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Re: a 12th century conlang

From:Edward Heil <edheil@...>
Date:Friday, March 26, 1999, 4:40
>> Hmm, I can't find that word in my French dictionary, which probably
means I
>> need a better one. What does he mean by "bricolage"? > > It's a real trendy word nowadays in literary criticism. It appears
to mean a
>mish mash of things, an eclectic collection, the kind of stuff you find
on a
>collectors shelf, much of it "kitsh." Don't ask me why everybody and
>uncle's cousin in literary theory just has to jump at the word and
replicate it
>to the point of banality. At any rate, invented languages are
collections of
>the parts of real languages. It's supposed to show that he thinks of
>languages as doing violence to real languages, replicating them by
taking them
>apart, >or some such thing. He talks about the "impoverishment" of natural
>and other such nonsense..
Those may be the word's current connotations, but its use in litcrit surely stems from Levi-Strauss's usage of it. He compared myth to bricolage, which he defined as a folk-art form, which consisted of taking everyday objects and combining them in unexpected ways to create artworks. He saw myth-making as parallel to bricolage, in that it used standard and well-known themes in new arrangements every time. I don't think much of Levi-Strauss's anthropological theories, but I don't think he at least meant to disparage myths by calling them bricolages. Get Your Private, Free Email at