February 22, 2007

Critique of the Critics

What is your portfolio?

It begins with a richly-linked blog entry that introduces your reader to blog entries that you have created, and discussions from your peers' blogs in which you have participated, as part of a reflective statement on your progress so far.


Dr. Dennis Jerz "Portfolio I"

Without a doubt, literary criticism is not a subject that is for the faint of heart. While not the strongest of literary bloggers out there, I've been accepting the challenge of formalism, authorial intent, aesthetics, and canonicity through Contexts for Criticism edited by Donald Keesey.

In order to be a good literary critic, you've got to have a literary background, to accomplish this, I looked at Herman Melville's "Benito Cereno," Charlotte Perkins Gilman's "The Yellow Wallpaper," and William Shakespeare's The Tempest.

  • One in the Same, Alike but Opposite (Coverage)
  • This Time Around (Coverage, Depth)
  • Shakespeare's Encore (Coverage)

    In the context of literary criticism, for example, in aesthetics and canonicity, I began by looking at Keesey's Introduction and then moved onto the works of Eagleton and T.S. Elliot.

  • The Right Way and The . . . Other Way (Coverage, Timeliness, Discussion)
  • Who Gets to Judge Trash Literature? (Coverage, Timeliness, Discussion)
  • Poetry Build-Up (Coverage)

    Authorial intent in literary criticism was the topic that I found to be the most confusing up to this point, but, in addition to Keesey's summary, the essays of Hirsch, Kaplan, Watson, Yachnin, and Austin helped out a lot.

  • The "Real" Poem vs. The Fake Poem (Coverage, Timeliness, Discussion)
  • Go Journalism! - All About the Interview (Coverage, Depth)
  • Transcending Space and Time (Coverage, Timeliness)
  • The Poem Stops (Coverage, Depth)
  • Words, Words, Words: History, History, History (Coverage)
  • Reading is a Spectator Sport (Coverage)

    Formalism is, by far, (thus far at least) my favorite of the types of literary criticism. Keesey's introduction and Brooks essay, "Irony as a Principle of Structure" helped to achieve this happiness in conection with formalism.

  • You Can't Escape It! (Coverage)
  • Telling it Like it is (Coverage, Depth)

    I'll admit it, I don't always know every literary term when it came up in the text, so Ross Murfin's and Supryia M. Ray's The Bedford Glossary of Critical and Literary Terms was extraordinarily useful.

  • A Mind of My Own (Coverage)
  • That Wonderful Apostrophe! (Coverage)
  • "One Way" Or How About "No Turn On Red"? (Coverage)

    And what kind of blogging review would be complete without a little carnival flair?

  • Funnel Cakes and Readers with Powdered Sugar (Interaction, Blog Carnival)
  • Prematurely Six Feet Under (Wildcard)

    Speaking of blog carnivals, I'm not the only one who has been hard at work looking into literary criticism, so check these out!

  • Mitchell Steele's insight on "The Yellow Wallpaper," "Jack Torrance like yellow more than any other color" (Informative)
  • Karissa Kilgore's and Jason Pugh's looks at Kaplan's essay, "A Paint-by-Number by Herman Melville" (Primo, Grande) and "Melville's Relation to American Society" (Primo)
  • Vanessa Kolberg's insight on "What is Literature?", "What is Literature? Good Question..." (Informative)
  • Also check out Vanessa's views on Watson's essay, "We All Have Our Reasons" (Informative)

    Posted by Diana Geleskie at 11:32 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack
  • February 21, 2007

    A Smack in the Blogosphere

    A collection of your informal responses to the assigned readings. Keep up with the agenda items and reflection papers for each class meeting, and this assignment will be easy and rewarding. Fall behind, and this assignment will feel... otherwise.
    Dr. Dennis Jerz "Portfolio 1"

    I fit along the lines of the final statement: "Fall behind, and this assignment will feel... otherwise." I'm not one to label my blog entries as homework, but there comes a time when I have to prove that, indeed, it is such.
    If you want proof that I read and reflected on such texts as T.S. Eliot's "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock", Hamilton's Essential Literary Terms, and Foster's How to Read Literature Like a Professor, you've got it. I was even the third trackback on Schackner's "Freedom of speech redefined by blogs"!
    I even looked pretty closely at Fitzgerald's "Bernice Bobs Her Hair", Forster's "The Machine Stops", and Glaspell's "Trifles".
    Now it isn't all about me, yes, "A Storybook of Quotes" has my name on it, but I'd really be discouraged if people didn't notice me. Luckily for me, some people have, like when I wrote on Tim Lemire's I'm an English Major - Now What? and some of Foster's How to Read Literature Like a Professor.
    The best part of blogging has to be getting out there and reading what other people have to say, just like I did for Bethany Merryman's I Love Disney! and Derek Tickle's The “Machine” Helps Run Our Lives!?. I went for first and only comment on MacKenzie Harbison's The Big Fat E Major.
    And how could I forget the wonders of literary criticism . . .

    Posted by Diana Geleskie at 10:19 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Funnel Cakes and Readers with Powdered Sugar

    In the first instance, we have the "real" reader, known to us by his documented reactions; in the second, we have the "hypothetical" reader, upon whom all possible actualizations of the text may be projected.
    Wolfgang Iser "Readers and the Concept of the Implied Reader"

    Time to jump on the roller coaster! What about the critics we've read so far has been most stimulating?

    My answer: Wolfgang Iser. Apparently, I'm not the only one who thought so either.
    Like many a poor college student, I go for the new-to-me style textbook; the ones that come with a large yellow "Used" sticker on them. The impressionable student who had the pleasure of devouring the fourth edition of Donald Keesey's Contexts for Criticism before I got my fingers on it took the time to highlight exactly two pages - the first two pages of Iser's essay.
    So what is so stimulating about this essay about the readers who populate reader-response criticism? Just that, the readers. Normally I'm not into vast labeling and stereotyping - but it has it uses. (Besides, doesn't a label like superreader inspire greatness? And the doll comes with his own bookmark! No, but in all seriousness . . .) Iser doesn't stop at the superreader; he sticks to his guns and throws a few more labels at his audience.
    Like all label systems, there are those out there that just don't fit neatly under the umbrella title. What I liked is that Iser doesn't seem bothered by this fact, because his labels aren't intended to cover the real-life, sit-down-with-book-in-hand readers. That is one of the reasons his text is so effective - it puts on the labels without the worry of actually labeling anything real.
    Iser gives us the concepts and sticks to them - making an almost cheet sheet for anybody interested in reader-response - talk about stimulation!

    Posted by Diana Geleskie at 9:48 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    February 20, 2007

    The Blogs Will Live On!

    Reconstruction of the real reader naturally depends on the survival of contemporary documents, but the further back in time we go, beyond the eighteenth century, the more sparse the documentation becomes.
    Wolfgang Iser "Readers and the Concept of the Implied Reader"

    I'll admit it, I'm a little confused on how to go about gathering reader responses when it comes to reader-response literary criticism. Obviously a good place to start is the reviews. But then again, the reviews are usually written by critics, especially if the text is more a literary one than a popular one.

    So it all goes back to a couple of those great friends of the historical critic, letters and journals.

    Or, in the case of the 21st century population, blogs.

    Just think about it, even just within the Seton Hill Blogosphere, anyone looking to find some reader response on "The Yellow Wallpaper" (as an example text) would have struck gold. And even better, you wouldn't have to worry about that whole invasion of privacy thing . . . its online!

    Posted by Diana Geleskie at 12:13 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    February 19, 2007

    The Hamlet of Last Tuesday

    For if, as many reader-response critics argue, the poem truly exists only when it is apprehended, then we seem to be driven toward the conclusion that there are as many Hamlets as there are readers of Hamlet. More accurately, there are as many Hamlets as there are readings, for our responses change from year to year, or even from day to day.
    Donald Keesey "Reader-Response Criticism: Audience as Context"

    To re-read is to get a new persepective on the text, or the find meaning where there wasn't meaning before, or to savor an enjoyable story, or, to create a completely new story.

    Reader-Responce literary criticism is taking steps to ensure that the reader doesn't fall off the literary spectrum. Without a reader, there isn't a text - because does a text exsit if there isn't anyone there to read it? It goes along the same lines as, if a tree falls in the forest and no one hears it, did it make a sound? The answer is yes, there is a text, yes, the tree did make a sound, but there was no audience - so if there is a text or isn't, it doesn't matter - no one heard it.

    Posted by Diana Geleskie at 10:58 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

    Keats Doth Protest Too Much

    In the first place, the assertions in the stanza are largely generated by repetition, but these assertions, taken cumulatively, call themselves into question; the reader begins to think that the poet protests too much.
    David A. Kent "On the Third Stanza of Keats's 'Ode on a Grecian Urn'"

    "The lady doth protest too much" - William Shakespeare Hamlet

    Protesting too much: wanting to get exactly what it is you are protesting against. If Keats is protesting too much, those statements of repetition are exactly what they are meant to be. How is that for irony Brooks?

    Posted by Diana Geleskie at 10:36 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Let's Critique Real Life, Shall We?

    mimetic criticism: A type of criticism inaugurated by Plato that assumes literary works to be reflections or representations of life and the world in general. Mimetic critics evaluate works based on whether they accurately portray their subject matter. Representations of the subject should be "true," according to this school of thought; consequently, realism would be among the more modern genres meeting with the approval of mimetic critics.
    Ross Murfin and Supryia M. Ray The Bedfore Glossary of Critical and Literary Terms

    In Russ McDonald's essay, "Reading The Tempest," he discusses the abstract nature of the mimetic approach. I didn't really understand what the mimetic approach was, but I ran with it.
    So basically, in order to be mimetic, you have to be in with the mime - able to express action, character, and emotion through gesture alone. In other words, accurately portraying what you want to portray without actually doing so.

    Posted by Diana Geleskie at 9:12 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    If You've Got It, Flaunt It

    Such a mimetic approach might be called abstract: the artist is sufficiently confident of his ability to tell a story and of his audience's capacity to receive it that he is able to signal an action rather than develop it in detail.
    Russ McDonald "Reading The Tempest"

    Tell a joke enough times and you can get laughs by just skipping to the punch-line - you go Shakespeare. ;)

    Reading this section of Russ McDonald's essay, "Reading The Tempest," made me think about the advantages and disadvantages of mimetic, or rather minimalist, approaches. On one hand, a minimalist approach limits the amount said, providing more room for reader interpretation; but on the other hand, a minimalist approach limits the amount said, providing more room for reader interpretation. (Like McDonald, I'm in favor of repetition.)
    Reader interpretation isn't necessarily a bad thing, but at the same time, Russ McDonald is writing a formalist essay - focus on the text of the literature, not the implications of the text. Therefore the abstract nature of the minimalist approach is important, similar to the nature of the formalist approach to literary criticism. I think that a formalist approach to literature is in itself a minimalist approach. No outside research is absolutely required - look at the text, what is the text saying? The audience's ability to receive the story through a signaled action as apposed to development is just like the formalist's ability to grasp the structure of the text without reaching outside for more information.

    Posted by Diana Geleskie at 8:25 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    February 15, 2007

    That Wonderful Apostrophe!

    elision: The omission of part of a word (typically a letter). Elision most commonly involves replacing a word-ending vowel with an apostrophe when it is followed by another word that begins with a vowel.
    Ross Murfin and Supryia M. Ray The Bedford Glossary of Critical and Literary Terms

    The visual stylistic approach of the elision; I at least thought it was mainly the visual. But the way it works out is far more than simply visual; it is intended to make the words more suited to a metrical pattern.
    It is almost a cheating tool. Want to use the word but it doesn't quite fit? No problem! Bring on an elision!

    Posted by Diana Geleskie at 12:37 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Telling it Like it is

    The poet wants to "say" something. Why, then, doesn't he say it directly and forthrightly? Why is he willing to say it only through his metaphors? Through his metaphors, he risks saying it partially and obscurely, and risks not saying it at all. But the risk must be taken, for direct statement leads to abstraction and threatens to take us out of poetry altogether.
    Cleanth Brooks "Irony as a Principle of Structure"

    After reading this particular passage in Cleanth Brooks' essay, I thought of the common saying, "Don't listen to what I say, listen to what I mean."
    Basically, this is what poet are asking their readers to do. Ignore the language barrier and head straight for the heart of meaning - almost a form of direct communication. As everyone knows, this isn't possible, there will always be a language barrier, even between the people speaking the same one.
    When someone says "tree" for example, most people think of a physical tree, not the word or letters "t r e e." Here is where the metaphors come into play. Metaphors are the closest way to get the images, and therefor meaning, into the readers heads.
    So no, don't read what the author writes, read what the author meant you to have written if you were the author.

    Posted by Diana Geleskie at 12:21 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    You Can't Escape It!

    Formal analysis, so this argument runs, is often better than formal theory because that analysis is actually based on knowledge imported from other contexts.
    Donald Keesey "Formal Criticism: Poem as Context"

    I really took this reading in - I know I'm a formalist. It's obvious; I hate (and don't get) the various types of literary criticism - but this one makes sense.
    Theory and practice are never the same. In theory, communism would be a pretty nice state of affairs. In practice - well, I couldn't manage living in a communist society (though many do). Such is the case of formal criticism. In theory, it is its own entity - nothing touches the critic but the text. In practice, if nothing touched the critic but the text - I doubt if the critic could even read that text.
    Everybody has their own personal influences - and they're stuck to them as securely as their ears.
    Just as in journalism it is impossible to be completely unbiased, it is impossible to be a true theoretical formal critic.

    Posted by Diana Geleskie at 12:08 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Reading is a Spectator Sport

    As unsatisfactory as this attitude may be to the reader, it is Keat's attitude.
    Allen C. Austin "Toward Resolving Keat's Grecian Urn Ode"

    Beyond a choose-your-own-adventure novel, the reader of a piece of literature has no input into what the text says. Austin's argument points this out very clearly; and it brought reflection papers to mind.
    If the attitude of the reader has absolutely no place in the text, why respond? The answer came to me faster than I thought it would (and no, it wasn't because reflection papers are assigned writings). The reason readers respond and reflect on texts is because the reader's attitude is what matters to the reader.
    True, the reader's attitude doesn't matter when it comes to the text, but if you are going to read, it's an individual event - so your attitude should matter.

    Posted by Diana Geleskie at 11:55 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Words, Words, Words: History, History, History

    The division of the universe of discourse in this way gives the critic power to speak persuasively for the literary texts which are thus constructed as unable to speak authoritatively for themselves.
    Paul Yachnin "Shakespeare and the Idea of Obedience: Gonzalo in The Tempest"

    It is all about the history books and their take on the text. Paul Yachnin's article followed the course of action and pace similar to a history book - and gives this valid point.

    Beyond a shadow of a doubt, if you've got the history to back it up, you can prove anything.

    While I understand the value of historical references to help study literature, I don't agree that it "gives the critic power to speak persuasively for the literary texts which are thus constructed as unable to speak authoritatively for themselves." The text may not be clear, but it shouldn't require outside reading in order to speak for itself.

    Posted by Diana Geleskie at 11:44 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Shakespeare's Encore

    Now my charms are all o'erthrown,
    And what strength I have's mine own,
    Which is most faint. Now 'tis true
    I must be here confined by you
    Or sent to Naples. Let me not,
    Since I have my dukedom got,
    And pardoned the deceiver, dwell
    In this bare island by your spell;
    But release me from my bonds
    With the help of your good hands.
    Gentle breath of yours my sails
    Must fill, or else my project fails,
    Which was to please. Now I want
    Spirits to enforce, art to enchant;
    And my ending is despair
    Unless I be relieved by prayer,
    Which pierces so, that it assaults
    Mercy itself, and frees all faults.
    As you from crimes would pardoned be,
    Let your indulgence set me free.
    William Shakespeare The Tempest

    The epilogue of Shakespeare's The Tempest is a beautifully written plea for applause. I love it.
    Shakespeare's The Tempest is one of the better known but not as highly studied works. I'll admit, I had to look back on this play in order to be truly in touch with its critical readings and the epilogue is what brought the biggest smile to my face.
    The use as a scene to forgive Prospero the various schemes he initiates doubling over as a curtain call is a reminder that this was indeed a play that took place in front of a live audience - not just studied and savored by the crazy English majors of the world (myself included).
    This simple reminder helps to serve the point for the value of historical reference inside literature. For after all, Shakespeare really did want a lot of applause at the close of his play . . .

    Posted by Diana Geleskie at 11:14 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    The Poem Stops

    Quiller-Couch, in his Cambridge lectures On the Art of Writing (1916), held that the greatest literature is always seraphically free From taint of personality.
    George Watson "Are Poems Historical Acts?"

    I found it interesting that Quiller-Couch used this particular reference in his Cambridge lectures. This reference is also used in the 1909 story by E.M. Forster, "The Machine Stops."

    [There] will come a generation that had got beyond facts, beyond impressions, a generation absolutely colourless, a generation seraphically free From taint of personality, which will see the French Revolution not as it happened, nor as they would like it to have happened, but as it would have happened, had it taken place in the days of the Machine.

    By making something completely devoid of the "taint of personality," be it a poem or a generation, it is being robbed of part of its life-force. George Watson presents this view as the opposing side to his argument for the historical value of poetry. An extremely powerful viewpoint in this given light.

    Almost as cryptic as Kuno's utterance, "The Machine stops," is the argument Watson presents; without historical connection, the poem stops.

    Posted by Diana Geleskie at 10:48 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    February 12, 2007

    The Essence of Flatness

    This is not to imply that characters must be round to be effective. Their relative level of development depends on their role in the action and on the conventions of the genre in which they appear.
    Sharon Hamilton Essential Literary Terms

    I'm all in favor of this point of Hamilton's! Not every character can be well rounded, or is required to be so. I think the only danger with this type of advice is the ease of taking it too much to heart.
    I can't make them all flat - but having one is okay. I can't make them all flat - but these are just two minor characters. I can't make them all flat - but this girl can't change, even if that does make three . . . etcetera.

    Posted by Diana Geleskie at 12:17 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Prematurely Six Feet Under

    As he spoke, the whole city was broken like a honeycomb. An air-ship had sailed in through the vomitory into a ruined wharf. It crashed downwards, exploding as it went, rending gallery after gallery with its wings of steel. For a moment they saw the nations of the dead, and, before they joined them, scraps of the untainted sky.
    E.M. Forster "The Machine Stops"

    I think that irony is an overrated tool, while at the same time, highly underrated.

    In E.M. Forster's "The Machine Stops," a lot of death occurs - the death of the entire human race. In the context of the story, the entirety of human civilization has moved underground. Traditionally, underground, approximately six feet under the ground, is where the dead of humanity are placed. In "The Machine Stops," humanity is already in its traditional burial spot when it expires.

    The ironic part is that, at this final moment, "the untainted sky" is in view.

    Posted by Diana Geleskie at 10:34 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    February 7, 2007

    "One Way" Or How About "No Turn On Red"?

    To a semiotician, a sign is not simply a direct means of communication, such as a stop sign or a restaurant sign or language itself. Rather, signs encompass body language (crossed arms, slouching), ways of greeting and parting (handshakes, hugs, waves), artifacts, and even articles of clothing.
    Ross Murfin and Supryia M. Ray The Bedford Glossary of Critical and Literary Terms

    Though I may not have gotten along with the argument of E. D. Hirsch, Jr.'s, I did find an interesting terms buried on the bottom of page 21, langue. It was even in italics. Bring on The Bedford Glossary of Critical and Literary Terms! Well, it cross referenced to semiotics.
    That is, "the study of signs, sign systems, and the way meaning is derived from them." The "langue" is involved because the "langue" is the system. Sounds like another set of terms for the benefit of the close reader.

    Posted by Diana Geleskie at 11:46 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    This Time Around

    Now why should that man have fainted? But he did, and right across my path by the wall, so I had to creep over him every time!
    Charlotte Perkins Gilman "The Yellow Wallpaper"

    Like many of those attempting to study the various styles of literary criticism, I've read Gilman's "The Yellow Wallpaper" before.
    Previously, I wrote on my belief of the suicide of the author.
    The reason I'm digging up ancient (or so it feels) history is because of what became of it - staring four months after it was written.
    Authorial intent - I'm against it - I'm a close reading kind of girl, but that is essential what the debate that followed was about. For example: "If you actually took some time to read this story more carefully or read Gilman's biographies you would already known this. It is also made clear in some of Gilman's essays." and "The real issue is that we know that Gilman, like her narrator, at least entertained thoughts of suicide because of her trapped role as a woman, expedited by her post-parted depression."
    These comments bring up the importance of bringing the author into the text. So instead of looking at the text to find my argument for suicide, I was (from the point of view of those who commented) supposed to look at Gilman's views on suicide. So which is it? My viewpoint because of the text or figuring out Gilman's viewpoint through her history?

    Posted by Diana Geleskie at 11:20 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Transcending Space and Time

    To begin with, it seems highly improbable that Melville in writing Benito Cereno was not thinking within the framework of the cultural concerns of his time as well as in a timeless region of universal truth.
    Sidney Kaplan "Herman Melville and the American National Sin: The Meaning of 'Benito Cereno'"

    In reading this section of Kaplan's essay, I immediately thought of a memorable quote from a movie near and dear to my heart, I Heart Huckabees.
    Vivian Jaffe: Have you ever transcended space and time?
    Albert Markovski: Yes. No. Uh, time, not space... No, I don't know what you're talking about.
    Basically, that is what Kaplan is suggesting Melville must have done in order to escape from writing within the "framework of the cultural concerns of his time".

    So obviously, Melville, um, didn't.

    What I don't get is why knowing that same "framework of the cultural concerns of his time" is so vitally important to understanding "Benito Cereno." I admit it; I did not know much of anything about Melville's culture. (When it comes to it, I don't really even feel like I know that much about the culture that is influencing everything I write - this included.) However, the point is, I got a lot out of "Benito Cereno" when I read it - without any of that back-knowledge. So that makes it necessary how?

    Posted by Diana Geleskie at 10:59 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    Go Journalism! - All About the Interview

    It is therefore not only sound but necessary for the interpreter to inquire, "What in all probability did the author mean? Is the pattern of emphases I construe the author's pattern?" But it is both incorrect and futile to inquire, "What does the language of the text say?" That question can have no determinate answer.
    E. D. Hirsch, Jr. "Objective Interpretation"

    I am in complete disagreement with E. D. Hirsch on this point concerning authorial intent.

    What E. D. Hirsch seems to be arguing for is not an emphasis for critical textual analysis, but rather for interpretative psychology. He is looking at the text as the product to be examined in order to figure out the mental on-goings of the author; not as a piece of literature.

    If this is truly the important aspect that we require of literature, why not stick to the backbone of solid journalism - the interview? In an interview you've got the author right there to figure out what was going on inside their head concerning their text. Similar to a counseling session . . .

    True, it isn't always possible to actually sit down and interview the author (but wouldn't it be cool to talk to Shakespeare? Not that we would understand all the turn of phrases he used or he us, but, come on! its Shakespeare!) I concede the point. I have a feeling that if a written interview with Shakespeare was discovered though, this would be like music to the ears of critics like E. D. Hirsch. . .

    Posted by Diana Geleskie at 10:35 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    February 5, 2007

    The "Real" Poem vs. The Fake Poem

    That is, even if we could discover what the poem meant to its author or its original audience, we still would not have discovered the full range of the "legitimate" meanings of the poem. In short, the "real" poem, in this argument, is not the poem in the author's mind at the moment of creation, so there is little point in searching for that mind or that moment.
    Donald Keesey (Contexts for Criticism)

    The "real" poem: The poem that is presented to the audience for approval or disapproval.

    The fake poem: The poem that is understood by the audience in the fashion that the poet intended. The poem that is deciphered down to the point that there is nothing more to be learned from it. (Side note - if a poem gets to the point where its fake-ness cannot be deigned, it probably wasn't a very good poem to begin with.) (Side side note - To the poet, I have a feeling that every draft until the final draft of all their work is fake.)

    The battle: Is it what the audience thinks the poem is, or what the author wanted the audience to think the poem is?

    Which side do you choose?

    I'm on the side of the "real" poem. (Note the prejudice of the name and sides of the battle.) I don't think that what the poet wanted his or her audience to get out of the poem is what really matters. I think what matters is what the audience actually gets out of it. After all, the audience are the people reading it. When the audience reads it shouldn't matter. If the audience of the poet's lifetime read it and loved it - good for the poet. If the audience of the poet's lifetime read it and hated it - not so good for the poet. But if the audience surpassing the author's lifetime read it and see the beauty of the linguistics - that is a "real" poem.

    In defense of the fake poem however, what the poet did with the poem does indeed matter. I just think it stops there. The poet wrote (past tense) the poem. The audience reads (present tense) the poem. So it is a question of which has more value, the past or the present; and that is a matter of opinion.

    Posted by Diana Geleskie at 12:32 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack