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  1. #41
    Per Ardua Metamorphosis's Avatar
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    I guess it is just a matter of opinion and perception. In my book, if it is fiction and it isn't entertaining, then it is worthless.
    "You will always be fond of me. I represent to you all the sins you never had the courage to commit."

    Reason is, and ought only to be the slave of the passions, and can never pretend to any other office
    than to serve and obey them. - David Hume

  2. #42
    Senior Member wildcat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Metamorphosis View Post
    I guess it is just a matter of opinion and perception. In my book, if it is fiction and it isn't entertaining, then it is worthless.
    That is what my INTJ father would have said. My mother used to read different kind of books, though. She read Nancy Mitford, Muriel Spark, Jane Austin, Carson mcCullers, P.G. Wodehouse.. all kinds of great art.

  3. #43
    not to be trusted miss fortune's Avatar
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    I never had much patience with reading entire books and always prefered short stories and non-fiction that applied to topics that interested me. I especially hated The Scarlet Letter (for goodness sake- she thought her husband was dead and the minister wasn't married- I don't see that she did anything wrong! I didn't finish reading it).

  4. #44
    Senior Member wildcat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by whatever View Post
    I never had much patience with reading entire books and always prefered short stories and non-fiction that applied to topics that interested me. I especially hated The Scarlet Letter (for goodness sake- she thought her husband was dead and the minister wasn't married- I don't see that she did anything wrong! I didn't finish reading it).
    Scarlet Letter sounds good. Like Blue Velvet. Very romantic.

  5. #45

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ms. M View Post
    Not to tread into a somewhat parallel conversation, but works of literature, like works of art, are always open to subjective interpretation and are appreciated in different ways by different people. Robert Frost lamented that The Road Not Taken is often mis-interpreted....but we all interpret what we experience through our own life experience prisms
    Now this is something to chew on. We tackled this topic in a great class I took called The Philosophy of Art. I spent the whole semester (unsuccessfully) trying to convince the class that the only valid interpretation of a work is the one that matches the artist's intent. I argued that anything else is drawn from false assumptions or amateur psychoanalysis. I tend to sympathize with Frost.

  6. #46
    Senior Member Vortex's Avatar
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    The moment the artist releases his work, he writes off his right to have the only valid interpretation of it.

    Every opinion and interpretation hereafter is valid. In a sense, when work leaves the artist's hand, the artist is "dead". It doesn't matter what he thinks about is own piece or how he interprets it, he might not even know the truth anymore.

  7. #47
    Strongly Ambivalent Ivy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FMWarner View Post
    Now this is something to chew on. We tackled this topic in a great class I took called The Philosophy of Art. I spent the whole semester (unsuccessfully) trying to convince the class that the only valid interpretation of a work is the one that matches the artist's intent. I argued that anything else is drawn from false assumptions or amateur psychoanalysis. I tend to sympathize with Frost.
    In a sense I agree with you, but I'm not entirely convinced that even artists are consciously aware of all of their intents. It's unnecessarily limiting to only look at the artist or author's stated intents. Having said that, it's definitely important to recognize that anything we come up with beyond the artist or author's own stated intent is conjecture.
    The one who buggers a fire burns his penis
    -anonymous graffiti in the basilica at Pompeii

  8. #48
    Senior Member wildcat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FMWarner View Post
    Now this is something to chew on. We tackled this topic in a great class I took called The Philosophy of Art. I spent the whole semester (unsuccessfully) trying to convince the class that the only valid interpretation of a work is the one that matches the artist's intent. I argued that anything else is drawn from false assumptions or amateur psychoanalysis. I tend to sympathize with Frost.
    You do not get it, do you?

    If you are right you do not convince.

  9. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by FMWarner View Post
    Now this is something to chew on. We tackled this topic in a great class I took called The Philosophy of Art. I spent the whole semester (unsuccessfully) trying to convince the class that the only valid interpretation of a work is the one that matches the artist's intent. I argued that anything else is drawn from false assumptions or amateur psychoanalysis. I tend to sympathize with Frost.
    Though not related to literature, I'm curious to see if you believe this extends to law as well. I've been fortunate enough to meet several US Supreme Court Justices, and one of them (Scalia) makes a similar argument for the U.S. Constitution. He rejects the "living Constitution" rationale for framer intent at the time of ratification. For example, the death penalty was permissible in 1789, so it cannot be considered cruel and unusual punishment because it wasn't then. He sees everything in Constitutional Law as if it was frozen in time in 1789 (or the date of the ratification of the Amendments).

    I agree with you that the artist's intent is of course relevant, but I disagree that it is the only valid interpretation. For example, a photograph of the Twin Towers taken in 1980 has a much different meaning now to the viewer than the original intent. History, personal and otherwise, changes the way everything is viewed.

  10. #50
    Per Ardua Metamorphosis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ms. M View Post
    Though not related to literature, I'm curious to see if you believe this extends to law as well. I've been fortunate enough to meet several US Supreme Court Justices, and one of them (Scalia) makes a similar argument for the U.S. Constitution. He rejects the "living Constitution" rationale for framer intent at the time of ratification. For example, the death penalty was permissible in 1789, so it cannot be considered cruel and unusual punishment because it wasn't then. He sees everything in Constitutional Law as if it was frozen in time in 1789 (or the date of the ratification of the Amendments).
    Wow...that's a comforting thought...
    "You will always be fond of me. I represent to you all the sins you never had the courage to commit."

    Reason is, and ought only to be the slave of the passions, and can never pretend to any other office
    than to serve and obey them. - David Hume

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