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February 2007 Archives

February 27, 2007

Appropriation is not appropriate.

Murfin and Ray, Bedford Glossary of Critical and Literary Terms -- Jerz EL312 (Literary Criticism)

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Double Gs are trapped in their idea and can't get out.

Gilbert and Gubar, ''The Yellow Wallpaper'' -- Jerz EL312 (Literary Criticism)

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Her first two initials are E. T.

Brann, ''Pictures in Poetry: Keats's 'Ode on a Grecian Urn'' -- Jerz EL312 (Literary Criticism)

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The softer side of feminism.

Donovan, ''Beyond the Net: Feminist Criticism as a Moral Criticism'' -- Jerz EL312 (Literary Criticism)

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February 26, 2007


Paris, ''The Uses of Psychology'' -- Jerz EL312 (Literary Criticism)

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

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February 23, 2007

Everyman the musical

Anonymous, ''Everyman'' -- Jerz EL312 (Literary Criticism)

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February 22, 2007

My first blog portfolio happens to be portfolio 1

Portfolio I -- Jerz EL312 (Literary Criticism)

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February 21, 2007

You spin me right round Lit Crit, right round.

Now I'm suppossed to talk about what critics/theories I've read so far that have stimulated me the most. Or something like that. Well there really isn't one simple answer that I can give. The immediate response I had when I started reading these critics was wow. All these critics have these firm beliefs that they are right. Maybe they are. See thats the thing that draws me in each week. You read these critics and even if you positively disagree with them at first, by the time your done reading, and writing about that idea you can find a little bit of in agreeing with the critic. Now I don't mean that you will all of a sudden change your perspective just because of the argument presented before, I am saying that once you look at it from a critical standpoint you can see the validity in their reasoning.
The One critic/theory that really had me thinking was E.D. Hirsch, but it wasn't his essay it was Allen C. Austin's Toward Resolving Keats's Grecian Urn Ode. I found that Austin did a wonderful job explaining the way one would go about using the theory Hirsch came up with. He did Hirsch better than Hirsch did himself for me. At first I thought this Authorial Intent was pure speculation, and to some extent I might still think that. But it was this essay that had me think that maybe you could find this motive if this was applied correctly. It seems like a lot of work, but I think that thing that stands out is how deductive it is. nce you get to a point you can just look at all the ideas and break them down to find the real idea that the author may have been going for.
Enjoy the rest of the carnival, hopefully there is something out there that will open your mind.

February 19, 2007

So Mel Gibson would be a bard?

Murfin and Ray, Bedford Glossary of Critical and Literary Terms -- Jerz EL312 (Literary Criticism)

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I am afraid that Kolodny would make me eat this blog if she read it.

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

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You've been a bad, bad reader.

O'Connell, ''Narrative Collusion and Occlusion in Melville's 'Benito Cereno''' -- Jerz EL312 (Literary Criticism)

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There are no ideal readers.

Iser, ''Readers and the Concept of the Implied Reader'' -- Jerz EL312 (Literary Criticism)

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Too many to choose from

Keesey, Ch 3 (Introduction) -- Jerz EL312 (Literary Criticism)

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A friend of art is a friend of mine

Kent, ''On the Third Stanza of Keats's 'Ode on a Grecian Urn''' -- Jerz EL312 (Literary Criticism)

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Repeat after me

McDonald, ''Reading The Tempest'' -- Jerz EL312 (Literary Criticism)

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February 12, 2007

Mimes are dumb.

Som I was paging through the good ol' Bedford there and came across dumb show, which told me to look at pantomime. Now I have never before heard of this term dumb show, so I went to pantomime and was told that a dumb show is nothing more than "an episode of pantomime performed in a play that otherwise involves speech". So now I know, and if you are reading this now you know, "and knowing is half the battle".

I have a man crush on Cleanth Brooks

"The meaning must issue from the particulars; it must not seem to be arbitrarily forced upon the particulars". First off I don't really have a man crush on Brooks, I have a man crush on his theory. Once you lay the groundwork from the rules you can do whatever you like with them. how sweet of an idea is that. I found what brooks said about that you can't/shouldn't go outside of the text to explain it a wonderful concept. I didn't have a problem with this idea, I love(d) this idea. Why would you go outside of it(text) to explain/understand it. Why wouldn't the words be the most important thing to turn to in looking at the meaning of a text. I mean it's the words in the text that make up the meaning, so wouldn't that be the place to go. Yeah words.

Please don't take this out of context.

"formalists refuse to separate form from content". So this is essentially what Keesey used to define the formal critic. Ok, I'll take that. I like that. I like that they, the formal critic, argue that who cares what was going on around the time period, or the meaning of the word, or what the author was doing/going through. Look at the meaning in term of the work itself. I think that this theory allows for the reader(s) to come away with a more personal interpretation from the work itself. Maybe this one is more opinion based than others, but I like how it's also in a way more personal. You're looking at the text and explaing it throuth the text itself. It is allowed to stand alone, there are no background checks, ok, now the reader can interpret the work alone and get something from it. Maybe I'm being a little too liberal in this theory-I am sure I am-but I like that it allows the works to be independant and for the reader(s) to get something from it that isn't relying on more info to gain something from it. Hopefully.

My sincere thanks to Allen C. Austin

"As Hirsch says in Validity in Interpretation, the aim of interpretation is not certainly, but probability. This is the principle on which I base my argument".
Thank you Austin for showing me a outline to better understand Hirsch. So this is what Hirsch was trying to express. Got it. That whole probably, likely is not so simple. But it is once it gets closely examined to pull out the strongly relivent ideas to finally look at the authors intent on the work. I found that this essay really showed how when applying Hirsch, you must first do some close reading to uncover those ideas before you just suppose the authors intentions. Thank you Austin for breaking Hirsch for me.

Shakespeare had a sick sense of humor.

I was skimming over "The Tempest", and thought to myself, wow these people had a sick sense of humor. Now it's no "American Psycho" funny, but maybe for the time period it was, I dunno. So let's jump into Yachnin and this whole idea of political obedience and Gonzalo. "Gonzalo's obedience to his master( even though it has entailed Prospero's suffering and near death) is praiseworthy because political obedience guarantees the stability of government". We are living in a time of poletical obedience, and we in certain ways are Gonzalo. It makes sense that Shakespeare would have done this, I mean you're not going to advocate disobedience on such a popular level. Look today, how far we haven't grown. We are still in this mode of being political obedient on the popular level. This reading brought a new dimension to the story to myself, but it brought the realization how we are still a controlled group of little puppies too afraid to bite back. Now I am a little sad, disappointed. Wah on me. Viva la revolution.

Watson, history and myself

So I was reading Watson's little essay amd thought that the problem with intent, and it's place in this whole critism thing isn't if it's meaningful or not, that is in looking at the background, da, da, da, da nad all, when reading a specific work on it's own or not. Because I still feel that it might not be needed exclusively to get something out of the given text. Now in my own understanding of what this fine chap Watson was trying to say in his little essay, is that you might want to know a thing about what the author was trying to get across when you inject yourself into the text. Not literally, I mean when your reading and look at this work, whatever time period, and see/read it from the perspective of now. You can't and probably won't get it, since the writer wasn't writing for today, unless it's something new. The whole thing is like history class, in that the writer's audience says a lot about the authors intention. So I guess that it would be important to look not entirely from authors bio, but from the arena that he/she is writing for as well to find the meaning behind the authors intent. Or I could be completely wrong and there goes my whole understanding.

February 3, 2007

George Bush and Barry Bonds should be friends.

Antihero: A protagonist in a modern work who does not exhibit the qualities of the traditional hero. Instead of being a grand and/or admirable figure-brave, honest, and magnanimous, for example-an antihero is all to ordinary and may even be petty or downright dishonest.(21)
That is how The Bedford Glossary of Critical and Literary Terms defines antihero. I picked this term because I really enjoy the antihero as oppose to the Disney ideals of being a hero. I like my heros a little dirty and shady. This message was brought to you by the Barry Bonds for the Hall of Fame on his first try when the time comes committee.

Jack Torrance likes yellow more than any other color.

So I was reading "The Yellow Wallpaper" and kept thinking how familiar this story was. I never read this story before, yet it made me feel like I had just run into a friend that I hadn't seen in years. Then it hit me, "The Shining", that was what I thinking about. The whole time I was reading and waiting for the supernatural. Now I know they aren't the same story, but there are a lot of things in common. I mean you have a family that moves into a secluded residence for a short time. You have supernatural events going on, which causes the main character in both stories to deteriorate from their original self. You have this idea of a sickness. I guess if a genetic theorist looked over "The Shining" and Stephen King one might find "The Yellow Wallpaper" somewhere in there. I didn't look/research to prove this idea, that can your homework assignment, right. I'm just saying that for my own personal reading of Gilman's work this realtionship between the two works smacked me in the face. There were some quotes in the story that also hinted that maybe King was ripping her off some in creating Jack Torrance's character, "There are things in that paper that nobody knows but me, or ever will"(535) and "The fact is I am getting a little afraid of John"(536) -both found in Keesey's Contexts for Criticism. Now both of these quotes have that Jack Torrance idea about them, as does the narrators realtionship with the lady in the wall-this had me thinking about Jack and the Bartender. That's all I got for now. Good day.

February 2, 2007

You don't start with a roof when your building a house

a skelton of actual reality to build about with fullness & veins & beauty.
This is a quote from Melville. I read this quote in my reading of Kaplan, in Keesey's book, and I liked this quote a lot. I think that it almost certifies the genetic theorist view on looking at the authors background to find a deffinitive meaning in their work. I mean that fact that Melville is explaining his thought process on writing helps explain a lot about what he was doing when writing. I thought that Kaplan illustrated the use of the genetic theory to break down Melville's "Benito Cereno" nicely. I mean the context of the world around Melville at the time of his writing the story, and the quote above itself helps express the importance of the world around Melville when he was writing. -That sentence still doesn't sound right to me, sorry for writing it. Anyway, I think this help confirm the theory that Keesey explained in his intro and I really found that quote above to help get this point across to me.

Trying to understand a 2 yr old speak

So I was reading Hirsch in Keesey's Contexts for Criticism, and found his idea of textual meaning every insightful, I liked this quote,

One of the consequences arising from the view that a text is a piece of language - a purely public object - is the impossibility of defining in principle the nature of a correct interpretation. (19)

Now I see what the genetic theorists were looking to uncover in a sense. I mean text=language, right, which makes language a living thing in the way Eagleton was talking about tradion being alive. I mean its always evolving. So to read a work and really understand it, you must understand the language of the author. That could inclde the culture, ideals, and languge of the authors time. And from this it, language/text, will continually evolve. Which would make language/text a living thing. So you would have to have a nice firm grip on the text first to really be able to understand what it is saying. In a way thats real nice, but also couldn't it be said that depending on the reading you could either gain or lose something. It's like in class last night when there was mention of translation. couldn't you lose or gain depending on how well the translation is/was. I mean reguardless of how much you know about the author, if and when you go to read the work, you may or may not get the point depending upon the quality of the translation. Maybe, maybe not.

Can you please keep the paparazzi away?

Genetic theorists are paparazzi without the cazmeras. I found in reading the intro to chapter 1 in Keesey's Contexts for Criticism that genetic theory seemed to make the author and the culture around the author more important than the work. Eliot put the poem ahead of the poet, but these guys, genetic theorists, want to know why the poet wrote the peom, the peom to them isn't enough, they want more.

Other contexts, they grant, can tell us what a work may mean, but only their own can tell us what it does mean.(15)

It makes sense, I mean how we can really know what the authors intentions were if we don't know a thing about their history, their education, family life, etc. But to pose a question, what is this meaning were looking to find? What if the history of the quthor has nothing to do with their work, I mean depending on the era of the author most of what were trying to unlock by studing the history is a guess. Keesey even makes mention to how difficult it can be to find out exact info on authors backgrounds in reguard to Shakespeare, Chaucer, Homer, etc. I like to find meaning, we all do. I don't know where else to go/say about this. I like that the poem is greater than the poet, I like that a body work can stand on its own, but this fact checking adventure is also exciting to try and uncover some more knowledge. It's good.

February 1, 2007

Finally, I can breathe

Hopefully this is true and I will be able to take my son to watch some of the greatest hockey players ever play in his backyard for years to come. Thank God. This is proof that Pittsbugh is not the finicial death bed that the rest of the world/country/where ever might view. I mean to be able to keep this team here, and watch the talent, and as that talen evoles into greatness, better players will want to come and be apart of this beautiful child that we have and then we will have titles and a new arena and concert stops in the winter. Now I must admitt the sadness in my heart to see this small spark of brillance and hope that maybe something can flow down across the river and land at PNC Park and save that franchise. Probably not, but who cares, we got some great young talent that will be here forever-hopefully, and who play the Canadiens tonight and will be on my tivo so I can view it in it's full gmae length, not live but thats ok, Lit crit is so much more important.

About February 2007

This page contains all entries posted to MitchellSteele in February 2007. They are listed from oldest to newest.

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