phatic

The physical fact of language –uttered, inscribed, marked, or frozen in front of our faces in the cold light of bitter days — reminds us that there is no communication without the phatic exchange of substances.

A prophylactic attitude attempts to protect the imagination from direct encounters with the world as the tongue, the hand, the arm, the fist around the pen, the fingers on the keyboard all reach into the heavy flesh of matter and are rewarded by the sensate experience.”

Johanna Drucker in ‘Figuring the Word’ ( 1998, Granary ) p.55