A Formalist Approach or a Reader-Response?

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"'Rayan has more recently claimed that the repetitions in the stanza charm the reader 'into forgetting the main argument' of the ode'" (Kent 113).

Is it the repetitions that try to distract the reader or is it the reader’s response of the text?

Another statement that I found important was "Keats exploits present participles in the second half of the stanza ("panting," "breathing," "burning," and "parching") [Kent 114].

Is it Keats that is "exploiting" the words or is it th words that a Formalism would study?

Both of these previous quotes are great questions. Another words, what is the author trying to intend for us.

I thought that it was important to explain to you that Keats is trying to use repetition to make readers appeal to a certain meaning. On the other hand, the specific words used by Keats are making an urn represent humanistic qualities.

So, formalists are people who study the text on a page, but are they the type of critic who relates words with objects or phrases to distract the reader.

Do you think that a Kent is trying to give us a strict formalist reading critique or is he trying to explain his own understanding of the poem?

Click here for the course page devoted to Kent.

3 Comments

I'm not sure what Kent's intentions are, but I think it is important to point out that many times I think formalism is a good aspect of a criticism and maybe should incorporate another school of thought with it. Like you said, he uses the repetition which would be structural, but also talks about the authors intentions of using that technique in the poem. I think that is a wise way to look at the structural school.

I couldn't agree more, Bethany. Even if I don't agree with everything that Kent argues, his formalistic analysis of Keats's poem is stronger because he incorporates more than formalism into his argument.

I'm in agreement too. I have a few problems with Kents ideas, but I do feel he incorporates more than just formalism in his critique of Keats's "Ode." I also think that none of these forms of criticism work well when used by themselves. They need to be used simultaneously with other schools of thought and then there can be a better argument about what a text may mean or be trying to convey.

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This page contains a single entry by Derek Tickle published on February 14, 2009 6:38 PM.

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