October 6, 2012

Don't want to be "exploited!"

One of the ideas that I struggled with this week is in Bahktin’s theory Discourse In The Novel. In his work, he states, “What is more, all socially significant world views have the capacity to exploit the intentional possibilities of language through the medium of their specific concrete instancing.” This was confusing to me because the term “exploit” usually has a negative connotation. However, upon realizing this I wondered why I felt the world “exploit” had a negative connotation in the first place. What about our society feels the need to add a negative connotation to that word. What about our collective experiences feels the need to make us be wary of “exploit” and what it may mean for us. In Ong’s “The author is always a fiction” Ong states that the author can only ever guess who his reached audience will be. I found this to come into conflict with Bakhtin’s theory of anti-signification because how can an author ever take into account their intended audience’s experiences, which help shape, their connotation of words. It seemed to be a lose-lose situation to me. If an author places these fictive experiences on his intended audience, they’ll almost always be wrong. It seems to me that we can never fully understand what the author is intending to say based on our culture differences and how language exploit those differences. 

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