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Thursday, March 5, 2009

Why are we feared and 'oblitarated' from society?

As a comment on Jowell's post on the parasite\host articles by both Hillis miller and Serres, i found out an idea that is in reality shocking to me.
We as English majors, are in fact marginalized just as jowell said beacuse of the ability from our part to criticize, and antagonize whatever text may come within our hands. But I do not soleley agree with what other people may think of us.

For instance if we dare say that we are English students, people may look at is quizically and ask us why do we do such tirture with ourselves; and they continue on talking about that we do nothing but read and memorize. This idea that people have about us makes me mad, also because they do not take the time to listen to our responses whether they were literary responses made in class, or general discussions made out in the open.

I think that, people feel inferior when with us, andmost of the time try to make us shut up and not tell them what we know. For example if I were to come and ask someone about a book they have recently read, they would no doubtedly laugh at me, especially if these students were more focused on Math and Sciences.

Not only that, but if these students ask me what I am doing as a major, and i reply, they do not talke the time to ask me what courses I am taking fearing they should, and would not understand what I would be talking about.

So why do people really revolt against the idea of English in general, and Literature in specific, and why don't they understand that if they tend to ask us about our real perspective about this major, that we will not parasite their thoughts?!

We offer them, (other people), the chance to parasite and infect our ideas, while we in turn become their hosts for more competent ideas than they might think about. We as students, even though are quiziccal about some stuff, and in relation to Miller's, and Serres' articles tend to parasite and host severak ideas so that our fellow students would not feel that afraid or distant fron the world that we call ours which is the Literary world.

So as Miller states in his article " the ctitic as host", " a parasite is one of those words which calls up its apparent opposite. It has no meaning without its counterpart" just as we do not convey any meaning if not related to our study in soecific areas.

Also, miller states in the same article:" A parasite is like a new poem, the new poem both needs the old texts and must destroy them". And as English students we need the past in order to criticize and learn from the other poets, and writers, in order for us to become higher aheivers, parasiting the norms and hosting the new forms of writing!!

4 comments:

Dmitriy Kokarev - Rizk said...

Its an interesting post...
But i think that the reason most of the students dont really understand us is simply because they have no idea about our major and think of Lit as nothing but Poems and waste of time...
And the idea that it is something wrong is scary to them....because its a change...
And changes is not something people deal with well....

Paul Jahshan said...

And, if I may add, this is also because some instructors insist on maintaining the illusion that literature is "something different," to be read from the lofty pedestals of ethereal realms, with generous dashes of obscure and obsolete language. But, fortunately, these are a breed on its way to extinction.

Ferris said...

I agree; not only are you marginalized, but also ignored. Most students - particularly at our university - tend to completely disregard the study of literature and language, giving it, at best, the categorization of 'hobby' rather than a serious, intellectual, ambitious study of texts and ideas.
English majors in the Middle East in general are considered rather dull and useless, while philosophy students are more often than not found interesting for the whole of two minutes, never to be discussed again.

I find this to be primarily because people in the Middle East (and I'm gravely generalizing) are afraid of what they might discover if they attempted to think at a contemplative, reflective level. They worry of the consequences of what they have comfortably adjusted to referring to as 'wasting time' and not 'making money'.

Those two trains of thought alone should be demolished before the general academic community, pupils and scholars alike, can find time for the cultural studies of the twenty-first century.

Just a perspective from someone who isn't really an English major...

Ferris said...
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