Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Mythopoeic Lit. Criticism Manual

Expand Messages
  • MGscifi@aol.com
    I think this is most assuredly a worthwhile endeavor. But should it be done as an addendum to the website, or a running joke? This is the real question... ~
    Message 1 of 13 , Aug 1, 2003
    • 0 Attachment
      I think this is most assuredly a worthwhile endeavor. But should it be done as an addendum to the website, or a running joke? This is the real question...

      ~ Miriel Mardahin
    • Croft, Janet B
      I think it would be great. David Bratman started a discussion earlier this year by listing the qualities he looked for in a MFA nominee for scholarship, and
      Message 2 of 13 , Aug 1, 2003
      • 0 Attachment
        I think it would be great. David Bratman started a discussion earlier this
        year by listing the qualities he looked for in a MFA nominee for
        scholarship, and putting this together with the numinosity meter, the
        turgometer, and a few comments from The Revenge of the Dwems might give us a
        statement of critical philosophy useful for judging the awards, if nothing
        else. Heck, we could start our own critical school of
        post-post-modernism...

        Janet Croft

        -----Original Message-----
        From: MGscifi@... [mailto:MGscifi@...]
        Sent: Friday, August 01, 2003 9:41 AM
        To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: [mythsoc] Mythopoeic Lit. Criticism Manual


        I think this is most assuredly a worthwhile endeavor. But should it be done
        as an addendum to the website, or a running joke? This is the real
        question...

        ~ Miriel Mardahin


        Yahoo! Groups Sponsor

        ADVERTISEMENT

        <http://rd.yahoo.com/M=259538.3625325.4914071.1261774/D=egroupweb/S=17050202
        27:HM/A=1695348/R=0/SIG=11u38u3s2/*http://hits.411web.com/cgi-bin/hit?page=1
        374-105951838331032> click here

        <http://us.adserver.yahoo.com/l?M=259538.3625325.4914071.1261774/D=egroupmai
        l/S=:HM/A=1695348/rand=245988769>

        The Mythopoeic Society website http://www.mythsoc.org
        <http://www.mythsoc.org>

        Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to the Yahoo! Terms of Service
        <http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/> .




        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • SusanPal@aol.com
        In a message dated 8/1/2003 8:50:39 AM Pacific Standard Time, jbcroft@ou.edu ... Which should be properly called the numinosometer, of course. ;-) Oh, and
        Message 3 of 13 , Aug 1, 2003
        • 0 Attachment
          In a message dated 8/1/2003 8:50:39 AM Pacific Standard Time, jbcroft@...
          writes:

          > putting this together with the numinosity meter,

          Which should be properly called the numinosometer, of course. ;-)

          Oh, and Diamond -- even though of us who love the films can enjoy poking fun
          at them!

          Susan


          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • David S. Bratman
          ... But we don t all rank things by the same scale, or consider the scales of the same importance; that s the problem. I enjoyed appearing in The Revenge of
          Message 4 of 13 , Aug 1, 2003
          • 0 Attachment
            At 08:33 AM 8/1/2003 , Janet wrote:
            >putting this together with the numinosity meter, the
            >turgometer, and a few comments from The Revenge of the Dwems might give us a
            >statement of critical philosophy useful for judging the awards, if nothing
            >else.

            But we don't all rank things by the same scale, or consider the scales of
            the same importance; that's the problem.

            I enjoyed appearing in "The Revenge of the Dwems," and was startled by 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.

            - David Bratman
          • alexeik@aol.com
            In a message dated 8/1/3 4:33:48 PM, David Bratman wrote:
            Message 5 of 13 , Aug 1, 2003
            • 0 Attachment
              In a message dated 8/1/3 4:33:48 PM, David Bratman wrote:

              <<I enjoyed appearing in "The Revenge of the Dwems," and was startled by 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
            • Stolzi@aol.com
              In a message dated 8/1/2003 10:55:18 AM Central Daylight Time, ... And (Janet) it s turgidometer, not turgometer. Accent on dom. As for Criteria, it was
              Message 6 of 13 , Aug 1, 2003
              • 0 Attachment
                In a message dated 8/1/2003 10:55:18 AM Central Daylight Time,
                SusanPal@... writes:


                > Which should be properly called the numinosometer, of course. ;-)
                >

                And (Janet) it's "turgidometer," not "turgometer." Accent on "dom."

                As for Criteria, it was pointed out at the same meeting that we have endless
                disagreements/discussions as to what exactly IS the "spirit of the Inklings,"
                our primary criterion of judgment. But I think we should leave it that way
                and not try to over-formulate or imprison it.

                As for REVENGE, since Don Wms (the author) plans if at all possible to be in
                Ann Arbor next year, I'd suggest we whomp up a panel for discussing such
                matters: "Was Post-Modernica right?"

                It seems to me that we can certainly say "what a person is, and the manner in
                which they are educated, strongly affects the way in which they will
                read/perceive any work of literature" - but that's about as far as I am ready to go
                with the post-modernists. However I am very ignorant in this field, I readily
                confess.

                Diamond Proudbrook


                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • Stolzi@aol.com
                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:
                Message 7 of 13 , Aug 2, 2003
                • 0 Attachment
                  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
                  >>
                  >


                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                • Jay Hershberger
                  Message 8 of 13 , Aug 4, 2003
                  • 0 Attachment
                    <<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
                    of
                    their disciples.>>

                    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...

                    Cheers,

                    Jay Hershberger
                    Associate Professor of Music
                    Concordia College
                    Moorhead, MN
                  • ginamarievick
                    So....for those of us who don t know....when and where is next year s Mythcon, anyway?? thanks, gina
                    Message 9 of 13 , Aug 4, 2003
                    • 0 Attachment
                      So....for those of us who don't know....when and where is next
                      year's Mythcon, anyway??


                      thanks,

                      gina
                    • bowring
                      ... 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
                      Message 10 of 13 , Aug 4, 2003
                      • 0 Attachment
                        >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.

                        Kevin
                      • David S. Bratman
                        Date: July 30-August 2, 2004 Venue: sessions at the Michigan League building, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor; housing at the North Campus Holiday Inn Theme:
                        Message 11 of 13 , Aug 4, 2003
                        • 0 Attachment
                          Date: July 30-August 2, 2004
                          Venue: sessions at the Michigan League building, University of Michigan,
                          Ann Arbor; housing at the North Campus Holiday Inn
                          Theme: Bridges to Other Worlds: 35 Years of Mythopoeic Scholarship
                          Guests: Neil Gaiman and Charles A. Huttar
                          Membership: $50 for Mythopoeic Society members, $60 for non-members
                          Address: Marion Van Loo, Box 71, Napoleon MI 49261; checks to The
                          Mythopoeic Society
                          Website: info will be at www.mythsoc.org soon


                          At 10:30 AM 8/4/2003 , gina wrote:
                          >So....for those of us who don't know....when and where is next
                          >year's Mythcon, anyway??
                        • Jay Hershberger
                          K: 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
                          Message 12 of 13 , Aug 5, 2003
                          • 0 Attachment
                            K: 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!

                            K: 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.

                            JH: Kevin, this is precisely the kind of anecdote that leads me to
                            questions about the philosophy of language currently in vogue in academic
                            circles. Of course, to motivate your theory professor into committing an
                            act of humiliation on another person demonstrates that perhaps he is unable
                            to live according to his own theories about the relevance of truth in
                            literary matters. It seems to me, but remember that I am not a literary
                            critic, only a layperson, if he really believes his position, then it would
                            not matter to him one way or 'tother whether you would ask questions,
                            comply, or be silent. His very act of humiliating students who asked
                            questions destroys his position. He cannot escape from questions about
                            validity, intelligibility, or truth. Or so it seems to me. Am I on track?
                            Or do I suffer from the same malady that you and other questioning students
                            suffer? :)

                            Cheers,

                            Jay Hershberger
                          • bowring
                            (I am having trouble with my email, so I am not sure if this email originally got sent out. Here it is, perhaps for the second time--if so, apologies to
                            Message 13 of 13 , Aug 7, 2003
                            • 0 Attachment
                              (I am having trouble with my email, so I am not sure if this email originally
                              got sent out. Here it is, perhaps for the second time--if so, apologies to
                              everyone.)

                              >JH: Kevin, this is precisely the kind of anecdote that leads me to
                              >questions about the philosophy of language currently in vogue in academic
                              >circles. Of course, to motivate your theory professor into committing an
                              >act of humiliation on another person demonstrates that perhaps he is unable
                              >to live according to his own theories about the relevance of truth in
                              >literary matters. It seems to me, but remember that I am not a literary
                              >critic, only a layperson, if he really believes his position, then it would
                              >not matter to him one way or 'tother whether you would ask questions,
                              >comply, or be silent. His very act of humiliating students who asked
                              >questions destroys his position. He cannot escape from questions about
                              >validity, intelligibility, or truth. Or so it seems to me. Am I on track?
                              >Or do I suffer from the same malady that you and other questioning students
                              >suffer?

                              I think you may underestimate the degree of unacknowledged--perhaps
                              deliberately so--irrationality or even anti-rationality at play in these
                              "language games". Very often, perhaps more often than not, there are
                              "political" agendas at work. Another anecdote: We had been reading some
                              article or other by Foucault in
                              which, in good Nietzschean fashion, he had reduced reason to power. I got into
                              an argument with another student, who happened to be a rather ardent feminist,
                              who thought that Foucault's position was useful in undermining the
                              "phallocentricity" of reason. So I asked her whether there wasn't something
                              reasonable about her claims--moral claims as well as political--about the
                              equality of women. If it is really only a question of power and who holds it,
                              the distinction between her position and that of, as I said at the time,
                              David Duke's was simply reducible to that of "whoever holds the means of power
                              determines what is right." She adamantly agreed: reasonableness and morality,
                              etc., were not at issue; obtaining the power necessary to enforce your
                              position was.

                              Is this a position that one can hold consistently and coherently? I don't
                              think so.
                              Is it one that can be held insistently and in the face of any possible
                              evidence to the contrary? I am afraid it can.
                              Indeed, whatever evidence there may be to the contrary can with surprizing
                              ease be read out of court in accordance with whatever ideological structure
                              one adheres to.
                            Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.