Sunday, 6 June 2004

From "Paradise & Method"

By Bruce Andrews.

Conventionally, radical dissent & "politics" in writing would be measured in terms of communication & concrete effects on an audience. Which means either a direct effort at empowering or mobilizing -- aimed at existing identities -- or at the representation of outside conditions, usually in an issue-oriented way. So-called "progressive lit". The usual assumptions about unmediated communication, giving "voice" to "individual" "experience", the transparency of the medium (language), the instrumentalizing of language, pluralism, etc., bedevil this project. But more basically: such conventionally progressive literature fails to self-examine writing & its medium, language. Yet in an era where the reproduction of the social status quo is more & more dependent upon ideology & language (language in ideology & ideology in language), that means that it can't really make claims to comprehend and/or challenge the nature of the social whole; it can't be political in that crucial way.

No comments: