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(it seems to me that derrida in context is even worse than derrida out of context.)

of course, northrop frye published fearful symmetry in 1947.

see also: "it is right," he declares, "that the first effort of critical apprehension should take the form of a rhetorical or structural analysis of a work of art. but a purely structural approach has the same limitation in criticism that it has in biology." that is, it doesn't develop "any explanation of how the structure came to be what it was and what its nearest relatives are. structural analysis brings rhetoric back to criticism, but we need a new poetics as well . . ." (archetypes 1447).

and also

"carnival is the past millennia's way of sensing the world as one great communal performance" (mikhail bakhtin, whom, it's no surprise to learn, michael holquist has written extensively on)

and finally:

contemporary scholars including frye classify the following works as menippean satires:

* françois rabelais, gargantua and pantagruel (1564)
* john barclay, euphormionis satyricon (1605)
* joseph hall, mundus alter et idem (1605)
* robert burton, the anatomy of melancholy (1621)
* jonathan swift, a tale of a tub (1704) and gulliver's travels (1726)
* voltaire, candide (1759)
* thomas love peacock, nightmare abbey (1818)
* thomas carlyle, sartor resartus (1834)
* charles kingsley, the water-babies (1863)
* lewis carroll, alice's adventures in wonderland (1865)
* aldous huxley, point counter point (1928)
* flann o'brien, at swim-two-birds (1939)
* thomas pynchon, gravity's rainbow (1976)

as a type of discourse, "menippean” signifies a mixed, often discontinuous way of writing that draws upon distinct, multiple traditions. it is normally highly intellectual and typically embodies an idea, an ideology or a mind-set in the figure of a grotesque, even disgusting, comic character.

i would add a confederacy of dunces (1980) to the list.


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 4th, 2010 12:54 pm (UTC)
Interesting that list... not many of James Woods' favorites. That lost extra Yahtzee dice. Say more about Derrida. I'd like to read what you have to say. Please, of course.
Apr. 5th, 2010 05:30 am (UTC)
i do find that list quite interesting.

the line about derrida is not my own, it's steven weinberg during the sokal affair. un excellent bon mot.

it's a personal disappointment that i'm so far removed in time from my studies, but i'm not a fan of deconstructionism. taking more from others:

john searle is a prominent supporter of austin's philosophy and objected to [in derrida's response] "the low level of philosophical argumentation, the deliberate obscurantism of the prose, the wildly exaggerated claims, and the constant striving to give the appearance of profundity by making claims that seem paradoxical, but under analysis often turn out to be silly or trivial." searle also reported that michel foucault criticized derrida's writings as "obscurantisme terroriste" (terroristic obscurantism): the text is written so obscurely that you can't figure out exactly what the thesis is (hence "obscurantisme") and then when one criticizes it, the author says, "vous m'avez mal compris; vous êtes idiot" (you have misunderstood me; you are a fool) (hence "terroriste").
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )


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