Growing Up Guetti

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Resisting the Aesthetic, Guetti

Literary Criticism--EL312

Virtually no critics have thought of reading the questions Keats addresses to the urn literally--that is, not as rhetorical exclamations, but as sincere and urgent demands for information--and therefore it has not occured to anyone that Keats is, as de Man would put it, attempting to read, rather than to imagine, the urn.

Don't you detest it when people answer a rhetorical question? But Guetti asks why not. Espcially the questions asked in the lovable Keat poem that we know and love. She quotes de Man in several instances explaining how the poem "begs to be released from such delusive affirmation of unity." It [the poem] can only be (and maybe even feel) complete when you answer the questions in the poem. Guetti claims that the problem with our readings is because of the fact that we are not reading the urn. This qusetion therefore I pose:

Can we really learn more from the urn if we answer the questions?

3 Comments

I think so! I love your title, very clever! By answering the questions, someone will question our answers and we will be able to really learn something as we get deeper and deeper.

That is a great question Kevin, probably one of the best this semester. I think that we would have a bit of closure and understanding if only a few of the questions were answered, but at the same time, I think that the ambiguity of these questions keeps the search deep and intense. I think we would be more willing to search if we could have a few answers to leave us with. I think that we answer the questions ourselves, that we could be misinterpreting, but we could also be finding something crucial that someone might not have found.

As an answer, I do not think we should not necessarily be finding answers, but we should be finding possible solutions that can be discussed and debated. I don't think that we will ever have a sure answer, but I do think that this poem will be admired and questioned for a long time. I do not think that we will learn more from the urn if we answer the questions, but I do think we will be more enlightened on some possibilities, which will keep us wanting to search and keep ourselves engaged. I think that Guetti brought up some points worth discussing, but I do disagree with her that we would have an answer if WE read the urn; I think that we would just have more possibilites toward coming up with a possible solution.

Again, loose ends only exist when tightly wrapped packages are untied. Is there value in untying something just to say, "look at all of the possibilities," despite the incredible nature of most possibilities?