- Jun 2016
ficially,then, the initiation of discursive practices appears similar to thefounding of any scientific endeavour, but I believe there is a funda-/ mental difference
How initiators of discursive practices are different from founders of scientific schools or disciplines.
other hand, Marx and Freud, as'initiators of discursive practices', not only made possible a certainnumber of analogies that could be adopted by future texts, but,as importantly, they also made possible a certain number of dif-ferences. They cleared a space for the introduction of elementsother than their own, which, nevertheless, remain within the fieldof discourse they initiated. In saying that Freud founded psycho-analysis, we do not simply mean that the concept of libido or thetechniques of dream analysis reappear in the writings of KarlAbraham or Melanie Klein, but that he made possible a certainnumber of differences with respect to his books, concepts, andhypotheses, which all arise out of psychoanalytic discourse.
How Freud and Marx shift the paradigm: "not only made possible a certain number of analogies that could be adopted by future texts, but, as importantly, they also made possible a certain number of differences."
I don't find the "differences" part convincingly expressed, but I think he means that they created domain-boundaries: not just, "here's the id, you can use it" but also "hey, we can analyse dreams."
The distinctive contribution of these authors is that they pro-duced not only their own work, but the possibility and the rulesof formation of other texts. In this sense, their role differs entirelyfrom that of a novelist, for example, who is basically never morethan the author of his own text. Freud is not simply the author ofThe Interpretation of Dreams or of Wit and its Relation to theUnconscious and Marx is not simply the author of the CommunistManifesto or Capital: they both established the endless possibilityof discourse. Obviously, an easy objection can be made. The authorof a novel may be responsible for more than his own text; if heacquires some 'importance' in the literary world, his influence canhave significant ramifications. To take a very simple example, onecould say that Ann Radcliffe did not simply write The Mysteriesof Udolpho and a few other novels, but also made possible theappearance of Gothic Romances at the beginning of the nine-teenth century. To this extent, her function as an author exceedsthe limits of her work. However, this objection can be answeredby the fact that the possibilities disclosed by the initiators of dis-cursive practices (using the examples of Marx and Freud, whomI believe to be the first and the most important) are significantlydifferent from those suggested by novelists. The novels of AnnRadcliffe put into circulation a certain number of resemblances andanalogies patterned on her work - various characteristic signs,figures, relationships, and structures that could be integrated intoother books. In short, to say that Ann Radcliffe created the GothicRomance means that there are certain elements common to herworks and to the nineteenth-century Gothic romance: the heroineruined by her own innocence, the secret fortress that functions as
Really useful passage to compare to Kuhn. This is basically an argument about paradigm shifters and normal science as applied to literature.
I believe that the nineteenth century in Europe produced asingular type of author who should not be confused with 'great'literary authors, or the authors of canonical religious texts, andthe founders of sciences. Somewhat arbitrarily, we might call them'initiators of discursive practices'.
Has another category: people like Marx and Freud (and I'd say Darwin) who constructed theories that are productive in other works as well. These are "initiators or discursive practices."
This ties in well with Kuhn's paradigms.