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The Play of Meaning(s) : Structuralism and Poststructuralism, including Deconstruction.

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Presentation on theme: "The Play of Meaning(s) : Structuralism and Poststructuralism, including Deconstruction."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Play of Meaning(s) : Structuralism and Poststructuralism, including Deconstruction

2 A. Structuralism: Context and Definition Structuralism is scientific and objective. It identifies structures, systems of relationships, which endow signs (e.g., words) or items (e.g., clothes, cars, table manners, rituals) with identities and meanings, and shows us the ways in which we think. Structuralists emphasize that description of any phenomenon or artifact without placement in the broader systems that generate it is misleading if not impossible.

3 B. The Linguistic Model Ferdinand de Saussure represented meaning in terms of this diagram. It depicts how an abstract mental concept is expressed in material form through a "sound-image" (i.e., an utterance, a written word, a picture). Saussure ‘s theory of language systems distinguishes between la langue and la parole. The parole is impossible without the support- the structural validity, generation, meaning- conferred upon it by the langue. A linguistic sign joins a signifier (a conventional sound construction) to a signification (semantic value, meaning).

4 The approach to analyzing sentences is symtagmatic – word by word in the horizontal sequence if parts or syntagms of the sentence. The two elements are irreducibly united, each evoking the recollection of the other. The mental concept is called the signified, and the material sound-image is better known as the signifier. Meaning, then, is instantiated in the process of signification. Saussure, who spoke French, called the sound pattern signifiant, and the concept signifié. These words have been translated in lots of different ways.

5 (a) shows Saussure’s first effort to depict the constitution of a sign in its two parts. A sound-image serves to represent an abstract mental conception (which in turn may stand for some “thing” in the world). (b) shows the same relation, except using the technical terminology Saussure introduces. The word “sign” is not useful to indicate the thing that does the representing, as it is the sign itself that is made of two parts: nothing is a signifier unless it is bound to something else signified, and it is this binding that constitutes the sign. (c) shows an example: the Latin word arbor is a signifier in the Latin language for the concept of a tree

6 C. Russian Formalism: Extending Saussure Vladimir Propp studied Russian folktales as structural units that together contained a limited number of types of characters and actions; Propp called these actants and functions. Vladimir Propp.

7 Victor Shklovsky pointed out literature’s constant tendency toward estrangement and defamiliarization, away from habitual responses to ordinary experience and/or ordinary language. Ex. Poetry. Shklovsky also emphasized that narrative has two aspects: story, the events or functions in normal chronological sequence, and plot, the artful, subversive rearrangement and thus defamiliarization of the parts of that sequence. Victor Shklovsky Mayakovsky and Viktor Shklovsky, Germany, 1923

8 Story and Plot Story is the elementary narrative that seeks relatively easy recognition, whereas plot estranges, prolongs, or complicates perception as in, say, one of Henry James’s fictions. Vladimir Propp

9 D. Structuralism, Lévi-Strauss, and Semiotics Lévi-Strauss concentrated on the paradigmatic approach– that is, on the deep or imbedded structures of discourse that seem to evade a conscious arrangement by the artisan but are somehow embedded vertically, latently, within texts and can be represented sometimes as abstractions or as paired opposites (binary oppositions). Lévi-Strauss.

10 D. Structuralism, Lévi-Strauss, and Semiotics The myth studies of Lévi-Strauss suggests the kind of links we infer between Oedipus Rex and Hamlet, or between King Lear and Moby-Dick, or between the Divine comedy and Leaves of Grass because the semiotic approach links messages in individual works to their respective codes, the larger system which permits individual expression- connects parole to langue(The Raw and the Cooked 147). “Raw” and “cooked” are shorthand terms meant to differentiate what is found in nature from what is a product of human culture.

11 E. French Structuralism Instead of the Russian formalists’ distinction between story and plot, the French structuralists use the terms histoire (essentially the sequence of events from the beginning to the end) and discours(discourse; the narrative rearranged and reconstructed for its own purposes and aesthetic effects). The well known French (post)Structuralist Roland Barthes.

12 E. French Structuralism In such an approach, the text is a message that can be understood only by references to the code. The reader gets the message(parole) only by knowing the code (langue) that lies behind it. Todorov has assured us that structuralism cannot interpret any literary work: it can only show us how to identify a work’s characteristic features and perhaps how to perceive their likenesses to or differences from structures in other works.

13 E. French Structuralism Barthes classifies five literary codes in fiction: 1.The code of actions (proairetic codes) asks the reader to find meaning in the sequence of events. 2.The code of puzzles (hermeneutic code) raises the questions to be answered. 3.The cultural code refers to all the systems of “knowledge and values invoked by a text.” 4.The connotative code expresses themes developed around the characters. 5.The symbolic code refers to the theme as we have generally considered it the meaning of the work.

14 F. British and American intrpreters Jonathan Culler is usually credited with the greatest success in mediating European structuralism to students of critical theory in Britain and the United States, mainly through his Structuralist Poetics; however, Robert Scholes’s Structuralism in Literature may have done more to simplify and clarify the issues and the practical possibilities of structuralism for nonprofessional students of literature.

15 F. British and American intrpreters Culler stresses that it is the reader’s business to find contexts that make a text intelligible and to reduce the “strangeness” or defamiliarization achieved by the text.

16 F. British and American intrpreters Poststructuralism and deconstruction are virtually synonymous. Deconstruction arises out of the structuralism of Roland Barthes as a reaction against the certainties of structuralism. Like structuralism, deconstruction identifies textual features, but, unlike structuralism, concentrates on the rhetorical rather then the grammatical.

17 G. Poststructuralism: Deconstruction Whereas structuralism finds order and meaning in the text as in the sentence, deconstruction finds disorder and a constant tendency of the language to refute its apparent sense. Michel Foucault. Known for trying to erase the traditional boundaries between science, history, philosophy, and science.

18 Instead of discovering one ultimate meaning for the text, deconstruction describes the text as always in a state of change, furnishing only provisional meanings. Further, deconstruction opposes logocentrism, the notion that written language contains a self-evident meaning that points to an unchanging meaning authenticated by the whole of Western tradition. Jacques Derrida. He deconstructs Saussure and Rousseau to illustrate Western society's logocentrism and phoncentrism, or focus on the "metaphysics of presence."

19 G. Poststructuralism: Deconstruction Despite its alleged shortcomings, the value of deconstruction may be as a corrective, as some of its cautions are absorbed into other interpretive approaches. In the Introduction and first chapter the authors orient us to Derrida and his work and invite us to participate in philosophical discourse with him through examination of key terms: logocentrism, deconstruction, invention, impossibility, understanding, translation, difference, and justice.

20 Cirque du Soleil

21 太陽劇團起源於加拿大魁北克市附近一個名 叫聖保羅灣 (Baie-Saint-Paul) 小鎮。 80 年代 初期,一群穿著引人注目的街頭表演者,踩 著高蹺在街上大搖大擺地走著,玩雜耍、跳 舞和吞火,或演奏音樂。這個劇團漸漸在小 鎮打開知名度,演出吸引許多人們的注意, 紀.拉里伯提 (Guy Laliberte) 也是其中一名 表演者,後來創立了太陽劇團。 揚棄了傳統馬戲團的動物或火圈的表演,每 場表演都有特定的故事、情節或主軸,融合 了舞蹈、特技、空中飛人等等肢體表演、加 上舞台燈光特效,以及特別為演出所創作的 音樂, Cirque Du Soleil 重視的是整體情境 的表現。太陽劇團從創立迄今,足跡遍布五 大洲, 200 多個城市,有超過 8,000 萬觀眾 欣賞過太陽的演出。

22 Zaia 是劇中主角的名字。這名少女夢想成為太空 人,探索浩瀚無際的奇妙宇宙。她充滿奇思 妙想 的銀河之旅,將步其父母後塵,期間更會墮入愛 河。她的守護神引領她從嶄新角度來感 受地球的 美麗,以及人性的光輝。 羅密歐( Romeo )是 Zaia 在旅程開始時偶遇的年青 男子,他被 Zaia 的天真無邪深深吸引, 因而一直追 尋其下落。當兩人最終重遇,將會演出一幕溫馨浪漫 的雙人舞,向對方表露愛 意。 神經過敏、糊里糊塗的小丑是 Zaia 在 奇妙旅程中的同伴。儘管他們曾在旅 途中分開,但最終 將會重聚。 Zaia 的父母 是太空中四 海為家的雜 技藝人,他 們將熱愛四 處遊歷、尋 幽探秘的性 格傳予 Zaia 。

23 這個造型有如默劇大師差 利卓別靈的角色,利用零 碎的管道及木板建造出搖 晃不定的高架以 作容身。 當這個容身之所最終倒下 時,台上各人紛紛聚在一 起,合力將他救出。 這一對代表著原始、純潔、 有如神話般永恆的愛。正 是透過這一對而令 Zaia 找到愛的真締, 她後來 更與羅密歐分享這種感覺。 這些來自不同年齡組別、不同社會 階層的角色,代表著地球上最後一 批人類。儘管在日常生 活上面對 各種壓逼與競爭,他們均能保持幽 默感,而且團結一致。 劇中的貴族是 來自另一年代 的角色,代表 著上流社會以 及優雅氣度。

24 在「圓球上之竹杆」 一幕中的風向儀角色, 代表著指南針上的各 點。 原始人的角色代表了地球上首批發現火種並 學懂如何運用的人類,令觀眾投入他們為獲 得愛 情與火種而舉行的慶典中。 這個莫測高深的智者 ( Sage )角色,代表著人 類的昔日回憶、廣博知識 以及 不同年代的人性特質。 他是充滿智慧的典型老祖 宗,是一眾智者的先驅。 他更 是漆黑宇宙中的一點 亮光,默默地守護著 Zaia 。

25 Cirque du Soleil Cirque du Soleil - Official Channel Cirque du Soleil - Official Channel Cirque du Soleil Las Vegas Clip from Cirque Du Soleil's 20th Anniversary called 'Midnight Sun'. Filmed in July 2004 in Montreal.Cirque Du Soleil Power Track Act - ALEGRIA (Cirque du Soleil) Power Track Act - ALEGRIA (Cirque du Soleil) Cirque du Soleil O (Terre Aride) Cirque du Soleil O Alegría - CIRQUE DU SOLEILCIRQUE DU SOLEIL Alegria by Cirque du Soleil - Official Trailer Alegria by Cirque du Soleil Alegría de Cirque du Soleil Alegría de Cirque du Soleil Official website: http://www.cirquedusol eil.com/en/default.asp Official website: http://www.cirquedusol eil.com/en/default.asp


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