Literary Criticism. Class #1. Structuralism. “ Linguistics is not simply a stimulus and source of inspiration but a methodological model which unifies the otherwise diverse projects of structuralists.” (Culler, Structuralist Poetics , 4).
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“Linguistics is not simply a stimulus and source of inspiration but a methodological model which unifies the otherwise diverse projects of structuralists.”
Barthes: “I have been engaged in a series of structural analyses which all aim at defining a number of non-linguistic ‘languages’”
Course in General Linguistics
“The meanings we give to words are purely arbitrary, and . . . these meanings are maintained by convention only” (Barry 41).
The definition of any given word “depends for its precise meaning on its position in a ‘paradigmatic chain,’ that is, a chain of words related in function and meaning each of which could be substituted for any of the others in a given sentence” (Barry 42).
Saussure’s example: “we feel the 8.25 p.m. Geneva-to-Paris Express to be the same train each day, though the locomotive, coaches, and personnel may be different. This is because the 8.25 train is not a substance but a form, defined by its relations to other trains. It remains the 8.25 even though it leaves twenty minutes late, so long as its difference from the 7.25 and the 9.25 is preserved. Although we may be unable to conceive of the train except in its physical manifestations, its identity as a social and psychological fact is independent of those manifestations” (Culler 11).
good / eviloriginal / copyprimary / secondaryinside / outsidereality / appearanceessence / accident
center / marginsnormal / deviantnatural / unnaturalstraight / gaywhite / blackself / other
truth / fictionphilosophy / mythsciences / humanitiesclassical / romantic
modern / postmodernpoet / critichttp://www.lawrence.edu/dept/english/courses/60A/handouts/binaries.html
base / superstructurewaking / dreaming
latent content / manifest contentthe library / the web
(1) Identify binary oppositions
(2) Discuss how language constitutes our world.
“Any actual ‘speech’ (parole) presupposes a system (langue) which is being used.”
“A structural anthropologist may examine the customs and rituals of a single group of people in some remote part of the world not simply to understand them in particularbutto discover underlying similarities between their society and others”