Allegoria Paranoia

Welcome to Allegoria Paranoia

Allegoria Paranoia is about pattern-making and the creation of meaning. It is about choosing a pattern or explanation that fits all the facts but is no more elaborate than the facts demand. This thin edge between too little and too much is sometimes referred to as Occam's Razor, the rule created by medieval logician William of Ockham, who said that the simplest explanation that covers all the facts is best. When our explanations fail to explain all the facts, our patterns are inadequate and logically unconvincing. When our pattern-making extends beyond what the facts allow, we fall into the trap of allegoresis, the imposition of patterns that are not actually there. A severe form of this sort of imposed allegorical reading or interpretation is paranoia. Are the patterns out there, or are they just in my head? In public discourse, when we hear explanations that either underplay the significance of events to make us dull or overplay the importance of events to make us fearful, it is hard to hold on to our own judgment. Thus, the title of the website, Allegoria Paranoia, reflects the quandary of perception and interpretation.

Everything on this website has to do with under-, over-, mis-, and even disinterpretation. There are eight essays on Shakespeare in a work called To Balk Logic and Practice Rhetoric: Allegories of Rhetoric and Dialectic in Shakespeare's Plays. There is a group of essays about interpretation and paranoia in Thomas Pynchon's early stories and the early novels The Crying of Lot 49, V., and Gravity's Rainbow. And there is a novel called Subrosa about the sale of illegal arms and the run-up to the first Gulf War.