---- by Mike Gane
  Although the anagram and anagrammatisation are a reference point for Baudrillard there are very few actual examples of them in his writings. As with other key concepts there is considerable latitude in their definition and there is no pretence at pedantry. Nevertheless, along with other terms such as the aphorism, Baudrillard turns them into 'passwords' and key concepts. This term is highly significant as it indicates Baudrillard's search for instances of the key characteristics of symbolic cultures in poetic reversibility. In much of his early consideration of this thematic the key target is Freud and psychoanalysis with its depth model of the psyche, with its parallel in Marx's base-superstructure model of the social formation, for, as he said in one of his last texts, 'truth, if it exists, can only show through anagrammatically in the spectrum of thought' (LP, 210). Baudrillard adopted the full force of Saussure's work on classical poetics which attempted to discover the rules of classical Latin poetics (SED; also see Gane, 1991b; Genosko, 1994). In fact the texts examined by Saussure went beyond the strict anagram to those which have the elements of a name, the name of a god for example, dispersed throughout.
  Saussure claimed to have discovered the two basic rules which guided the classical poets in antiquity. The first was the rule of coupling. Here a vowel was used only with a counter-vowel; there must not be a remaining uncoupled vowel. The same rule existed for consonants. If, however, there was a remainder, this must be repaired in the following verse. The second rule was that of the theme-word, the name of the god, which then was dedicated and dispersed throughout. In the Latin line Taurasi Cisanuna Samio cepit, for example, we find the god Scipio. Saussure refers to the strict anagram but also to the anaphonic aspect of such texts - referring to the dispersal of elements based on assonance derived from the themeword. According to Baudrillard Saussure himself abandoned and left these inquiries to one side in order to develop the field of structural semiotics and linguistics. These contributions by Saussure were subsequently widely taken up as a universal linguistics with the concept of the sign almost completely effacing that of the symbol. But Baudrillard, in opposition to structural linguistics, sought to radicalise Saussure's discoveries concerning the anagrammatic character of symbolic cultures and to work on the transition of symbolic to semiotic cultures.
  Baudrillard picks up a number of aspects of this discussion of the anagrammatic character of the poetic. First and fundamental is the evident parallel of the vowel and counter-vowel to the gift and counter-gift characteristic of symbolic exchange. The second is the problematic character of the remainder (Genosko, 1994). The third is the fact that the dispersion of the remainder does not lead to re-establishing an identity or the 'resurrection of the signifier' (SED, 199). The poetic is the 'extermination of value' (SED, 198).
  Some of Baudrillard's conclusions about Saussure's work on anagrams (SED) are referred to even in his last writings. In one of the final paragraphs of The Intelligence of Evil or The Lucidity Pact (2005a [2004]) he wrote:
  The secret of the world is in the detail . . . It is through the detail that the anamorphosis, the metamorphosis of forms, passes, whereas the whole short-circuits this becoming by totalization of the meaning or the structure. It is the same with Anagrams in language: the name of God is scattered through the poem; it now appears only fragmented, dismembered. It will never be revealed. It does not even become what it is, in keeping with the ensnaring formula of a finality of being; it simply becomes. That is to say, it passes from one form to the other, from one word to the other; it circulates in the detail of appearances. Taken in its detail, the world is always perfectly self-evident . . . In this sense, any image, any act, any event, any detail of the world, is good, provided it is . . . isolated, separated, scattered anagrammatized, anamorphosed, 'aphoristic'. (LP, 209-10)
   § poetry
   § reversibility

The Baudrillard dictionary. . 2015.

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