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9906RE: [mythsoc] Mythopoeic Lit. Criticism Manual

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  • bowring
    Aug 4, 2003
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      >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.

      Since I haven't seen the play, I cannot comment on that, but I am sympathetic
      to what Donald Williams is complaining of. One of my favorite moments while
      doing graduate work in Comparative Literature came when I asked the professor
      I was studying with whether he thought what a French Postmodernist was saying
      "was true": "Merely to ask such a question as that of 'truth'", he said,
      "shows that you are still caught up in the metaphysics of presence." Well,
      that certainly put me in my place: truth is not what we're after!

      The theory class with him was one of the strangest I had ever experienced: it
      was impossible to challenge any of the theorists by argument; many students
      raised questions about the validity and even intelligibility of the theories,
      but this professor would simply turn to one of the two students who had all
      the postmodern jargon down pat and solemnly call on them answer; we all soon
      discovered that this was his method of humiliating anyone who raised questions
      into compliance--or at least silence. There was a very definite "language
      game" being played.

      I am now finishing my dissertation in a Ph.D. program, but sadly I can't say
      that these types of experiences have been untypical.

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