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9892Re: [mythsoc] Mythopoeic Lit. Criticism Manual

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  • Stolzi@aol.com
    Aug 2, 2003
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      I am passing on (with his permission) this msg from Don Williams, both to the
      List and to next year's Chair in case she's not reading here:

      =======================quoted material=========================

      I can sympathize with those who think Post Modernica is a Straw Person. If I
      didn't know way too much about this stuff I would think so too. But I repeat
      what I said in the intro: I have actually had PoMo scholars say to me (with
      a straight face) every word that came out of Post Modernica's mouth. That's
      why she was created. And the Brat Man's charge of red herring is itself one;
      PM ordered Pepperoni, not herring. Seriously, does he really think they can
      have it both ways? Language only refers to other language and never to an
      objective external reality, but it's supposed to refer to pizza too? Give me a
      break. We used to get into arguments on Merelewis about whether Derrida etc.
      actually mean what they say. I can tell you from experience that an awful lot
      of very serious people read them as saying exactly what PM was saying and fully
      agree with it, as many as those who (naively in my view) think they just mean
      we should be humble before the text. I remember a discussion I had in Oxford
      with one of the decostructionists who was turning all of reading into
      half-baked skeptical epistemology. "What has any of this got to do with a person
      curled up next to the fire with a good book?" I asked her. "How does any of it
      perform the function of criticism: to support and enhance such experiences?"
      "The reality of such experiences is one of the things Theory teaches us to
      question," she replied. I ought to have added that to PM's lines. If you think
      she sounded weak or extreme, try actually reading Derrida--or Jameson or
      Culler, etc.--sometime! Or just try to have a rational discussion with one of
      their disciples.

      I would love to be part of a panel to discuss this question next year, and if
      I were invited to do so it would confirm my plans to come. I have great
      respect for David Bratman as a scholar, so I would love to debate him on the
      question of whether I have actually misunderstood or misrepresented the
      Deconstructionist/Race-Gender-Class critics. No doubt we would both learn a thing or
      two.

      And you can feel free to post this response, by the way.

      From Mr. Tumnus' Library,

      Donald T. Williams, PhD
      Toccoa Falls College
      <A HREF="mailto:dtw@...">dtw@...</A>
      <A HREF="http://doulomen.tripod.com/">http://doulomen.tripod.com</A>

      "To think well is to serve God in the interior court." -- Thomas Traherne


      > ----- Original Message -----
      > From: <A HREF="mailto:Stolzi@...">Stolzi@...</A>
      > To: <A HREF="mailto:dtw@...">dtw@...</A>
      > Sent: Friday, August 01, 2003 5:16 PM
      > Subject: Re: [mythsoc] Mythopoeic Lit. Criticism Manual
      >
      >
      > In a message dated 8/1/2003 2:33:57 PM Central Daylight Time, <A HREF="mailto:alexeik@...">
      > alexeik@...</A> writes:
      >
      >
      > >>
      >> In a message dated 8/1/3 4:33:48 PM, David Bratman wrote:
      >>
      >> <<I how
      >> much a kick the audience got out of it, but I do not endorse all its
      >> opinions. I am not a post-modernist critic by any means, but I fancy that
      >> if one of them had actually written Post-Modernica's part, she'd have
      >> gotten a lot more solid licks in. The play's misunderstanding of what
      >> post-modernists actually stand for is strong enough to prove their point:
      >> reliable communication on subjective points is indeed impossible. The
      >> pizza metaphor (i.e. you expect the toppings you ordered from the pizza
      >> parlor, don't you?) was a most stinking red herring.
      >> >>
      >>
      >> I had very much the same impression. While I feel more natural kinship with
      >>
      >> Socrates and Erasmus, it certainly seemed to me that Post-Modernica was
      >> made to
      >> reflect only the most extreme and dubious aspects of post-modernist
      >> criticism, and was deliberately made to sound intellectually weaker than
      >> the other
      >> characters, so that the post-modernist position ended up being simply
      >> caricatured
      >> and dismissed rather than intelligently critiqued. When Wendell shouted
      >> "You
      >> go, girl!" in response to one of her stronger speeches, I completely agreed
      >>
      >> with the sentiment.
      >> Alexei
      >>
      >


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