The Beauty of Structuralism

I woke this morning with a bag of defrosted peas melting into my duvet, and a headache worthy of (possibly) some kind of record. So, minor injuries and a plethora of viral infections. But aside from that, I learnt some interesting things today, about structuralism.

I think the most appealing part of structuralism, at least to me, is the fact that unlike most things in literature, it makes sense. It’s completely logical. Essentially structuralism is they idea that a word has no absolute meaning; it relies on context for meaning to be applied. The example that my eccentric professor used was the word:


Now, in English, the word can be used in context of mental pain, or emotional pain. It can be in relation to physical pain as well. However, in a completely separate language, French, “pain” means “bread”. Which is almost as far removed as is humanly possible, from pain. Most of us enjoy toast. (:

The writings of Saussure and Simone De Beauvoir  are fascinating me at the moment. When I next get a spare hour or two (I’m hoping it’s soon, because the flu thing compels me to not want to move) I’m going to start wading through “The Second Sex”. I’m very excited about starting the philosophy reading group too. I’m hoping that soon my mind will begin to expand and accommodate the ideas of pretty much every French philosopher in existence. Although I’m only human and therefore that much genius can really only be absorbed by supercomputer. But I’m certainly going to try my best and hopefully, soon, I’ll be able to incorporate all these ideas into my writing and essays and make something that has a little more depth, and value of meaning.

It’s hard work, wanting to know everything about everything in the world.