On old post-its there could be pieces of a poem. Are these fragments valuable or not? I remember keeping each one because it was, but now they have lost their contexts, and I do not understand them.

I do understand one which says some popular brands of disposable contact lenses are Ciba Focus Daily and Acuvue One Day, and I want to remember that.  I have also wanted to consider:

♦ Durkheim and the total social fact.
♦ Luerza.
♦ That bordello owner in Puerto Rico who is the subject of stories.
♦ The French tradition is Mallarmé, whereas the North American one is Whitman.
♦ There is a footnote in John Vernon’s book in a passage on language Eurocentrism.

This entry was posted in Modernities, Poetics, What Is A Scholar?, Working. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Post-Its

  1. N G says:

    “On old post-its there could be pieces of a poem
    are they valuable or not
    I remember keeping each one because it was…
    now I do not understand them”

    Ah Z you’re so yesterday. Don’t you know that the new paradigm is that in order to understand literature you don’t read books. Forget Derrida, Foucault, post-structuralism and reader response criticism. In today’s New York Times’ book review, the new guru is literary scholar, Franco Moretti. In the glowing article:

    “He advocates what he terms “distant reading”: understanding literature not by studying particular texts, but by aggregating and analyzing massive amounts of data.

    We need distant reading, Moretti argues, because its opposite, close reading, can’t uncover the true scope and nature of literature. Let’s say you pick up a copy of “Jude the Obscure,” become obsessed with Victorian fiction and somehow manage to make your way through all 200-odd books generally considered part of that canon. Moretti would say: So what? As many as 60,000 other novels were published in 19th-century England — to mention nothing of other times and places. You might know your George Eliot from your George Meredith, but you won’t have learned anything meaningful about literature, because your sample size is absurdly small. Since no feasible amount of reading can fix that, what’s called for is a change not in scale but in strategy. To understand literature, Moretti argues, we must stop reading books.”

    The strategy is to use computers for textual analysis and map the relationships between the characters to provide new insights. I’ve been NYT bashing this week and here is another opportunity to blog at length on pseudo science.

  2. Z says:

    Haha! You know, I’m familiar with that approach and I’m not even entirely against it as some sort of complement or background info — especially if someone else does it! Pseudo science, yes, but I think I could have fun with some of the data! And with what gets done with it!

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