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Monday, May 10, 2010

Deconstructing the Island

There is a theory in literary analysis that holds that it's not about what the author intended to present, but what the reader gains, regardless of the original intention. The reader's meaning is every bit as valid and valuable as what the author was trying to say. In lit classes, this wildly reframes the discussion of a work from "I think what Shakespeare was trying to say was..." to "What this means to me is... did anyone else find that?"

Have you ever experienced that moment? If not, I bring you Here on the Island by Lewis Napper. I sincerely hope that this was submitted for a class and that it took him well on his way to his English degree.

(My piece on "Vertical and Horizontal Hierarchies in Billy Budd and Their Relationship to the Old Testament" was far less entertaining, but hey, at least I've got a nice shiny degree from Cal to show for it, even if the text is lost to the depths of WordPerfect 5.1 on an old 286 computer with a green and black screen.)


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