GAIL ENTREKIN : Spring Break
KHALID AL HARIRI : The Status of Literature in a World Where Writing Rules
JOHN HORVATH Jr : Chicago Justice

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Nuda Veritas, Nude Veritas, 1899
Nuda Veritas,...
Gustav Klimt
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Spring Break  The Status of Literature in a World Where Writing Rules Chicago Justice


GAIL ENTREKIN
Spring Break
 
Waiting for her in the airport,
standing in the throng below the escalator watching arriving passengers 
descend, I fall into a reverie, Week 3 chemo,
and for a minute I disappear. And when
I come to, she is tapping my shoulder,
her whole face smiling, her long hair swinging across her eyes. Her backpack on
her strong shoulders, she bends to me, smelling the way she does, of fruit and 
hot sun, and a weight inside me shifts; I reach out for her; something black lifts 
and floats away.

                                     For 13 days even if her goings are more than her 
comings, even if I close my lips firmly on my mouthful of fear, I'll open my 
windows to let in all her shine, her voice will roll pleasantly over me, bathing me 
in long stories, laughter, music from another room.

Katy's home
and all the lights are on
at my house.


From the GAIL ENTREKIN''s Rearrangement of the Invisible 
(Poetic Matrix Press, 2012)


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I have many things to write unto you but I will not write withPen and ink
--JOHN the theologian

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Spring Break  The Status of Literature in a World Where Writing Rules Chicago Justice


KHALID AL HARIRI
The Status of Literature in a World Where Writing Rules


When in eternal lines to time thou grow’st:
So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.
William Shakespeare

In the late 1960s, the French philosopher Jacques Derrida broke with the western mentality which had been based upon binary oppositions that privileged one side to be the center, and subordinated the other to be marginalized. Hence, the privileged half would have more value; for instance, in the speech/writing binary opposition, speech was always considered superior to writing, and that writing is the mere supplement of speech. However, Derrida claims in Of Grammatology that, “ either writing was never a simple ‘supplement,’ or it is urgently necessary to construct a new logic of the ‘supplement.’” In fact, he distinguishes writing from speech in his article “signature, Event, Context” considering it to be more important. What Derrida does is that he reverses the hierarchy of the binary oppositions as he supposes that writing fills the original lack of speech; and in so doing he gives writing the advantage of being the reason behind the existence of speech. Literature, as part of writing, is being privileged because of many reasons, three of which are that the literary text can be repeated in the absence of its author, that the written form of the literary text gives it broader dimensions for the play of context, and that the literary text becomes more flexible when it bears deferred meanings within it.

Above all, any literary work, being in the written form, can be repeated in the absence of its author. The pre-Derridean western thought argued that in the presence/absence binary opposition, presence is the center while absence is marginalized. To illustrate this point, Mark Klages states in (): “the idea is that the spoken word guarantees the existence of somebody doing the speaking; thus it reinforces all those great humanist ideas, like that there is a real self that is the origin of what’s being said.” On the contrary, the Derridean reversal of hierarchy gives advantage to absence; thus to the written sign, which is literature in our case. Literature is kept from being lost when it is written while a speech cannot be repeated exactly holding the same expressions it held in the first it was said. Thus, the spoken work cannot be looked at as a fixed point of reference.

Second, the written form of the literary text gives it broader dimensions for the play of context. Actually, the Derridean reading of the literary text suggests what the French theorist Roland Barthes calls, “the death of the author.’ This means that the meaning is, simply, what the reader understands from the text; in other words, it is how the reader applies the text to his/her cultural and social context. I believe that literature becomes more interesting when the reader creates its meaning away from the author. To explain this point further I may say that we can play with the written text so to expose it to different contexts; in so doing, we will reach at different meanings. In contrast, once a poet reads his/her poem, without keeping a written text, it will be the mere production of the specific context which is being projected by the speaker through intonation, or distortion. The evidence suggests that the intention of the literary text is freed from the author’s dominion.

The last but not least important point is that the literary text breaks with rigidity when it bears deferred meanings within it. In the written form of the literary text, all the signifiers are deferred, because each signifier contains within itself the traces of other signifiers. To explain this, a signifier can be described by other signifiers; that is to say, we cannot reach at the meaning of a signifier unless we distinguish it from other signifiers. However, when one signifier is being present, the other signifiers should be read under erasure. In fact, the concept of the deferred meaning gives the signifiers in the literary text more flexibility when a reader wants to interpret it; i.e. the deferred meaning of the signifier gives it a larger space to refer not only to what is present, but also to what is deferred or absent.

Literature is given a better status in a world where writing rules for being a written form. The Derridean reversal of hierarchy of the speech/writing binary opposition opens the space for new layers of understanding the literary work through the reader’s multiple interpretations. Furthermore, it helps the emergence of other literary critical theories such as Feminism and Post-colonialism among other literary critical schools whose basic premises are, also, based upon the reversal of their hierarchial binary oppositions.



Khalid Al Hariri has worked as a translator in the UAE. In Jordan he received an MA in English Literature and Criticism for which he wrote a thesis entitled “The Village as Mise-en-Scene in Modern Irish Drama.” He works as an English teacher, drama club supervisor and trainer, and has won two awards for his efforts.He writes essays on literature and criticism. Find him at http://about.me/khalid_al_hariri. KHALID's 'The Status of Literature in a World Where Writing Rules' is reprinted with the author's permission from MARCO POLO.

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Poetry endangers the established order  of the soul -Plato

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Spring Break  The Status of Literature in a World Where Writing Rules Chicago Justice


JOHN HORVATH Jr
Chicago Justice
On a windless noon in summer, another midday without morning, on a corner in Chicago, in the Southside of the city where policemen sit and coolly chatter in their air-conditioned Chevy without speaking to young boys who have grown expert at going nowhere doing nothing gathered on that corner beyond hearing wouldn't listen couldn't care less what they're saying inside the city Chevy what the sweaty boys in blue are saying with- out laughter about grandmother mama sister and all that family confusion how no one truly knows his brother and the others outside laughing also saying something crude and cruel about that sister mother wife or girlfriend some have witnessed come a-calling night or daylight hours even when policemen work their shift at sharing a steaming cup of coffee even midway thru hot summer exactly as mid autumn or the winter - no spring inside the city where there's only this long waiting for something else to happen - nothing happens until nightfall when they become lanky quick and deadly with uncaring. Until sunset there is justice by its absence seen in empty faces. A trigger finger itches.
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GAIL ENTREKIN : Spring Break
KHALID AL HARIRI : The Status of Literature in a World Where Writing Rules
JOHN HORVATH Jr : Chicago Justice

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