142Re: Digest Number 34
- Mar 3, 1999
>An 'essentialist' is anyone who considers the human subject endowed by
> Nagy: What is an "essentialist"? What are the "current theoretical
> issues"? I don't know about others, but at this point, about these issues,
> I can only ask questions.
> Maria T.
certain qualities by his/her/its nature, and disagrees that context has
anything to do with forming qualities and abilities in/of the (speaking)
subject. Speaking about a 'human essence' implies this, if it is ntended
to denote a timeless quality inherent in human beings. Essentialism is
bascally a curse word in poststructuralist criticism, and a label meaning
'you are disclosed of the discourse'. I myself am one, in a certain way,
but I am convinced that this can be defined in terms legitim iin this
By current theoretical issues I mean just this line of thought, the most
current ones (to me) being Cultural Materialism and for some extent New
Historicism. CM is something I would very much like to sweep out from the
surface of the earth... anyway. In comes, of course, Lacanian-Foucaultian
psychoanalytic traditions, Barthes, also Derrida, just to be countered.
Barthes is also very important if we want to speak of any degree of
'classicity' in [Tolkien's] texts, and we also have to deal with the
question of ideology, which indeed is raised by many scholars on the field
and is generally used to exclude these texts as 'hopelessly obsolete and
propagating an oppressive ideological framework'.
In fact, we are bordering on forming a kind of work group here that would
specifically deal with such aspects. The point I raised this on this list
was trying to figure out who agrees, who disagrees, who thinks it
interesting, etc. I hope at last I succeeded in a kind of outlining my
conceptions. I did not intend to take you as complete fools or anyything.
Sorry if I hurt anybody.
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