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Enjoy(c)ing Cultures

Enjoy(c)ing Cultures In the wake of disputes about the literary canon, the political, cultural, and ethical implications of literature have come to the fore as topics of critical attention. John Guillory’s influential Cultural Capital () alerts us to the question of what kind of acculturation takes place when texts are ‘‘colonized’’ by a particular discipline or a methodology within a discipline. We find that the texts we teach are not simply paragons of artistic merit or exemplars of particular literary developments but that the texts themselves Poetics Today : (Fall ). Copyright ©  by the Porter Institute for Poetics and Semiotics. and the presentation of the texts are fraught with ideological implications. As Guillory (: ix) says, ‘‘Literary works must be seen as the vector of ideological notions which do not inhere in the works themselves but in the context of their institutional presentation, or more simply, in the way in which they are taught.’’ As ‘‘cultural capital’’ then, many literary texts are in flux according to their usefulness in making certain points or in covering certain ideological terrain. The question for teachers and critics becomes one of determining which set of possible meanings should be emphasized and addressed. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Poetics Today: International Journal for Theory and Analysis of Literature and Communication Duke University Press

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Publisher
Duke University Press
Copyright
Copyright 2001 by Porter Institute for Poetics and Semiotics, Tel Aviv University
ISSN
0333-5372
eISSN
1527-5507
DOI
10.1215/03335372-22-3-671
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

In the wake of disputes about the literary canon, the political, cultural, and ethical implications of literature have come to the fore as topics of critical attention. John Guillory’s influential Cultural Capital () alerts us to the question of what kind of acculturation takes place when texts are ‘‘colonized’’ by a particular discipline or a methodology within a discipline. We find that the texts we teach are not simply paragons of artistic merit or exemplars of particular literary developments but that the texts themselves Poetics Today : (Fall ). Copyright ©  by the Porter Institute for Poetics and Semiotics. and the presentation of the texts are fraught with ideological implications. As Guillory (: ix) says, ‘‘Literary works must be seen as the vector of ideological notions which do not inhere in the works themselves but in the context of their institutional presentation, or more simply, in the way in which they are taught.’’ As ‘‘cultural capital’’ then, many literary texts are in flux according to their usefulness in making certain points or in covering certain ideological terrain. The question for teachers and critics becomes one of determining which set of possible meanings should be emphasized and addressed.

Journal

Poetics Today: International Journal for Theory and Analysis of Literature and CommunicationDuke University Press

Published: Sep 1, 2001

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