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Anxious gatekeeping

Analogous to nervous cluelessness is something we might call “anxious gatekeeping.”   This is desire to police the borders of poetry, or of...

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

A Way Of Talking To One Another

Everyone has their own pet ideas and fetishes. Cada loco con su tema. Different Strokes for different folks. To each his own. One man's meat is another man's poison. De gustibus non est disputandum. There is an ur-Proverb that goes like this: "People are different from one another." Another ur-Proverb is "You are to be defined by the people you are with." Arrímate a los buenos y serás uno de ellos. Birds of a feather flock together. No con quien naces sino con quien paces. So put them together and you will have groups of people thinking in different ways but in groups of like-minded folks.

My emphasis on metanarratives is a way of placing people's particular obsessions in contact with one another. It helps that metanarratives are all about how one thing is different from something else, but that structurally they obey certain laws.

You'd expect modernization to run rough-shod over national differences. Indeed. Yet these national differences are themselves the product of a modern discourse, as well as a reaction to modernization.

1 comment:

Leslie said...

OK I will use that in class too. This Peninsular class I am teaching is kind of facha. I mean the students. One just said in homework that culture should have a simple definition -- it is very important so it should have a simple definition. I am ready to tell these people to get out of the honors college if they cannot do better than that.