We run the risk of appearing to be weakened internally by factitiousness
When de Man writes that Schlegelian "irony comes closer to the pattern of factual human experience and recaptures some of the factitiousness
of human existence as a succession of isolated moments lived by a divided self," (26) this is in fact a "strong misreading" (a Bloomian "misprision") of Schlegel.
In Walden, Thoreau claims that he "went to the woods" because he wanted "to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life." Yet he seems to have found it impossible to stay put at Walden Pond or to stay away from Concord for much longer than a day or two, even though he enjoyed his woodland idyll greatly and saw the village as a fountainhead of conformity and factitiousness
. But this is less a contradiction than a deliberate strategy: by pretending to be a stranger to his native place, Thoreau is able to offer a critical portrait of Concord that highlights its comic absurdities, which he treats as symptomatic of American culture as a whole.
Shakespeare's dramatic technique at this point is of great significance: he does not directly dramatise Othello's tale-telling to Brabantio and Desdemona, the success of which would presumably hinge on an authenticity of performance; rather Shakespeare makes Othello deliver himself of, and comment upon, an action replay of his tale, thus emphasising its factitiousness
and essential narrativity: removed from its original context of apparently ex tempore live dialogue, the narrative has become a recorded message and Othello himself draws attention to his ability to "run it through" (1.3.159), to rewind and fast-forward (and, possibly, play back in slow motion: "dilate" 154) his "story" (a word he repeats at 130, 159, and 165) according to the wishes of his hearers.
As Rosenwald and Ochberg have noted, "In the form a particular narration gives to history [understood here as both history and story], we read the more or less abiding concerns and constraints of the individual and his or her community." (3) The form or "factitiousness
" of the anecdote provides the shape and the subjectivity of the account.
To reverse time onstage is to advertise the factitiousness
of the artistic enterprise, and even the most skilled artists will be hard-pressed to erase the disorienting air of artificiality it establishes.
In fact, there is only dialectical alternation (one through the other, the other through the one) once the factitiousness
is eliminated that controls Greek experience: human beings are in the world, and it is against the backdrop of the world that their presence is defined, which is thus always presence to the world.
These fantasies of ideal erotic devotion, which might otherwise have seemed nothing but poetic formulas or rhetorical emblems whose factitiousness
could scarcely have escaped even him, are given credence as "realities," at least to him, by the tendency toward fantasy he has exhibited already.
What is most striking about Mercutio's fantasy of Mab and her migratory atomi, I have suggested, is the attention it draws to the factitiousness
of narrating motion and, hence, of narrating history.
Vivas candidly admitted uncertainty in trying to unravel his conceptual entanglement: how art could "embody meanings which are not referential and yet in some sense meaningful." Or, as Krieger less darkly recast it in The New Apologists, how the "utterly closed" poem can open "the experiential world for us as it has never been opened before." Indoctrinated against the factitiousness
of his mentor's dilemma, Krieger could even opine that the New Critics' ideas about poetry would best comport with Vivas's aesthetic of rapt intransitive attention.
12), the lack of an American heritage along the lines of a European homogeneity, whose factitiousness
is everywhere unacknowledged by Kazin, or whatever.
What makes this performance more significant, indeed, is precisely its factitiousness
. To manifest his definition of a national poet, a true laureate, and establish the origins of a British school of poetry, Gray invents a bardic tradition from what he knew to be a corrupt historical account of Edward I's extermination of the Welsh bards.
Translated as A Tempest, this last play, a rewriting of Shakespeare's The Tempest, prescribes in its stage indications a self-conscious performance where characters exist only within a play of masks, and the parody of a canonical text generates both humor and a pointed commentary on the factitiousness
of familiar racial categories.