Cart and Cwidder missing text LONG

deborah deborah at
Wed Jan 29 00:37:00 EST 2003

On Tue, 28 Jan 2003, Melissa Proffitt wrote:

|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
|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.

My favorite is my undergraduate reading of Paradise Lost, which reveals
Milton's sympathy with Eve as the smart one, and his bitterness that in
the end all her sensible -- to him (for "him" read "the narrative
voice".  I don't know from Milton himself) -- rationalisations don't
matter: "she plucked, she ate", and brought sin into the world.

deborah at
In plain then, what forbids he but to know,
Forbids us good, forbids us to be wise?   -- Paradise Lost

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