Friday, April 18, 2008


My stance about theory before reading this article: while I do not wholly agree with some theoretical claims and the end they seek at times, I still appreciate the points of view that can be utilized when experiencing text.

My stance after reading this article: pretty much the same.

The article, for me, was a pretty rough read. It seemed to go in circles, and say the same things over, but with differently worded sentences. But, this was probably the goal. The authors point out specific problems, and then approach them from different areas. Intention versus meaning lasts for like 5 pages, and in the end, says one thing. Now that I think about this “method,” however, it seems that I am breaking the authors’ rules; I pointed out that there was repetition in the essay. I pointed out that this “seemed” to be part of their goal. In essence, I am interpreting their “speech act,” which is intentional/meaningful, through formal theory tools. They would disagree with use of theory. But repetition is a commonly used tool within the practice of “speech acts,” both spoken and written.

Going back on topic, it seems as though the beef with theory is that it tries to solve problems that don’t exist and that it is a tool used to replace literary practice. The latter would seem to come from a poet who has been critiqued. The former seems to be the larger problem. From the tone of the essay, theories are seen as attempting to become law. I do not see this, and if I did, I would not agree with theory either. As stated, I think of theory as a way to incorporate new ideas and points of view. If they were called "literary viewpoints" or something along those lines, would the authors still have the problem with "theories" attempting to solve something?

When the authors spoke of beliefs, it seemed as though one “theory” was left out, which is the “Reader Response.” This theory allows readers to impose their beliefs onto the text, to engage it in the way personally deemed necessary, but also realizes that these beliefs are not necessarily true. They are simply responses.

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