Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Politt and Eagleton Readings

In the Politt reading the question is once again discussed of what authors are in the canon and which should be added. Is it only according to the "qualities of greatness" found within it that makes them important or matter more than others? Does it depend on who is reading the book and what interpretation they are giving it? I do think that not all the books within the canon can relate to everyone, but it does not mean they are meaningless to a specific person. If I read a book that takes place in Africa, it does not mean that I will not understand it simply because I cannot relate to the setting or characters struggles. I actually enjoy reading books which are different to what I am used to because they demonstrate a different point of life. It is an important way to have better understanding of societies we are not part of. I do not think that only those books on the list are important enough to read and if they are not on the list then they are not read. Often times it is those books on the list that are not read because it seems that the majority of people would rather read popular books that get much attention at the moment.

The Eagleton reading explains what it is that literature teaches us and what the purpose is of many of those classic books. He describes it as a moral technology and it is what produces things like sensitivity and imagination. I think this is true because often times novels teach us about a feeling that we may not have given much thought to before. It may be sympathy for a character even if that character is not the protagonist because of their situation or circumstances. Living that experience, using it or grasping it within our lives would be the final outcome or goal of the book. Perhaps it was the author's intention to do this in order to form people who will be more inclined towards that specific experience they explained in their book.

1 comment:

Heather Anderson said...

I agree with you, I think that the makers of the canon list are treating us as if we can't connect with a piece of writting simply because we don't identify with the place, the author's race, whatever. I think that it is presumptuous to assume that we are so single-minded in our experience that we wouldn't understand. It's like we're being treated like we're too dumb to handle it.