Apparently I have been reading from a formalist perspective for years and never understood that there was a term for the way I was reading. I guess I am one of those readers who drools over the aesthetic value of a text and often does not want outside information about the author and historical background to interfere with the perspective (or perhaps, delusion) that I have of a text. That is to say, I think there is a particular type of literature that I enjoy more than others, because I believe that some types of literature require a different set of tools and approaches before dissecting and analyzing a work. Consider Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, why not. In the “Biographical and Historical Context” that we are reading for Thursday, Beidler introduces us to the historical events by asserting, “If we are to understand most fully Chaucer’s life and his poetry, we need to know something of the times Chaucer lived in.” Now, this may strike you as a common sense statement, but if you think about it, the Canterbury Tales do not make a whole lot of sense to a twenty-first century reader unless he or she is knowledgeable in the terms being used within the text. For an author like Chaucer, outside information is almost essential. In fact, I think we mostly study the Canterbury Tales not for its intrinsic value as a text but because of its influence over the course of English Literature (don’t get me wrong, I still think there is hilarious stuff in there, especially in the Miller’s tale). In that sense, a formalist approach would not really be appropriate for a fourteenth century piece of literature like Canterbury Tales, but perhaps it is more suited to a more recent piece of literature that naturally makes sense to a reader in our day and age.
22A Glebe Street, Room 102
hours: T 11-12 R 3-4:30
- Picking the Miltonic Brain: Rationality’s Role in Paradise Lost
- Christianity and the Medieval Court in “Sir Gawain and the Green Knight”
- “I have nothing left…Except this story”: Structure & Storytelling in House of Leaves
- Harper Lee and To Kill a Mockingbird: Life and Law
- Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Critic?: An Examination of Critical Reception of the American Dream Concept as Portrayed in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby”
- Chris Hales's Blog | How to Build ACT I on Harper Lee and To Kill a Mockingbird: Life and Law
- Chris Hales's Blog | How to Vuild ACT I on Christianity and the Medieval Court in “Sir Gawain and the Green Knight”
- architectos en Girona on Reactions to the Wife of Bath’s Tale–Ian Moore
- security camera systems on “Gatsby” Articles of Interest
- security camera systems on Salad Bowl or Stew?