This is phrase, "a condition of utter receptivity in which difference is perceived (and perhaps even felt) prior to its qualification or conceptualization" (Ngai, 261).
This phrase describes what if feels like to read Gertrude Stein's, "As a Wife Has a Cow: A Love Story." Reading is not confined to the way we normally read and authors such as Stein are committed to showing this to the world. Just as thought is not confined to linear, symbolic, formula, so literature is not necessarily bound by grammatical syntax. Reading a piece like Stein's it like relaxing, and just reading without trying to figure out what is going on, and maybe somehow your brain will make sense of it. Or maybe not. Or not maybe. Double negatives are fun. To Stein, repetition is fun and she uses it in a fatiguing manner. Writers push the envelope in experimenting with different forms and the affect of those forms or styles, and it can be very tedious to read these experiments. In order to get through writings of this type, as the phrase says, a "condition of utter receptivity" is what you need, just surrender yourself to the strangeness, or rather I should say, difference. Think about the relationships between words that have never been made before, it is interesting to see new meaning brought to words and words put together to form whatever it is that they make.
2 years ago