My original post, commenting on Jeffrey Sconce’s discussion of "Occulted Theory" was somewhat stymied by the fact that, after several hours of thought, I was still trying to settle on what I thought the goal of his paper was.
What I take from his proposition of a "Critical Pluarlism" is the necessity for a more appreciative approach to style in criticism. This call seeks to vouchsafe a certain "productive pleasure" in reading that can be transmuted into a critical gesture, one that as he says "wills" its own reality into meaning, rather than simply being just another reading.
I am struck by the similarities of this stipulation with the problems of cinematic style proposed by Dr. Furstenau in his discussion yesterday. Style does seem to be a sticking point when it comes to the valence or value of a given reading, oscillating between imposition and jouissance. I would be interested to hear what Dr. Furstenau would think of this comparison and the effect it might have on his own questions.
I think in the end I am most convinced by Dr. Sconce’s hints in the direction of an experimental theory. One where speculative lines of inquiry are not quashed by the need for a structurally consistent formal description of qualities and techniques. Like any other experiment it may end in failure, but ultimately it must be permited to be a materilaization of a particular moment of reading: a moment of pleasure anarchic or obscene, retaining a dynamic, possibly revolutionary, but always unlimited potential.
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