The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 15.0259 Friday, 30 January 2004
Date: Thursday, 29 Jan 2004 10:09:21 -0500
Subject: 15.0250 The Shrew and British Feminism
Comment: RE: SHK 15.0250 The Shrew and British Feminism
A short, on the fly answer to a very good (if much discussed) question:
when we interpret literary texts, we are helping to make culture in a
complex social process.
> >"It is a great illusion of literary analysis that we are writing about
> >the work more than about ourselves," writes Don Bloom. One might add -
> >"... or our cultural and economic contexts, etc, etc." But he continues,
> >"This is so grotesquely apparent in certain cranks, who feel obliged to
> >cram every work into the box of their own obsession, that we normal ones
> >(well, more or less) feel a spurious smugness. But the difference is
> >only one of degree."
> >If the difference is only one of degree (and I wholeheartedly agree with
> >him on this), then surely the "cranks" are the ones who are
> >acknowledging most honestly that their literary-critical readings can be
> >little more than articulations of their own psychological/ sexual/
> >gender/ economic/ cultural/ racial predilections, inasmuch as they don't
> >pretend to achieve the kind of universal judgements that "normal"
> >critics reflexively yearn for?
>Who on earth among those "normal critics" would deny - could deny - that
>their literary-critical readings are *other than* "articulations of
>their own psychological/ etc. predilections"? On the other hand, if the
>evidence is there to show that a reading - from whatever inspiration -
>is indeed present in the work, who can say these critics nay? In our
>isolation from on another because of our individual calculus of unique
>experiences, we yet attempt to communicate with one another, bring
>ourselves to one mind with them, by "arguing our case" before our
>neighbors, about everything. Each of us is like a prophet determined to
>convince his countrymen of his "view" of all things.
>Is this not what each of us is doing on this Shakespeare.net?
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