Sara Wintz Responds to Mina Pam Dick’s “First Person of Truth”

Afterall, how “first” or genuine, can one’s voice be when written? Mina Pam Dick goes head first into this—extending iterations both personal and philosophical—with a variety of strokes. (These are a few of my first thoughts.)

@ 6:17 “I was allowed in because I seem to be a 14-year-old. Nobody really knows me.”

Mina Pam uses statements that create empathy: “I seem to be a 14-year-old.” “Nobody really knows me.” These are somewhat universally expressed statements that readers have either said, felt, or heard spoken by another. In these moments of empathy, her written voice references her self as it exists, as a person. As such, her statements are capable–like the presence of a person–of garnering emotive response.

@ 6:19 Italics are used for scare quotes or for emphasis. You might emphasize a fear with them. Such as the fear of amounting to something. Or the fear of not.

@ 6:21 Scare quotes are used for names or to hold something away from you, e.g. in doubt or mockery. Perhaps due to dread.

Mina Pam uses “I” throughout the work, which connotes communication from an individual.

She amplifies statements occurring in the first-person by situating them within a variety of vocal tones. At times, she pulls in and out of literal language—“scare quotes…you might emphasize fear with them.”—in the fashion of word play, thoughtfulness. These spaces of remove from the first-person create a contrast between immediate, near-conversational presence and a cerebral, philosophical one.

Scare quotes/Fear for what/what to be afraid of when there is content/what can there be afraid within a space of content/what is it to be afraid and content/why be afraid inside of one’s own content, save for safely giving over language/Why frighten if only an inward dive/It must come/back up

@ 6:35 The truth as first-personal. Find a way to think that one thought.

@ 6:36 That one thought is your fare. Ineluctable vocation.

Is the first-person always the most true? (Truest?) How could any thoughts, cerebrally located, be un-true? And why say first, or first person, when referencing the most direct speech from inside of a text? As to come in first, as though best, i.e. “first place.” To put oneself first within the space of one’s own verbal expression—where else could one’s voice be?

To call it “First Person of Truth” appears to suggest that one is not always true, when spoken “first person.” But Mina’s statements, said in the “first person” are “of Truth.”

@ 6:51 The truth is first-personal. That is lived, not judged. As judged, it’s incompleteness. Not all truths are judgeable. I am the truth ≠ I am true.

@ 6:53 Likewise, not all falsehoods are judgeable. In calling itself false, the liar indirectly judges itself doubly.

The truth is that which is lived and judged a.k.a. stream of consciousness, a “live-feed” of immediate experience, expressed directly on the page. A total flow. As the person writing thoughts/existence onto the space of the page, is she not then also truth, couldn’t that be?

Am I true? I am true, or I am truly here now, anyway. [10:19 PM] I have thought/lived in this present moment while speaking to a reader.

@ 7:00 Therein the simple, intuitive idea behind correspondence. A semantic gloss rather than an absolute realist metaphysical postulate. The symbolization of falsehood by mere negation, in extensional logic is thus acceptable.

In the manner of present speech, our voices correspond. They are in correspondence with one another. As like in the act of writing about or around a person who came first. I am presently writing to be in conversation with one another.

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