James Wood om citatet som ett av kritikerns verktyg

I en intervu med James Wood i Aestethics for birds lägger Wood ut texten om hur kritikern kan och bör använda citatet:

You’re known for being an enthusiastic quoter. What role do you think quotation plays or should play in good criticism?

— I like what Stanley Cavell says is the critic’s job – to point at the thing and say, “do you see/hear/feel that?” The quoting is the pointing. Of course, it’s an essential element of the re-imagining or re-telling that brings the work alive: you plunge the reader into the text via quotation. But it’s also an essential part of making a rational argument. Indeed, I’d say that precisely because the critic’s task isn’t quite propositional – because we don’t deal in proofs – our rhetorical or persuasive argumentation has to be as scrupulously quote-heavy as the reader can bear. Just because there is wide latitude in what can be plausibly said about a text, doesn’t mean that the forms of rationality are suspended: on the contrary, we make arguments, and we adduce evidence (i.e., quotes) to support those arguments. That’s a rational procedure, if not the movement of a scientific argument beyond doubt.

Läs hela intervjun

Ola Wihlke

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Under Citat, Intervjuer

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