Thursday, April 30, 2009

It could go either way, really

Is the fact that I have received an entire essay on Shakespeare's use of the end-stop in a single sonnet evidence that I am doing something horribly wrong. . . or horribly right?

9 comments:

Susan said...

Probably horribly right. But boy, are there methodological issues there!

Doctor Cleveland said...

Horribly right. It's good that the student can do that. Now it's time to start filling her or his well-wrought urn with some additional skills.

Renaissance Girl said...

If it's a good paper (as opposed to shallow BS about punctuation or meter), horribly right. With the broad view that Dr. Cleve alludes to, that's the kind of student who might produce new insights about old texs.

Fretful Porpentine said...

I think that sounds completely and totally awesome, provided the student can pull it off. But I am a New Critic at heart.

Sisyphus said...

OMG close reading!!!!

It warms the cockles of my little heart.

Of course, that's because I have so many students who do my close reading essay exercise without ever coming within shouting distance of, much less quoting, their chosen poem. Sigh.

c . . . said...

just don't mock the poor kid in the NYT like Dr. Taylor did the Duns Scotus citation use dissertator ;)

Moria said...

Nnnllllghhhh.

That said, you must be teaching fabulously just to make this person want to write that paper.


Still, nnllghh.

Flavia said...

Yeah. . . I'm kinda with Moria in this case. I've had students write very good, very close readings before--essays that make really compelling arguments based largely on detailed poetic analysis. I'm proud of those papers and the skills they display (especially since I teach scansion & poetic analysis, at least briefly, in every damn class).

But while in theory this paper could be one of those, it's from a lower-division course, with a lot of non-majors, and my first instinct, upon seeing its title (I haven't read it yet, nor do I even remember which student wrote it) was to be afraid.

the rebel lettriste said...

Oooh. Way better than the paper I just read about metaphor, Campion's "there is a garden," and Aristotle's Poetics. Which was pretty darn good!

I LOVE the close reading in miniature, the zeroing in...

Go scansion, it's your birthday.