even fellow semioticists incur his wrath:n”No study of literature can be purely formal,nand all attempts to reduce literarynstudy to this level are misguided, if notnpernicious. To the extent that semioticnstudies insist that communication is anmatter of purely formal systems, theyntoo may be misguided if not pernicious.”nScholes is perceptive, but he pushesntoo hard. He puts culture back into interpretation,nbut he doesn’t adequatelynlimit himself. The code that one uses toncreate literature is simply a product of angiven culture, Scholes insists. The onenwho performs encoding (the author)nand the one who does the decoding (thenreader) are mere pawns in his game:n”neither the author nor the reader is freento make meaning.” Meaning can be obtained,nhe says, by following his rules,nwhich admittedly do include excellentnpoints, such as examining a text in relationnto others of its type. But authorialnintention should not be ignored, nornshould all coded texts merit lull decipheringn(i.e., critical explication) simply becausenthey make a claim to fitting withinna genre. For example, Scholes performsna semiotic examination of “Elegy” by W.nS. Merwin. The so-called poem consistsnof six words; the combination doesn’tnmerit rtepetition here or elsewhere: onenperformance of the text is enough.nScholes writes, “it could be argued thatnthe more elegies one can bring to bearnon the reading of this one, the better,nricher poem this one becomes.” And sonhe argues. It doesn’t seem to occur tonhim that the more one knows about thenelegaic tradition, the more banal Merwin’snline appears. Scholes does recognizenthat some might think that he isnstretching things out of shape, but he answersnthe charge with a comment thatndeflates all hopes one could come tonhave for him: “Am I pushing my interpretationntoo far? If you go in the rightndirection, there is no such thing as toonfar.” Who decides on the direction? Ifnindividuals are as bound by codes asnScholes says they are, if readers are asnencultured by codes as he claims (“Then’free’ reader is simply at the mercy of thencultural codes that constitute each personnas a reader, and of the manipulativenfeatures of the text, the classroom, andnthe whole reading situation as well”),nthen things are bleak. Those generatingnthe primary codes in contemporary culturenare politicians, advertisers, so-callednjournalists and analysts, and, to a certainnextent, critics, including Scholes andnUumannids & SiihhunuiHsn.cir YiH’l; iiKi^u/inc. ihcdiiil ors^jn DI’nhiiiiKiiKjids. inliirni^ its rcula’s th:ii (incn.i)r;i I’iphron—^:i cliii- k-(i w iiifj ;iiillii)iv>.'<n:iiKl(.’i>liin]iiisi fiir«li()ni”lln.’li;m!i-iipi)(“nmy lilit-‘ . . . |is| hi.-r Mn:ill hiv.isls”—Iv.isnwrilk’n -.i novi-l :ilv)il liiT liiikil ni;iTi.is;i-nU) Mr. C.irl Uiriislfin. tin- lK-.iv\vi-i};hlntiv.inipiiin i>l’ calLh-;is-c:iH.h-t:in joiirnalisni.n(‘;/- Yiirk’srOMjmOijiiiiti’sSdiuicim.-n.viviii};: “riuT 1I;K1 ihi- pcrfi-il lili-.” WLsifnthis kind uf lili- js j{lit/y-i’i)Itm. :itinI’iniiviiiiii ol tin- lilii.T:il aiiliiri’s piiUiditv.nWliiil pii/zk-s us i.”. WIICIIKT Self Vtirk’nMi-s il.s iii-di-pili ••Ion nil (‘i.slaili:il ituslii-n[K’s-s ;i> i:ii”il. inliiriiuilinn, M’lisalioiKiliMiin.1 l:i SdliotmlIjuiuiivr. iiriLSiineMiiipUirnoiahlinj;^^!!’ voiilli to tiilkiw in thi.- Ii>i)l-nMcps ol’hnni;in>• ScirnYiiik’: liotli prol:iuonists’ luinunitv is ton-nLIHI:RI Ci’i.n Rr:nthose whom he derides. Thus, if theynand they alone are entrusted with settingnthe boundaries for art, then art wUl onlynbecome more trivial than it was whennEdgar ‘Wind assessed the situation overn20 years ago. And critical discourse willnsound like something created by thenearly monks of the Albertian Order ofnLeibowitz. Dnjiown.nnnv Vi A lLiM-d(i anil :iii i-vcnini;nin till.- (./.i/cdfiii Trihutw. \v ni;iv remlnsome l:it-lii;il si-lt-assi-s.snR-nts ot’oni-whonis idi-nti!ii.'(.l tirsl ;is “Kt-ih. IS. tolli.-f;L-n};r:iiki:ili-. m;isli-rs tl<:j>rt;c:. Drug uxpi-ricnces-.nnv.u-ijiiana in early ti-ens: oKaini-.”nkflly i-omnii-nis:n'(.i)ki’ (‘;in hi’ :i M-Mial aiii-.i(.’ii’i-. III .iiiin,11 .1 xr\ MV. lalkiiifi to two pi> v aiKln(iiH- say-. “Oci yuii w.ini ID ilo sonucuki-‘”‘nril};(i(;tl wilh liiiii.’nK«.-llv-‘s liy-ljiu- tlcsiTibi-s luT as “an(“.irkaj;o-ba.st-d piililiealions i-ditor. iiviii}”non the i.-it’s iinh Sidt-.” \i- ^voiider:nVli:it iloes shi- i-dit? A manual oli-oniliiilnlor 12-yt-ar-old girls? . ncwsk-iti-r ahoiilnwomaiis dignity ;ind si-n.sc o/’ worth? .niashion maga/inL-y L in[21nJune 1983n