I don’t know about the rest of the class, but for a good majority of this paper I didn’t feel like I was understanding it at all. I understood the distinction between “romantic” vs. “modernist”.
Then the paper opened up a bit more into the realm of poetry. Talking about T.S. Eliot and his doctrine of depersonalization. That just seemed really far out for me. While, on the one hand, sometimes I feel like people write just to write, this whole notion of the author just being a vessel to write stuff down seemed a little off to me.
When I have attempted to write (incredibly bad) poetry in the past, it has been all an emotional outpouring. Getting my feelings out, expressing sadness, writing a poem down that rhymed at the end, etc… Granted, I think this paper was targeted at actual “poets” who are decent at writing poetry, but it still seemed that the main message was that poetry was just a putting words on the page. Using the phrase “an escape from emotion” (p.101) just seems incredibly wrong to me.
“The Death of the Author” section was just incredibly difficult to digest. Perhaps this was what Jeff was referring to when he said that you are assumed to have a good literary background, but I found the examples to be of little help. It just seemed to me to be an outpouring of all the ways that people and critics in history have seemed to remove the need for an author which, again, seems really off to me. Perhaps I misunderstood?
That being said, the anti-intentionalism and intentionalism sections (aka. the end) of the paper were incredibly interesting to me. I felt like I was reading a different author. The concepts were really easy to understand, and I could actually kind of place myself into one of the categories.
I made a comment earlier in the class about the Gatsby intro reading that we did asking whether or not authors intentionally put all of this information into a piece. I found myself feeling like the anti-intentionalist mindset would have not liked the “sticking the neck out” that the author did at some points. Relating lighting off of buttons and such to really off the wall references seemed a bit of a stretch to me. Also, when the author of that intro talked about a particular section being written in a different tone and needing to be said hastily and broken (I can’t remember the exact wording) definitely seemed like it goes against anti-intentionalism.
I found myself, initially, identifying with the anti-intetionalist mindset, but as I read on to the intentionalist part my mind changed a bit. I do believe that an artist and their intents should also be considered when examining a piece. While I feel that you should be able to decipher a lot of information out of the text itself, I think it’s a little bit of a stretch to not look outside of that particular text. Authors, like designers, have their own biases and morals that inevitably will get pressed into their work. I think this means that I fall under the realm of hypothetical intentionalism.
“associating literary meaning with a kind of “utterance meaning” at one remove from an author’s actual intentions and defined as “our best appropriately informed projection of [an] author’s intended meaning from our positions as intended interpreters.” (p.128)
Although, now I may just be confusing myself a bit. I guess we shall see in class!