Sunday, 21 February 2010

Umberto Eco: Overinterpreting Texts

Interpretation of the world based on relationships of one thing to another; or, as Eco puts it, 'the relationships of sympathy that link microcosm and macrocosm'
Eco references Michael Foucault in his groundbreaking work 'les mots et les choses' in his examination of the paradigm of similarity, but instead of Foucault's narrow critique of '[the paradigm of similarity] dissolved into the paradigm of modern science' in the Renaissance, Eco assures the reader that it will be more comprehensive and outline his term of 'hermetic semiosis'

Hermetic semiosis
-ve points
1. its decisions on what things were similar was too broad; as eco calls it, 'overindulgent'
Therefore every time someone thinks they have discovered a truth, it will point to it signifying for anothet endless cycle
2. If 2 things are similar, then each can become the sign for each-other. However: Eco 'the word dog is not similar to a dog'
3. there is a lot of problematic cultural analogy, eg a pig is not similar to the word, through the physical habits of pigs we can link them to physical habits of people, thus declaring people pigs in a pejorative sense assuming some cultural knowledge.
3. makes use of false transitivity: aka if A=B and B=C then A must =C
3. A consequence is assumed and interpreted as the cause of its own cause
Relevant and Fortuitous similiarities
A fortuitous similarity is thus: we see a person, who we presume to be A, in the distance. On closer look the person is a stranger, B, after which we give no further credence to the similarity and mark it as fortuitous, or illusory.

The hermeticism of the renaissance was over-explaining, always looking for clues that revealed occult relationships.

Analogies can be formal or morphological (eg cactus having two bulbs that looked like testes: ppl changed its functional analogy to a morpholigical one: deeming it to have libidinal and virile aspects)

Friday, 12 February 2010


If you'll scroll down a couple of posts, you will se my review for play 'The Misanthrope'. Unfortunately, judging to two girls my age who act as arts editors for our crumb of a newspaper, the piece, 'lacked direction', and thus will not be featuring in this, or any other edition of the Boar. However, they were kind enough to extend a small hand of mercy to this old thing, adding 'don't give up, we can see that you have a flair for writing.' oh, really? can you? I'm sorry, I had no idea that overnight Anna Wintour and Grace Coddington had miraculously taken over your bodies and given you forty years of experience from which to back up your condescending attitudes. Miraculous. Anyway, in a couple of days I shall post the edited version which I sent (because you didn't think I'd submit a piece with the line, 'fit gingers' in it, did you?)

For anyone out there who is a struggling writer, or a struggling anything, I feel you man!! rejection sucks! forget NA, they need a WA - 12 steps to accepting rejection.