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January 29, 2007

Who's really the leader?

"Follow your leader" is the cryptic quote that we think we understand as we read this. I couldn't wait to find out the ending because I thought Cereno or his crew would murder Delano. In the end it was Babo who controlled everything, I found it very ironic. Now the "shadow" part makes sense to me because Babo seemed to shadow Cereno wherever he went and his presence could in a sense fall like a shadow on Cereno's pale skin. Also, Cereno was buried in the same cemetary so he even followed his leader to the grave. It seems that Babo was the true leader and Cereno followed. I'm surprised that Delano was so passive, but he was smart for being so because it saved his life in the end.

Posted by ErinWaite at 3:36 PM | Comments (5)

"Tradition and Individual Talent"

“ Honest criticism and sensitive appreciation is directed not upon the poet but upon the poetry. If we attend to the confused cries of the newspaper critics and the susurrus of popular repetition that follows, we shall hear the names of poets in great numbers; if we seek not Blue-book knowledge but the enjoyment of poetry, and ask for a poem, we shall seldom find it.”

This spoke to me, because as a poet, I try to write things that will make people feel something and I really liked how Eliot explained that a poet is really only truly great if they can make even a person who hasn’t experienced what he or she is going through feel the same as the poet may have. When we look at a literary work, we may want to criticize it based on feelings, but we really do have to look at other critic’s and the genre of the work itself before we can make a strong criticism.

Posted by ErinWaite at 10:51 AM | Comments (4)

"These are the terms, Buddy..."

“The last quatrain gives an image, a feeling attaching to an image, which "came," which did not develop simply out of what precedes, but which was probably in suspension in the poet's mind until the proper combination arrived for it to add itself to. The poet's mind is in fact a receptacle for seizing and storing up numberless feelings, phrases, images, which remain there until all the particles which can unite to form a new compound are present together.”
Here’s a least one term I looked up: Quatrain. This term interested me because I was reading about it the other day in Intro to Poetry. To understand it, if you look at the “qua” part, you may recognize that it has to do with 4, as in quadruplets. The actual definition of quatrain I looked up in the Bedford glossary is this: a stanza containing four lines. I learned that the quatrain is the most common form used in English-language poetry. I also learned that some examples are in Alfred Lord Tennyson’s elegy for Arthur Henry Hallam and in William Blake’s “Infant” sorrow. In my poetry class I’m now noticing more quatrains as a result. The word caught my eye as I read Eliot’s “Tradition and the Individual Talent.”

Posted by ErinWaite at 10:42 AM | Comments (2)

Eagleton "What is Literature?"

"What we have uncovered so far, then, is not only that literature does not exist in the sense that insects do, and that value-judgements by which it is constituted are historically valuable, but that the value-judgements themselves have a close relation to social ideologies" (p. 16).”

We tend to decide whether we like a book based on whether we agree with the values of the type of book we are reading and I think Eagleton related that very well. He also explains Formalism in a way that allows us to understand how it formed and that the language can give many clues to the context. Back to value-judgements, after reading Eagleton's perspective on this, do you think it is okay to avoid reading books that have topics that go against your values? I think we should, because as I've said before, we can all read for pleasure, but I want to read to be changed or at least develop a stronger feeling towards a work.

Posted by ErinWaite at 10:15 AM | Comments (2)

Criticism: Now in little boxes for your viewing pleasure

"Because criticism usually involves the interpretation of a particular literary work, it is logical that the work in question should hold the central place in the diagram." (3)

I found it kind of humorous that the way we label a work can also be "labeled" in a cute little diagram. "Look mom, I'm already a critic calling diagrams cute (not a very good one, though)."
I tend to argue with myself, so for me, understanding the types of criticism and whom they relate to was very helpful. When it comes to memorizing laundry lists of text in terms I can't interpret, it's very helpful. Like Valerie said in her blog, I sometimes just want to watch old-school Sesame Street without worrying about why Ernie and Bert are in the tub together. I find it impossible to really harness all of the methods into one area. Heck, I can't even remember if I'm wearing socks half of the time, so how am I going to remember my perspectives? I'm a little overwhelmed, but I do enjoy reading what makes me change and I want to hold onto that. I am looking forward to stretching the way I analyze things, though. Everyone tends to have stronger and weaker reactions to literature based on how they've read them before, so this class will help us to understand the various means of looking at something before making a judgement.

Posted by ErinWaite at 9:31 AM | Comments (4)