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March 26, 2007

Language Lies (Just like Flannery O'Connor's short story characters)

Keesey, Ch 6 (Introduction) -- Jerz EL312 (Literary Criticism)

"The poem, by frankly announcing itself as a rhetorical or metaphorical structure, rather than trying to conceal this condition as "nonpoetic" language does, becomes the only truly honest language. This seems to be the deconstructivists' version of the old idea that poets never lie because they never affirm. In this version, the poet's language affirms only that it lies - which at least puts it one up on everybody else's language" (349).

Does anyone else find it fascinating that we are personifying language in this context in order to explain how the language works and claim that it is rhetorical and metaphorical? I certainly do.

Anyway, I would like to address something that is confusing me. Is deconstruction the same thing or a type of poststructuralism? And what is the relation to postmodernism to poststructuralism? Or is that something I will discover as I read Postmortem for a Postmodernist? I think that Jay is correct in saying that it seems that they just want to confuse us as much as possible. I will admit, the way this structuralism seems to work hurts my brain as I read about it in the introduction because it deals with such complex and abstract concepts, like poetry being the only truthful literature because it admits to being a liar and the difficulty of finding the origin of the systems that language is made up of that we need to exist in order to understand anything at all in language. Which does make sense, but the idea of discovering where it all began is just mind-boggling. But, as one of my residents actually very wisely says: "It makes sense if you don't think about it"

Posted by LorinSchumacher at March 26, 2007 8:07 PM


You're asking a lot of the same questions I'm thinking about, Lorin. I guess it's nice to know I'm not alone. If it makes you feel any better, I tried to read this intro on the train ride back from New York (with the idea in mind that I couldn't just put down the book and do something like get on the internet... which sometimes happens) and actually gave myself a headache.

I'll be anxious to hear what everyone has to say in class tonight. (You included!)

Posted by: Karissa at March 29, 2007 2:36 PM

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