Ihab Hassan
Quotations


Quotations offer one kind of break in what the eye can see, the ear can hear.

We rarely quote nowadays to appeal to authority . . . though we quote sometimes to display our sapience and erudition. Some authors we quote against. Some we quote not at all, offering them our scrupulous avoidance, and so make them part of our “white mythology.” Other authors we constantly invoke, chanting their names in cerebral rituals of propitiation or ancestor worship.

The (post) structuralist temper requires too great a depersonalization of the writing/speaking subject. Writing becomes plagiarism; speaking becomes quoting. Meanwhile, we do write, we do speak.



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