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Beyond the Blurb: On Critics and Criticism. Published by Cow Eye Press
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Critical Essays, Reviews
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Literature, Literary History, Literary Study

« The Culture of Impatience | Main | Wieseltier's World »

05/31/2006

Comments

Roy Rubin

But we do get caught up in the author's vision and when the last page is turned, we want to know more. There is no more, so we study the life of the author. That's the easiest road to take.

Renee Dodd

As an avid reader, my enthusiasm is centered on each text that I read, and if I go outside to deepen my understanding, it is only to other texts referenced within the work or which I know influenced the author (as you say, this can be very useful). If there is a dialogue out there that began before the book I'm reading was written, then I hope to be able to listen in on that more effectively. However, I can confess to being guilty of an aha! feeling when I read books by writers I have met and can see them reflected in their work (of course, I do know that I could be very wrong about what I think I see), and when I do sometimes read articles about authors, curious about their process, what I learn may, at times, influence my interpretation of their work.

So on principle I firmly believe that a work of art has a life and meaning independant of the artist, and therefore should be confronted solely on its own terms. In practice, however, I'm guilty of reading Maupassant and thinking, "Oh, this must be the syphillis talking..."

Ray Davis

What Jonathan Mayhew said. (I said it on the Valve a while back, too.)

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