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February 19, 2007

EL312: You are what you eat read

Note: The Bloom guy that Kolodny wrote about in her article is not the same Bloom that wrote Bloom's Taxonomy. Though it would be awesome if it was, it isn't. So it's best to let that go now... Okay, continue reading...

Regardless, I liked that Kolodny incorporated this map of "psycho-dynamic relations" between the reader and poet at the beginning of her essay (195). This Bloom fellow wrote some interesting stuff, though:

...when the ephebe poet attempts to appropriate and then correct a precursor's meaning, so, too, for the critic, his own inevitable misreadings or misprisions are no less heroic--nor any less creative. "Poets' misinterpretations or poems" may be "more drastic than critics' misinterpretations or criticism," Bloom admits, but since he recognizes no such thing as "interpretations but only misinterpretations... all criticism" is necessarily elevated to a species of "prose poetry" (195).

Oh, wow, he's really leveling the field--poetry and criticism are equally creative? (What does that say about poets? Yikes.) Well, let's thank goodness that at least the Bloom fellow was off a bit when he said "You are or become what you read" (202) otherwise I might be some strange amalgamation... like a short critically dramatic novel with octosyllabic couplets.

There's a lot of summary in this one... I thought we were supposed to stay away from that, but then again I could be wrong. I suppose it could be considered useful in some instances.

Note: Would it have been possible for Kolodny to not use two highly-read women-authored short stories for this essay? Just wondering. These two, while well-known and definitely familiar in our class, seem over-read.

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

Posted by KarissaKilgore at February 19, 2007 4:33 PM


Overall, I think that Kolodny used more ranting and raving than actually using some credible evidence to state her point. And here's a question, (and I know I'm going to be in trouble for this one), but what man ruined her weekend when she wrote this? Why are we supposed to believe that a female reader is a more competent reader, in a male reader, especially in this time period. Personally, I think that using a text that was not already set for the female reader, but either way, the male reader can interpret in the same way that a female reader can.

Posted by: Jason Pugh at February 21, 2007 3:15 PM

Yay Bloom's taxonomy! That is exactly where my mind went when I first read this article until I discovered that it was a different person.

Unlike yourself I thought that Bloom's comment about "you are what you read" very intriguing. I tend to think that I (in my mind at least) live in some fantastical world and dream (often in fact) about worlds only an imagination can dream up. I love to think that somewhere out there someone is living the fantasy life and making the world a bit better because of it.

As to your question - I too wondered if this essay could be produced with different short stories. I don't think that it could. I agree with you when you say that these particular short stories are way overread. (Need I remind you that this is the fifth time I have read "The Yellow Wallpaper"?)

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

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