The OF Blog: The language of an upcoming review

Sunday, May 22, 2011

The language of an upcoming review

I am nearing the end of a novel that I hope to review by Wednesday.  Some of you will be able to guess the title by the descriptors to follow, but its name is unimportant here.  What is important is what I get to discuss and what I deign to ignore.  There will be no references to "world building;" it is immaterial to the central conceit, that of language.  Rather, there will be references to "signifers" and "signified," or Sr/Sd.  Différance might also make an appearance or two.  Not as likely to discuss the gestalt, but there was a brief pondering of that while reading it.  Superstructures, both to concepts of reality and that of power, might also be referenced in passing.

This is the sort of "language" that I have not had much need to utilize since 1997.  Not that I am a Lacanian or a Derrida follower, much less a traditional Marxist in how I organize such concepts (if anything, I stray closer to the more Structuralist side of Foucault's thought), but it is fun to test these notions against the backdrop of a fiction.  This is not to say that the fiction at hand is a perfect work (I'll explore its shortcomings whenever I write my review), but rather that it is going to be fun to rip the structures apart and to test for dissonances.  If I dare to think about it enough, it might end up being one of my longest reviews in a year or more, albeit one that will not reference the languages of characterization (weak) or plot (muddled) to the extent of several reviews that I have done recently.  Shall be interesting to see what conclusions there will be on the language of the work, as that central conceit will make or break conceptual understandings.  The jury is still out on that, two-thirds in.

3 comments:

tim said...

I am really looking forward to your review of this. I have about 30 pages left to go.

ishouldbeking said...

If it's what I think it is, I'm also interested. Just finished the opening portion myself, but I'll probably take my time due to some recent medical issues.

Larry said...

Yes, I finished that book this morning. Might review it tonight, if I have the time. Time will see if some scathing remarks will be included or excised.

 
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