Press Review

Tablets of Chanteroels
Du transversalisme


The Philological Courier (September 2002)

Transversalism was founded at the end of the 20th century. It was born out of the common will of researchers, artists and philosophers. The people involved in the gathering had never met each other before, but had taken the friendly habit of comparing their ideas and their experiences on a website:, originally created to play… chess. Thus, this paradoxical and transversal exploration system grew out of the curiosity and creativity that stemmed from the comparison of different viewpoints.

Little by little, the website collected fairly regular publications of conferences, or improvised meetings; for instance those held at Santa Barbara in March 2002, then at the hermitage in Assekrem in the heart of the Sahara desert in May 2002 and in the village of Grossland (north of Berlin) in June 2002. As a coinsequence, these gatherings gradually led to the plan of more official and better-organized meetings. That way, each member could measure himself against others.

Several areas of research and analysis aroused the curiosity of the movement’s initiators. From the start, the main principle was to turn back time by building bridges between past and present, between contemporary art and modern literature, between modern literature and archaic writings, between North and South, between tradition and modern times, between modern times and contemporary ones, between communication stereotypes and language archetypes, between time and space, between ideograms and phonograms, etc.

In fact, any system of vocalic or graphic signs, any content of oral or written expression belongs to language. Doesn’t the shape of letters depict the fossilized path of sensitive human wandering? Doesn’t this path bear, in its downstrokes and upstrokes, a more ancient anamnesis, i.e. the word that preceded it?

Similarly, hasn’t the word come from phonemes and screams?

Conventional divides giving way to the playful aspect of things, we shouldn’t be surprised that the compartmentalized logic, which usually runs the world of sciences, arts and ideas, collapsed and opened new fields of investigation.

Let us make it clear that the favorite fields of the group mostly concerned language, art, archeology and what some others ended up calling: archeography.

Like the waves at high tide, the arguments follow one another, intertwine, overlap and cancel each other out. However, from Socrates to Wittgenstein and Ferdinand de Saussure, the tide comes in, inexorably. Je te salue vieil océan! (R. Mutt, professor of Pataphysics at Westminster University of Higher Studies).