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March 10, 2007

The World of Poetry is Within the "World of Experience" Not Seperate

Keesey, Ch 5 (Introduction) -- Jerz EL312 (Literary Criticism)

"...poetry's claim to mimetic accuracy, to "truth-revealing" powers, seems to many critics to offer the only stable ground for poetic value. Yet the intertextual critic, by arguing that poems imitate other poems and not the world of experience, appears to surrender that claim at the outset" (273).

In defense of mimetic criticism, I don't think it makes sense to trying to create a little isolated world that is poetry. You can't claim that "poems imitate other poems and not the world of experience" because poems are a part of "the world of experience." Why do critics insists on isolating the two? This approach seems much less useful to me in comparison to the mimetic criticism we studied last week, although it is a step above the formal criticism in that at least it acknowledges the influence of something else (other poetry) instead of just the poem in isolation from everything else.

Also, in terms of the conventions that intertextual critics claim that literature has I would argue that the so called "conventions" of literature that poets use to make their work worth studying are only conventional because they are mimetic, because they imitate life. That is where the conventions come from, so it is still more appropriate to view literature in terms of its mimetic qualities.

Posted by LorinSchumacher at March 10, 2007 8:28 AM


I completely agree with your argument. Everything is in some way replicated. So I also found it confusing how your supposed to look at the looks in relation, which I took as a very similar form of the mimetic critics.

Posted by: Mitchell Steele at March 15, 2007 11:30 AM

It fills me with joy to know someone else didn't think too highly of this criticism. I, too, found that it was, for lack of a better term, overlapping with mimetic criticism.

I had said on Dave's blog that I hope this opens up some discussion. I got a little lost in this and, from my understanding, so did a few others.

Posted by: Kevin at March 15, 2007 4:16 PM

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