Sunday, February 20, 2011

Didn't think of this at the time
That theorists and philosophy professors should be excited by "transgressive" readings only shows their anxiety concerning the future interpretations of their own writing. Rationalism is founded on intentionality, but history rereads everything. "Fair play" in scholarship (see the recent discussion of Heidegger) is irrelevant. The problem with comparing apples to oranges is not that it insults oranges but that it tells us nothing of interest.

Two examples of rereadings, not from trash fiction, rationalist in design, but from the high literature of the Constitution.

Dred Scott and the Problem of Constitutional Evil argues that the decision was morally wrong but not technically incorrect.

What Brown v. Board of Education Should Have Said. Derrick Bell's essay is a dissent from the judgment itself.
The Merchant of Venice is predicated on the possibility of multiple readings. To call something "transgressive" is to give too much respect to the authority rebelled against.

And I said it all before but it bears repeating, now.

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