9902Questions concerning language and Postmodernisml
- Aug 4, 2003<<Don Williams: "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
JH: May I break in for a moment and ask a few questions? I am a musician
by training and profession, and not a linguist or a literary critic, so my
questions may seem thick; my apologies in advance.
I listened to an interview with Ralph Woods, a humanities scholar at Baylor.
When asked about JRRT's view of language, he responded by stating that for
Tolkien, modern language had decayed from earlier languages, where words
were "ontologically rooted in the nature of things," and that the modern
view [perhaps PoMo view?] that language was simply human invention--words
mean whatever we want them to mean--without reference to any reality from
which it might be derived. (sorry for the clunky syntax...ugh!)
So...Is Tolkien's view of language platonic? Does post-modernism reject
this? If so, does such a rejection accomplish a destruction of the platonic
view? Or does an "ontological rootage" of words continue (meaning reality)
despite such an assertion by post-modernists?
Thanks kindly for your help...
Associate Professor of Music
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