Journal of Arts & Ideas, no. 20-21 (March 1991) p. 84.


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and again; the curtailing that Kumkum has done is part of an ontological divide.

KKS: There may also be a difference of uhderstanding, and the basic issue here is one of selection and assemblage. I wasn't using the language of art when I spoke of depth and surface, but the language of literature. In my own experience in seeing how literatures work I am only too conscious as part of my own daily activity, of the 84 enormous contingency of everything I say and do. I have never, for instance, been able to read a text I teach in class the same way twice. By profession and by training I am completely inclined to immersion in the richness and texture of the object addressed. However I find that I have also become very alert to how the extremely rich texts I deal with are being assembled into ideological systems.

If you agree, then, what we are talking about is never the richness of a cultural product by itself and for itself, but the enormous ideological reductions and intentionalities into which it is continuously being subdued, within various economic and political systems. Now in that sense, then, this particular idea of reduction cannot be taken at face value because one is also working with the prior reductions as well, not only and forever with the richness of the discrete object. Modes of selections fall within a situated political process, and within the polemical energy we gather from it, which is necessary for us to function. I would by no means say, let us now create some monolithic antagonist because I would be equally alive to the reductiveness but I think what is at issue here is a recognition of the way political processes are structured. Because unless we recognize them side by side with the richness of art, the notion of ideological reduction and selection can never quite be freed from the dissatisfaction of some plentiful world outside.

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