Pictures of Theories: The Iceberg Theory

The Iceberg Theory, Literary Studies: 

“If a writer of prose knows enough about what he is writing about, he may omit things that he knows and the reader, if the writer is writing truly enough, will have a feeling of those things as strongly as though the writer had stated them. The dignity of movement of an iceberg is due to only one-eighth of it being above water.”

— Ernest Hemingway, Death in the Afternoon

Pictures of Theories: Performativity

Performativity (specifically Judith Butler’s iteration), Gender Studies: Philosopher and feminist theorist Judith Butler offered a new, more Continental (specifically, Foucauldian) reading of the notion of performativity, which has its roots in linguistics and philosophy of language. She describes performativity as “that reiterative power of discourse to produce the phenomena that it regulates and constrains.” She […]

A of M, 116-118: Mushroom men and Monsieur Nobody

So 118 pages into this diatribe against humanity, Burton unsurprisingly sums up his argument as follows: “They are all mad.” If you are “reading” along but have fallen 116-118 pages behind, all you really missed is: “They are all mad.” Or more specifically, somewhat, they are all “E fungis nati homines,” which roughly translated means men […]

Pictures of Theories: Deconstruction

  Deconstruction, literary studies: Deconstruction is a method of literary analysis with roots in the work of philosopher Jacques Derrida. According to Wikipedia, “This article has multiple issues.”   Deconstruction is not a dismantling of the structure of a text, but a demonstration that it has already dismantled itself.  – J. Hillis Miller, “Stevens’ Rock […]

Read with me!

When a giant angry turnip was elected president of the United States last year, I started to feel a little down. Naturally my response was to buy an unabridged copy of Robert Burton’s The Anatomy of Melancholy. My get-out-of-bed-without-crying-plan is to read a little piece of this gargantuan lump of knowledge daily, and I will illustrate it as I go.