Cart and Cwidder missing text LONG

Melissa Proffitt Melissa at Proffitt.com
Tue Jan 28 13:08:55 EST 2003


On Tue, 28 Jan 2003 11:37:37 -0600, Ian W. Riddell wrote:

>Can someone remind me what a "strong reading" is?

A reading which goes against the grain of the text, or in other words does
not accept the implied assumptions of the text, but is still supportable by
internal evidence.  Shoot, that was chock full of literary snottiness,
wasn't it?  :)  I cannot for the life of me come up with a better definition
today.

My own favorite (sorry Hallie) is Hallie's reading of Robin McKinley's
_Beauty_, in which Hallie reads the Beast as a villain preying upon the
heroine's sympathies and naivete.  In college we read Tennyson's "Ulysses"
as an indictment of wandering free rather than building up one's home and
country.  According to the instructor, this isn't technically a strong
reading because it's how the Victorians would have read it, but since it's
contrary to the common reading ("To strive, to seek, to find, and not to
yield") in this context it's against the grain.

And now I can't even remember if that poem is called "Ulysses."

Melissa Proffitt

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