Friday, February 25, 2011

The Garden of Platonic Forms

More on this later perhaps; time permitting, but I may have stumbled upon the fundamental essence of post-structuralism:

Literature has no platonic forms, invalidating the underlying assumption since Aristotle that literature is a way to bring us closer to Platonic forms (Plato believed that poetry and drama was "thrice removed from nature", meaning that it was an imitation of an imitation; but Aristotle believed in the power of poetry/drama to bypass the limitations of Earthly manifestations.)

Structuralism was the most rigorous* way of doing this, but eventually saw its own limits; thus becoming a study of this very cycle of interpreting and then finding new meaning by figuring out how the interpretation contradicted itself or simply didn't apply. Perhaps that's why I have as hard a time as the French understanding any real difference between structuralism and post-structuralism.


*Please take "rigorous with a grain of salt.

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