Wednesday, February 25, 2009


When the author mentions the 4 separate arguments form the most mutually exclusive definitions of literature and pornography, the last one really struck my interest and brought up the “what is literature” question, yet again. He says “It is more plausible just to emphasize that pornography still possesses only one “intention”, while any genuinely valuable work of literature has many.” I don’t know if this seemed new to anyone else or maybe I had just not really put much thought into it, but the quote makes sense in one way and in another, it doesn't.
Is literature only allowed to have multiple intentions? I know most of it does because, to keep people interested, the authors have to appeal to multiple emotions. This in a sense is one intention itself. Keeping the reader interested could be considered one intention, no matter how they end up doing it. In the same way, if pornography has “one intention” (and I’m guessing we all know what it is), does it not matter the other emotions and such it has to appeal to in order to fulfill its intentions? So it seems this author looks at certain literature as the up side as opposed to pornography being on the lower end of the spectrum of literature. Again, I guess it depends on how we decide to look at it.

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