19 abr. 2011

What I'm Really Interested In

What is it that I'm really interested in? I know my interest in aphorisms has been driving my page views down, but I think I have to figure out what the question underneath the question is.

(1) I'm interested in the pragmatics of literature, so i like short texts, proverbs or aphorisms, that can be separated from their source or context and used again in other contexts. When someone quotes a proverb to refer to a new situation, that would be a pragmatic use of the proverb. The meaning of a proverb or aphorism, I would argue, is its use. Kenneth Burke's "equipment for living."

(2) I'm interested in the relationship between poetry and "wisdom literature" in general. Of course I think didacticism is foul and uninteresting on some level. I don't really like the subordination of literature to moralistic concerns. I'm also fascinated by the counter-ideological current of the aphorism, the way it confirms or questions beliefs.

(3) I'm interested in getting leverage out of an examination of material that people have not looked at very much, or have not looked at in a very interesting way.

(4) I'm interested in finding out what it is that I'm really interested in, and why.

2 comentarios:

Vance Maverick dijo...

"Fit audience find, though few." Have you explicitly linked in the use of allusions (as in the quotation-capping characters indulge in in the English novel), and idioms?

Vance Maverick dijo...

Or, in a marvelous phrase quoted in this sarcastic blog post, "context-appropriate delayed echolalia". Which deserves to become a new Internet meme, i.e. another instance of what it describes.