Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 33, No. 703. Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London Hosted by King's Digital Lab www.dhhumanist.org Submit to: firstname.lastname@example.org Date: 2020-03-26 10:41:42+00:00 From: Francois Lachance
Subject: epithets and vectors Re: [Humanist] 33.679: we continue Willard Susan Sontag in the beginning of Illness as Metaphor in her second paragraph states her purpose [quote] I want to describe, not what it is really like to emigrate to the kingdom of the ill and live there, but the punitive or sentimental fantasies concocted about that situation: not real geography, by stereotypes of national character. [/quote] There is here an invocation of the geographic and the cultural which puts me in mind of a set of epithets to describe cities. One place is described in terms of another. For example, Edinburgh as the Athens of the North or Wuhan as the Chicago of China. What strikes me in these epithets is their vectorial nature. They reflect a perspective "from" to bring a "to" closer to that "from". I am struggling to remain as neutral as possible in this description because I believe that there is something more than cultural imperialism at play. A desire to make familiar and bridge a distance? I realize that my struggle to grapple with these vectorial epithets is because I am located at neither end (being for the time being in Toronto). Vectors have direction but how to account for magnitude in epithets? The vector may be a limited analogy unless, perhaps, its coordinates are read off a corpus. A little Longfellow to accompany your musings: [quote] I shot an Arrow into the air It fell to earth I knew not where, For so swiftly it flew, the sight Could not follow it in its flight. [/quote] Francois Lachance Scholar-at-large http://www.chass.utoronto.ca/~lachance https://berneval.hcommons.org to think is often to sort, to store and to shuffle: humble, embodied tasks _______________________________________________ Unsubscribe at: http://dhhumanist.org/Restricted List posts to: email@example.com List info and archives at at: http://dhhumanist.org Listmember interface at: http://dhhumanist.org/Restricted/ Subscribe at: http://dhhumanist.org/membership_form.php
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