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Rivka Swenson <[log in to unmask]>
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Mark Twain Forum <[log in to unmask]>
Wed, 15 Apr 1998 13:34:16 -0400
TEXT/PLAIN (23 lines)
The notion of curators v. foregrounded critics is interesting.  I would
point out, though, that the type of "curating" referred to assumes that a
text should be read in one particular way, while curretn trends (I refer
to current "reading practices" here) allow for multiple readings, multiple
lenses.  These modes of critical response (or, "reading pratices") do
allow for close readings--but, yes, the issue of "reading" is
foregrounded, and the reader's interception is highlighted.
        On the issue of "creativity," I must really beg to
differ...typical liberal humanism teaches you "how" to "read" _Bleak
House_, say--where's the creativity in student responses to such
instruction?  The best we can hope for from that type of instruction is
that the student writes yet another paper (hopefully not terribly
abyssmally rendered) on, say "Hawthorne's Use of Color" in _the Scarlet
Letter_ (or whatever).n  But, hey, it's hard to be creative when you're
being taught that there's one way to read something.
        I still love "close" readings.  Explicating's the only thing I
hope to be good at.  And, I don't need to indetify anything as a
"masterpiece" in order to do it.  All sorts of things can be "read."
        On a related topic--what about this notion of "undreadability"?  I
recently posted a portion of an article by Barbara Herrnstein-Smith.
She's quite "acedemic."  Also quite "readable"--she's challenging, though,
for sure.