Monday, July 24, 2006

Monday July 24, 2006

Filed under: General — m759 @ 1:00 PM

Discourse Analysis

Edward Rothstein in today’s New York Times, reviewing Evil Incarnate (Princeton University Press):

“… the most decisive aspect of the myth is that it is, literally, a myth. Every single example of evil he gives turns out to be evil imagined: there is, he says, no evidence for any of it. Evil, he argues, is not something real, it is a ‘discourse,’ a ‘way of representing things and shaping our experience, not some force in itself.'”

Related material:

A review (pdf) by Steven G. Krantz of Charles Wells’s A Handbook of Mathematical Discourse (Notices of the American Mathematical Society, September 2004):

“Ambrose Bierce’s Devil’s Dictionary is a remarkable and compelling piece of writing because of its searing wit and sardonic take on life. Bierce does not define any new words. He instead gives deadly interpretations of very familiar words. Wells’s book does not fit into the same category of literary effort.”

For literary efforts perhaps more closely related to Bierce’s, see Mathematics and Narrative and the five Log24 entries ending on this date last year.

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