"I'm not, however, going to attempt even a sketchy summary of all the variant readings of the poem; instead I want to consider a point that none of the innumerable readings I've come across has made--at least, none has done so emphatically enough" (Guetti 386).
This notion of "innumerable readings" has been an ongoing muddy point for me this semester. I often feel small, inexperienced, and unimportant in the midst of all the criticism available. The fact that so many different interpretations exist for a single text often leads me to the brink of despair: I still don't know how to distinguish which interpretation is better than the next. Furthermore, I've nearly lost all hope of ever being able to introduce a new, creative interpretation that is actually plausible. When reading the critical essays assigned each week, I often wonder how can I compete? How can I create any worthwhile critical argument with them to follow, particularly when they seem to know so much more than I do about their critical subjects. It seems to me that in order to truly write a critical argument of even the smallest amount of value, I need to entirely devote myself to my topic. The critics we've read before us seem to have done so. For example, Guetti mentions the "innumerable readings" she's come across aboout "Ode on a Grecian Urn" along with nonchalantly referencing the works of numerous critics and the letters and preliminary poems of Keats as if they were common knowledge. The level of background knowledge that goes into these essays is astounding, and as an undergraduate student with more responsibilities than this class alone, I often feel distressed by how much I don't know, especially when I think of all the time I don't have to spend on teaching myself this information.
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