Friday, March 05, 2004

a question

Do you ever wonder why some postmodernist writers (e.g. Jacques Derrida or Stanley Fish) use so many words? Is it
a) the only way to convince modernists
b) a deeply and deliberately ironic gesture
c) evidence of how deeply rooted modernity really is
d) a cheap shot criticism not worth pondering further?

Posted by steve at 08:14 AM


  1. as opposed to modernists like Karl Barth, for instance? famously concise at 6 million words 🙂

    Comment by maggi — March 5, 2004 @ 9:51 am

  2. I’d go with B & D… They know exactly what they’re doing. But, didn’t we find out that brevity was golden at some point? I think the postmodernist who finally convinces us that he/she is right is the one that can tell us what postmodernism is in less than a book…preferrably less than a few hundred words…optimally in less than ten words…perfectly in three words (i.e., “Postmodernism is _____”).

    Comment by timsamoff — March 5, 2004 @ 10:27 am

  3. Pomo in three words?
    Postmodernism is … here!

    Comment by Lynne — March 5, 2004 @ 1:04 pm

  4. Hey, where’s the “all of the above” option?

    Comment by Rich — March 5, 2004 @ 3:48 pm

  5. I’ve always considered post-monotonous writers to be so wordy because of the necessity to free our language from it’s slavery to modern connotation. We end up writing in 5 words what could have been said with one, wherein 5 more words we didn’t intend would be implied.

    Comment by jared — March 6, 2004 @ 11:14 am

  6. Language should not be used as a tool to make someone’s ideas seem more complex or original than they really are. When I was at University I wondered whether the lecturers used big words just to justify their existence. Nothing against tertiary study but it does create a division between those who are ‘in’ and can read the stuff and those who are ‘out’ who can’t, won’t or don’t care about all those words.

    Comment by marion — March 7, 2004 @ 10:31 am

  7. The postmodern in 1 sentence…

    Seems that I started a few people thinking over at Steve’s E~mergent Kiwi Blog the other day, with a comment about defining postmodernism with brevity… My comment from Steve’s post: …I think the postmodernist who finally convinc…

    Comment by Tim Samoff — March 9, 2004 @ 8:29 am

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