On 25 Nov 2004 19:57:20 -0000, email@example.com
> I left the class and have never taken
> another class from an English Department, high school or college, since.
> (Yes, my college had a freshman comp requirement, but there were other ways
> to handle that.)
Ha ha, my reaction wasn't quite that extreme. But for all that teacher
an I clashed, I did end up getting an A in the class. Of course, my
grade may have been quite different if I had written a paper like
yours, it sounds like a brilliant topic. I actually ended up being an
English major in college because I found that although the grad
students that taught the entry-level classes could be insufferable,
the professors in the smaller classes were actually quite good. I took
to the college classes much more, since they were more of a dialogue
and we were encouraged to come up with unique perspectives on things.
Of course, I gravitated more towards the classes dealing with the most
recent authors I could find--beat generation, post-modernism--since
there was more room for discussion I felt. When dealing with
Shakespeare, Chaucer, Milton, etc. I am sure the professors had
already heard it all.
> A more wily instructor than yours could have responded to your question,
> "But how do you know the author intended that?", by claiming that the
> author's conscious intentions are irrelevant to the True Hidden Meanings,
> which are planted by the subconscious in accordance with the terms of
> Freudian or Jungian or whatever form of psychology is in at the moment.
Oooh ... good one. I think her answer eventually was something along
these lines--not having to do with psychology--but she said something
like, regardless of what the author intended, there were universal
truths that came out of the writing whether it was consciously
intended or not. Which is fine, if you accept that there are universal
truths, which I don't, necessarily. :) Or that everyone must derive
the same truth from what's in front of them, after all, we all filter
everything through our own perceptions and experience.
The most irritating thing about this teacher was that she was
constantly spouting aphorisms like "Reality is subjective," or
"Question authority." But then she was hypocritical in her teaching,
because on the one hand she would tell us that reality is subjective,
but then she would teach that there was only one way to interpret the
words before us. She would tell us to question authority, but would
not allow her own authority to be questioned. Although in a way she
taught me to question authority better then anyone else could, because
I went into the class thinking she would be the best teacher I had
ever had, and came out of it realizing that no one is infallible and
even those you admire most should be challenged sometimes.