||<p>It is fair to identify the motive of this dissertation with the paradoxical formulation
of Gerhard von Rad, to the effect that the essence of biblical Wisdom is disclosed
where the sages articulate this wisdom as inherently limited. This coincidence of
opposites has been widely embraced by commentators and read as evidence for the sages'
encounter with an infinite divine transcendence, to which they responded in humility,
and by which their epistemological certitudes were rebuked. Proceeding from these
assumptions, the interpretation of Proverbs has widely concerned itself with two nodal
points: (1) the fear-of YHWH as the central concept in Proverbs' articulation wisdom
as a finite human operation, conducted in the presence of an infinite divine; and
(2) the figuration of this sublime experience in the iconic form of Woman-Wisdom.
</p><p>The hypothesis of von Rad lends itself to another trajectory that prioritizes
immanence over transcendence. On this reading, the limit of Wisdom lies not between
its mere appearance for us (i.e. finite human subjects) and its essential being in
itself (corresponding to a noumenal, divine beyond) but rather runs through the field
of appearance, which cannot be rendered coherent by the sages' discursive intervention.
This non-symbolizable yet immanent check on the sages' wisdom is analyzed in terms
of Lacan's Real, a kernel of being (in psychoanalytic terms, jouissance) entirely
beyond the signified that nevertheless arises out of the operations of signification.
If discourse is thus intrinsically self-defeating, the status of transcendence should
re-evaulated with respect to "limit." Transcendence is not the site that disturbs
the Symbolic field, but rather the aporetic conditions of linguistic meaning rely
on an externalizing process--what I have called a "poetics of making transcendent"--
for a given discourse to maintain its own coherence, i.e. as that which would be coherent
if not for the contingent, impossible object. The fear-of YHWH and Woman-Wisdom, whose
importance no one disputes, are re-read from this perspective: the former according
to Lacan's concept of the Master-Signifier, the latter according to object (a), the
object cause of desire.</p>