Re: Discourse (Recommended definition)

Now that you mention Bove, Walt, I've also recently stumbled across a
piece that might be a good introduction to a definition of 'discourse' --
especially, that is, if there is an interest out there in literary uses
of the term. Bove has an essay in *Critical Terms for Literary Study*,
F. Lentricchia & T. McLaughlin, eds.

It's been a little while since I read it, but he does provide something
of an historical survey of how the term has evolved in and through
literary criticism. He begins with the New Critics and works his way
through Foucault and Canguilhem. I do remember it being helpful at the
time that I read it, but I do experience (like some of you perhaps) the
occasional crisis in which I lose my grasp on any 'practical' or
'functional' sense of the term. When this happens I usually return to
F's Arch. of Knowledge and "The Discourse on Language." This usually
tethers me for a moment, at least.

J. Smith
Washington University

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