Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Great Regulars: "Each strikes for the heart of the poem;

each claims to have discovered the key element, or structural principle, which has controlled the choice, order, and interrelations of the parts, and which establishes for the reader the meaning, unity, and value of the whole."

But [M.H.] Abrams is not reduced by this dilemma to the deconstructionist view that texts are inherently unstable, so that nothing meaningful can be said about them at all. Rather, he sees each "reading" of "Lycidas" as a proposal, a way of using the poem to illustrate a view of the world and of literature.

from Adam Kirsch: Tablet: The Last Critic Turns 100


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