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April 9, 2007

Does anal retentive have a hyphen in it?

I'm sorry. I never thought I would actually be laughing at one of these essays. I understand that these people are just doing their jobs (wonderfully, might I add), but this "debate" over the spelling of Wallpaper had me on the floor. Seriously...c'mon. I'd like to think I'm at least a moderately learned person, insofar that I can at least get through these without passing out...but doesn't there come a time where we (the editorial "we") are just splitting hairs over things? I don't know...that's a debate for another day.

I appreciate the discussion on ambiguity in Gilman's story...I've been saying for a long time that part of the glory of the story was that it wasn't clearly cut and that I don't think there were any "true answers" to the questions we had. Did she kill herself? Why did John faint? These are terribly ambiguous questions which, really, can't be answered. Post-structuralist theory claims that the text will unlock the mystery, but is there substantial enough evidence for prove once and for all that X happened because of Y? At every turn where one example can be found, a counter-example can also be found.

The fun is not in resolution, but instead in the journey. We are all post-modernists by birth. If we subscribe to that theory is a different decision, but we all are part of the movement. It becomes increasingly difficult to accept one way or one idea as the dogma of criticism. Even if one embraces post-modernism, they are by association embracing all the other philosophies, too, but accepting them as flawed.

Posted by KevinMcGinnis at April 9, 2007 11:48 PM


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