Sunday, November 4, 2007

The Taming of the Dragon

In a previous post, I likened our class in Communication Theory to a dragon in need of slaying. That may have been because I was faced with a paper due this coming week and the focus of the paper kept disappearing on me ... the dragon breathed fire and smoke which obscured his scaly body.

Thanks to fellow Fellow, Sandra Martinez, who calmly rode to my rescue and helped me see that I had too many swords that I kept tripping over, that particular dragon is well on its way to being slain.

In the meantime, I've been reading the intro by one of the theorists ... and have found a writer with a sense of humor! Erving Goffman wrote a book (Frame Analysis) back in 1974 about how we each see things differently.

Yeah, I know. There's nothing new under the sun and how did he get away with writing a whole book about that? In any case, he begins:

"There is a venerable tradition in philosophy that argues that what the reader assumes to be real is but a shadow, and that by attending to what the writer says about [whatever subject -- he lists several], the veil can be lifted. That sort of line, of course, gives as much a role to the writer and his writings as is possible to imagine and for that reason is pathetic. (What can better push a book that the claim it will change what the reader thinks is going on?)"

And a bit further down:

"All the world is not a stage -- certainly the theater isn't entirely. (Whether you organize a theater or an aircraft factory, you need to find places for cars to park and coats to be checked, and these had better be real places, which, incidentally, had better carry real insurance against theft.)"

So excuse me while I go curl up with a different dragon and have a bit of a giggle.

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