9. Linguistics and Literature



last time I lectured under the illusion that all you had been assigned for I really should get in the habit of looking at the syllabus that all you all you had been assigned for Thursday's lecture was the so soo-ah lo and behold I did take a glance at the syllabus over the weekend and realize that you'd also been assigned to levy strokes so we have a little bit of ground to cover today I think we can do it I think I want to reserve something like a critique of structuralism for the beginning of Thursday's lecture because it segues very nicely into what we'll have to say about Derrida I already promised that somehow or another the critique of structuralism just was deconstruction and I hope to be able to demonstrate that on Thursday but I do want to get up to the point of launching a critique of structuralism on two or three grounds and so I hope to be able to move along fairly quickly today now another thing that got left out even given the proviso that it was only about so sir on Thursday was an adequate account of the relationship between synchrony and diachrony and the pivotal importance of this concept for not only for semiotics but for its aftermath in structuralism and also for its relation to the Russian formalists because you remember that in talking about function the formalists who began who undertook to think about literary history and the problems of literary historiography were very much engaged in the notion that a function in a given text could be understood in two different ways there was the sin function which was the relationship between that function and all the other functions in the text in other words viewed as an aspect of that text but there was also of the same function its auto function which is the way in which it persists and recurs throughout the history of literature sometimes as the dominant sometimes latent or recessive but always in one form or another they're now in so they're in linguistics the relationship between synchrony and diachrony is very much the same to consider language in toto is to consider it at a given moment sin chronically that is to say you don't think of language as a system if at the same time you're thinking of it unfolding historically now Jakub sin you will notice introduces an element of time into the synchronic analysis of a semiotic system by saying that you've got to take account both of archaic and innovative features but nevertheless they are simply flagged as archaic or innovative and not understood as changing in time as long as they are read or analyzed sand chronically but at the same token a system does change through time a semiotic system language the history of literature the history of poetics whatever it might be changes through time and to analyze that change through time you think of it diachronic lee now so sarah argues that the relationship among the parts of something viewed synchronically a semiotic system let's say are not necessary in the sense they might be any number of other relationships but they are nevertheless fixed that is to say they're what's there they can't be other than what they are whereas through time studying a semiotic system or studying language or whatever it might be change takes place and it's necessary you're looking back on it and it simply did happen and so change is determinant in some sense but at the same time it's not regular this by the way is a challenge to certain ideas in traditional linguistics like for example the one you probably all know the great vowel shift the a structuralist view of language has to argue that the great great vowel shift in which every vowel sound goes up a notch in the some mysterious period between the medieval in the early modern that this only has the appearance of regularity but that it is actually a diachronic phenomenon that can't be understood in terms of regularity so the relationship between synchronic and diachronic is of that kind now matters are complicated a little bit on those occasions in your reading when people are talking about the way in which a mass of material a system of language or other semiotic system let's say is inferred from existing data in other words the way in which I infer language long from sentences Paul from a sense parole I'm actually concealing from you that in fact so sir uses a third term long gosh to talk about the sum of all sentences we won't get into that the way in which language is inferred from parole now language in other words is viewed as something in space that is to say or as levy Strauss calls it a revert of all time meaning you can go backward and forward within it but the temporal unfolding is not the important thing about it so in space whereas parole speech unfolds in time so that parole because it is temporal because any speech any of us makes is in a certain sense historical the beginning of the sentence is earlier in history than the end of the sentence for that reason there's a relationship between diachrony and the unfolding of parole or of a sentence or of an utterance which is parallel though at the same time admittedly confusing one doesn't really want to talk about a sentence as diachronic but at the same time it does exist on that horizontal axis in which things in a combinatory way unfold in time alright so so much then for synchrony and diachrony something we can't get away from it's it's it's it's in a way the central fact of structuralism but which I don't think I did adequate just to justice to at the end of the last lecture all right now structuralism there was an incredible aura about structuralism in the 1960s it crashed on the shores of the United States coming in from France in a way that stunned amazed transformed people's lives people like Caan treating Hume woke up from their dogmatic slumbers or they or at least that they felt that that's what they were doing when encountering structuralism and I mean to me it happened when I was a graduate student at Harvard and absolutely nobody else was paying any attention to it at all at Yale and Johns Hopkins and Cornell and some other people they were paying attention to it but at Harvard I was initiated to structuralism by a bright undergraduate who seemed to be the own the only person in Cambridge who knew anything about structural has been boy did he know about structuralism and got me up to speed as quickly as as he could but it was a phenomenon that was transformative intellectually for people in the academic and beyond the academic world all over the country and of course it led to in all sorts of ways – most of what's been going on in theory ever since the amazing thing about it is that as a flourishing and undisputed French contribution to literary theory it lasted two years because in 1966 at a famous conference Jacques Derrida whom we'll be reading on Thursday blew it out of the water but at the same time and I'll come back to that at the same time that is I mean to say that it really only lasted two years simply isn't fair the lasting contribution of structuralism as its indebted to semiotic but on its own terms at well as something one still feels and senses throughout literary theory and the concrete contributions not all between 1964 when the first structuralist texts were translated in this country in 1966 when the conference in Baltimore took place but the lasting concrete contributions are also terribly important there's a wonderful book called on roots on Racine by roll on back those of you interested in French neoclassical theater cannot imagine if you haven't read it already recent reading a more bracing book there is an essay on a sonnet of Baudelaire Lygia the cats by written conjointly by lévi-strauss and jakob s'en and extraordinary performance which was the model of a good deal else that was done in the Academy during that period the anthropologist Edmund leash leach wrote a structuralist analysis of genesis in the bible and indeed it's no accident that he writes about genesis as i will indicate in a minute and then subsequently and and in addition to all of that probably the most lasting and rich contributions of the structuralist were in the field that we know as narratology we'll be taking a look at that when we read peter Brooks's text in confront in conjunction with freud a couple of weeks from now but in the meantime the key text in narratology again by rule embarked a long long essay called the structural analysis of narrative in which he approaches a James Bond novel as a system of binary pairs and and and and and and and unpacks a deep structure in the novel as a result of this of this of his binary analysis important books bites fate on Todorov crucial among them the grammar of the de Cameron and then a great deal of work published in a series of books called figure by Jean Genet whom you will find quoted repeatedly in the work of paul de mon that you'll be for for next Tuesday and all of this work and a great deal else in the theory of narrative narratology is directly indebted to or is actually an aspect of structuralist thought now I promised that I would talk a little bit about the relationship between formalism and semiotic s– as it clarifies itself in the work of writers like levy Strauss and in particular jakob sim structuralism takes from as you can see from Jakob syns analysis takes from formalism the idea of function jakob s'en is originally of course himself a member of the school of russian formalists eventually emigrates to prague where he is in a circle of people who are already calling themselves structuralists moves from there to paris and then to the United States and so Jakob s'en of course is the one figure who definitely harkens back to both worlds having been a formalist having become a structuralist one can see the amalgam of these two of these two sets of ideas in his work in his work from formal upfront from formalism then you get the idea of function and the relationship between sin function and auto function which becomes the relationship between synchrony and diachrony from semiotics you get the idea of negative knowledge that is to say the in levy Strauss's analysis of the Oedipus myth for example the notion that there's no true version there's no original version there's no sort of positive version of the myth of which everything else is a version you simply know what you know as it is differentiated from the other things that you know this one of the essential premises of semiotics which is essential at the same time in structuralism now unlike because here's where structuralism can be understood as an entity in itself unlike formalism structuralism has an ambition with respect to the object to the nature of the object which is quite new and I think that the best way to epitomize that is to turn to an aphorism of roll-on Bock in the essay the structuralist activity on page 871 toward the bottom of the right-hand column we're back says structural man takes the real decomposes it then recomposes it this is the moment in which you can see the radical difference between what structuralism is doing and what formalism is doing formalism takes the object and it doesn't decompose it it sees the object as it is it just breaks it down into its respective functions showing them dynamically in relationship with each other and as a system of dominance and subordination all of it understood as the way in which something is made the way in which it is put together but there's no question of anything other than the object Gogol's overcoat Cervantes Don Quixote Stern's tristram shandy these are objects and there's no question of somehow or another creating a virtual object for example the novel out of one's remarks about individual text in a way though that's what as you can see again from levy Strauss's analysis of the Oedipus myth that's what structuralism is doing as brauch says structural man takes the real decomposes it then recomposes it so what he means by that is you take a bunch of variants versions you take a bunch of data not necessarily all the data but a representative amount of the data relevant to any given idea or concept and then you say well what are the and this is where he gets into the idea of this is where he gets into the idea of gross constituent units what are the basic constituent units of all of these items of data oh yeah I see we can put them into a pattern we'll work on this a little bit in a minute yeah I see how this is working as a matter of fact there is a kind of virtual object that I can begin to observe as I organize the data that I garner from all the individual entities are versions that that that fall under this umbrella and that's the recomposition not of any particular object but of a kind of virtual object which begins to emerge from ones in analysis in the case of levee Strauss's texts the meaning of the Oedipus myth that's the virtual object that structuralist analysis arrives at by arranging analyzing and classifying the data that it can get from all the available versions of the Oedipus myth so structuralism decomposes but not just for the sake of seeing how something works like taking apart the parts of an engine not just to see how something works but in order to lend the parts to an analysis of a body of materials that makes it possible to recompose all those parts in a new virtual object that's what's going on in what bhakta calls the structuralist activity so quickly let's take a look at the levee strauss chart if you want to call it that of the Oedipus myth which is on page 864 in your text and just say a word or two about it he takes a lot of versions let's not trouble ourselves with how many he doesn't have nearly as many versions by the way as he would have if he were studying a North American Indian myth or a or the sorts of myths that he did study in a variety of versions as an anthropologist but he has some versions one of them by the way Freud's version one of them Sophocles version and a variety of versions besides those and he says you know as you look at these various versions you can see that certain things are basically happening and they fall into certain discrete categories we can put them in columns that is to say in terms of the way in which they share a common theme but we can also put those columns in a row so that we can Annette so that we can analyze the way in which the columns relate to each other for example there's a group of events happenstances sort of at naming accidents and so on that falls into a common a column called overdetermination of blood relations that is to say when when Antigone tries to bury her brother and goes to the wall for that in ways that you might find excessive that's an overdetermined determination of blood relations then and then you notice that at the same time there's a series of actions in the myth going all the way back to Oedipus's family history and then down through the history of his offspring and so on that there's also a series of actions which have to do with the undervaluation of blood relations you know people well they don't really seem to care as much about blood relations as they should and as a result of that bad things happen too and then there's and then there's a column of of issues which have to do with the way in which we currently in all the versions of the myths there seems to be a strange preoccupation with that which is born from the earth monsters you know the teeth of monsters that are scattered and become the alphabet in the story of Cadmus and the variety of ways in which heroes have to confront monsters as Oedipus confronts the stupidest Fink's and all of these monsters are are understood as not being born from parents as being born from two things but instead as emerging from the earth they are sonic or autochthonous in lévi-strauss is word and there seems to be a strange preoccupation with the art with autochthony in this myth but this is but but but this is offset by the way in which a but by the by the way in which that is to say with fending off autochthony as if the crucial thing were to insist on the binary parental relationship that produces us to be reassured in our humanity by the idea that one of us is born from two but then on the other hand there are all kinds of things in the myth which are also preoccupied with autop with awe toxin in precisely the opposite way lambda the word that begins so many of the names of the figures in Oedipus is genealogy lab Dacus Laius and so on lambda looks like a limping person right Oedipus means swell foot one who limps and what emerges in the fourth column is the idea that there are signs of autochthony in our own makeup the reason we limp is that we have a foot of clay that's something of the earth from which we were born sticks to us and this is a recurrent pattern a recurrent idea in the unfolding of the Oedipus myth it's it's it's a peculiar thing but notice that this is one of those occasions on which the myth explodes into other cultures Adam means red clay Adam is born from the earth in the sense that red clay is taken from the earth and he is created and there seems to be the same preoccupation with autochthony in the Oedipus myth as well one of the interesting links of that myth with the Christian myth of the origin of man so you got four columns overvaluation of blood relations undervaluation of blood relations denial of autochthony persistence of autochthony alright I'm going to leave it at that for now because we'll come back later to see what interesting thing is going on in the way in which these four columns are all about two versus one that is to say whether or not we are born from – or born from one and I want to come back to that – that in the context of showing that in a certain way the question whether things come from two ideas for example come from – two different things or whether ideas come from one object is after all this question is itself an allegory of the structuralist activity that's what structuralism itself is about and that's what makes it so interesting and even perhaps peculiar that Letta Straus is able to defined not just any thought in a myth but the very thinking that he himself is doing about the myth so and that of course may have something to do with your sense that surely decomposing in order to reconstruct recompose creating a virtual systemic object notice that i've made this a dotted line creating a virtual systemic object that there's a kind of a circularity in that you know you look at I mean I I hope I've explained lévi-strauss has four columns intelligently but if you look at those four columns you say to yourself how on earth did he come up with that you know and he himself says oh well maybe I could have done it some other way oh yeah and and he's and you say to yourself how can this become Desai's how can it become authoritative right you can see what he's doing and by the way you can confirm it by thinking of things that he leaves out Jocasta hangs herself he doesn't mention that it's not in any of the four columns but obviously that has something to do you can take your choice either between the overdetermination or under determination of blood relation she feels guilty because she committed incest right Oedipus well at his birth is hamstrung and exposed on Mount kisser on yep lévi-strauss doesn't mention that either but obviously that's why Oedipus limps Oedipus is a limping person like the letter lambda right and so plainly that must have something to do with the persistence of autochthony and finally if you read the Oedipus at Colonus you know that at the end of it Oedipus when he dies is swallowed up by the earth dust thou art to dust thou shalt return the this that the equivalent of this in the Oedipus myth is that where I came from the earth is where I will go and he becomes a kind of genius of the place at Colonus as a result of having been swallowed up there he becomes a kind of a presiding spirit or genius of the place so all of those things which we ourselves thought of he didn't think of me didn't put him it you didn't put him in his diagram can however be put in his diagram and if that's the case we have to say to ourselves there might be something in this maybe maybe this is a plausible and interesting way of arranging these materials so I really do think that ought to be said in defense of what may seem however to be a somewhat arbitrary exercise now turning dioxin you may say with all this emphasis I've been throwing on decomposing in order to recompose that you don't see that going on in what Jakob s'en is saying you you may say to yourself well he seems to be just doing formalism you know he breaks he breaks any speech act into its into six functions he talks about the inter determinacy of those six functions with a certain result that sounds just like formalism you say well one way to show the way in which what your cousin is doing is structuralist is to say that after all in this essay there's a lot more of the essay by the way which your editor doesn't give you it's mostly about versification which is the long-standing specialty of Jakob Sion's work Russian versification check versification and so on and a little technical but it is all about the poetic function after all this essay is about the poetic function what the formalists would call literary nuts but Jakob s'en has a real contribution to make to this notion of the poetic function and what it is is basically this the poetic function and I'm going to quote this for the first time it's on page 858 in the left-hand column and it's a mouthful the poetic function projects the principle of equivalence from the axis of selection to the axis of combination now you understand the poetic function projects the principle of equivalence from the axis of selection to the axis of combination what is the principle of equivalence you've got that you've got a good deal of it the privilege of equivalent can be understood as what Jakob s'en in the aphasia essay calls metaphor that is to say the way in which remember you remember the last time I talked about how signs cluster on the verdict in the vertical axis if we understand language as a system there are some signs that relate other signs in ways that they probably don't relate to yet other signs and then I had an incredible lapse of memory I couldn't remember a synonym for ship but I still hope that I got I still got I hope that I got my point across to you and indicated that there are varieties of ways in which any given sign cluster with other signs those ways of clustering are what Jakob sim calls the principle of equivalence what is it well it's the way in which signs are are similar to each other or are dissimilar to each other if that sounds too vague maybe it's better not to use language of difference or similarity but actually to use language of opposition in other words the way in which signs are virtually synonymous or the way in which signs are really and truly opposed to each other obviously it stretches at just as in versification you don't just have full rhyme you have slant rhyme these relationships stretch in in the innovative varieties of ways of this kind but the principle of a kit of equivalents is the way in which signs understood as phonemes lexemes tag memes however you want to understand them the way in which signs are similar or dissimilar they the the readiness with which we combine signs of that kind is what a person attending to the poetic function looks for if the utterance seems to involve a predominance of equivalences of various kinds then this utterance which is unfolding on the axis of combination right is the result of having projected that principle of equivalence call it metaphor call it a principle of civil similarity or dissimilarity to from the axis of selection that is to say that axis perhaps a virtual one in which language is a system to the axis of combination that real axis because nobody doubts the existence of speech that real axis in which language is not a system but has become speech unfolding in time the principle of the poetic function however can be understood then as the metaphors ation of what is otherwise metonymic in other words if I put together a sentence what I'm doing is I'm putting words next to each other and that's what my and metonymy is the is is the a selection of signs if you will that go appropriately next to each other according to the rules of grammar and syntax according to the rules of logic right but also perhaps in the ways in which the RET the rhetorical device of matança metonymy can be understood if I say I mean if I say hot instead of house I'm using an example actually taken from Jakob since aphasia sa if I say hot instead of house and if I say the Hut is small there is a metonymic relationship implied with houses shacks mansions other sorts of edifice but which can only really be resolved perhaps by the unfolding of the logic of the sentence as in when I say the Hut is small and so common combinatory processes borrowing the rhetorical term metonymy as that which is next to each other are basically metonymic the available signs to be selected on the other hand on the axis of selection are selected for certain purposes if they are metaphoric obviously if I'm just making a sentence I'm not selecting signs because they're metaphoric on selected because I select them because they go easily next to each other either for reasons of grammar or syntax or logic now let's look at Jakob since six functions taken all together I think this is by no means difficult and I think that Jakob syns analysis of the six functions is just absolutely totally brilliant in fact I think I think that I mean I'm so profoundly convinced by what Jakob s'en says about these six functions that I really think there isn't much else to say about an utterance I obviously in different registers there's lots to say but in the spirit of Jakob Sounion analysis there's really pot there's no possible you can complaint you can make about this except possibly one which I probably won't get to until next time but in the meantime it's just staggeringly effective and let me use the example of a word of it of an expression which is surely as uninteresting I've groped as much as I could to find the most uninteresting possible expression to show the way in which any utterance whatsoever hat entails these six functions it is raining boy excitement rains as they say so in any case let's say let's say that I am an a dresser that is to say I'm a romantic poet and I say I probably ill-advisedly if I'm a poet but I'm a Romantic poet and I say you know sort of waking everybody up when I say it is raining huh alright what do I mean what do I mean if I'm a Romantic poet I what I'm what I mean to say is I'm singing in the rain or it's raining in my heart in other words I'm expressing I'm expressing something emotional in saying it is raining so that sense of the expression it is raining is what yoson calls the emotive function now I'm being addressed the thrust of the message is toward the addressee it's being spoken by an address ER but it's aimed at an addressee that addressee is a small child going out the door without his coat on and his mother or father says it is raining right which means of course as a co native function as a command as something which has a design on the addressee what it means is put your coat on but you don't necessarily say put your coat on you say it is raining and that's the cognitive function that's this at what y'all concern calls the set to the addressee that is to say the basic dominant bearing that the message has the set is a set to the addressee now there's a context for any utterance this much I suppose none of us would think to disagree with I'm a weather man I'm a meteorologist right I don't even have to look out the window I look at my charts and I and I announce confidently through the microphone it is raining all right and everybody takes me seriously I mean it's it the referential function of it is raining is supposed to convey information I'm a weatherman I'm supposed to know what I'm talking about so if somebody so if a weatherman tells me it is raining I believe that it is raining I put my hand out the door and sure enough it is raining and the referential function the dominant in the expression it is raining as referential function has been confirmed I don't expect the weatherman to be set to be telling me somehow secretly that he's crying when he says it is raining right right I expect him I expect him to tell me the truth about the weather right and that's what and that's what I'm listening to him for all right not the set to the contact jockelson gives you that those wonderful examples from Dorothy Parker's representation of a date Jeff oh boy well here we are yeah here we are yeah we sure are here and so on right in other words in a state of abject and acute nervousness filling the air with words right so that so that you know you're on a date all right and you can't think of anything to say I really feel sorry for you ah you're on a date and you can't think of anything to say so they say it is raining and of course your interlocutor says yeah it's raining and and you say it's raining hard you know and well yeah maybe it'll stop soon and so you know and so the conversation continues and that's the Phatak function checking to make sure the contact is working testing one two three can you hear me that's what the set to the contact is anything that confirms that you're actually sort of in communication with somebody and anything we can say has that component I mean if I'm a physicist and I'm going out on a date with another physicist I say e MC equals MC squared you know and I'm not saying e equals MC squared I'm filling the air with words and so once again it's the set to the contact and any message in the right context has that function the set to the code is when we're not sure that we share adequately share the code with another person on a given occasion so that we back away from simply saying things to make sure that what we're saying is clear in other words to define them I say there's a mare in the field somebody says what is a mare well it's a female horse well it's a female horse is the metalingual function but we're talking about it is raining this is where it really gets interesting the most interesting thing about it is raining in terms of these six functions is metalingual because what on earth is it right yet somebody tells me it is raining I say what what are you talking about what is it I don't I have absolutely no idea what you're saying I've noticed that other languages have the same weird phenomenon you pleure s pregnant what on earth does any of that mean what is you what is s what is it is it God is it Jupiter prove is that the cloud happy well sort of is the cloud canopy but that's that that's sort of clearly not what's meant by it right it is a kind of grammatical and syntactical anomaly which is extremely difficult even for linguists to analyze and to explain and that so that when I try to say it is raining I can expect the metalingual and if I'm talking to a literalist of course I can expect the metalingual function to kick in and in fact bite me in the shin it is it is no picnic with the metalingual function in mind saying it is raining what kind of a definition of it is it's raining and so and so problems arise but they're interesting problems and there are a function one of the six functions of the expression it is raining poetic function is unfortunately not very interesting that's the one that's the one drawback of this example but there's still plenty to say it and the in raining which one can hear the double e in raining the the mono syllables suggesting you know sort of a kind of a quick declaration of something followed by a sense of duration that one always feels when one is aware of rain coming out it is raining so that the so that the duration or prolongation of the word has a kind of semantic value indicating to us that this is something ongoing in other words a variety of a variety of ways in which the poetic function of it is raining can be considered for the poetic function to be dominant as I suggested when I said a Romantic poet wouldn't be very smart if he or she said it was raining for the for the poetic function to be dominant would really be taxing for anyone who wanted to make it so but it could be any function could be the dominant in a certain situation of any given utterance and so the so that then sort of perhaps to suffice as an analysis of of Jakob stones understanding of the structure of an utterance and it has a structure insofar that is to say a metaphoric as opposed to a metonymic structure insofar as we observe the presence of some kind of pressure from the axis of selection the principle of equivalence in the axis of selection bringing itself to bear on the way in which the combination takes place it's just incredible that you know you say it is raining what could be more prozac than it is raining and all of a sudden you've noticed that string of eyes you notice all kinds of other things about it I mean it is it is the the way in which the most banal utterance is combined is likely in one form or another almost unavoidable I suppose I should use the strong argument and say unavoidably is likely unavoidably to n tail aspects of the poetic function where the poetic function is dominant you have literary honest and that of course is the old object of scientific attention of the Russian formalists but it is refined in a way that I think is structuralist by oxen because he insists on the binary nature of the process of combining elements from the axis of selection if they are equivalent binary being same opposite similar dissimilar and the variety of patterns in which those relations same opposite similar dissimilar can be launched into use now I've actually reached the point at which act at which possibly I could get involved in some elements of critique and I suppose I'll begin I may not finish but we can always carry over in into the next lecture so since we've been talking about Jakob soon let me call your attention to one problem in what seems to me otherwise to be a truly remarkable exercise of thought and that problem arises on page 858 and he himself recognizes that it's a problem he acknowledges it's a problem but he wants to say that he solved it in saying what he says it's about it's a it's it's about two-thirds of the way down the page and it's about the relationship between the poetic function and the metalingual function between the set to the message and the set to the code as he puts it and this buddy said it may be objected and here we are objecting right it may be objected that meta language also makes a sequential use of equivalent units when combining synonym ik expressions into an equation assent ins a equals a mayor is the female of the horse poetry and meta language however are in diam diam Etra chol opposition to each other they're not the same right there in diametrical opposition to each other in meta language the sequence is used to build an equation in other words to prove that two things are that that that one that one term can be understood in terms of other terms the sequence is used to build acquit whereas in poetry the equation is used to build a sequence okay now in one sense this is true obviously yes that is I know what I'm speaking mental language and I know when I'm speaking poetry maybe you know it too but what Jakob s'en has actually done is he sort of posed a structuralist nerve because he has appealed to intention that is to say he said the metalingual expression has one intention and the poetic expression has another intention what does that mean it has a Genesis it has an origin in an intending consciousness just as in traditions not structuralist things have origins in prior causes and not in their structural relationship between two things in other words if structuralism is a critique of Genesis as like as is the case with Edmund leashes analysis of the biblical text Genesis as is the case certainly with levy Strauss's understanding of the Oedipus myth from – and not from one if structuralism is a critique of Genesis what happens when you have to make a distinction between two entities in your system the poetic function and the metalingual function in terms of their Genesis that is to say in terms of the intention that stands behind them as I say the example seems trivial because we're all more than prepared to agree with Jakob s'en that we know the difference when we see it between the metalingual and the poetic functions but he's not actually saying we know the difference when we see it maybe it would have been better if he had said it well anybody could see what's metalingual and was poet maybe you know maybe it would have been better if he had what he says instead is metalingual is intended to do one thing poetic is intended to do another thing that that opens actually a can of worms about all six functions you know I stand here in front of you and I say it is raining how do you know which what I'm intending right whether I'm nervous and sort of sort of just being Phatak whether I whether I am really unhappy or happy you know whether I think you're crazy it is in fact raining outside and I don't see any coats whether I am actually sort of just masquerading as an English professor I'm really a meteorologist I mean I mean you don't you don't know any of these things you have to infer an intention all right and if you infer an intention in order to make in order to make these distinctions how can the structuralist imperative of structure rather than Janet Genesis be preserved intact how can we insist that we know negative things negatively and not positively if we have to infer a direct cause a positive cause in order to grasp distinctions even between the six functions that's a rhetorical question with which I don't necessarily agree but it is a potential objection that that that you may wish to explore on your own now the critique of lévi-strauss I've already hinted that but there's another aspect of it to that I will defer until next time because you'll find that Dara does that the essay of Derrida that you're reading is largely about levees drops so it will make a natural segue between what we're talking about today and what we'll be talking about Thursday to return first to certain aspects of levee Strauss's argument and then and then get going with what Derrida is say thank you see you that

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