Wednesday, January 11, 2006

i.e.

TELL them to read those books and SHOW them how to use the library.

Curiosity will kill the cat.

6 comments:

Presskorn said...

Like your thought experiment....perhaps due my daily aquintance with it's very opposite.

"Imagine someone saying, "I only know Hamlet, Ulysses and the Untersuchungen." "
- Now that would truly be a peculiar thing to say, but I wonder whether the sort of 'proud modesty' implicated in such a statement would not, in fact, be very natural to someone, who had exclusively studied exactly these three works?

Anyway the little set of implied "homologies"(Hamlet is to Quixote what PU is to S&Z etc.)is also interesting.
In a peculiar way, the fist group(Hamlet, Ulysses and the Untersuchungen.) strikes me as opening a wider set possiblities for an academic discourse than than the second group - perhaps because the first group texts are more 'fragmentary' in character('fragmentary' is not the right word, perhaps rather: 'more partitioned' in character). They seem to have wider use, since they possess less 'textual telos'..(This could be all wrong...)

Anyway, I hope the Ideal Dean will stop by the pangrammaticon and take time to read your suggestion...

Presskorn said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Thomas Basbøll said...

Thanks for the encouragment. Yes, one of the most illuminating features of this little ideogram of "modern language" is the glaring contrast with the status quo.

I think, as tendencies, that the first group suggests and anglo-analytic-modernist bent, while the second group would appeal more to franco-continental-postmodernist leaning students. (These are just leanings, shorthand, I think the tension between them would be much more fruitful in this programme than the mo/pomo debates generally are.)

With the exception of Ulysses (and even this is not quite true) there is a tellingly "unfinished" and perhaps fragmentary character in all the books, which I hadn't thought of till you pointed it out.

What we know of how they were made brings their imperfections (as realizations of their author's projects) to the fore. And this allows us to proceed without particular ties to "author intention". That might be one of things I like about them all.

Thomas Basbøll said...

Oh, yeah, glad you spotted those homologies. Neat, huh?

Presskorn said...

Off the point, but apropos of (unfruitful) mo/pomo debates... since our above determinations loosely imply it, I am reminded of a viewpoint, that somewhat appeals to me, namely, that the fragment(ary), despite the pomo-jargon, belongs to modernist discourse rather than to the postmodernist discourse. Wittgensteins Investigations is an example in point and Blanchot is excellent on this subject, but it is Schlegel that has the ultimate one-liner: “Many works of the ancients have become fragments, while many works of the moderns are fragments right from their beginning.”.....

Thomas Basbøll said...

Yes, but I think we have to careful in opposing postmodernism to modernism in the sense you suggest. After all, literary modernism is not the ideology of modernity. Postmodernism attacks the latter, often by drawing on the former. This fault line, however, is rarely very clearly drawn. Mainly, to go back to the Open Letter, because the key works are just not being read.