April 22, 2007

Tell Me Something New

"There would be scant pleasure in unearthing a nineteenth-century story if the original audience read it exactly as twentieth-century readers do. The thrill comes in finding the gem that others have overlooked" (Dock et al 478).

Well, yeah. Isn't that the fun in studying literature in a cultural context? Going outside of our boundaries and what is known for our culture into that of another? To explore a piece in its own world?

Dock et al's "'But One Expexts That'..." seemed more like a feminist statement than an article of literary criticism to me. What, "The Yellow Wallpaper" can be read froma feminist perspective? I had no idea! And it was considered radical in its time and not critically paned since it scared readers? Wow, what a shock.

The article did little to enlighten me to anything regarding culture, history, or even much about the story as a whole. I think by now we all realize that "The Yellow Wallpaper" is probably one of the prime examples of reading a piece through cultural criticism- it is certainly a story that should not be examined through our current (or highly feminist, like in the article) ideas as they do not match to when Gillman wrote. I suppose, if nothing else, the article did reinforce the idea of reading through cultural criticism.

Dock, '''But One Expects That': Charlotte Perkins Gilman's 'The Yellow Wallpaper' and the Shifting Light of Scholarship'' -- Jerz EL312 (Literary Criticism)

Posted by VanessaKolberg at April 22, 2007 10:00 PM | TrackBack

Did you even read the article, Vanessa? I do not recall the article being highly feminist. In fact, I thought it was rather anti-feminist. Dock et. al seem to be arguing that the feminists that revived Gilman's work in the 1970s were more concerned with pushing their own agenda and convincing readers to empathize with woman writers than accurately representing and analyzing the literature, and to quote the introduction, the authors are critiquing a "'need' of feminist critics to construct their story of heroic resistance and eventual triumph" (470).

I think this essay had a lot to offer, such as insight to all the other variations of the text in different editions from differencing in breaks and the omission of entire sentences and even key words. The authors also revealed discrepancies in the stories about how the story was first published and how different editions have been cited incorrectly and all the information about critics using information about Gilman's life that primarily came from Gilman's own perspective and how unreliable it just might be. I really felt like this essay was one of the best put together that we have read all year, and I don't think you gave it a decent chance.

Posted by: Lorin at April 23, 2007 1:25 AM

Lorin- are you related to one of the authors of this article or something? You are very defensive of it. Personally, I don't think it had as much to offer (and yes, I did read it, thanks) as other ones. Just wasn't a favorite of mine, I'm sorry if I offended you or something.

Posted by: Nessa at April 23, 2007 1:43 AM
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