We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
This poor lit prof is learning something about today's students, who are afflicted with the idea that their chaotic, uninformed thoughts about literature have just as much value as those informed thoughts of their educated professor.
Why does she put up with this? Tell me Meta. I bet you wouldn't, you smart feisty woman, you.
What, so a poet has a license but not a reader? Don't go reading poetry in a poetic manner? The poet opened this Pandora's box in the first place. Does this sidestep into the domain of novels also? Novels are something I'm a little more familiar with, so forgive me if this seems a digression...Anna Karenina is a pet peeve of mine. The way I read the story, Anna is a not a sympathetic character, but then many "learned" literary perspectives I have seen portray her sympathetically. Yet as I understand it (the man's dead, so I gotta go with what I've seen repeated elsewhere) Tolstoy's own perspective was not sympathetic.
Perhaps my 10th grade English teacher was correct when she said it was acceptable for critics, professors, and teachers to find interpretations in novels that the authors insist were not intended...or perhaps she was wrong. I don't know. I do know that my calculus teacher was never wrong. Nor was the physics or chemistry teachers. OK, maybe they were once or twice, but when they were they had to admit it. Kind of humbling that way, I think.
ha ha. KRW. Math is not subject to subjective interpretation. Neither is Shakespeare or the poets. Novels are a bit different in that they strike different emotional chords in the reader, so viewing a character as differently than the teacher might suggest is fine. That doesn't mean the novel as a whole is interpretive.
Put it this way - the maths are very linear and they don't care what you think. Literature, poetry more subjective, but they still have an objective that must be respected. But, in no way is the reader's emotional reaction to them to be disrespected - unless they're wrong, of course. :)
Ah, but this is the post-modernist age. Methinks we gave up on meaning 30-40 years ago. Where has our Prof. Rip Van Winkle been? 'Twas a different time when riding in a Stutz Bear Cat,
poets studied rules of verse, and ladies rolled their eyes. Now it's all free form whatnot, so why berate the poor bastards that grew up in this pablum for their inability to stick to an alien program?
25 years ago, when I was a sophmore at Temple, I listened to a fellow student tell the class, with the Professor's seeming acquiescence, that George Herbert's "Love" had something or other to do with dental instruments. Oh, how I wished that Professor had told that student to shut up.
I realized I didn't have the stuff to continue my major in English.