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June 1995, Week 2


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Sylvia Swift <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Mon, 12 Jun 1995 21:36:32 -0700
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On Sun, 11 Jun 1995, Edmond Chibeau wrote:
> Interpellate means to question, or address a question to, especially to
> question formally and publicly, as in a courtroom or legislative process.
>   (from Latin "interpellare" to interrupt in speaking)
> While interpolate (from Latin "interpolare" to polish or improve by repairing)
> means to alter or corrupt by inserting foreign matter.
Right.  The root PELL, meaning "call" or "hail," is related to such words as
appellation, etc.  The best intro I know to interpellation (mutual
hailing:  e.g., the text says to the reader, "hey, you!" and the
reader responds, "you talkin' to me?") and its implications for ideology
and texts (including filmic texts) is in the following essay:
Althusser, Louis.  "Ideology and Ideological State Apparatuses (Notes
towards an Investigation)."  _Lenin and Philosophy and Other Essays_.
Trans. Ben Brewster.  London:  Monthly Review Press, 1971.
Terry Eagleton, in his _Ideology: An Introduction_, alludes to this
concept, but I would not go so far as to say that he explains it.
Sylvia Swift
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