The Chomskyite and Wittgenstenian

by Suspended Reason

Chomskyite” or Wittgenstenian” become signifiers in a similar way that Lynchian” or Kafkaesque” become stand-ins: for ways of seeing, for ontologies of the world which are less a set of explicit principles or category declarations and more like ways of paying attention in the world, of filtering the world; more like a set of examples which seem especially pertinent, of parts which are taken as especially emblematic or metonymically meaningful, of moods and modes, approaches and problem-solving instincts. They become figureheads for individuals’ positions and points-of-view in the discourse, so that Lynch stands for a kind of American filmmaking that can be opposed to other schools of American avant filmmaking, and Kafka for a kind of literary modernism. And they are exaggerated or misrecognized in exaggerated directions, either as strawmen for opponents, or because credulous fans have simplified and distilled and appropriated and over-extended and generalized and projected-upon their views with views of their own.