Friday, May 25, 2007

"[...]Scholarship requires poetics.

Paratactic writing, thinking by association, is no less cogent or
persuasive than hypotactic exposition, with its demands that one
thought be subordinated to the next. Poetics reminds us that the
alternate logics of poetry are not suited just for emotion or
irrational expression; poetics lies at the foundation of all writing.

Poetry is a name we use to discount what we fear to acknowledge.

The accurate documentation of information used in a work is a vital
principle of scholarship. Similarly, scholarship requires a writer to
consider challenges to her or his views: but this too often is
assumed to mean considering challenges to the content of what is
being said while ignoring challenges to the style and form. The
importance of poetics for scholarship is not to decree that anything
goes but rather to insist that exposition is an insufficient
guarantor of reason. Poetics makes scholarly writing harder, not
easier: it complicates scholarship with an insistence that the way we
write is never neutral, never self-evident.

Clarity in writing is a rhetorical effect not a natural fact. One
man's eloquence can be another's poison; one woman's stuttering may
be the closest approximation of truth that we will ever know."
- Charles Bernstein

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