Sunday, 5 December 2004

From "Paradise & Method"

By Bruce Andrews.

The task, beyond coding and decoding particular messages, is also one that raises the question: "what is the code?" How is it that these codes are constructed? I think this suggests a way to explore these larger frames, the "limits of the normative" -- by foregrounding not only the shape of different stylistic traditions but also the shape of linguistic structure, of utterance structure, of discourse structure, and of the social codes which are also providing the limits for all of these.

It helps give an understanding of the limits as well as the building blocks of those social codes. Its contextualizing and reshaping and contesting are what I'm calling totalizing. Beyond form's maximizing of act, this would be a parallel maximizing of context, or of paradigm. More than just a pluralizing of voices and traditions within some taken-for-granted whole, and more than adding to the multiplicity of voices all situated within a system of social sense which is ungraspable, these would be ways of revealing the socially coded nature of larger units of language and of language as an overall system, and of politicizing them by implicating their place within one or another ideological bloc -- which is a social bloc, some constellation of different social forces and social values outside.

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