Methods of Literary Criticism

I have discovered some tools for the methodology of literary criticism. They are:
a) Philosophical Etymology
b) Cultural Anatomy
c) Psychological Pharmacology
d) Ontological Nebula

 
Philosophical Etymology
What is philosophical Etymology? Philosophical etymology is a cross examination of literary and cultural meanings in the light of Philosophy. It seeks to give newer shades of meaning to older thoughts. Let’s look at some examples. The school of structuralism coined that all language is made up of signs. A sign consists of the signifier and the signified. The signifier is a visual tangible thing and the signified is an idea. Let’s use an example: I blossomed in her garden. Here blossomed is figurative and an idea and hence it is the signified. Garden forms the signifier.

 
Postmodern Philosopher Derrida developed the idea of Binary Divide. A Binary Divide is a text that privileges some and marginalizes others. Let’s look at an example. It is said in an advert: Wanted only Native Speakers to Teach English. This narrative privileges Native Speakers over English spoken by the colonized people. Using the Binary Divide we can deconstruct texts.

 
From Derrida I have developed an idea called Binary Fusion. Binary fusion is a text that promotes equality. Let’s look at an advert. We do not discriminate people on the basis of gender, color or orientation. This text contains a Binary Fusion. Let’s look at another example. Black Culture, Black Gospel, Jazz and Blues are universally epitomized binary fusions of culture. A literary interpreter can analyze texts and bring out notions of marginalization and privilege and also write a narrative of Binary Fusion.

 
Then comes Kristeva’s texts of the semiotic and the symbolic. A semiotic text omits grammar and punctuation. Such a kind of text can be found in streams of consciousness narratives, in drama, film and music. A symbolic text on the other hand adheres to the strict conventions of language. Doing a literary analysis we can classify texts into semiotic and symbolic elements.

 
Form a Marxian point of view we can analyze texts by looking at class values like the bourgeoisie and the proletariat. Do texts privilege the Blue Blood or monitor the interests of the working class. Does the text promote the interests of the Capitalist society? What is the dialectic materialism embedded in the text. This refers to political and historical problems created by Social tremors. The narrator can find out how various social institutions have contributed to the writing of literature.

 
Philosophical Etymology also takes a look at Feminist Theology. Do social, cultural, political and historical institutions promote gender equality and support Feminism. How are the roles of a working mother enacted in s society? Does the intrusion of masculinity affect the reading of texts? To what levels of subversion are meanings of the feminine in a text?

 
Psychological Pharmacology
Psychological Pharmacology looks at the theories of Freud, Lacan and Jung. From Freud we have the three states: ID (passion and the libido), Ego (language and culture assimilated from parents) and Super Ego (the laws of the society). While doing textual interpretation the author can find out how these mechanisms are working in a text. Texts can also be phallic and vaginal that is texts promoting the language of the feminine and the masculine. Is the language of the text phallic or vaginal?
Next I would like to take the theories of Lacan into consideration. Prominent are the Mirror Stage and the Gaze. The Mirror stage consists of the child’s entry into Language. Mirror stage can be a psychoanalytic tool to gauge level of subversion in a text. It’s an analysis of psychological symptoms in a work of literature. Gaze for Lacan has sexual connotations. What kind of gaze is present in a text? Gazes can be feminine, masculine and gay.
Next I would like to take Jung’s theories into account. Jung has classified the psyche into archetypes (personality types). Some archetypes are the Wizard, the Witch, the lover and many more. We can analyze how and why and for what these archetypes are created.

 
Ontological Nebula
Ontology a study of being comes from Existential Philosophy. Here I take the traditional ontology and the ontology created by me into consideration. Traditional Ontology, the one espoused by Sartre and Camus is destructive as it condemns life to be absurd and chaotic. Constructive Ontology created by me states that meaning of being lies in Valueblization (from Value and Realization). We can analyze texts and examine whether texts are favoring destructive ontology or constructive ontology.


Cultural Anatomy

What Cultural Functions does a text serve? For who is the narrative intended? Which cultural institutions are prominent? Is there a culture clash or a culture divide?

Advertisements

April 13th

Morning woke me up with a song. The birds chirped happily. Clouds were gay with mirth. I kissed my wife going for exam invigilation. I thank Jehovah Jesus for all the mercies, love and affection.


Understanding the Trinity

The trinity—the Father, Son and Holy Ghost has baffled me for years. Is it a logical fallacy (wrong method of reasoning) of the text? The Trinity is a divine mystery and belongs to the realm of esoteric wisdom. I asked God in prayer for providing me with understanding. Here lies a humble answer. The trinity is one God having three identities. The Father is the Divine: The Son the Human (God made man in his own image) and the spirit being the third person. It was the identity of the Son that came on earth and was crucified for our sins. The mystery is an Enigma and has to be understood with Faith.


Parable of the Neighbor

I am still reading the Gospel of Luke and I came across the Parable of the Neighbor. Once upon a time there was a person. And to his house came guest. There was no food in the house. So the man went to the neighbor’s house and asked for some food. The neighbor said that all are sleeping and beckoned him off. But the man persisted in knocking and finally the reluctant neighbor got up and gave him a loaf of bread. What does Jesus mean by this parable? Be persistent in Prayer and ‘ASK AND YOU SHALL RECEIVE’. Yes God is there to take care of all our material needs. Parable of the Neighbor as Idiom means God providing for all your material needs. Oh God Jehovah Jesus become the Parable of the Neighbor for me.

When Jesus was healing the afflicted: the Pharisees ridiculed him by saying what he is doing is ABRACADBRA, the work of the Devil. Then Jesus answered: Will God drive out God and Will Satan drive out Satan. Will God drive out God is an idiom for Spiritual Logic. We have to have faith that God will not drive out God.
When Jesus spoke among the crowd: a woman cried out: ‘blessed is the womb that carried you and the breasts that nourished you.’ The Jesus replied that: ‘Blessed are the people who obey the word of God’. It is clear that you can’t worship God and Mary. Yes Jesus is condemning all forms of idolatry. Is Mariolatry a blasphemy? The answer is left to intelligence of the reader.

Philosophical Musings
Existential Nihilism adheres to the Philosophy that life is chaotic and absurd. And at the same time: the philosophers contradict by saying that: ‘you have to authenticate your existence’. For me life is neither chaotic nor absurd. Life and being are continually being processed. This processing of life is called processual ontology. For being a Postmodern Existentialist: Life for me lies in VALUBLELIZATION (from value and realization). Again we should live life with a purpose and such a life would be an ideal life and is called as being a life of a purposeist (purpose and ism)

Fictional Philosophy
Again I would like to Fictionalize and Philosophize the meaning of art on to existential ontology. Art has four states: Experiencesy, Catharsis, Angst and Ecstasy.
Experiencesy is the occurrence of daily: we cognize and we also respond to stimuli with our senses. For example: I can taste sugar and know that it is sweet.
Catharsis (For Aristotle meant purification of the soul) is a higher level of experience and involves, thinking feeling and willing. Catharsis is the VALUEBLIIZATION of feeling. For example I am cathartic when I enjoy the beauty and fragrance of a flower.
The Third form of art is angst (the feeling of nausea). Nausea can be physical (the pain of a cancer patient) or mental (like the bereavement of a loved one).
Ecstasy is a pure form of art and enjoys the poetry of the bed. Ecstasy is a pure surrender to the passions of love. Making love is a form of erotic poetry, a music sublime. God has willed that man and woman are one bodily fruit. Ecstasy is God’s Gift.

Philosophical Etymology

Philosophical etymology is the Aesthetization (Aesthetics and realization) of a word with cultural, philosophical and literary meanings. Philosophical Etymology belongs to the realm of Deconstructive Theology. The Guru of deconstruction Jacques Derrida introduced the term binary divide. Binary divide is a process of textual interpretation whereby we can find how texts marginalize and privilege meaning. For example: White is privileged over black and colored. Native English Speakers are privileged over non native speakers for teaching English. From Derrida I have developed a new sign for textuality called Binary Fusion. Binary fusion is inclusive texts. They do not privilege meaning for some people and marginalize meaning for others. Jazz, Blues and Gospel, the divine gift of black culture are a Binary Fusion of being globalized into the Universal culture of music. Indian English having the pride of 50 years of independence should become a Binary Fusion of being accepted as a global language.

Oedipalization/ Phallic Texts/ and Vaginal Texts/
Oedipalization refers to a harmonious personality and the one which not tinged with Freudian complexes, mainly the sexual attachment with father and the mother which is a blasphemy of the psyche. To acquire Oedipalization one must overcome one’s own cultural and social upbringing.
Phallic Texts are texts that dominate the man over the woman. The text which says: language is the domain of man is a phallic text.
Vaginal Texts are texts that balance the feminine with that of the masculine. Examples are s/he wo/man.
Colored psyche floating in the air—you are a copulating Jazz of rhythms—you are gentle loving passionate soul—you are canticle of verses from the bard’s mouth—you are voluptuous litany of prose in marvel.

Philosophies which have fascinated me

I have been an avid reader of Philosophy and Literary theory. Here I would like to explicate some philosophies which have fascinated me.

I am fond of Plato especially his theory of forms. There is a dark cave and in it lot of people and they can see light emanating from a wall obstructing the cave. What Plato meant was there was an ideal world apart from the physical world.

Next is the Philosopher Hegel who said there is a thesis, synthesis and antithesis. Let’s use an example to illustrate his idea. The end of World War I brought the harsh treaty of Versailles on Germany a thesis and this gave rise to the rise of Nazi rule in Germany an antithesis and brought forth the persecution of Jews synthesis.

Next I would like to take up the Philosophy of Marx. Marxian theory follows upon the modality of dialectical materialism. Everything starts from production and in a society there is the proletariat or the working class who form the base of the society and then there is the bourgeoisie the capitalists and the various ideological apparatuses like police, govt., law media etc. Workers are exploited class and one day by revolution they will seize the reins of power and establish a got based on equality and justice. However Marxism is a failed theory.

Next I would like to meander into literary theory and I would like to take up the Philosopher Derrida and his idea of deconstruction. Texts privilege some and marginalize others. Through a process of deconstructive reading we attain an interpretative mode of how privilege and marginalization occur.

Next I would like to take plunge into existentialism and the ideas of John Paul Sartre. Sartre introduces the concept of angst and he also introduces a notion of being which occurs in three processes, being in itself, being for itself and being for others. All this he assimilates as ego states. Being for in itself is a state of primary consciousness. Being for itself is an experiential context of being where the being traverses between angst, ecstasy and catharsis. Being for others is an eleemosynary state of being where the being is being empathetic.

Next I would like to explain Julia Kristeva’s semiotic and the symbolic realm. The semiotic realm is a structure of language where there is absence of grammar and punctuation. The semiotic realm occurs in streams of consciousness narratives, in music and dance. The symbolic realm is a structure where texts contain a coherent ideological structure of language. Medicinal and legal texts are symbolic structures. Literary texts contain both semiotic and symbolic realms.

Next I would like to explain the thought of the structuralists. Structuralism divides the language into signs. A sign is made up of the signifier and the signified. The signifier is a visual tangible thing belonging to the realm of the senses. The signified is an idea. For example if I say Rose is Passion: Rose is the signifier and passion the signified.

Next I would like to make intrusions into Freudian theory. Freudian theory proposes the ID the Ego and the Super Ego. The ID is the primary seat of passion, the Ego the language and culture that is assimilated and the Super Ego the laws of the society. An individual has to do a tight-rope-walking between these three states to hold life in equilibrium. Next I would like to explain the Oedipus complex where a child develops a love towards the mother and hatred and desire to kill the father. Freud is mistaken in his view and it is only at the onset of puberty that sexuality awakens. Emotional and empathetic bonding will make childhood into a wholesome being.

Next I would like to take up the Lacanian gaze and the mirror stage. The mirror stage is a stage of childhood where the child attains the maturity of gazing upon oneself as a mirror. Here language enters into the realm of consciousness of the child and world of the child traverses from plenitude to lack. The mirror stage has been used in film studies and critical theory. Next I would like to introduce the concept of the gaze. The gaze has strong sexual connotations. Feminists have developed the concept feminine gaze. And there in today’s word there exists lesbian and gay gaze.

I would like to take up some ideas of the Philosopher Camus. Camus says that we should authenticate our existence and we should avoid suicide. For Camus life is meaningless and absurd. In his book the myth of the Sisyphus, man is condemned to roll a boulder uphill only to find that it is pushed down by the Gods and he has to roll it up all the away. Camus is famous for atheistic nihilism.

Next I would like to explain Nietzsche’s theory of ART. For Nietzsche art was the combination of the Dionysian and the Apollonian. The Dionysian includes rhythm and beat and the apollonian includes melody and harmony. When the Dionysian and the Apollonian elements merge there occurs art. The Dionysian element stands for altered states and ecstasy and Apollonian element stands for catharsis and angst.

It was the Philosopher Aristotle who introduced the idea of Catharsis by which he meant the purification of the soul while watching tragedy. All art is made up of Catharsis, Angst and Ecstasy. Life is a celebration of these three states of being.

PresenceUation

PresenceUation is a new word I coined from presence and affirmation and it belongs to the realm of processual (being is a part of being processed) ontology (being). Presenceuation or Presensuality is another emotion apart from catharsis, angstuality and ecstasy which is boasted loud by existential philosophers. It is a joy which is experienced when one in Christ, all consuming joy and peace which the world can’t give. May all of you be filled with Presenceuation this Christmas and New Year 2019.

Reading Albert Camus’ Rebel from Christian Apologetics

camus-1-e1494939707186

ravi

(This article is dedicated to the famous and dear Christian Apologist Dr. Ravi Zacharias )

What is a Rebel? Camus contradicts by saying that a rebel is a person who affirms and denies existence. Camus is being vague when he says what is meant to be a rebel? What can we rebel? Why should we rebel? Is it God—the Society—other people?

Again Camus says that rebellion is an assertion of the Ego. Camus forgets that there is the Freudian ID, Ego and Super Ego. ID is the sea of passion what Freud incarnated as the Libido. Ego is the values and culture accumulated from the family and society. Super Ego is the law of the society. I raise my fist at Freud, a left hook for not integrating these states. From Freudian perspective we have to tight-rope-walk on these states to hold it in a balance. Viewed from a Christian perspective we have a consciousness known as CHRISTANONSCIOUNESS in which the balance is kept intact. I would dare to ask Freud the Question did Christ want to separate these states? In Christanonsciousness we are whole beings in Christ.

Camus postulates that man’s solidarity is found in rebellion. What is solidarity? It is the feeling of human oneness and the showing of empathy. How can solidarity be birthed out of rebellion. The Indian freedom struggle birthed out non violence against British imperialism by Mahatma Gandhi was a solidarity revolution. Solidarity bears allegiance to the Christian maxim: Love: your enemy. If your enemy thrashes you on the right cheek, show him also your left one.

Camus reiterates the idea of the Absurd in Rebel. Absurdism derived from nihilism points out that life has no meaning and it is chaotically absurd. Absurdism is self-negating and defeats the very purpose of life. We are living in reality that is being-processed. And that is processual ontology. Processual ontology posits existence to be angstual, cathartic and ecstacyual.
Camus again explains metaphysical rebellion which he defines as a rebellion against God and an utter blasphemy. To be pejoratively speaking, does Camus want whore in front of a Christian altar? From an apologetic viewpoint, Christ as God the Father’s Son came to us as our own being and we did not have to go to him. Man is an emotional being and we simply cannot do away with metaphysics. We can’t calculate the meaning of life in equations. What about the questions of ethics? Ethics and values of the society lie in the metaphysical realm. How can we explain murder, incest, rape and pedophilia? Camus fails to explain how we get our inner-conscience? During the beginning of creation we were made whole and sin has fragmented into the various Freudian psychological states.
Camus is overwhelmingly sympathetic to Sade. Talking from a moral perspective, can Sadism be justified? Is it hunky dory to commit rape, murder, suicide, incest and pedophilia? Even Freud has said that committing these acts won’t lead to the growth of civilization. If we follow Sade’s ingenuous ideas, it will lead to the disintegration of society, and anarchy.

Again Camus goes on to negate Salvation. Sartre the great nihilist and existentialist said that man is condemned to be free. Christ on the other hand said that there is only freedom in me. Both types of freedoms are paradoxical. Christian freedom is a state where your are neither free nor bound. You are in a state of Freeatharsis, coined from freedom and catharsis. Camus philosophy is one of rejectionism. Can an anarchic state where no morals exist be conceived? Is the philosophy each according to his will and each according to his ability be justified? As a Christian apologist, I would like to say we are free to accept Christ and his blood shed on the cross. The human heart has a peculiar ideological symptom and that is the acceptance of Christ. Being in Christ is joy. Death is only physical as far as the body is concerned. The soul and spirit are anchored to Christ. A being’s monumental realization of eternity and eternal life comes with Christ. Let’s look at Christ’s attitude to the prostitute Mary Magdalene. Christ said: ‘sin no more’. ‘Who ever in this crowd has no blemish raise a stone against her’? Christ acted out creative-empathy.
I would like to explain the contours of Camus nihilism. a) It involves the rejection of God and Metaphysics. b) It idealizes anarchy. Being in Christ gives a value, purpose and meaning to life. A Civil society does not exist in anarchy. c) It involves a rebellion with the self. I would like to define the self as an organic—automation, with a free will to choose Christ and be a whole person. The self in this world owing to Adamite sin has to maneuver between ecstasy and angstuality.

Again Camus expostulates Rousseau’s Social Contract. The social contract is a legitimate document for establishing a democratic society. Can the Social Contract be borne out on Nihilism? Why does Camus a self proclaimed Nihilist and Anarchist want to emphasize the Social Contract? Isn’t Camus subversively justifying the need for values in Society? Christian Freedom implies a justice based on responsibility.

I would like to develop an antonym for nihilism and that is purposuality (purpose and reality). A purposist exists in realization of life or in a state of valuableization (valuable and realization). Life is valuablelization derived from value and jubilation.

Sartre-Christ Paradox

Sartre

Sartre the great nihilist and existentialist said paradoxically that: ‘man is condemned to be free’. Christ on the other hand said: ‘there’s no condemnation in me, there’s only a freedom. Christian freedom is a paradox, you are neither free nor being bound. You are in Christ and that’s called Freeatharsis a word I made from freedom and catharsis. Christian freedom is the freedom of making a choice and choice can be your own freedom or your downfall. Christianity is Choice-Freedom.

Lexical Trap

camus-1-e1494939707186

Camus started it with a troubled and disoriented Philosophy of Nihilism. Nihilism self destructs the psyche and traps the individual into an abyss of nothingness. Camus in his incoherent philosophy does not explain on what or why we should rebel. Yet by the legerdemain of his pen, he casuistrily tells us to overcome the demon of suicide and authenticate our life purposefully. Heidegger gave a more authentic existence by coining Dasein or being there. To disorient Camus I could say that we authenticate our existence in cognitive, cathartic, ecstatic and angstual processualities.