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February 20, 2007

Ugh, I am Tire of Trying to Come Up with Clever Titles

Kolodny, '"A Map for Rereading: Or, Gender and the Interpretation of Literary Texts'' -- Jerz EL312 (Literary Criticism)

"William Dean Howells...like most readers, either failed to notice or neglected to report ' the connection between the insanity and the sex, or sexual role, of the victim'" (198).

Is Kolodny just referring to the readers at the time of the story's early publications, or to readers in general? I certainly think that, at least today, we have not failed to see a connection between the sanity of the woman and her role as a woman in a male-dominated society. In fact, I feel as if we now place almost too much emphasis on this connection and that causes critics like herself to go nuts and go on and on about how when doing reader-response theory we are only responding as if the reader were a male. While I think this is a somewhat valid concern - a text would easily be interpreted differently by people of opposite sexes. But, blaming those for ignoring the gender-role in the past really doesn't seem very productive to me.

Posted by LorinSchumacher at February 20, 2007 12:14 AM


I agree with you that the article doesn't seem to be very productive at times. While she does make some good arguments sometimes I felt as if she was preaching at me. I also agree that in light of everything going on in the world as far as women go, we in the US tend to put so much emphasis on being the individual woman that it is over done at times. I think that (at least in the US) there is more equality amongst men and women today than there ever was before, but some women still feel suppressed. Hopefully the back and forth does not continue for too much longer.

Posted by: Tiffany at February 21, 2007 6:28 PM

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