Thursday, October 13, 2011

A Way With Words II: Approaches to Literature

A Way With Words II: Approaches to Literature

This continuation of the Way With Words series focuses on literature. A good junk of the early lecture is spent discussing language in general. However, here, the focus is on language use as it pertains to literature (he has other courses that provide greater detail.)

He provides a fairly balanced approach to the discussion of literature. He tends to view literature as good or bad on its own. However, he acknowledges some benefits of the narrow analysis by feminists, postmodernists and the like. (He provides examples of how they have opened up new ways of understanding along with ways they have seemed to go off the deep end on analysis.)

The discussion of the literary canon provides another area for controversial views. (Though he does not go the most controversial route in declaring a canon) Are we biased in what we consider to be important? Of course. But, if everyone else is biased, we need to understand that also.

Literature is about the feelings and "truths" that can be only told with the "lies". Some writers have a greater technical mastery than others. Some write about topics that seem to be more important or valuable. However, all of these things can be subject to personal views. Even if people with an agenda push certain literature (or attempt to blacklist other literature), there are some works that will achieve widespread appreciation.

But, something different may be more meaningful to you.

Thus is literature.

No comments:

Post a Comment