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View Diary: You Can't Read That! (18 comments)

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  •  If we accept reception aesthetics. . . (8+ / 0-)

    H. R. Jauss's work primarily set out to discover the monumentalizing of literature via an hermeneutic approach, but his argument that the hermeneutic encounter of any reader with a text (question and answer) is limited by the "horizon of expectations" and that, therefore those works that stand out as scandals and entangle political history (provoking bans and trials) are diagnostic of the limits of the culture's horizon of expectations, (as a reminder, the subject was "his argument") works. In fact, Jauss himself seems to be best at explaining works like Madame Bovary, rather than, say, Kipling.

    At least one critic has argued that Jauss and Marxist approaches need to be blended. At any rate, when we see works of literature cause people to bug out, the works are presumably touching a fissure or seam in the capacity to know (Jauss) or in their ideology (position of the concept of self with regard to the imagined position of production) (Raymond Williams). Thus, the books that are banned preferrentially, like this one -- banned only in places where there are substantial Mexican American students -- could tell us "white people/white-identified people cannot know this knowledge and therefore reject it violently" or "this shows where the weak spot is for the ruling elites."

    I never did pursue the issue of scandal books, but it's a deeply fruitful subject.

    "...ere God made us He loved us; which love was never slacked, nor ever shall be." - Juliana of Norwich

    by The Geogre on Sat May 18, 2013 at 09:50:09 AM PDT

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