[KS] Re: quote
mgoodwin at greenvillenc.com
Tue Apr 11 09:45:30 EDT 2000
Frank Hoffmann wrote:
> Dear Mike:
> I very much enjoy your discussion!!!
> Would you allow me to quote your text for an article I write for _Art
> in America_? I would not give the exact source (the discussion list),
> but would just say "Mike Goodwin, a ....." now help me, a "linguist"
No, I'm not a linguist. I'm an involuntarily out-of-work Geriatric
Rehabilitation Worker actually! (I'm out-of-work because as the spouse of
a Canadian national residing in the U.S. for employment purposes --my
wife teaches and practices librarianship at East Carolina University-- I
am not allowed to work in the USA. For the past decade --since the FTA
was first signed by George Bush and Brian Mulroney (read "the Canadian
President")-- Clause 16 (or some such thing) governing employment for
spouses of trade nationals has been left undefined. As a result,
thousands of "les Canadiennes" cannot pursue work in the the land of the
free. Oh well, I've still got ball hockey at Food Lion on Sundays!)
Anyway, I'm not really sure why you would ask my permission before you
quote me. I mean, it seems to me that I have no proprietary rights, or
anything like that, over my contributions to this list.
Or does your question have something to do with Mike Robinson's concerns
regarding the fact that, in my recent Korean Studies Review piece on C.
Fred Alford's latest book, "Think No Evil", I cited comments he had
previously made on this list? My sense is that you may be hinting at this
so perhaps I ought to say something about it --for fear of a fully
fledged scandal developing!
Shortly after my (very positive but admittedly thin) review of "Think No
Evil" was posted to the list Mr. Robinson contacted me directly. He asked
this question: "Since when was a casual remark [I made] on a mail list
considered grist for citation as a serious opinion?" I did not respond to
Mr. Robinson's question (I felt then, and continue to feel now, that it
is not necessary to play tennis over such things). However, if I had
responded to his question, I think I would have said this: "Alternately,
since when are remarks about other people's work --made anywhere-- made
with such apparent insouciance?"
Frankly, the point, it seems to me, is not whether remarks are "casual"
(Mr. Robinson's word), or formal, made in a box, or with a fox. Rather,
the point is are they critically informed? Solely in that regard, I felt
that Mr. Robinson's list comments regarding Mr. Alford's book were, as I
wrote (in Note 3 of my Korean Studies Review of Alford's book), "somewhat
unsporting" given that Mr. Robinson had clearly not read the work yet
chose to comment negatively on it anyhow.
But why did I choose to cite the remarks Mr. Robinson's made on the list
about "Think No Evil"? Simply put, because I found them to be relevant.
(Although I'm not sure that I ever thought of them as "grist for the
mill". What "mill" by the way? The one beside the tennis court?) Contrary
to what Mr. Robinson has since suggested to me I did not cite his remarks
about Alford's book in order to argue any point against him (i.e.,
Robinson). Thus, his suggestion that my citing what he considered
"casual" opinion amounts to something like me setting up a "straw man"
seems not to apply. A "straw man", as I understand the term, is set up
solely for the purpose of being knocked down, aggrandizing the critic in
the process. This was not my purpose. Rather, I cited Mr. Robinson's
remarks about Mr. Alford's book to suggest to the review's readers that
there might just possibly exist a certain "tendency" amongst some experts
--a tendency which I felt Mr. Robinson's comments reflected-- to prejudge
non expert works (i.e., ones like Alford's).
And, of course, there was also the irony --or perhaps it was the hubris--
of Mr. Robinson's comments given, as I noted in my review, that one need
not even read the "one book" (Mr. Robinson's suggestion) but only parts
of it (e.g., the Research Appendix) to see that Mr. Robinson's remarks
were probably unjustified and that Alford's study seems, methodologically
speaking, quite circumspect indeed.
Conclusion? Of course you can quote me. I'm very comfortable with that. I
tried to be thoughtful about everything I wrote in the piece in question.
Well, I must run, there's a noisy Blue Jay on my balcony and he's
demanding peanuts. (Given the likelihood that my opinions about the
possible sources of the seeming lack of concern for correct English in
Korea may alienate people here perhaps I'd better maintain what few
relationships I still enjoy --even if they are only birds.)
(Toronto, CA & Greenville, NC)
P.S. BTW, why would you even want to quote anything I said about English
in Korea in "Art in America"? What did I say that bears on art in
America? Just curious!
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