Thursday, April 17, 2008

Against Theory

In truth, I had a rather tough time following a lot of the reasoning laid out by the authors of this piece. At first, they present the scenario of the ocean writing a Wordsworth poem in the sand of a beach. From here, they fly through a series of explanations as to what could have caused this appearance until they reach the conclusion that the poem could not possibly be language, and should therefore be meaningless, if it was written by the ocean. With this statement, they completely disregard the importance of an individual's perceptions of a text, as they do repeatedly in their attacks upon the ideas expressed through literary theories themselves. They have effectively stripped away the human element that not only seeks understanding, but is, in the end, the only involved party that can possibly understand anything. Further, they attack the very foundations of language itself, citing other theorists who have postulated that language is some sort of aberration of pure sound. Not much of this makes a lot of sense to me, but the ending seems to contradict the entirety of the rest of the piece, with a sudden shift to the reader's beliefs vs facts.

1 comment:

Jeremy Andrew DeFatta said...

"shift to readers' beliefs vs fact" should end the last line. Sorry about that, Blogger must disagree me on a frequent basis.