February 11, 2007

I've been doing it all along

As I read the introduction to this chapter I couldn't help but think that this introduction was making much more sense than the previous one. I thought at first that it was because I was just getting used to the way that Keesey writes and the I come upon the following quote where Keesey says:

"They seem to claim no special expertise beyond well-developed powers of observation and a sharpened sense of waht to look for. And we can all play the game...And this may in part account for the popularity of formal analysis as a classroom technique at many levels of instruction" (78-9).
That is when it hit me. We have been studying formalism ever since we entered into the major field of English.

Every paper that we as Englsih students have completed has had some form of formalism attached to it. All of the close readings that we have had to do and write on were all a form of formalism. I decided after reading that that I felt pretty intelligent because I was writing as a professional would write I just didn't know that I was doing it. We have been taught by our professors to take pieces of works and apply a theory and then use the text to back up our theory. Occasionally we would need to use secondary sources to help back up our claims, but then the professional formalists sometimes do the same thing. I liked that Keesey made the point of saying that he couldn't believe there weren't more people out there doing the same thing. Neither can I for that matter. I think what happens here is that people don't realize that they are making assumptions that, with some help, could be published. Sure is something to think about.

Keesey, Ch 2 (Introduction) -- Jerz EL312 (Literary Criticism)A

Posted by Tiffany Brattina at February 11, 2007 8:41 PM | TrackBack

I picked the same quote (more or less) for my blog entry and agree with you completely- we are all formalists whether we like it or not. Sure, we can look at a piece from another literary perspective as well, but the formalist approach is always present in the beginning, thanks to being taught this when we were younger.

Posted by: Nessa at February 12, 2007 9:42 AM

I think formalism seems easier since there isn't anything else you need but the piece. The fact that you don't need anything else, makes this idea as simple as you could go, yet it's tougher. I mean now each word holds a purpose, you can not take for granted for why the word is placed/used in a certain spot, you really have to examine the text to find the insight.

Posted by: Mitchell Steele at February 15, 2007 3:59 PM
Post a comment

Remember personal info?