Literature is or is not knowledge?

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Ok, so I didn't get as much out of this article as I thought. I find this topic interesting but there wasn't anything that really grabbed my attention or stood out that really seemed understandable.

"Literature is not a knowledge. Literary criticism is a knowledge." (Belsey 432).
I really don't think I agree with this quote at all. First I think you can learn from literature, fiction and nonfiction. Awhile back my American Lit class read The Grapes of Wrath. Yeah it isn't the exact story about the dust bowl, but it does portray events that really happend (once I read the story I did a little research and found that most of the stuff Steinbach talked about was true - in the fact that people had to leave their land and most went to california and were treated badly and they were just in a bad situation.) I also believe that a lot of authors do this as well, write about a true even but fictionalize it a little bit, even Shakespeare did it.

I also believe that literary criticism isn't always knowledge. For one thing if you disagree with a certain criticism are you really going to learn from it? Possibly not. Also as I read in the other articles for this week lot of the critics especially those who focused on The Yellow Wallpaper didn't even have accurate information to go off of. So if we read works from those critics we will learn something but it will most likely be false information/knowledge.

I'm also wondering if some critics are being too political (once again going back to the feminist critics). If you are so focused on your own views and what you think was going on how are you/they ever going to have the accurate facts about the works?


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1 Comments

Angela Palumbo said:

Haha...Derek picked the same exact quote. I suggest you look at his entry and the comments. I agree with you, though. I do not like this quote. I think, as you do, that there is a lot to be learned from reading literature. All knowledge almost comes from some written source because we can't always be right there to experience everything. I've read about 9/11/01. I know it happened and it was a horrible event in American history. Is Belsey saying that we can't gain knowledge from reading? I don't think so. I think we are missing something. Anyone want to help us understand this?

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