You have to think whether you agree with the now old question:
'are ideologies enshrined in language?'
If you decide yes, as semiologists and feminists and poststructuralists and
so on of many flavours have thought, then surely you have to say that, yes:
ascendent ideologies do lurk largely unexamined within language/s. I don't
see that the use of the singular 'discourse' excludes the possibility of
variety within that discourse, or that anyone's claiming that you can't
puncture their apparent invisibility and subliminal infectiousness through
insight, perspicuity and so forth.
And then some poets today, or people who write poetry, claim that they see
it as their task to provide this. Whether the product often or hardly ever
fits with the intent of its task is another matter.
I would agree with something you perhaps also mean, Henry, which is that the
conversation about such matters grows so loud and swells around the nodes
whereabouts it gathers, that it too can seem like just another
An effectively simplistic counter to that would be that if you are a
sonneteer, don't apply to Buffalo...
>From: Henry Gould <[log in to unmask]>
>Reply-To: Poetryetc provides a venue for a dialogue relating to poetry and
> poetics <[log in to unmask]>
>To: [log in to unmask]
>Subject: Re: Annals of Buffalo
>Date: Fri, 9 Aug 2002 08:13:15 -0400
>Hi Alison -
>I don't see how supposing there is no dominant logos-discourse is
>disingenuous, if I genuinely hold that supposition. And I do. I think we
>need to dismantle that idea, which is oddly both self-serving and
>self-defeating. In a democratic, egalitarian culture, there is no
>acceptance whatsoever of a fixed dominant discourse. Nor do I believe it
>matches the variousness and complexity of the Babel we experience. Yes,
>there have been and are totalitarianisms, simplifications, abuses of
>language and thought - here in the USA, definitely, and all over the
>world. What I object to is the paranoid theory that this logos-dominance
>is some kind of pervasive, inherent, inimical aspect of reality, more
>inherent than the processes of reasoning, insight, wisdom and understanding
>which penetrate and overcome the differences and distortions of language
>At 12:34 PM 8/9/02 +1000, you wrote:
>>Hi Henry -
>>It seems somewhat disingenuous to suppose there is no such thing as a
>>"dominant logos-discourse". Perhaps a mistake might lie in thinking
>>that such a discourse is fixed and immovable, even monumental; like
>>all discourses, it is no doubt changing all the time, although it is
>>probably defined by its maintenance of political and economic power.
>>But it's surely a logical mistake, if indeed that connection is made
>>(I really don't know what the background to this is), to leap from
>>the assumption of a particular discourse being dominant to the idea
>>that all discourse involves domination. Perhaps a shift from ideas
>>of discourse to ideas of relationship might be interesting...
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