Re: a note on primary texts

Christopher Lott (fncll@AURORA.ALASKA.EDU)
Thu, 10 Oct 1996 08:36:03 -0800

I like the "secondary texts are people" statement... which leads to
the fact that primary texts are people too.

The context of primary v secondary usually does not occur as a matter
of what specific words were spoken: "X called him a sycophantic
elitist" "No, he didn't, check the text." Such matters are easily
resolved. Usually the conflict comes with the implication of
correctness and qualitative judgment... "If you haven't read _On
Grammatology_ then you have no idea what Derrida is about." even if
one is "correct" in a statement about what Derrida is implying-- even
if one is incorrect in thinking that it was overtly and explicitly

As I see it, postmodernism is a concept partly based on the idea that
there is nothing "lesser" about explicitly posing questions to other
texts, and in fact that may be what is always happening even when we
did not realize it because we were too bound up in the metaphysical
chase for corresponding Truth... in fact, the operation of that
search implicitly privileged secondary texts-- a fact that is now
being unearthed, excavated, etc etc.


Chris Lott
                        "But I held on like death,
                         Such waltzing was not easy."