Saturday, October 29, 2005

Mourier Hoax II

Because of its popularity, I'm continuing the saga of Pierre Mourier, literary theorist extraordinaire. For those who missed where I introduced the Mourier hoax, it can be found here. The e-mail to which I was directly responding can be found here.

While it is about time someone finally applied Pierre Mourier to this issue, instead of simply trotting out his worn and tired acolytes Derrida and Foucault, I am surprised at your facile application of *The Rational Irrational*. As I'm sure everyone on this list knows, Mourier wrote the text at the zenith of his opium addiction, and he later recanted much of the work, returning to his earlier (and more important) ideas. For example, in his article "Language and Determined History: Some Thoughts on the Book of Job," Mourier writes:
"God's response to Job satisfies the soul but maddens the intellect. 'Can you pull in the leviation with a fishhook or tie down his tongue with a rope?' expresses the soul's yearning for confirmation that God is in control of thekosmos. Our minds rebel against this self-evident truth, that God lay the foundation of the earth in OBJECTIVE FACT [emphasis mine], leaving our fallen minds with nought but irrational interpretation of the rational world and, by extention, language." (James Dalma's translation)
You can't ignore his groudbreaking interpretation of the Tower of Babel (which a later, lesser acolyte ripped off and called "the panopticon"), nor of the creation accounts of Genesis and the Gospel of John, and act like you are actually representing Mourier! Sure, the article was controversial at the time(whenever an atheist speaks reverently of the Bible, it is bound to ruffle a few feathers), but no serious scholar puts the drug addled Mourier of *The Rational Irrational* above the prescient Mourier of "Language and Determined History!" Rationality is ALWAYS preferable to irrationality in Mourier's legitimate works, and if you think otherwise, you might want to consider re-reading for your Qualifying Exam.

Scott Nokes

In case anyone is wondering, James Dalma and his translation of the fictional Mourier are also inventions of my own.

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