[Milton-L] Re: Books, documents and texts

Duran, Angelica ADuran at cla.purdue.edu
Mon Dec 13 13:00:18 EST 2004

Dear Carrol,

I agree with you. So, why include her quote? First, the quotes I provide are varied so that I do not provide simply my point of view but those of well-known writers (poets and critics) who speak to and about the ways people respond to literature and poetry.  I recognize the imprecision of the definition of poetry Bécquer poem, for example.  But, I still include it because it reflects one of the ways I and so many others feel and think about poetry.  Second, Perloff expresses what so many other critics imply and what so many of my students feel about poetry.  I recently went to a talk by Andres Dubas II and he, like so many other literary authors whom I have heard speak, referred to some vague idea of "truth" and "true literature," of "good literature" and "bad literature."  So, I think we have to be honest about writers' and readers' assessments and standards. The Perloff quote helps my students honestly articulate that they like certain poetry, have come to like certain poetry, or lost enjoyment of poetry; it helps them locate emotional and intellectual responses; and we try to come to terms with the factors that contribute to their responses. You mention in brief some of the ideas that putting together these varied quotes spurs my students to consider for the whole semester.   I direct students who want clarification about Perloff's stance to go to the library and read her books and articles so that we can talk in-depth in office hours. I fear I cannot do her justice in an email, like this one. In a literature survey course (versus a course on literary theory), we do not have time to delve as deeply into her or the others' claims during class as much as I would like.  I will be honest that another reason I include Perloff is that I admire her love of literature, which I observed many times since she was teaching at Stanford when I was there as a graduate student.  


Angelica Duran
Assistant Professor
English Department
Purdue University
500 Oval Drive
West Lafayette, Indiana 47907-2048
(765) 496-3957, phone
(765) 494-3780, fax
<aduran at cla.purdue.edu>

> ----------
> From: 	milton-l-bounces at lists.richmond.edu on behalf of Carrol Cox
> Reply To: 	John Milton Discussion List
> Sent: 	Monday, December 13, 2004 11:22 AM
> To: 	John Milton Discussion List
> Subject: 	Re: [Milton-L] Re: Books, documents and texts
> > "Duran, Angelica" wrote:
> > 
> > on the other hand, "meaning" that is external to or prior
> > to language, as in much of contemporary writing that passes for
> > "poetry" is not poetry either.
> > 
> I don't understand this at all. And there is at least one serious
> logical flaw in it: to contrast "poetry" and "writing that passes for
> 'poetry'" is to dissolve the difference between "good poetry" and "bad
> poetry" into a mystic conception of "true poetry."
> Carrol
> Keep the X in Xmas
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