Re: a note on primary texts

Jeffrey R Galin (galin+@PITT.EDU)
Thu, 10 Oct 1996 12:45:36 -0400


Well said. It occurs to me that the points you make below have
quite a lot to do witht he initial post that got this discussion going.
That is, the call seemed to me to be asking not for a literature review of
critical theory (which so many articles these days seem to be) and not for
a rather academic application of one or more theorist's ideas to some
other obeject, but rather a study of the primary texts as you have defined
them, the everyday objects of our daily existance, as the primary focus.
>From the language of the invititation, it might also be assumed that a
level of critical theory underlying the analysis is expected.

On Thu, 10 Oct 1996, Cindy Wambeam wrote:

> On Thu, 10 Oct 1996, Beth W. Baldwin wrote:
> > I suppose that I need to go back to my original posts to see whether or
> > not I said that CFP editors were elitists. Now, that would be an instance
> > of going back to the *primary text* to see if claims about the primary
> > text by the *seconday text* (Bob) were accurate. This is why I think
> > people should refer to primaries (not necessarily the same as "canon")
> > *in addition to* secondaries. Often, secondaries are not accurate. Think
> > of your students who like to talk about what the Bible says without
> > consulting the text.
> But Beth, this assumes that a timeline is responsible for accuracy, yet
> those things that come first are not necessarily the best, the most
> accurate, or the most central texts. Primary and Secondary infers a
> literary criticism approach -- as if we're examining a text to criticize
> it, and that those things which come later are somehow further removed
> from the Truth.
> I think this works if we talk about primary texts as that which is being
> examined -- your initial statement, the bible, an article, Las Vegas, a
> shopping mall, a mountain, a film... But if we're discussing theorists
> who examine the "text of postmodern culture," the primary text is not the
> theorists' writings but the text they are examining. It is important, if
> one is theorizing on the relevance of film in our postmodern society to
> 1. read Jameson, and 2. watch films. I would argue, however, that the
> primary text is the film, not Jameson's work.
> I'm all for historical analysis and a thorough reading of the writings
> which inform theory -- I think these are too often ignored and obscured.
> But I don't want to assume that because someone wrote first, theirs is
> the most primary or central. I guess that I agree with your stance, but I
> think that the term primary text indicates something different than the
> theories from which postmodern criticism arise.
> Cindy
> _ .........................
> ___(_) _ __ Cindy Wambeam : Oedipa, to retaliate,:
> / __| | '_ \ New Mexico State University : stopped believing:
> | (__| | | | | English department : in them:
> \___|_|_| |_|.......==><==....:.(The Crying of Lot 49):
> (

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