mainly in junking the classics by classification

Fabio Flavio

Senior Member
Brazilian Portuguese
Hello friends!

Here I am still grappling with McLuhan´s difficult text. Now I am trying to digest his booklet nr. 12 whose title is: Roles, Masks and Performances.

And then I find this construction on its page 11:

" The merely visual man, who holds all his other senses in abeyance, will naturally assume as a metaphor of any art form, that of a receptacle. Once this basis has been established, it is difficult to resist the need to use the receptacle as a waste basket. This is what Winters did. His "critical" activity thus consisted mainly in junking the classics by classification. "

To begin with, it seems to me that he is transforming the adjective "junk" into a verb. And I tried to look for it in the free dictionary and couldn´t find any guidance on that.

My doubt is whether I should interpret "junking" meaning that that author was puting together the classics in order to classify them, OR if he was downgrading the classics (meaning "attacking the classics") and making a classification of such downgrading of the classics.

Wow. I am confused.

Any suggestion here would be highly appreciated!

Best regards,

  • Beryl from Northallerton

    Senior Member
    British English
    to 'junk' is a transitive verb.

    it could mean the same as to trash i.e. to consign to the scrap heap, to abandon as you would do with rubbish

    it could mean to devalue or downgrade, to reduce in status, to treat as rubbish

    interpret "junking" as a verb as in this context, that's exactly what it is.

    Matching Mole

    Senior Member
    England, English
    To junk is classified (by Oxford Dictionaries) as an informal verb: discard or abandon unceremoniously. As beryl says, to "treat as rubbish"—as something that no longer has any value. A similar informal verb is "to rubbish" (British): to criticize severely and reject as worthless.

    Fabio Flavio

    Senior Member
    Brazilian Portuguese
    Dear Friends,

    Thank you so much for your assistance! Sometimes I really can not understand the way McLuhan writes...
    Have a nice week end!
    < Previous | Next >