Now truth is a difficult concept to apply here. E.B. White
wrote that the trouble with truth is its many varieties...
psychological truth is unprovable and you can't argue with
it. If a reader believes in the characters and situations,
some sort of "truth" has been conveyed,event though a
writer's profession is to tell lies.
***************** OK. My fault. I evidently got too artsy
with my statement that truth can be obscured by the facts. I
was not referring to stories themselves, but the way critcism
relates to reader response. What I meant was that your
insistence on the separateness of the reader experience and
critical analysis is in danger of disregarding the overlap
and close symbiotic relationship between the two. It's
possible that our disagreement on this subject is based on a
definition of analysis. If I ask a boy his opinion of a story
and he says it needs a ferret in it, that's analysis. If I
ask the Korean girl beside him wants to know why nobody in
the story looks like her, I call that analysis too.
My point is simply that there is a potential for these hopes
and expectations and critiques to be filed in the reader's
mind and integrated into their response to future reading.
Criticism shapes response and vice versa in a continuing
iterative process. Your orgasm/treatise analogy favors a
one-way linear relationship rather than the circular
relationship it really is.
As far as proving anything, I've got no idea what that has to
do with this discussion. Outside the precise language of
mathematics, viable proofs are about as likely as bumping
into the Dalai Llama at a Marilyn Manson concert.
And while we're on the subject, I have no more problem with
White's varieties of truth than I do with the varieties of
science, such as physics, chemistry, and biology.
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