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Sender: Mark Twain Forum <[log in to unmask]>
Subject: Dissection
From: James Caron <[log in to unmask]>
Date: Tue, 15 Feb 2000 17:08:03 -1000
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 No one could disagree that <over> analysis of a literary text is a bad
 thing, but the romanticizing of an anti-analysis view strikes me as
 equally bad since it poses as having no "analysis" when in fact it always
 does. Even appreciating the "beauty" of a rainbow projects a culturally coded
 attitude about natural phenomena that is different from another cultural
 attitude that sees not beauty but the power of the Rainbow Goddess.  How
 more so then is necessary the <judicious> use of analysis to understand
 and thus appreciate deeply something made by a human hand in a particular
 time and place. Sure--one doesn't wish to destroy the pleasure of the reading
 of MT: he still makes me laugh.  But... I do ask myself why that laugh

 So the truth is that the frog has to be dissected and that it never can
 be killed (a sign of the power of the Frog God, eh?).

  Jim Caron

 P.S.  The analogy of humor as a frog that dies when dissected is not
from an MT quote but is from E. B. White's "Some Remarks on Humor."