Thursday, September 22, 2005

This is your brain on 452.

In my contemporary literaty theory today, hereafter referred to as the class from hell, something finally clicked for me. (Please note that the name is editorgirl, not theorygirl.) In writing about Karl Kraus, Walter Benjamin made the statement that using a quotation purifies or elevates the language. Benjamin's ideal book would be completely composed of quotations. And apparently Kraus was a genius with this.

So the question posed by my professor was why or how does quoting something purify or elevate the language? The conclusion I came to was that by removing the words from their original source, they are forced to stand on their own and "really mean something" (TTIHAY). Which makes sense to me--by isolating a statement, I am able to focus on the language and derive meaning from it, often to a greater degree than when I am attacked by a massive treatise on whatever.

This is my electronic pat-on-the-back. Go me.



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