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  1. #41
    meh Salomé's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trinity View Post
    I can appreciate things that I can understand from a first person pov but I don't have the patience or inkling to work through word for word to gain understanding. English was my least favourite subject at school, I really love reading and enjoyed creative writing as a youngster but only because I enjoy interpreting something in my head with my own understanding and getting captivated in another reality, that usually has nothing to do with the "deeper meaning" that literature is supposed to have. Understanding the deeper meaning can add to the story (eg Animal Farm) or kill a book (eg Romeo and Juliet) for me, so I prefer not to try to interpret what the writer means but to just experience it.

    Poetry I don't get. I try but I can't. For me dissecting it takes away the beauty and enjoyment.
    I'm the opposite. I didn't care much for English/Lit at school (although I excelled at it), but now I wish I'd studied it at an advanced level. I seldom enjoy literature merely as entertainment - I'm fascinated much more by what is between the lines than the lines themselves. I'm not particularly interested in plot or characters or even style - though style matters most in holding my attention - for me good literature is parabolic and gestures at the universal and eternal.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wiley45 View Post
    Language is powerful. I don't find anything trivial about literature, and poetry is not merely someone else's distant fantasy. Words can convey ideas, and a well written poem could (and probably has) inspire(d) change or expanded knowledge. Additionally, poetry connects people, as it allows us to relate to the thoughts and experiences of someone else through certain common aspects of our humanity.

    I used to hate attempting to analyze/interpret poetry until a fantastic teacher taught me to do it properly and it changed my entire view. She showed me how poetry is not just open to "everybody's" flimsy interpretation of what it means, but there is a specific way to uncover more concrete meanings by creating a boundary using only what can be proven and pulled from the text itself.

    Now I'm fascinated and amazed by the genius and creativity of poets. They have hidden amazing messages for us to find within words, like a hunt for treasure. There's a reason good poetry is published--it's not just a collection of nice sounding words. There is a lot of depth there, but you have to know how to find it. Even if you don't enjoy that analyzing/interpreting process, once you fully see how it works, I don't think you can help but appreciate it.
    Absolutely. Although there is also a lot of dross too which manages to get an airing. The Emperor still has no clothes.
    (See - this is part of the beauty of literature, children's literature, at that - the ability to compact an entire landscape of thought into a borrowed phrase - even if that phrase becomes a cliche.)
    Density is a such a turn-on.

    Quote Originally Posted by OrangeAppled View Post
    I'm also very much drawn to symbolism, metaphor, and other figures of speech. I enjoy subtleties and nuances. Things which are too literal and/or direct can lose the full meaning and seem too "black & white". I especially appreciate when something is very simple, yet says a lot, as that is a difficult feat.

    Things which have no additional layer of meaning get stale for me quickly. I may enjoy it as a novelty, but if there's no resonating of truth, then it's not likely to impress me. It doesn't have to be extremely profound though; I'm not a snob

    There's also a great feeling when you understand the author's sentiments. It feels as if someone else came close to voicing how you feel or you actually understand a feeling you haven't felt, and so you're a little less alienated from the world.
    All of this is true for me, too.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ivy View Post
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  2. #42
    Senior Member BlueGray's Avatar
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    I interpret lots of stuff from literature. I understand that much it is probably wrong and is just me projecting my own desires. This is something I've gotten into heated arguments over before with people who assume everything they can come up with must have been intended by the author. I really dislike when people take a single word in a novel and attach an entire interpretation of the novel on what that word means in some other place. I think you need much more evidence than a single word to understand the author's intent.
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  3. #43
    4x9 cascadeco's Avatar
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    I enjoy literature, and enjoy interpreting it/finding meaning/assessing characters/etc.

    I, um, hate poetry though. (I know, hate is a strong word, but, I really don't like poetry ) And, would in turn suck at interpreting poetry because I wouldn't have the patience or desire to try to understand it.
    "...On and on and on and on he strode, far out over the sands, singing wildly to the sea, crying to greet the advent of the life that had cried to him." - James Joyce

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  4. #44
    Administrator highlander's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cascadeco View Post
    I enjoy literature, and enjoy interpreting it/finding meaning/assessing characters/etc.

    I, um, hate poetry though. (I know, hate is a strong word, but, I really don't like poetry ) And, would in turn suck at interpreting poetry because I wouldn't have the patience or desire to try to understand it.
    +1

  5. #45
    & Badger, Ratty and Toad Mole's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cascadeco View Post
    I, um, hate poetry though. (I know, hate is a strong word, but, I really don't like poetry ) And, would in turn suck at interpreting poetry because I wouldn't have the patience or desire to try to understand it.
    To try to understand poetry is simply a mistake.

    And the important thing about mistakes is not to make them twice.

  6. #46
    not to be trusted miss fortune's Avatar
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    I've never seen the reason to try and deeply interpret poetry and literature... it's there for me to enjoy and if an interpretation comes to mind when I'm reading that's nice, but if it doesn't I'm not going to sit and try to come up with one...

    I got in trouble when taking lit because I tended to scoff at the interpretations that scholarly papers gave for some of the stories and such that we read... they were a bit too far fetched, it seemed like the interpreter was just looking for a piece of literature to use as a tool to further thier viewpoint of the world... I got kicked out of class one day for claiming that some far-fetched view was absolute bullshit and that I'd just wasted 20 min of my time reading it

    I loathe poetry, so I don't read it unless it's a nursery rhyme or dirty limerick those don't need as much interpretation!

    on the other hand, learning the history of the setting and author is interesting- and I do beleive that Walt Whitman had something to say about literary interpretation that goes along with my views
    “Oh, we're always alright. You remember that. We happen to other people.” -Terry Pratchett

  7. #47
    meh Salomé's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlueGray View Post
    I interpret lots of stuff from literature. I understand that much it is probably wrong and is just me projecting my own desires. This is something I've gotten into heated arguments over before with people who assume everything they can come up with must have been intended by the author. I really dislike when people take a single word in a novel and attach an entire interpretation of the novel on what that word means in some other place. I think you need much more evidence than a single word to understand the author's intent.
    It really doesn't matter whether it is "correct" or whether it is what the author intended. That's not the point of art.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ivy View Post
    Gosh, the world looks so small from up here on my high horse of menstruation.

  8. #48
    Senior Member StrawMan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cascadeco View Post
    I enjoy literature, and enjoy interpreting it/finding meaning/assessing characters/etc.

    I, um, hate poetry though. (I know, hate is a strong word, but, I really don't like poetry ) And, would in turn suck at interpreting poetry because I wouldn't have the patience or desire to try to understand it.
    +1 for me too.

    I really don't have the patience for poetry.

    On the other hand, assessing the themes, ideas and characters in literature, and how they are related to your own views, may be very interesting.

  9. #49
    Senior Member BlueGray's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Morgan Le Fay View Post
    It really doesn't matter whether it is "correct" or whether it is what the author intended. That's not the point of art.
    I disagree with people using it to support their own views when it really doesn't. I really don't care as much about right/wrong as whether people are abusing the piece or not. Many interpretations seem to me to be stating that they are uncovering the author's intent, in which case it has become about the author's intent.
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  10. #50
    Senior Member Two Point Two's Avatar
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    It's a bit mixed for me. I'm ok at interpreting, but I hate doing it and playing along with the frameworks in which you're expected to operate. That's for literature - poetry is another matter; I hate almost all of it.

    That said, I do love analysing things, and for all of the fiction I'm into, analysing it with my own frameworks is where I get a lot of the enjoyment of the fiction from.

    I guess, though, that I prefer extracting implications about what is in a story, or what might become the case in the story 'world' after the story is over. I don't so much like analysing at a symbolic, metaphorical level, or reading deeper meanings into the way things are. Sometimes, something in a story should be allowed to just be exactly what it is, rather than having always to be representative of something else.

    Edit: I should add, I'm genuinely bad at dealing with poetry. I'm bad at even reading a poem from beginning to end.

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