RE: RARA-AVIS: Historical analysis books...

From: Ron Clinton (
Date: 20 Feb 2009

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    I'm frankly a bit surprised anyone took offense at my benign, quantitative remark. Rather than seeing it as uncalled for and blindly ghettoizing a type of analytical work and, for that matter, even the fundamental purpose of this group, I do wish it had been read in the context in which it was intended.

    I clearly indicated I had not read any of them, so am not passing judgment on any of works, nor am I calling that type of analytical work or analytical discussions "puffery" in general. Quite the contrary...I respect and
    *enjoy* works and discussion of that sort, hence my reason for starting a discussion about them, and for remaining a member of Rara-Avis for more years than I can recall.

    My comments were instead meant to quantify that A). that specific, narrow type of puffery -- elitist, indulgent puffery that adds little value to any real-world discussion -- exists, and B). those works, from what very little I've read of them, seem to smack of it. My comment was not intended to cast aspersions on literary discussions, nor was it intended to paint the entire breadth of written genre analysis with that an indiscriminate brush.

    I'm regret you took offense at my comment, but I do hope that my intended message was more clear in the minds of the other members; I hope, too, that I've clarified it for you. I don't intend to clutter the email boxes of the RA members any further on this subject, so that's my final comment on the matter. Happy reading everyone.

    Ron C.

    > -----Original Message-----
    > From: [] On
    > Behalf Of Steve Novak
    > Sent: Friday, February 20, 2009 5:42 PM
    > To: RARA-AVIS
    > Subject: Re: RARA-AVIS: Historical analysis books...
    > I very strongly support this.
    > The remark about Œcollegiate/doctorate puffery¹ is totally uncalled for in
    > literary discussion group, which is what we are.
    > We have had this sort of ghettoization remarks before in our many years of
    > discussion, so it is best to leave it at that for now.
    > Montois who happened to go to college here and over there...
    > On 2/20/09 4:57 PM, "Nathan Cain" <> wrote:
    > > Let me suggest that you might be making a mistake if you're avoiding
    > > lit-crit books because of the well publicized excesses of some in the
    > > filed. It's not all deconstrution theory.
    > >
    > > On Fri, Feb 20, 2009 at 4:26 PM, Ron Clinton <
    > > <> > wrote:
    > >> > There are a few of that type -- HARDBOILED SENTIMENTALITY, WESTERN
    > AND
    > >> > MASCULINITY and maybe one of two others -- that initially look good
    > >> seem
    > >> > to smack of collegiate/doctorate puffery. I've avoided all of them
    > >> > far. I am, however, less familiar with HARDBOILED SENTIMENTALITY than
    > the
    > >> > others, so will be sure to look into that one.
    > >> >
    > >> > Ron C.
    > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    > ------------------------------------
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