the structuralist movement which applied it to any and all phenomena. The main concern of structuralist analysis then became to isolate and catalogue the grammar of whatever system was being studied.
Literariness: The quality that differentiates literary language from other forms of language-use. This quality largely derives from the highly self-conscious use of literary devices in literary texts, and according to Roman Jakobson is the proper object of study of literary critics.
Little narrative: The opposite to grand narrative (q.v.), little narratives comprise groups of like-minded individuals who attempt to subvert the power of grand narratives. Little narratives remain at an oppositional level and refuse to allow themselves to be turned into authoritarian ideologies of the kind they are rejecting.
Metanarrative: Another name for grand narrative (q.v.). Jean-Frangois Lyotard uses the terms interchangeably in his best-known work, The Postmodern Condition (1979).
Metaphysics of presence: Jacques Derrida argues that all discourse in Western culture is based on the assumption that the full meanings of words are immediately "present" to us, in our minds, as we use them. For Derrida, this "metaphysics of presence" is illusory: meaning is always indeterminate.
Narratology: The study of how narrative works in terms of the relations between its structural elements. Structuralists like Barthes, in their desire to establish a general grammar of narrative, reduced narrative to a set of functions, specifying how these applied in each literary genre.
Negative dialectics: Both the Hegelian and Marxist dialectic feature a conflict between thesis and antithesis which resolves itself into the creation of a new thesis. For Theodor Adorno, however, the dialectic failed to resolve its internal contradictions, with new theses simply starting another cycle of conflict. Dialectics were negative rather than positive in quality.
Nomadism: Thought which does not follow established patterns or respect traditional boundaries (such as disciplinary ones). For Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari, nomadism is a transgressive activity which challenges institutional authority, given that the latter is invariably committed to protecting its own particular ''territory".
Orientalism: Edward Said's term for the way in which the Middle East has been constructed (by writers and artists, for example) as the "other" to Western culture. In the process, the "Orient" is presented as mysterious, sensuous and irrational: qualities which tend to be looked down upon in the West.
Paganism: Jean-Frangois Lyotard argued that paganism was the state in which judgements were reached without reference to pre-existing rules and conventions, but on a "case by case" basis instead. Judgement in any one case established no precedent for another.
Paradigm: A framework of thought which dictates what counts as acceptable inquiry in an intellectual field. Thomas Kuhn saw scientific history as consisting of a series of paradigms, each incommensurable with its predecessor, with periodic revolutions when one paradigm replaced another.
You have no current subscriptions in your account.
Would you like to explore the titles in our collection?
You have no collections in your account.
Would you like to view your available titles?