Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Responding to "Against Theory"
What I found the most interesting about this article is what we have been discussing several times throughout the majority of the course: whether we should only take into consideration authorial intent or look at what is behind the author's words. Within the article, Knapp and Michaels mention, "The mistake made by theorists has been to imagine a possibility or desirability of moving from one term (the author's intended meaning) to a second term (the text's meaning), when actually the two terms are the same."It almost seems naive to make a generalization that the author intended every possible meaning. When analyzing a text, especially from a historicist viewpoint, events and social roles are in important component in the influence of the author's beliefs and values. If someone is looking at a text to look at the cultural, many authors are unaware of how they specifically define themselves, societal influences, and unintentional connections made in the writing process. I do not understand how, if a poet writes a piece of poetry about a flower and the reader recognizes it as an analogy of the speaker's life, then how are those two things the same? Authorial intent should only be taken into consideration when the author explicitly makes a statement about his or her work; even then, though, there should be some degree of analysis on why the author made that choice and what it means to the reader.