Friday, September 03, 2010

just a note

I'm working on a post about the first week of class, which got me so tangled up in knots that it may not get posted until after the 2nd week.  But thought I would throw out a random observation in the meantime.  Many a feminist would be willing to battle to the death over their assertion that it is just as important to read Uncle Tom's Cabin as it is to read The Scarlet Letter (they were published a mere two years apart, by the way--1852 and 1850, respectively).  According to them, to "privilege" Scarlet Letter, written by an educated white male, over Uncle Tom's Cabin, written in sentimental style by a woman, is to pander to sexist criteria of what is culturally important.  But many of those same feminists would rather have their fingernails pulled out one at a time than read a romance novel, which would seem to be the Uncle Tom's Cabin equivalent of our era (at least in some ways, not the least of which is that Cabin outsold every other book published at the time except the Bible). Strikes me as a bit hypocritical.

I'm completely buried in trying to read Saussure and Derrida.  I understand each of the individual words, and usually I can puzzle out what any particular sentence is saying, but I have absolutely no idea what it means.  Which I suppose is appropriate to the nature of the topic-- would that be the diachronic nature of language?  You understand each word, each unit of language, in relationship to the words immediately surrounding it, but haven't got a clue about the overall meaning.  or maybe that just proves I don't get it.

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