Posted by Erin on July 28, 1998 at 21:56:17:
In response to A migraine-inducing topic...;-), written by Mylan on July 28, 1998 at 19:08:27
So this is where you all went! Are we supposed to decide which theory is to be the legitimate interpretation or is this a show of hands to see how many followers each school of thought has?
...nobody twisted your arm my dear; nor was it my intention to conduct a role call. ;-)
I read something on Kierkegaard a while ago that I am in agreement with. It is that according to Kierkegaard (sp?) when a person says that his thought conforms to the thing that he is comprehending, and then identify thinking with being, without being aware of the process that was required to fully understand the object in question, then he just deceive himself. In my understanding of the statement, this fits Lizzy quite well. She thought she hated Darcy because it conformed with what she knew of him, she then assumed that because she thought so, it must be a reality. At that point I, as a reader, thought the same as well, but we are both deceiving ourselves, because when we were made aware of the process of understanding Darcy's character, we are no longer being deceived.
Mylan/Kierkegaard: so the fact that Elizabeth thought she hated Darcy means she really hated him, but that she didn't really hate him because she was confusing thinking with being? In all sincerity, I cannot imagine a statement more anti-Kierkegaardian; because I don't think K. would have any problem with statement that thinking you hate someone and in reality hating someone are two discrete states. I apologize, but you're K. example is baffling (not that K. is frequently baffling himself!) ;-/ Where do I begin?
I don't think we can decide on who has the right interpretation, because, like Cox said," ultimately, literary theory is about the human mind and its processes of communication. It is about our ability to understand what people say, write, and mean." So to say "The way I interpret this is right, therefore, you must be wrong" is almost like saying: "There is something the matter with your mind!"
But Cox follows up with the assertion that our understanding of the world depends upon viable "working theories about the way in which texts communicate ideas across formidable barriers of time and cultural difference". Structure, principles, formality are guides; and without which our understanding of not only literary texts, but of ourselves would be seriously compromised. How do we make sense of it all, and most importantly, what is the best method to convey that understanding to others?
- Ambiguous antecedents Joan, too 22:41:11 7/28/98 (0)
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