Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Polemical Introduction

I don't have any specific points to argue or anything so I thought I'd just write some observations I made while reading Polemical Introduction :)

I understand why Frye says that criticism has to exist. I think everyone criticizes a book when reading it. It's impossible to read something without coming up with some sort of opinion about it. This criticism in the end is what makes us decide whether or not we liked what we just read. This made me think of Reading Lolita in Tehran. Not in the Lolita section, but in the Gatsby section, Nafisi's class has a trial, The Islamic Republic of Iran versus The Great Gatsby. There is no final vote of the jury to decide whether The Great Gatsby is morally bad and should or shouldn't be read by Iranians, but this decision isn't what's important. It's the criticism that's important; the discussion, and thought that went into the trial. In a way, every book we read we are putting on trial. It doesn't have to be some paid critic or literary theorist that criticizes a book. It's whoever reads the book.

I liked reading about the name's of Shakespeare's characters on pg. 9. I had not known that some of his character's names had real meanings. I just assumed the names were weird because those were the names of that time period. But when reading Lolita in Tehran, Nafisi points out that the name Lolita's name (Dolores) is spanish for pain. I hadn't realized this either, even though I'm taking spanish and know that dolor means pain. Never having written a novel or any fiction of any consequence, I had never thought about how much time authors put into coming up with their characters' names. I wonder how many character's I'm already familiar with have names that have more meaning than just being a name. I think that's so cool!

Also I just liked the point that Frye brought up on pg. 11. That it is impossible to "learn literature", "literature is not a subject of study, but an object of study". I thought this was a pretty neat idea and I think I agree with it.

No comments:

Post a Comment