[ilds] conspiracy

Bruce Redwine bredwine1968 at earthlink.net
Sun Jul 8 13:47:16 PDT 2007

Bill, are you teaching literature or are you teaching the psychodynamics of reading?  I think you teach literature.  If you give an exam on Bitter Lemons and ask for Durrell's views on British colonialism and then I come back and feed you a couple of blue books about my vacation on the island with my last girlfriend and how we partied with the British ex-pats in their suburban enclaves and how we all got drunk and went looking for Durrell's house in Bellapaix, using BL as a guidebook -- if that was the sole content of my essay, what would you do?  By the standards you've just advocated, I clearly deserve an A or A+.


-----Original Message-----
>From: william godshalk <godshawl at email.uc.edu>
>Sent: Jul 8, 2007 1:25 PM
>To: Bruce Redwine <bredwine1968 at earthlink.net>, ilds at lists.uvic.ca
>Subject: Re: [ilds] conspiracy
>R. S. Crane, an Aristotleanof the Chicago School, applied his questions to literature, the textitself.  He was a formalists,  like his colleagues Wayne Boothand  Sheldon Sacks, and they all took Aristotle's Poetics as amodel, which is interested in the effect of the text on the reader andnot the other way around.  Ralph Rader, another student of thatschool, also looked at biography, but not much beyond that.
>Bruce writes.
>Yes, all English majors back in those wonderful days were told to effacethe reader. The critical reader should come to the text with no ideas, nopreconceptions about anything. After fifty years of teaching, I assertthat this is impossible among the living. Each one of us has a uniqueposition in the universe. Even with the best good will, and the strongestwine, one cannot wash one's brain clean of prior experience. 
>Show me a text that reads itself, and I will make you a wealth person.

More information about the ILDS mailing list