The Curtains Were Blue: In Which I Fix Another Meme.

Above is my response to a meme that makes some shaky assumptions about the purpose of an English classroom.

Exploring the intent of the author is a huge part of the English discipline, but it’s far from the only way to study (or teach) literature. Author intent, new historicism, reader-response, structuralism… the list goes on.

The fact that a character is observant enough to notice the color of the curtains may matter more than the color he/she notices. Whether a key is brass or iron may or may not have anything to do with the fact that a victim was clutching a magnet.

Some details are just details.


Perhaps I will make more of these memes to introduce some of these other topics in my “Writing about Literature” class this fall.