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April 6, 2007

This calls for an intervention!

Keesey, Ch 7 (Introduction) -- Jerz EL312 (Literary Criticism)
“Almost always that intervention is in oppostion to existing power structures and designed to empower groups historically disadvantaged.” (412)

I’m still not even sure I know what’s this means, but “intervention” got my eye. Literature gets so heavily criticized, that once in awhile an intervention is needed. We get so hung up on what the words and plot should be meaning, that we often overlook the “realism” in the situation according to Keesey. Benito Cereno could be a fine example of this quote, I suppose. The slaves appear to be at a disadvantage, but really Captain Happy and all of the other ignorant people aboard the ships are the ones that need to worry. We are either angry at a text for being so realistic that we are offended by it or so deep in fantasy land with the unicorns that we say “No black/white person would say that!” Who are we to judge? New historical critics seem a little too ballsy for me. As I’ve said before, we can’t change history, but we can change the stereotype. Before we know it, we’ll all just be one big Carlos Mencia joke and I’m fine with that.

Posted by ErinWaite at April 6, 2007 11:45 AM


Haha yay, Captain Happy is back! While you find New Historical criticism to be a bit, um, how did you put that?, "ballsy", I like it. If, of course, it's done right. As with any of the criticisms, none of them can be used too far to the extreme- we can't (or shouldn't) read any piece with just one type of criticism in mind. If so, we'll loose so much else in the text. No one wants those blinders.

Posted by: Nessa at April 6, 2007 4:02 PM

Great blogging today, Erin!

Posted by: Dennis G. Jerz [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 6, 2007 6:16 PM

Thanks for the comments. Nessa, You are right, we should read with more than one criticism in mind.

Posted by: Erin at April 10, 2007 11:54 AM

"As I’ve said before, we can’t change history, but we can change the stereotype."

I know that we can't change history, but what I think we need to keep in mind with this criticism is that everyone looks at that history differently. The deconstruction of what one person sees historically in one work compared to what another person sees in the same work can be radically different depending on the point in history that they are reading a work. There are biases that have to be kept in mind with this type of literary criticism and I'm just hoping that I can do that.

Posted by: Tiffany at April 12, 2007 3:19 PM

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