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January 29, 2007

And this years homecoming queen is...

"The fact that we always interpret literary works to some extent in the light of our own concerns-indeed that in one sense of 'our own concerns' we are incapable of doing anything else- might be one reason why certain works of literature seem to retain their value across the centuries." (Eagleton 12)

Its a popularity contest, well at least in the long run right. That is essentially what he means then. I really like that Eagleton didn't give a concrete answer to what literature is or isn't. because he is right in that it's all subjective to our own taste. Or at least to the taste of the critic, which would be everyone who reads-thank you again Keesey. In the Introduction: what is Literature, Eagleton isn't trying to avaoid the question because there really isn't a right or wrong answer. I think he did answer it, and has a strong answer. We choose what is or isn't literature. We have that kind of power to choose what will be something that is remembered for generations or forgotten as soon as the new great work comes out.Too soon are we to judge and dismiss. Its nice to realize the impact we as a collective whole have on future generations but its one that can be sad if we forget to admitt some things that might be risker and more fullfilling for somthing that makes everyone happy for following the rules.

Aesthetics, or my wife at three in the morning.

Ok so I figured I look up to see how The Bedford Glossary of Critical and Literary Terms defined aesthetics. I knew of the word but not really what the word means. So I was not that much off on my guess of the term once I did look up the definition. It sounds nice, "(1) the philosophical approach, which poses questions relating to the nature or the definition of beauty; and (2) the psychological approach, which examines the perception, orgins, and effects of beauty. (Murfin and Ray 6) Now that is a nice definition. I really mean that. I like it. I like the way it sounds. I like that it searches for the "truth". You can't b/s Aesthetics, no you can't and it won't let you. Thats the cool thing about this idea, that in the end if one were you use it properly than you wouldn't be left outside trying to get in because you would already be there. You would know the true meaning of whatever it was you were reading or doing whatever you would do. Wow that sounds matrix-y. I dunno, whatever, it just seems refreshing to have a way to just get in there and find the truth and be done. Maybe I'm trying to read into it too much, maybe I have a huge urge to find the truth. No probably not.

There is no way that a dead person would ever understand that book.

So I guess that the late T.S. Eliot isn't going to apprecaite what i'm writing now about him then. That sucks. So I was reading this Tradition and the Individual Talent, and thought wow this guy is also backing me on my, I can complain I'm a critic, answer to everything like our buddy Keesey. So the more I read I'm starting to get a little sad when I find out that these traditions that he was to "discourage" (Eliot 1), can't be "inherited" (Eliot 1) but worked to gain. So now I'm all bummed out thinking that my son's not going to inherit my traditions. But then I got excited because if he can't just get mine than he also just can't get his mothers. That was what had me smiling. I'll just leave it at that. But that wasn't the kicker for me, no the one thing I liked the most was in the end of this particular work when talking about the poet and all the things he really needs to do to fully appreciate his work, "And he is not likely to know what is to be done unless he lives in what is not merely the present, but the present moment of the past, unless he is conscious, not of what is dead, but of what is already living." (Eliot 7) So I like this idea of self awareness very much and his ideas of the poet as a reflection of his own past to create his present is very true and cool. But the clincher that is so great is that you have to be alive to apprecaite this. I am sorry to all the zombies who wanted to understand. Maybe next time.

So its not that I'm a complainer, its just I'm a critic.

Thank you Keesey. You are the answer to all my problems. Now when someone tells to to quit complaining, I'll simply respond to them that I'm allowed. I'm a critic. Its that easy. See he got the nice diagram to prove that its my job as a reader, to be critical. we don't decide to be one, "The only choice is to decide what kind of critic one will be :" (Keesey 1). Thats it, we can't decide whether we want to be critical or not. or even if we want to be a critic at all, it was all predetermined for us once we figured out how to read that we would be a critic in nature of preference. The only real decision we have is to figure out what kind of critic that we want to be. Thats easy enough with me, I'm just thankful to know that i now have the authority to complain and complain and complain some more if I want to and when some one complains to me about complaing I'll know where there coming from, their a critic.

Captain Delano; the man who could never win at clue.

Benito Cereno turned reading into work. Having to work to get through all the ramblings on over descriptions and those long winded redundent sentences that should have been written in maybe half as many words to get the same effect. It was hard. You all know what I'm talking about-right? l hope so. Well that wasn't the worst part. No, no where near it. I found it disturbingly hard to watch Captin Delano walk this ship and completly not understand what was going on. that was the hardest part. I mean everywhere he turned there was clue being given to him in the form of the language between Babo and Don Benito, or the way Atufal and Don Benito were interacting with one another or the way in which the other people on board the ship were interacting among each other including Captain Delano, himself. And this whole time there on board he's walking around like wow, he's clueless. Alright, I saw how he might have thought something was up and was trying to figure it out. but come on, he had no clue. Seriously. Look , by the end of his visit his biggest concern was that Don Benito was going to dis him and not come aboard his ship for dinner. How rude of the poor, sickly, hostage. How dare this man not be as polite as the gentleman Captain Delano. I mean after all the charitable efforts given to Don Benito on the behalf of this great Captain Delano. The least he could do was come abord and have a little dinner with the guy. right, that was his real concern. Not that this Don Benito was being held hostage by a band of mutinus passengers. or that maybe he might be next, Captain Delano and his crew, of the same fate if it wasn't for the defiance of Don Benito to try and save himself and Captain Delano.There were a lot of clues that I saw and was hoping Captain Delano saw also. But he didn't. My favorite example or quote if you may is a small exchange between the good captain and this old knotter on Don benito's ship.

"What are you knotting there, my man?"
"The knot," was the brief reply, without looking up.
"So it seems; but what is it for?"
"For some one else to undo," muttered back the old man, plying his fingers harder than ever, the knot being now nearly completed.
While Captain Delano stood watching him, suddenly the old man threw the knot towards him, saying in broken English-the first heard in the ship-something to this effect: "Undo it, cut it, quick." It was said lowly, but with such condensation of rapidity, that the long, slow words in Spanish, which had preceded and followed, almost operated as covers to the brief English between. (Melville 506).

Well the only great relief about this story and in reading about this poor clueless fellow I guess is seeing this type of stupidity and being thankful its in a work of fiction. I mean lets be thankful that there is no one that cluelss who has any real power in the world we live in. Right?


About January 2007

This page contains all entries posted to MitchellSteele in January 2007. They are listed from oldest to newest.

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