The following is assembled from phrases found in the opening six pages of The Norton’s Anthology of Theory and Criticism, a text that some readers might find a touch dense, or perhaps conducive of a sprained wrist. I took the liberty of assembling this found poem from the text, to keep on hand for moments when something lighter is in order.
What does theory demonstrate? That there is no position free of it,
not even common sense. The same is true of an author’s inner being,
institutions, historical periods, and conflict.
What is interpretation? Consider dense and enigmatic
explication, exegesis––versus intimate, casual appreciation.
In order to establish our bearings,
along the way
True, there are problems
with seemingly sensible methods
––ambiguities, paradoxes, the problem of no easy
answers––and theorists, and well-known heuristic devices.
The notion of mirroring necessarily contains
distorting devices: signifiers, signified;
the crisis of reference; the dizzying view.
Significantly, it re-presents and refracts