Ben Zimmer bgzimmer at BABEL.LING.UPENN.EDU
Sat Sep 3 14:57:26 UTC 2011

On Fri, Sep 2, 2011 at 11:20 PM, Joel S. Berson <Berson at att.net> wrote:
> At 9/2/2011 07:24 PM, Jonathan Lighter wrote:
>>The bright side, however, was the discovery of a brand-new meaning for
>>2003 Michael Corris & Robert Hobbs, in Gill Perry, ed. _Difference and
>>Excess in Contemporary Art: The Visibility of Women's Practice_ (Malden,
>>Mass.: Blackwell, 2004) 118: The copy for the back cover...interpolates a
>>readership wishing to view the world in stark contrasts and bold headlines:
>>  Expect the savage. The sensual. The shocking. The sad. The powerful. The
>>shameful. ...You may rave about MANDINGO or you may hate it, but you won't
>>be able to lay it down, because it is a terrible and wonderful novel!
>>Just what that meaning may be, I leave to others.
> Error for the postmodernist "interrogate"?  That is, the back cover
> copy makes the readership rethink its black and white view of the world.

Another possibility: error for postmodernist "interpellate",
originating in the work of Althusser:

I shall then suggest that ideology ‘acts’ or ‘functions’ in such a way
that it ‘recruits’ subjects among the individuals (it recruits them
all), or ‘transforms’ the individuals into subjects (it transforms
them all) by that very precise operation which I have called
_interpellation_ or hailing, and which can be imagined along the lines
of the most commonplace everyday police (or other) hailing: ‘Hey, you
there!' [...]
Thus ideology hails or interpellates individuals as subjects. As
ideology is eternal, I must now suppress the temporal form in which I
have presented the functioning of ideology, and say: ideology has
always-already interpellated individuals as subjects, which amounts to
making it clear that individuals are always-already interpellated by
ideology as subjects, which necessarily leads us to one last
proposition: individuals are always-already subjects.

See also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interpellation_%28philosophy%29


Ben Zimmer

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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