I've finally come up with a title for this blog.
Citation, appropriation, and pastiche are the postmodern techniques par excellence, and yet for some reason this seems to go hand in hand with a willful resistance to documentation of any kind. Yesterday I read a review of a book that I respect; the reviewer excoriated the author for being "an appalling writer." The crime? Referring too frequently to her scholarly predecessors and interlocutors! Evidently that's just too boring to be allowed. Heaven forbid that a reader be made to take notice of a heterogeneous intellectual tradition. I've even heard someone complain about an editor noting textual variants in the endnotes. What?
I love citations. They help me do my work, follow up on interests, figure out the terrain. I hate it when books have endnotes but not a comprehensive bibliography. I despise an edition that has no note on the editorial principles. The more apparatus the better.
So here's to works cited in the age of appropriation.