" lo'escoulddodelikeo'dat": C Race,Place,andPowerin MarkTwain'sThe Tragedy of Pudd'nhead Wilson by Garrett Nichols Michel Foucault teaches us in The Order of Things (1966) that the principle of resemblance guided premodern systems of knowledge and organization. He writes: Up to the end of the sixteenth century, resemblance played a constructive role in the knowledge of Western culture. It was resemblance that largely guided exegesis and the interpretation of texts; it was resemblance that organized the play of symbols, made possible knowledge of things visible and invisible, and controlled the art of representing them. . . . And representation -- whether in the service of pleasure or of knowledge -- was posited as a form of repetition: the theatre of life or the mirror of nature, that was the claim made by all language, its manner of declaring its existence and of formulating its right of speech. (17) Premodern western society relied on resemblance to structure and create discourses of knowledge and truth, providing order to the vast realm of what was "known" to be true. This old order, according to Foucault, started to break down when knowledge took up "residence in a new space" in which identity was no longer
The Southern Literary Journal – University of North Carolina Press
Published: Feb 13, 2013
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