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Date: Tue, 31 Dec 2002 09:15:32 -0800
From: Matthew Weber 
Subject: Re: (urth) Get a bigger hamme

>On Sat, 28 Dec 2002, Josh Geller wrote:
> > > The important part is that this is all for fun.
> > >                                            We're not gonna use the
> > > results to decide who lives and who dies.
> >
> > We're not. So far.
> >
> > Hopefully no one ever will. But who can predict the future?
> >
> > Give it time: another Thirty Years War might be fought over the opinions
> > expressed on this list.
>Um....well.  Ok, even given that mind-bogglingly unlikely scenario, why
>would it be more important that we talk about what Wolfe originally
>intended instead of about interpretations sompe people like better than
>his original intent?

Assuming that "original intent" is a thing that can be known in the 
first place--even if the author's still alive, s/he may not tell the 
truth, or may have forgotten, might think it unimportant, etc.

The New Criticism is an established literary fact, and kicking 
against it will prove to be more trouble than it's worth.  Not to say 
that authorial intent is unimportant, but it's not the Grail:  nobody 
knows all the reasons why they do things (or psychotherapy wouldn't 
be necessary).  There's a lot in any author's work that they might 
not have consciously put there; why not take the time to tease it out?

Please note that the New Crit is NOT a free pass to spin isogeses 
about Severian as a drag queen, Herbert Hoover in disguise, or a 
Fungi from Yuggoth.


The fault is great in man or woman
Who steals a goose from off a common;
But what can plead that man's excuse
Who steals a common from a goose?
	The Tickler Magazine, 1 Feb. 1821


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