FROM CLICHE TO ARCHETYPE by Wilfred Watson

FROM CLICHE TO ARCHETYPE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

This intellectual cirque navire takes its organizational principle from the magus's masterwork, Understanding Media: namely, the proposition that each new medium subsumes not only pre-existing content but also pre-existing media. Here the medium-cum-content seems to be the professor's file cabinet, since the parts (not so closely related as the title implies) appear in strict alphabetical order -- including the Introduction, under I, and the Table of Contents, under T. Conflict between the aerodynamic but still recognizably academic logic of the individual pieces and the anti-logical, mosaic construction of the whole creates some obvious difficulty. Added to this is the problem of language; the author's penchant for turning aphorism into epistemology without first adequately explaining the aphorism; formulae so precisely and rigidly worded that one suspects a paraphrase might bollix up much of the argument. The terms here are essentially those of earlier discussions, the reclamation of cliches and desacralization of archetypes considered, if we understand correctly, as functions of changing technology and correspondingly altered attitudes toward tradition and history. Disciples will want to know more, and will approach in the requisite mood of glad submission.
Pub Date: Sept. 30th, 1970
ISBN: 1584230665
Page count: 171pp
Publisher: Viking
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1st, 1970




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