acauto


Anthony Costanza

Theories
of Meaning

1-25-99

[1] What writers do you
really really love?

Admittedly, and quite un-apologetically,
I generally prefer the work of SF
and Fantasy writers. I „really really love“ the work of Orson Scott Card
(Ender’s Game, ‘Alvin Maker’ series), Ursula Le Guin (everything),
Robert Jordan (‘Wheel of Time’ series), Tad
Williams (‘Memory, Sorrow, Thorn’ series), Douglas Adams (anything and
everything), and Frank Herbert’s
Dune (and subsequent series, will
always amaze me). In terms of fiction…I also enjoy–and this is hardly
rare, it seems, on any college campus—what I have read by Kurt Vonnegut.
I „really really love“ Joseph Heller’s Catch-22,
but have not read anything else he has written (though I’ve heard he never
again came close to the genius of this novel, so I don’t think I ever will).
I am also a big fan of Edgar Allan Poe.

[2] Why I major in literature?

For some peculiar reason,
back in High School
(and maybe a couple of years before that), English seemed to be one of
the few things I was capable of excelling in/at. I have always read a lot,
I enjoy reading; I took some great Lit. courses here at UCSC early in my
college career, I saw a few more courses of interest in the catalog, so
Literature as a major became a viable, reasonable choice.

[3] Of the texts we’ve
read so far, which interested you the most?

So far, The
Seventh Letter
and Meno
have interested me the most.

[4] explain why [3]

Seventh Letter: I saw what
I initially believed to be a political agenda in the Seventh
Letter
, which seemed to me a more (for lack of a better word) tangible
subject of discussion that virtue (which isn’t to say, in retrospect of
course, that virtue was ever really a discussion topic), love, the universal
vs. the conventional, etc. Although, as I will discuss in #5, I actually
enjoy such questions as those produced out of discussions concerning the
topics mentioned above; for rooting out meaning (if I have, or have ever
been able to root out the (true) meaning of any text) from a text, however,
I frantically grasped at such a (mundane, or maybe more earthly—no that’s
not it either, ?) topic as politics, hoping to situate myself within the
text, to exert some manner of „remaining afloat“- mentality. Also, it was
the first time we were sure as readers, that it was Plato speaking—at least
I was led to believe we could be sure.

Meno:
Simply, I found it interesting to read a logical (if not rational—well,
maybe not rational) discussion of reincarnation conducted/introduced in
the course of the dialogue, by Socrates.

[5] of the kinds of questions
we’ve asked so far {I mean in seminar} what kind


do you find most compelling
to pursue?

What
‘is’ anything
, and how are we to indicate/refer to/ or otherwise speak
about/debate about/discuss anything with what Socrates asserts is a faulty
or at least flawed language/semiological structure.

What is the meaning of a
text, or a discussion. What does it mean for the student to pursue this
meaning as
exemplified
in Socrates’ almost „erotic„
relationship with the pursuit knowledge, and further, the
pursuit of truth
.

Lastly, I enjoyed our brief
discussion
the other day, which concerned current trends in public education; any
sort of topical allusion which helps to illustrate issues discussed in
the texts and in the seminar are valuable.

To Anthony on Ion with Earl’s comments

To the Syllabus

To the Wizard

Earl
Jackson, Jr.


tomrip5@aol.com

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