Rourkela – The Illustrated Journey Into The Life Of The City Around India’s First Public Sector Steel Plant

A new type of history book about a city ..600+ illustrations, 270 pages , about India’s first public sector steel plant and a city around it… legends, facts, figures..about tribals, their life, about the British Raj and post modern Indian scenario..about how the steel industry came up in the remote area and how the city got into Narendra Modi’s smart city list..

A new type of history book about a city ..600+ illustrations, 270 pages , about India's first public sector steel plant and a city around it... legends, facts, figures..about tribals, their life, about the British Raj and post modern Indian scenario..about how the steel industry came up in the remote area and how the city got into Narendra Modi's smart city list..

 

Completely illustrated narrative about Rourkela, a city that become one of the iconic industrialization urban symbol in post independent India. A remote village of the ‘Roulia’ tribe, surrounded by dense forests and hills amidst India’s one of the mineral rich valleys, got selected by the makers of modern India to host India’s first public holding Steel and Iron company Hindustan Steel Limited. This story is the the journey of becoming one of the founding stones of modern industrialization of India. “History of a less travelled yet one of the cult cities of modern Indian town retold disguised as a compelling and gripping story through pictures” Explore the fine details about the place, it’s aboriginal, the migrant population, the culture and the impact of urbanization in social life. An unique experimental book of it’s own kind.

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How UX Fits in Different Models of SDLC?

In my last post “Challenges in UX integration with different SDLC models” we explored about the challenges of fitting UX into different SDLC models. I would like to extend that discussion in the current post.

 

he pre-agile era saw many attempts of UX getting fitted into the waterfall and it’s derivative models of SDLCs. Such attempts by the many developers were natural outcome of the post-projects disasters, where ‘design’ was never the personality of “software product engineering” and the lack of usability doomed the products even after the initial set of requirements check list was fulfilled.

More demands for Graphic User Interfaces (GUI) in software application (due to GUI’s power to offer better visibility and power to the end users) tempted the developers to follow emerging UX practices which included a task to add “design phase” to existing SDLCs. Waterfall model was good enough to accommodate a notion of design in its phases and become popular despite its limitations (which later pave paths for Agile era). Most of the design approaches and techniques created during this era were having mostly a goal “to eliminate any deviation during the development process, by telling the developers exactly what we expect of them”.

Let’s see how different models of SDLC accommodated UX differently in the following:

 

Waterfall model

In this process the developers follow the different phases described in the previous section in order.


 

 

 

UCD components in Waterfall model:

Historically the waterfall model of SDLC can use the UCD components in its engineering process and the product to translate the “set of requirements into something beautiful”. It is relatively simpler and easy to spot the to spot the areas within different phases where UX can be easily fits in as each phases are clearly

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In this model once one phase is finished, it proceeds to the next one. Reviews may occur before moving to the next phase which allows for the possibility of changes. Reviews may also be employed to ensure that the phase is indeed complete; the phase completion criteria are often referred to as a “gate” that the project must pass through to move to the next phase. Waterfall discourages revisiting and revising any prior phase once it’s complete.

 

Spiral model:

In this model deliberate iterative risk analysis, particularly suited to large-scale complex systems happens at a predefined frequency. It emphasizes risk analysis, and thereby requires customers to accept this analysis and act on it. So the developers typically spend more to fix the issues and are therefore often used for large-scale internal software development.

The Spiral is visualized as a process passing through some number of iterations, with the four quadrant diagram representative of the following activities:

  1. Formulate plans to: identify software targets, implement the program, clarify the project development restrictions
  2. Risk analysis: an analytical assessment of selected programs, to consider how to identify and eliminate risk
  3. Implementation of the project: the implementation of software development and verification

 

 

 

Because of frequent risk analysis and more effort spent by the developer to analyze the risks accurately, the cost factor goes up in the project.

 

UCD components in Spiral model:

In Spiral model, the UCD design can work across different quadrants of activities. The first quadrant where the objectives are determined, the usability and user research can happen as this is where requirements are planned. In the second quadrant the activities involving risk identification can best use UX activities involving IA and prototyping. The third quadrant of development and testing can utilize consultation and usability testing. The final fourth quadrant of activities can be used for feasibility evaluation and setting up usability metrics and bench marking for the next release.

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Iterative development model

This method helps to develop a system through repeated cycles and in smaller chunks at a time, allowing software developers to take advantage of what was learned during development of earlier parts or versions of the system.

Incremental development divides the system functionality into increments (portions). In each increment, a portion of functionality is delivered through cross-discipline work, from the requirements to the deployment. The unified process groups increments/iterations into phases: inception, elaboration, construction, and transition. It identifies scope, functional and non-functional requirements and risks at a high level which can be estimated. 

Applying this model to multidisciplinary complex project with large volume can come with a risk as inability in the developers part to uncover important issues early before problems can spoil the project.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

UCD components in Iterative development model

In this model each iteration cycle can be divided into different activities phases to incorporate UCD methodologies for UX integration. Each iteration activities block that are mostly split across concept, design, build and test phases can be used for different UCD activities.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Agile development

This is perhaps today’s the most widely used SDLC model. It uses iterative development as a basis ,but uses people-centric viewpoint through user feedbacks rather than planning as the primary control mechanism. The feedback is driven by regular tests and releases of the evolving software.

There are many variations of agile processes “:

  1. Agile Data (AD)
  2. Agile Microsoft Solutions Framework (MSF)
  3. Agile Modeling (AM)
  4. Agile Unified Process (AUP)
  5. Dynamic System Development Method (DSDM)
  6. Extreme Programming (XP)
  7. Feature Driven Development (FDD)
  8. Scrum
  9. Usage-Centered Design (UCD)

 

 

UCD components in Agile development

This is the most popular and successful SDLC model as of today as it allows better scope in providing continuous and iterative refinement to the product.

 

Historically when developers out of their frustrations with waterfall model turned to the growing Agile Movement to regain their control over the process, they found that “like its ancestors, Agile also didn’t take UX into account. Several of the Agile methods, such as Scrum and XP, recommended users sitting with the team during the development process, but that isn’t the same as design. Everyone who figured out how to get what they wanted from plugging UX into a phased waterfall approach was now struggling to work inside the Agile methods. The Agile principles, that focus more on communication and less on contracts, didn’t fit the status quo UX processes”. So efforts were made again to implement UX into Agile methods just like the way it was implemented into waterfall model . But it was not easy as , in waterfall model there are 2 things which helped implemented UX :

 

  1. The objectives of the project stays same from kickoff to the point where the finished product is launched.
  2. The designers created the set of design specifications as a contract which the developers had to implement into the final product.

 

And above two cannot be expected from Agile model as it is based on iterations and gradual exploration of what is best fit for the final product . On ejust simply cannot predict the final design from the start of the project. So many attempts were made to get the best agile SDLC practices that can incorporate the UX , before “Lean UX” was born.

 

As the above figure shows the documentation and guidelines are stripped to their bare minimum components, providing the minimum amount of information necessary to get started on implementation. Also Long detailed design cycles are discarded in favor of very short, iterative, low-fidelity cycles, with feedback coming from all members of the implementation team early and often.

(c) 2013-14, Samir Dash

Jayanta Mahapatra’s “Relationship” is available for iPhone/iPad/Android and as Standard eBook Formats

 

 

 

Relationship by Jayanta Mahapatra.

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Jayanta Mahapatra needs no introduction. Any discussion on Indian English Poetry is incomplete without reference to his poetical works. Mahapatra holds the distinction of being the first Indian English poet to have received the Sahitya Akademi Award for the current book “Relationship”. “his international reputation has been compared to that of Wordsworth…”

The Hindu, Sunday, Jan 29, 2006

‘History’ in Criticism – the ‘Other’ Side of the Story (Part – 1)

Image

[Fig: Michel Foucault]

Focault and his contemporary post structuralists might make it a part of his consciousness that ontological studies of literature leads towards a future of studies without a point of convergence, as knowledge necessarily entails power relationship – that the moment one attempts to define in strict tones some aspect of ‘text’, it becomes something else. Exploiting this power relationship of knowledge with the interpreter’s environment (which is essentially socio-political). Said in Orientalism, adopted a different methodological standpoint – the method of “historical generalization”. And after publication of Orientalism the subaltern poststructural critics like Spivak termed it as the “source book” for the related disciplines  to which she belongs. The reason to present this fact is that, I want to direct our attention to one distinguish point of today’s criticism – that the so called anti-historic criticism (like post-structuralism) lead the way to point a fault i.e. “ontological interpretation” is never free from bias and thus it gives way to ‘historical generalization’ or (more specifically) to ‘use of history in critical interpretation of texts’, to which it is totally against. That means, in plain words, through the structuralists and post structuralists, deconstructionist distorted history, by assigning it the title of a ‘system’ with changing ‘center’ (For instance, Derrida thought his articulation of his deconstructionist ideas as an event, and this he showed as a process of change of “center” – by replacing “metaphysics” with the “deconstruction”, at the center of our belief system), they later paved the way (through Focault’s theory) for a new mode of interpretation where history plays an important role – in post colonial, subaltern and Oriental studies (more specifically in the words of Said and Bhaba).

Thus the most interesting point that comes to our notice is the relationship between two modes of idealism – one that supports the use of history and the other that is totally against the use of history in the study of literature are infact are the two sides of the same coin. This point as we observed in case of modern critical theories, tempts us to examine its validity in every phase of critical history itself, and in the following I am attempting to give this temptation , a mode of reality.

(Continued…)

[From my essay with the same title written in December 2003]

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© Samir K. Dash, 2003

Two oldmen

 

 
Two oldmen

Two oldmen met each other
One entered from a door
The other leaving

Both smiled at each other
Talked insane to the other
One has learned this world
The other yet to
One thing common
Both innocent at the moment
Rest too complex to explain
Like life itself!

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“Two oldmen” (c) Samir K. Dash: 2011,

All Rights Reserved. No part of the above poem(s) can be published any where in any form (electronic or non-electronic ), with out the written permission of author. However you can direct yours links to this page in your websites.

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Solitude

Small hole in my heart

Let’s all emotions loose

Now is hence but a dry pot

Where lonely wind screams

At its solitude.

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“Solitude” (c) Samir K. Dash:  2011,

All Rights Reserved. No part of the above poem(s) can be published any where in any form (electronic or non-electronic ), with out the written permission of author. However you can direct yours links to this page in your websites.

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Distant Beach

In the bank of my memories

I used to gather my oysters

In the sands of time

There are still my mounts

But a feeling of lonliness

Absent with me ..the other one

Carrying the words

Walking ahead of me

— the world of wonders

To haunt me in the evening
While sitting at the side-window

Like a life in the sideways,

Feeling gush of the damp wind

Blowing blowing…

Reminding me of a girl

At the distant beach.

 

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“Distant Beach” (c) Samir K. Dash:  2011,

All Rights Reserved. No part of the above poem(s) can be published any where in any form (electronic or non-electronic ), with out the written permission of author. However you can direct yours links to this page in your websites.

——————————————————————————————

 

Thought Castle

 

 

Thought Castle

 

I don’t know

Why I long to own you

Miss you in the evening times

Sitting beside my books

With the neighbor of some blank pages

Waiting for some dark impressionsI would make on them

Sealing their fate, like you have made mine.

The dark impressions, on the sheetsLike ghosts of some unknown fear

— a fear I have reserved from you

The way I feel threatened

By the thought of losing you.

I know love is not my feeling

It is something deeper in me!

 

 
Feb 22, 2011

Structuralism, Post Structuralism, Deconstruction and Super Structuralism

The following post is taken from my book   A Beginner’s Guide to Modern Critical Theory

 


Structuralism

Structuralism has its origin in the science of linguistics. In 1915 ferdinand de Sassure of France published Cours de Lingustique Generale, from which the basis of linguistics was established. From this point of evolution, the movement under the label of Structuralism started in the field of language and literary theory, which is concerned with ‘language’ in a most general sense (not just the language of utterance in speech and writing).

 

Structuralism considers everything, from the point of view of codes of communication. Any way Sassure made a number of important original contributions:

 

 

  1. The concept of language as a sign system: According to Sassure, language is a ‘sign system’ or structure whose individual components can be understood only in relation to each other and to the system as a whole

NOTE:

Code: Though ‘code’ generally means a collection or digest of laws or a system of rules etc., in structuralism it is rather specific – it denotes a culture’s system of signification through which reality is mediated. The theory of structuralism is that all cultural phenomena are products of codes or code.

 

Everything in the theory of structuralism, is a product of a system of signification or code. The relationship between the elements of the code give it signification . codes are arbitary (as all signs are arbitary).

 

  1. Distinction between “langue”and “parole”: “Langue” and “parole” are the terms which Sassure introduced as fundamental to structuralism. Their English equivalents are “language” and “speech”. “Langue” denotes the system or totality of language shared by the ‘collective unconsciousness’ . Thus  ‘langue’ means the whole system of language with its elements like rules for combination (grammar, syntax etc.). ‘Parole’ is the use which individuals make of the resources of language, which the system produces or combines, in speech or writing or utterance.  ‘Langue’ is what people use in thinking and “parole” is what they use in speaking or writing. So the former is abstract where as the later is concrete. Sassure hence defined distinguistic study as the study of system which underlies any particular human signifying human practice, not the individual utterance.. thus “langue” represents the language as a whole (e.g. French, English etc.) and “parole” representing utterance, a particular use of individual units of language.

 

  1. Distinction between “Diachronic” and “Synchronic”: sassure coined these two terms in 1913. A diachronic approach to a study of language involves an examination of its origin, development, history and change. In contrast synchronic approach entails a study of the linguistic system in a particular state without reference to time. The importance of the Synchronic approach is that, Sassure theorized each sign as with out any properties other than the specific relational ones which defines it with in its own system.
  2. Distinction between “Signifier” and “Signified”: In Cours de Linguistique Generale (1915) sassure describes language system as a ‘series of differences of sound combined with a series of differences of ideas’. He coined two terms “Signifier” and “Signified”. According to him , each sign in language is an union of signifier (i.e. sound image or its graphic equivalent) and a signified (i.e. the concept referred to). The letter of h-o-u-s-e, form a signifierwhich evoke the signified ‘house’. The association of signifier and signified has no natural link. And each sign in a linguistic system possesses ‘meaning’ by virtue of the fact that it is different from any other sign rather than because of any linguistic reason why this should be so. ‘House’ is different from ‘louse’ or ‘mouse’. Thus a word can be identified because of how it is related to, and different from other words in that linguistic system. As Sassure puts it: “in language there are only differences without positive terms”. Sassure’s works have been fundamental to all developments in structuralism and post-structuralism and hence have also influenced psychoanalytical criticism as developed by for instance Jacques Lacan.

 

 

 

 

 

Structuralism  during this period was being influenced by three movements (and which were also labeled under it):

 

  • C. S. Peirce’s  “Semiotics”
  • Geneva School of “Phenomenology”
  • Prague Linguistic Circle (Russian formalism)

 

 

 

Strauss’ Myth criticism and Narratology

 

 

Then structuralism was furthered by Claude Levi-Strauss, who developed a structural theory (later known as Narratology) in a consideration of myth, ritual and kinship, especially in his classic work Anthropologie Structurale (1958). He sees social structure as kind of model and shows that the behaviour patterns of kinship and the existence of institutions depend on methods of communication that are all characteristics of how the human mind works. Thus he analyses modes of thoughts as well as modes of action, looking for the system of differences which underline practice, rather than their origins and causes. This developed into “Narratology” – a further aspect of structuralism.]

 

Narratology or the “Structuralist Analysis of Narratives” was begun by Strauss in 1958. He believes that the totality (i.e. all myths that are available) have some constant, basic and universal structures, through which all myths can be explained.

 

He sees myth as language system, which can be broken into smaller individual units called ‘mythemes’ – by analogy with phonemes. Myths can be read in relation to each other rather than as reflecting a particular version. Hence the concept of a kind of ‘grammar’ or ‘set of relations’ under the surface of the narrative. Later this theory was developed into a major part of critical theory.

 

 

 

 

After 1966 onwards two new views in context with structuralism came to front:

I.      Deconstruction theory

II.      Post-structuralism

Both of these provided complement to structuralism.

 

 

 

Derrida’s Deconstruction

 

 

In 1966, Jaquous Derrida published an essay titled : Structure, Sign and Play in the Discourse of Human Sciences which was later followed by his book Of Grammatology (1967). In these two works Derrida argued the following:

 

  • A text can be read as something quite different from what it appears to be saying. In short a text may possess so many different meanings that it can not have a meaning (i.e. there is no guaranteed essential meaning to a text).
  • The priority since the time of Plato was given to speech over writing, as it was believed that there is a gap in writing, which speech does not possess. But Derrida’s theory argued that both speech and writing are lacking in ‘presence’. In short previously the meaning conveyed by (or signified by) speech was considered as instable and writing having a fix stable meaning. But Derrida’s theory that a text can’t have a meaning, stressed that writing is equally unstable.
  • Derrida’s theory suggested that there can’t be ‘binary opposition’ in a language system or any code. As Derrida believed that a text does not have a single meaning  of any kind and as there is only the text and no meaning, then it can not have a centre, to which there can exist a binary opposition. Hence, he discarded presence of any binary opposition in a text. Moreover, he has mentioned that in the place of binary opposition there exist ‘disseminations’ (i.e. diffusement of meaning) . the various meanings spread over one another and hence betray any center.
  • Derrida proposed the theory of “Differance”, which he used to oppose “logo centrism”. In French language “differer”  means to “postpone, to delay” and also it means “to differ  or be different from”. Derrida uses “differance” in pushing Sassure’s theory to its logical conclusion and argues that to differ or differentiate is also to defer, postpone or withheld. The word itself illustrates Derrida’s point that writing doesn’t copy speech; the distinction between the two different forms “differance” and “difference” doesn’t  correspond to any distinction in their spoken form. Thus meaning is continuously and endlessly postponed as each word leads us on to yet another word in the system of signification. So, Derrida sees a text as an endless sequence of signifiers, which has no ultimate signifier.

 

 

Barthe’s Poststructuralism –The Death of Author

 

 

In 1967 Ronald Barthe published Elements of Semiology (1967), which stands as a temporal marker of post-structuralism. Hence he proposed that structuralism is capable of an explanation of any sign system of any culture (i.e. all system of signification). But he also perceives that such an explanation necessitates a theology of meaning or explanation. This gave rise to the idea of “Meta Language”, which in fact “beyond language” or “Second order language” which is used to describe, explain or interprete a “First order language”. Each order of language implicitly relies on a metalanguage by which it is explained.  Regarding metalanguage Barthes says that when one language is interpreted there comes the indefinite regression or “Aporia”. Thus the result will be that all metalanguages will be vanished in interpreting one another. This Barthes used to defend structuralism  , which stress on binary opposition and on its idea that text has a meaning (which is opposed by Deconstruction). He believed thus the signifying meanings of a text can be fixed and are need not to be diffuse or disseminated as proposed by Derrida.This theory even puts Deconstruction in a place (against its principles and design) where deconstruction acts like a meta language.

 

 

 

But as we see, discourse upon discourse in regression – which is one aspect of Barthe’s post structuralist thinking – is fundamentally, deconstructive. Barthe’s later theories includes his concepts of

  • Death of author (In his essay The Death of Author )
  • “Plaisir” and “Jouissance” are the experiences that a reader has while reading.
  • Text may be ‘readerly’ or ‘writerly’ or even both.

NOTE:

Readerly / writerly:

Barthes proposed this theory in his book S/Z (1970). A readerly text means a book to which  areader’s response is more or less passive (e.g. any realistic novel). Writerly text makes demands on the reader to work things out (e.g. Ulysses by James Joyce). Here reader is no longer a consumer but a producer of the text.

 

Death of Author concept of Barthes can be seen in reference to his concept of ‘writerly’ text. He believed that the reader must be free of the concept the author associated with the text. Because, the author if remains a suppressing force, then the reader sees what the author wants to project, thus he is unable to see the plurality of text. In a ‘writerly’ text the reader, is more independent to see the plurality of text.

 

Krestivan poststructuralism – foundation to Feminstic Criticism

 

Further important contributions to Post structural theory was made by Julia Krestiva of France. In 1974, she published Le Revolution du Language Poetique . in this she discusses the relationship  between “orderly/rational” and “hetrogenious/irrational” and also between the “conscious” and “unconscious” . she suggests that Semiotic material is irrational and illogical, the material of impulse and rhythm ; while reason creates logic, syntax and coherence and brings about the symbolic element. There are implied antimonies such as feelings/ thoughts ; heart/ brain and to reverse the sequence in the binary opposition.

 

She stresses that the “semiotic element” is linked with the concept of “infant” – a word which is “speechless” – and is opposed to “symbolic order”, hence sees it as a means of undermining the symbolic order. It is at its pre-oedipal (or infant) stage is opposed to strict meaning, a static condition. Rather it is at this time fluid and it is there fore opposed to any binary opposition, such as masculine/ feminine.

 

Though of course there is sometimes more than a hint of binary opposition. Hence semiotic writing is bi-sexual. For instance James Joyce and Virginia Woolf are semiotic writers, using a fluid disseminated ‘writerly’ mode and style. Such kind of structural thinkings of Julia Krestiva, raised the possibility of “Feminstic Criticism” – a theory of the idea of “é criture feminine”

 

Superstructuralism

 

 

In 1987, Richard Harland coined the term “Superstructuralism” in his treatise Superstructuralism: the Philosophy of structuralism and Post structuralism (1987)

He uses it to cover the whole field of structuralism, post structuralism, semiotics etc.

He also suggests that the term can be read as “Superstructure – alism”, and elaborates the idea that “superstructuralists” invert our ordinary base and superstructure models until what we used to think of as super structure takes precedence over what we used to think of as basic.

 

 

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A Beginner’s Guide to Modern Critical Theory published by Prakash Book Depot, bareilly, UP (India), 2005, ISBN:81-7977-147-4: This is a book for Post Graduation level students (in English Literature)of Indian Universities.

(c) 2005, All Rights Reserved. No part of the above post can be published any where in any form (electronic or non-electronic ), with out the written permission of author. However you can direct yours links to this page in your websites.

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Fallacies for Advanced Readers

It was in the neo-classical age, when Pope aimed his bitter agonies upon Colliey Cibber – because he [Cibber] had severely criticized Pope’s earlier work – Cibber commented that once a writer writes something, it becomes no longer his own, and therefore he should not be sentimental due to the criticism that is to be made on his work , as a man who goes to the rain, should not be worried about being wet.

This is perhaps the best expression of mankind on the rising tendencies related to the field of judgement of literature. I say this because, the work of a critic and the criticism on it are two dimension of whole literary study, and every scholar knows that there is an age old conflict between these two to gain supremacy over the other. This fact that a conflict is going on is even not simply in black or white, rather it turned out to be in a range of shades of grey – i.e. the critical discussion of literature has atendency to diverge the aim with which one starts to enter into the process of critical evaluation of any work of art. We see from Plato’s time that the discussion of literature hangs over mainly two aspects:

  1. What is the literature (or poetry )?
  2. What is its aim?

 

But while analyzing literature, the supposed aim seems more blur and undergoes a process of shifting. The more one tries to reach at the aim, the more it slips back like a mirage. We may use post-structuralist views that each time the “signified” is replaced by a signifier due to the fact that multiplicity of meaning exists and a text can’t have ‘a meaning’. So, what I am trying point out here is that due to such “shifts” in our presupposed aim to find out truth related to any piece of work of art, there arises the errors , which the New Critics had, in their attempt to categories the end of their ideology, grouped under the common term ‘fallacy’.

All the well established fallacies, that have secured their seats in various glossaries of literary terms, such as ‘Affective Fallacy’, ‘Tragic Fallacy’, ‘Internal Fallacy’, are in fact some kind of the ‘conflict’ that I have mentioned at the very beginning of this paper.

This conflict between writer and critic can be seen as the junction where diverging paths of exploration to the studies of different fallacies are originated. And this was recognized first by C.S. Lewis, who termed this ‘root of conflict’ as ‘Personal Heresy’. In 1934, C.S.lewis published an article ‘The Personal Heresy in criticism’ in Essays and Studies, where he reacted heavily to E.M.W.Tilliyard’s view that poetry is a state of mind of the poet – a reflection of the personality of the poet. Then the replies and counter replies of the two were later came up in a single volume in 1939 under the title The Personal Heresy.

 

The seed of such conflict was there back in the 20s, in the criticism of T.S.Eliot and I.A.Richards. Eliot’s view on ‘tradition’ squeezed the personality of the author out of his work as he described the expression by the poet as the product of past authors’ dead metaphors, language, ideas, expressions, by which he concluded that there is no individual pure-contribution of the author present in his work. Richard’s dissection of human mind and its working in the context of literary creation and judgment presented the similar view. And these views were concluded as ‘Internal fallacy’ in 1946 by W.K.Winsmatt in his book The Intentional Fallacy (reprinted in his The Verbal Icon,1954),where he summed up the “age old conflict” and declared it an error to assign the possession of any of the either of the writer or the critic on any work of art – that a poem ‘is not the critic’s own and not the author’s.’ and it is concluded that the work of art ‘goes about the world beyond his [ author or critic] to intend about it or control it.’

This view was later made the ‘punch line’ of the readers response theory, that exploited the newly invented structure and post structural jargon to sell this very old wine in a new bottle. Each critic of the readers response theory used a shade that is not exactly black or white, but a ‘grey’ to tell the same old theory.

But the difference that was there in the readers response theory was that, it instead of talking about the conflict directly, tried to gossip on one of the aspect of the conflict – the ‘subjective’ and ‘objective’ aspect of whole literary process from author to critic (or reader).

What we see here is how we slip from the original aim (we slip from focusing on the conflict to an aspect of this conflict). This ‘deferring’ from the soul aim is another kind of fallacy about which W.K.Wnsmatt, talked in 1954 in The Verbal Icon. This he termed as ‘Affective Fallacy’.

This fallacy is the error, which arises from the ‘deference’ from the ontological aspect of literature to a dimension which is relatively near to the centre of the discussion, but is in fact not the exact centre – ‘a confusion between the poem and its results (what it is and what it does).’

This critical error that ‘results in the mind of the reader’ is in fact the very base on which deconstructionist ideas are based upon. Derrida’s, Focault’s theories are always insisting upon  the ‘gap’ that exists between ‘signiufier and ‘signified’, which ultimately leads the ‘signifier’ to be a ‘zaum’ (Russian term indicating that ultimate truth can be never expressed).

And from this whole discussion, we can form a rough hypothesis that the knowledge (if seen as a ‘tantalization’) is in fact lacks any reason or logic to be expressede through any means  of articulation. But that does not mean that we must start to make our literature devoid of the sequence or logic, so that (foolish enough) our literature will resemble the experience. Because, that would be a process of unleashing. And what I am talking here in this very paragraph is all about another fallacy known as ‘Fallacy of Expressive Form’. This term, R.P.Blackmur  had adopted , from the observations of Yover Winters, who talked about ‘Heresy of Expressive Form’— that  stands for the error due to the attempt to express or or describe the ‘disintegration of a belief or a civilization in a chaotic form’. And Winters was on the view that though the world is chaotic, we must not use disintegrating form of mode of expression (such as Ulysses by Joyce).

Though Winters believed that it is impossible to discipline the indiscipline in any expression, I feel that after deconstruction theory, such a thinking can’t be any more a part of our optimistic consciousness, because no meaning is possible due to the absence of the centre in our belief system – no point of convergence exists – and which ultimately prescribes us just (to quote Edward Said)‘to attempt in spite of the impossibility of success’.

© Samir K. Dash, 2003