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A little art history lesson

...when one Caryatid was removed from the Erechtheum, those that remained lamented "their ravished sister" with wailing that could be heard throughout the town (Garson 454).

erechtheum.jpgWhen I read, this part of Garson's essay, I surprised: it touches on the very concept I blogged about earlier in my blog, War! Huh, what is it good for? in reaction to Barker and Hulme's essay. Just as Garson seems to imply that, in their enthusiasm, collectors such as Lord Elgin actually ruin the artwork they prize reducing "the fragments to architectural ruins" (455), I question whether our enthusiastic actions as literary critics damage the text we criticize. Do you think we run this danger?

(By the way, the picture above is an image of the Erechtheum, an ancient Greek temple located in Athens. "Caryatids" are the supporting pillars carved into female figures. In the Erechtheum, they are located in what is known as the Porch of Maidens as pictured below...this is where my year spent as an art history major kicks in...I always get excited when the essays we read link artwork to their literary arguments. I'm a very visual learner, so naturally, I love linking concepts to pretty pictures :) Pics taken from witcombe.sbc.edu/sacredplaces/acropolis.html & http://encarta.msn.com/media_461514456/porch_of_maidens_erechtheum.html.)

porch of maidens.jpg

Comments (1)

Bethany Merryman:

YAY art history and visual learning! As you well know, I am a huge fan of this stuff too. I really have learned a great deal about criticism in both art history and literature courses and find it interesting when they intersect.

However, to answer your question, I wrote about a similar feeling of the literature getting damaged through criticism. I felt at certain times throughout class that the criticism has ruined my own personal reading of the text. Check out what our peers had to say when I brought it up.

http://blogs.setonhill.edu/BethanyMerryman/2009/04/sympathy-misplaced.html

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