Re: a note on primary texts

Bob King (kingbx@HAMLET.UNCG.EDU)
Thu, 10 Oct 1996 12:59:43 -0400

On Thu, 10 Oct 1996, Beth W. Baldwin wrote:

> On Thu, 10 Oct 1996, Bob King wrote:
> > The question that occurs to me is which text in the primary text are we
> > going to talk about? For example, it's possible to be implying, in text,
> > that someone is an elitist or whatever, without ever actually writing it.
> > So there are these questions, for me anyway, about where *the* text
> > actually is, because there are texts, subtexts, etc. in any primary text.
> You're absolutely right. And my point is that you or I or anyone else
> would be compelled to return to the primary text to determine whether or
> not such could be reasonably inferred.

Yes! and then we'd have to consider the possibility of the unconscious
(do we know ourselves completely? Is reasonable inference operative and
useful in all situations as an arbiter?), and (if we're one of those
now-passe French intellectuals, the existentialists :) we'd wonder about
the possibility of self deception, along with the possibility of simple
multiplicity within a given person/text (i.e., the possiblility that at
one and the same time I might think a person is both an elitist and not
an elitist, and be right, depending on the context). I don't know --
are these pomo sorts of questions?? In any case, interesting question,
thanks for sparking them...