ForumsDialogue is Action
Last Post Update: Feb 27
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What makes pieces of literature worth analyzing over others?
@snowyyeti I think this is a really interesting point to bring up! I absolutely believe that music can be considered a form of literature, and especially in today's society, it might be one of the most popular forms amongst teenagers and young adults. For things to be considered literature, it has to be some kind of written or oral piece that was created with artistic and creative intent. Usually literature communicates some kinda of message to us. Music does this completely. Every song or album has a meaning behind it and the artist wrote it to express a certain theme or emotion.
I liked your example of Kendrick Lamar's album. It can very much be applicable to Invisible Man. Something that comes to mind for me is also one of Kendrick's albums titled good kid, m.A.A.d. city.
@octavia When you talked about music being so popular among teenagers and that contributes to the reason why it could be considered literature it made me think. Do forms of literature change through time? For example, in Matthew Arnolds time, poetry was the most common form and then when Shakespeare was around Literature was predominantly in the form of plays and in todays society literature could be in the form of music. I'm not sure if I am correct in this assumption but I would like to hear others thoughts.
Another connection to IM that Kendrick makes is in Good Kid mAAd City. GKMC is all about Kendrick and how he went from being "K Dot" a young man into Kendrick Lamar who we all know today and how his environment and experiences shaped him. Hmmmmmm, sounds like that album could be similar to IM too.
@snowyyeti I definitely think that literature changes over time. Like any art form, it evolves to its surroundings. For example; old English. If you read literature like Shakespeare, the language is so different than we use today. This is because literature has evolved and changed over time. You can also see a difference in the trends of storylines. This is because as our world changes and people begin acting and behaving differently, they wish to read things that reflect the way that they feel about life.
Yes, language like all things changes and adapts over time. I am wondering though, does this changing and adapting cause a rift in the modern-day understanding and view of past literature? Do we change our views on the days of Shakespeare, for example, based on the differences in language in a way that disconnects us from it? By this I mean that the differences that are noticed when reading Shakespeare can cause people to lose their interest or gain interest because of it. To one end it may cause someone to feel detached from that history because it seems so distant, while another may find the differences to be intriguing.
@conster I think that the meaning of something can definitely be lost, or at least obscured over time. An example of this is that it's probably much harder for most people to read books that use archaic language, as opposed to reading modern books which are much easier. I think that as the original language of old books slowly grows farther and farther apart from modern language, then those books will steadily become harder and harder to read for the average person, and as words are used differently in modern times, then some of the meanings of those old books can be lost.
No that I have read IM I have made it clear to myself that absolutely every single piece of writing should be analyzed to certain degrees accordingly. This piece made me appreciate what authors write to every single word. The beauty of the meaning laying within a piece of literature is tremendous. The sole purpose of literature is to withdraw meaning from it. And when you are reading a book you have to at least see some sort of meaning coming from the text.
@msar not only do I think we should analyze every piece of literature, but I feel like when reading this book you almost needed to analyze it and take in a deeper meaning. This book is very complicated, and it is easy to miss things that are hidden below the surface if you don't look for them. It's cool how books like this can change your whole perspective on literature, and show you that to understand stuff sometimes, you have to find that deeper connection.
@msar, I agree that IM definitely sparked a new thought about analyzation for me. It helped me realize that every single word an author puts in a novel has meaning. Something that also helped me realize this is how Chisnell asks his students to pick any topic from IM and he will write about it. And he always finds meaning from that and writes a very interesting essay on it. So I've now realized that you can always find meaning in a novel or short story you just have to go through the thought process of finding it.
@xwing37 The fact that Chisnell can take any word and write something so extensive about it really emphasizes the point that there is always a meaning worth being analyzed in literature, no matter how small. It was definitely an eye opener. I definitely would not have thought to put so much effort into analyzing even the smallest thing if it wasn't for that. This kind of reminded me of our conversation at the beginning of the year with analyzing children's books and over analysis. One could for sure argue whether this analysis of the smallest things such as simple words is doing too much or not.
@xwing37 - I completely agree with you. The novel Invisible Man and all of its symbolism in practically every word has really opened my eyes as I read and analyze literature. Usually the first time I read something, I don't really even see the symbolism until I reread and think about it more. I guess I didn't really think that it would be so prevalent in so many places through out one novel. Obviously as we have learned from literary theories, not all literature reaches this type of sophistication, but I feel like all literature does have symbolism to an extent whether we see it or not.
@bunkymoo Thank you for agreeing with me, and also on the topic of perspective we should consider analyzing the books from different perspectives. Like almost every character sees things. Like in the book "Invisible Man" there were a lot of characters from whom which most if not all of them where dynamic characters in the book. This will most likely help you the reader tie it up and develop the meaning along with the book.
@xwing37 Yes, and that is what so cool and captivating about literature. The infinite number of possibilities presented to us by literature is mind-blowing. This feature of literature allows it to be so reusable. Which allows the analyzing of every piece of literature to be infinitely possible.
@msar - When you put it this way, it makes me look at literature in a whole different light. I think we have all come to this conclusion after reading invisible man. I honestly am looking forward to rereading this novel again a few more years down the road and finding more things to discover within Ellison's word. The fact that I will be able to do that with multiple books throughout my lifetime is pretty cool to me.
@username27 I agree. I think the idea of literature being reusable is an interesting one to bring up and completely true. I think as we get older and have more opportunities to read a book again, even more interpretations can be found and analyzed.
@xwing37 I also enjoyed reading Invisible Man because of this same reason. There are so many small patterns that continue throughout the book to make their own specific meaning as well as specific details that each have their own meaning as well. All these meanings come together to create this novel. I think it is so interesting to read because each time you read a page you can pull something new out of it. I really appreciate authors now more than before based off of Ellison's ability to weave so many ideas seamlessly into one novel.
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