Modernity - postmodernity: a dialogue

Kolocotroni, V. and Metzstein, M. (1992) Modernity - postmodernity: a dialogue. Textual Practice, 6(3), pp. 478-490. (doi: 10.1080/09502369208582151)

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The structure of this dialogue is based on Plato's Symposium. The Symposium is an elaborate fiction. As a genre, that is, as a dramatic dialogue, its main objective is to praise Socrates and to expound his philosophy. It has also become a paradigm for the exchange and rehearsal of philosophical views. As such, it can be taken as a model for the academic seminar. Its original artificiality may be seen paradoxically, as part of its function. We have chosen to emphasize the paradox of the Symposium in order to foreground both the enabling and limiting aspects of this legacy. We have used the artificial element of the form as a means of circumscribing a space where our discourse can proceed. In doing so we acknowledge that this is an intertextual space: a space of dialogue, of exchange and of conflict. Our version of the dramatic dialogue depends on the adoption of personae: they are Wildean personae, in the sense that we venture to mimic and parody discourses of modernity and postmodernity. Wilde's is the voice of artifice and excess, that which rehearses received discourse and thereby exposes its exclusions. The excess of which we speak ruptures the discourses of rationality and plurality and returns as the excluded 'other' in both. In spite of the radical claims of our century's intellectual avant-gardes, the concept of a self-critique of dominant discourses still ignores, humiliates and insults the female and, in turn,'feminizes' its own blind spots and exclusions.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Kolocotroni, Dr Vassiliki
Authors: Kolocotroni, V., and Metzstein, M.
Subjects:P Language and Literature > PR English literature
College/School:College of Arts > School of Critical Studies > English Literature
Journal Name:Textual Practice
Published Online:30 June 2008

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