Read as poetry it's beautiful (that's where the four stars come from). As philosophy it's vague and blemished. As literary theory it's highly questionRead as poetry it's beautiful (that's where the four stars come from). As philosophy it's vague and blemished. As literary theory it's highly questionable.
I'd need a quick refresher to get more detailed. It's been over five years since I read it. I just hesitantly raised it from a three star rating to a four. The operative word there being hesitantly.
In a fairly recent interview, John Searle--a contemporary and now elder philosopher--makes a great couple of points about academic writing in general, which happens to sum up the form my above-mentioned hesitation takes:
"It [writing] has enormous meta-cognitive implications. The power is this: That you cannot only think in ways that you could not possibly think if you did not have the written word, but you can now think about the thinking that you do with the written word. There is danger in this, and the danger is that the enormous expressive and self-referential capacities of the written word, that is, the capacities to keep referring to referring to referring, will reach a point where you lose contact with the real world. And this, believe me, is very common in universities. There's a technical name for it, I don't know if we can use it on television, it's called "bullshit." But this is very common in academic life, where people just get a form of self-referentiality of the language, where the language is talking about the language, which is talking about the language, and in the end, it's hot air. That's another name for the same phenomenon."
What I can still say with some confidence is that the book is a very short and rather breezy read, which is written as a gorgeous, oft-erotic, mid-20th-century-French-intellectual-style love letter to the The Written Word....more
Q: I’ve recently become particulary interested in structural linguistics, more specifically laryngeal theory. I’m wondering if anyone has[image error]
Q: I’ve recently become particulary interested in structural linguistics, more specifically laryngeal theory. I’m wondering if anyone has read something on why the original laryngeals have disappeared? ...assuming they existed, of course.
And then my A: All I’m familiar with regarding structural linguistics is the foundational text of Saussure’s, Course in General Linguistics, which when I read it a few year ago I mostly found to be tedious and unsurprising. I can appreciate it as a historical landmark but that’s about it. I’m also a little familiar with Foucault’s structuralist work as well, but this focuses less on linguistics as far as I know and Foucault is also often described (never by himself as he characteristically rejected both labels) as post-structuralist/deconstructionist as well. I’m not a huge fan of Foucault but I do think he is perhaps lumped in with these movements a bit unfairly and is then written off due to this non-chosen association. I’ve liked much of the relatively small amount of his work that I read years ago. But then again, my philosophical alignments have changed a bit sense then as well, so who knows... I also see him mostly as a philosopher of history, or a historian with a philosophical bent, considering that most of what I’ve read of his has been historical analysis....more