John Mcreery (jlm@TWICS.COM)
Sat, 9 Apr 1994 18:09:56 JST

Pound replies to McCreery:

It is not. You said, "I am not willing to regard pointers to OTHER
authors ... as evidence" (emphasis mine). I gave references to specific
cultural phenomena and the specific text in which they are illuminated
by Derrida.

Whether your writing is clear or obscure, you ought to at least admit
to what you have said. (I do agree with that other person on the list
who said that language is ready-made for lying, and advertising is definitely
the art of combining clarity with deception, so I see no hypocrisy in
your position; however, what you're coming up against is one of the features
of the "violence of the letter," and as long as you refuse to read any
Derrida, you will probably always be its subject :-)

How strict he is with my "pointers to OTHER authors" (point to Pound). How
is it he missed the example of how Bourdier's *habitus* illuminates my
work situation, spelled out in several sentences, then is content to say
that he's "given references to specific cultural phenomena." I'd say, instead,
"named a few" with no effort to establish relevance beyond simply asserting
it's there. Won't stand up in a presentation (still lost the account),or a
lab or a court of law. Please _show me_ why it's worth effort to parse
Derrida. Why not T'ang poetry instead? Tu Fu, now there's someone worth a
careful reading.

P.S. To folks who want to see a truly lovely job of writing on the perils
and pleasures of interpreting a text, see Stephen Owen,Traditional Chinese
Poetry and Poetics: Omen of the World. It's unorthodox, sensitive, intelligent
--all those good things--and a joy to read.

"Making Symbols is My Business"--John McCreery (JLM@TWICS.COM)