing Writing writes down what has been said only to be voiced again as it is read and interpreted The spoken escapes the oversight of langue It must be translated into text “The voice makes people write” 161 But also note the way in which voice interprets or plays with the meaning of text as in Verdi’s mad aria for Lady Macbeth Reading even silently displays this interplay of the uses the practice of reading places the text to as the eye lurches and stumbles across the page as the mind flits to and fro intertextually and allusively Reading is less an activity of information than of provoked misunderstanding Literal meanings are the imposition of the will of the elite Reading is thus situated at the point where social stratification class relationships and poetic operations the practitioner’s constructions of a text intersect a social hierarchization seeks to make the reader conform to the ‘information’ distributed by an elite or semi elite; reading operations manipulate the reader by insinuating their inventiveness into the crocks in cultural orthodoxy 172 a fine summary of how use of cultural products play out Pt 5 Ways of Believing Institutions of faith church synagogue party depend on the vestiges of belief and on the “erosion itself of every conviction the absence of a stronger credibility that draws believers elsewhere” 178—inertia The reserves of belief as act have been exhausted but this effects a dispersion of belief into diaspora—whether by marketers leftist political organizers any who “speak in the name of reality” 185 Churches represent merely on expression of the activity of belief and its objects There what was invisible was to be believed as really real; now eg on television what is seen even if known not to be real is often believed to be really real Dying is an unthinkable practice—it “falls outside the thinkable which is identified with what one can do” 190 Dying presents a “subject without actions and an operation without author” 191 Shunted away death turns to “exotic language” 192—euphemisms circumlocutions But believing or speaking of death means believing or speaking of the Other Still in writing literary scientific therapeutic death cannot named with permanence as the very writing paper bodies wears thin and dies away Writing is mourning Writing takes place tactically on enemy territoryIndeterminate “It is through everyday practices that an uncodeable difference insinuates itself into the happy relation the system would like to have with the operations it claims to administers Far from being a local and thus classifiable revolt it is a common and silent almost sheeplike subversion—our own” 200 This is evident in place as palimpsest and in narrated “casual” time