Saturday, April 2, 2011

Radically Poetic

Upon reading the title of this post, what was your initial idea as to what it was going to be about? Did you think it was going to be poetry as the name suggested? Did you catch the lyrical reference and play the song in your head? Or maybe you thought of something completely different. Only you know, unless you decide to share your thoughts with the world.

That's why critical analysis is bullshit. Every great piece of literary work has about a million different interpretations. Maybe you think The Awakening by Kate Chopin is a classic feminist novel that was years ahead of its time. But maybe someone else thinks its a long winded, boring ass rant about social structure with a main character who is, quite frankly, a selfish bitch. The two of you can argue all day about it, but I doubt either of you will change your mind. 

"It's inspirational to women because it's the story of a woman freeing herself from the restrictions of a male dominated society. If she doesn't love her husband, then she shouldn't have to be faithful to him. She's not his possession."

"Yeah well the bitch didn't need to marry him if she didn't love him. You can't just up and leave your husband and kids because you're getting bored with them. You don't just get to do whatever the hell you want whenever you want to. That's why we have rules."

"Yeah well the rules were made by men so they aren't fair to women. You're such a misogynist."


This is literally all I do in my lit class. We argue semantics. And that's fine, to a point. It's entertaining to see how people think different things about the same subject. But I'll admit, sometimes I just think people are dumb for some of the shit they come up with. Why do people find the need to dig so deep for some hidden meaning that may not even be there? Come on... (The above conversation actually happened, by the way. Of course it was much less dramatic, but this is what I was thinking as it was taking place. My dub, if you will.)

There's this big argument about how the author's intentions factor into interpretations of stories. A lot of people try to find the meaning that they think the author was going for. Other people think that once an author has published a piece, they no longer have any say as to its meaning. It is ours to interpret. I'm of the latter mindset. For instance, after having written all the Harry Potter books, J.K. Rowling decides to drop a bomb on us: Dumbledore is gay! There's nothing wrong with being gay, but I see no proof of it in any of the stories. I personally think she made that statement just to piss off some Christian parents who don't let their kids read her books. Dumbledore isn't gay to me, because that's not how I read it. The thought never even crossed my mind, so I say she's wrong. And that's the great thing about analysis, but at the same time, it's obviously bullshit. She wrote the damn thing so she would probably know, but fuck that. It's all bullshit.

Let's all stop getting so hot and bothered about what shit means and trying to prove that we're right to everyone else. Just live, man. Don't worry. Be happy.

Jay-Z said it best: "Fuck perception. Go with what makes sense."

This line is because Robert says I shouldn't end stuff with quotes. 

Fuck that kid. "I'M RUNNIN' THANGS!"



  1. too bad i beat you to that. asshole

  2. On snowman art:
    *"Provoking a reaction isn't the same as saying something significant"
    *"There's no point expressing ideas if you can't make them understood"


  3. I disagree. I love analyzing and discussing literature. I think the key to enjoying doing it is to try to see the work from as many perspectives as possible and not get too bogged down in one opinion. That is just closed mindedness and makes analysis no fun. I think the author's opinion does matter (to some extent) but the best part is making your own interpretation which allows you to express your creativity by examining the product of someone else's creativity.
    You lit class has some good points, sure Edna was selfish but she was also desperate to be free in a society that said she couldn't. I just love The Awakening.

  4. "We argue semantics. And that's fine, to a point. It's entertaining to see how people think different things about the same subject." I don't disagree that it can be fun to analyze stuff, but it doesn't make it any less bullshit. We like to assign meaning to things that don't necessarily have meaning just for the hell of it. That's why I like deconstructionism, because nothing has a set meaning.