Sunday, November 19, 2006

The question of theory

Lively conversation unfolding in the comments to this recent post by Eileen, an addendum to the first edition of the Tiny Shriner Review.

Don't miss the parallel conversations on the topic at Quod She (Speaking for the Dead) and HeoCwaeth (A Question of Philosophy).

[update 11/21: a meditation on futurity and the medieval that picks up on these conversations, from Anhaga at Old English in New York. Especially charming: the Castle of Teleological Supremacy, and a rereading of The Wanderer. Short quote from a post worth reading in its entirety: Is there a way to think of looking forward to the Middle Ages as “an Anglo-Saxonist looking forward as her texts' writers and readers might have done; and a modern commentator rethinking her relationship to the past and looking forward to the Anglo-Saxon era”? Again, not to recreate the past, and not to live in it in any way, not even nostalgically. But isn’t there a way of seeing the continuity of the past and the present without a teleological fallacy coming into play? Isn’t there something instructive in the very grammar of the English language that, should we learn to read it, we might be able to see as part of what’s happening in the present? Or is that a teleological wolf in sheep’s clothing? ]

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