Friday, March 13, 2009

Seeing some light

I read 1.5 (I hope) chapters of Sarap's book. I can understand this author - thank you Jesus!!! I am having to look up a fair number of words and phrases, but at least it makes sense. Today is about postmodernism and post-structuralism. There is a French philosopher, Lyotard, who says that post-structuralism is the same thing as postmodernism. I found his ideas about language and knowledge interesting. He predicts that the direction of all new research will be dictated by the parameter that the research results must be capable of being stored electronically. Aren't we like this already? What exists that can't be stored electronically that somebody would find need to research?

Lyotard predicts that knowledge will be the major component in the global competition for power. I've always thought knowledge is power. How many times have I said "If I only knew then what I know now..." But, Lyotard doesn't stop there. He also says that knowledge is not so much an end to itself anymore. Increasingly, it is being produced so that it can be sold. What things exist that could be studied/researched but never sold?

Chapter 4 of Sarrup's book was about post-structuralism. It discussed theories of Nietzsche, Hegel, and a pair Deleuze & Guattari. There was enough mention of Marzism that I ended up researching that a bit. We're not reading the book in order by chapter. First part is chapts 4&6, then 1&2, then one chapter, then another chapter. I am behind on the reading.

So, to switch the subject, the Galt House is really a nice place. Our room is so nice - really big suite, nicely furnished, and I love the crown moldings and high ceilings.

I have to go to bed soon. I need to wrap it up. Words for today:

Subversive - intended to undermine
pastiche - hodgepodge; Imitate another artist's work with satirical intent
allegory - (I should have remembered this one) - symbolic representation; such as the blindfolded lady holding up scales who represents justice.
performative - something that's said that causes something to happen, such as speaking a vow or promise.
incommensurable - impossible to compare or measure
didactic - morally instructing
dialectic - practice of determining truth by exchange or arguments...this must be the kind of thing that happens in court.
sublate - deny; contradict
polemic - controversial argument
leitmotiv - melodic passge; dominant theme
Goethean man - a man who agrees with Goeth, a scientist/writer who thinks man can divorce
himself from participating in nature.
deprecate - belittle
teleology - study of the design or purpose in natural phenomena.

Whew! Second wind. Marx believes that class struggle causes social change. He puts emphasis on the material conditions of peoples' lives. His ideas display sympathy for the working class (proletariat). Dang - that's one of those apomorphisms. Ideas can't disply anything. His ideas...they portray? Emphasize? Demonstrate? I'm at a loss for the correct verb. His assumption is that workers' interests match those of "humanity".

Postmodernism is the impulse to deconstruct totalizing systems of knowledge or belief. Three important postmodernists/post structuralists: Lyotard, Derrida, Jameson.

Post structuralism is the idea that language is subjective to culture and is not a solid medium for basing knowledge and power on. Derrida says there's no "text" outside of "context". the roots of post-structuralism cane from Nietzcheanism. But I really am too tired to go into him.

Sarah is leaving for Ireland Sunday. I must call her tomorrow. I talked to Emily and she seemed to be rather disappointed. None of the younger girls got above second place. Everything Emily did today took second place. Second place is like the middle 2/3 of entrants in their category. They sometimes give a 1st place to the really good acts in each category (if any acts warrant a first place...sometimes there are no first place winners). Most acts are rated 2, and then you get a handful of 3's. I hope she and Jerry find something fun to do tomorrow.

To all a good night!

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