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February 24, 2007

Art Shows Reality

Keesey, Ch 4 (Introduction) -- Jerz EL312 (Literary Criticism)

"How does the poem, in conforming to a reality already known, give us knowledge? Or, if the reality is not already known, how can we be sure the poem does in fact conform to it?" (210).

Ah, just when I thought I finally found a literary theory that was perfect, Keesey has once again successfully pointed out a very reasonable hole in the argument. As much as I would love to say "nope, not a valid opposition" to all those anti-mimetic critics I have to say that these are good questions and I should have known that they were coming. Keesey's introductions thus far have not failed to explain both sides yet. So, of course, mimetic criticism shouldn't be any surprise.

The best answer I can come up with (at least for the first question anyway) is that perhaps it is just that art is the only way of "showing" knowledge rather than "telling" it. Art has a way of representing reality in a way nothing else can - highlighting it, bringing certain truths to the forefront of our minds that might otherwise go unnoticed. Like Chera Pupi said in one of her early blog entries this semester for EL150: Intro to Lit, sometimes we don't realize we know something until we are told. Maybe sometimes we don't realize something is real until we are shown, and literature can show us.

Posted by LorinSchumacher at February 24, 2007 11:18 PM


Art does have a way emphasizing a certain idea or truth that may be in the back of our minds and we don't ever see or speak of it.
Lorin, I really think your incorporation of Chera's blog entry really elaborates and clears up Keesey's introduction that we sometimes don't completely understnad something until we are told and that maybe realizing something real doesn't happen until we are shown wihtin a piece of work.

Showing and telling is always a great concept of literature and I think it works well in mimetic criticism.

Posted by: Denamarie at February 28, 2007 7:36 PM

I think you may have done a better job explaining Keesey than Keesey.

Posted by: Dave Moio at February 28, 2007 8:33 PM

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