Sunday, February 24, 2008

Before I begin talking about the second chapter of Michael Jarret's Drifting on a Read I feel obliged to say that I am just about blogged out! I responded to most all of my classmates blogs, and I found myself surprised at how much I got into it. But, I have been drinking coffee all morning, and I have yet to use the restroom, so I'm going to write until my bladder makes me move or until I say all I have to say, whichever comes first.

As I mentioned in a response to one of Kendra's blog posts, Jarret irks me. He seems to spend a large portion of each chapter establishing his knowledge (both of arcane literary/cultural theory and jazz). Improvisation is a social construction, as is everything in the realm of semiotics, and as such, all signifiers are unstable, uncertain. Fine, I get it, can we please move past this idea without dropping the names of 40 French literary theorists?

As for the section on the "signature" I actually felt physically ill while reading it. Even with inclusion of the "message to skeptics" on page 90, I was unconvinced of the relevance of this section. Perhaps the excercise could have been summed up, and I might have bought it, but to share hisresponse to this writing prompt for nearly ten pages? Unacceptable.

As Stephen Colbert might say, "Jarret, you're on notice."

3 comments:

StephanieGai said...

Your blog surprised me because I really like Jarrett's reading (after the music jargon, which I don't understand), and I REALLY liked the signature idea. Isn't it funny how two people can read the same piece and have opposite reactions?

I can see what you mean about the excessive display of literary criticism knowledge; in fact, that is how I felt about Bawarshi's reading. The first 35 pages seems like a solicitation on why genre applies to more than just literary forms. I get it already!

See you Tuesday ;o)
Steph

Kendra said...

Oh no Stephanie!! I haven't done the Bawarshi reading yet and I was going here to comment on how I also was irked by Chapter 2 in Jarrett! Now I've got something to look forward to.... I guess fair warning is a good thing...

My real post for Chris: I agree with you and it makes me feel better to know somebody else thought Jarrett's chapter was alienating.

You know, it would be pretty interesting to conduct an experiment where you examine and try to draw out trends of audience reaction to certain styles of writing. Hmmmm.... here I come Bawarshi.

erindor said...

Right on, Chris (and you lovely people who have chimed in to agree with him)! I have to admit that I do not find Jarrett quite as alienating as some of you do, but I do find myself really irked and left hanging by his constant name-dropping. Yes, I understand that it is necessary for him to reference the body of critical works available, but come on! You don’t need to insert three different pieces of quotation and a half-dozen name references into a single paragraph just to show the reader that you know what you’re talking about. We get it, Jarrett, you’re smart. Now can we please move on to the meat of the discussion?