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ERIC Number: ED136254
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1976
Pages: 13
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
Literary Critic: The Detective Not the Judge.
Wilson, Raymond J., III
The literary critic should be both a good detective and a naive observer in finding out what is going on in a literary work and passing on that knowledge to those wishing to use it in furthering their reading pleasure. Rather than formulating value judgments about a piece of literature, critics must use their experiences to illuminate important literary clues for the benefit of the reading public. But they must also remain free enough from expectations to be able to detect clues from a fresh viewpoint. Literary criticism free from preconceptions may be understood by imagining the way a visitor from Mars might view the story of Little Red Riding Hood, asking various questions about details in the story. In addition, "Martian thinking" can help to explain the use of coincidence in fiction, such as in works of Charles Dickens, for whom coincidence was a way of life. (JM)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: N/A
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Midwest Modern Language Association (18th, St. Louis, Missouri, November 4-6, 1976)