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Archive for the day “May 22, 2014”

Literary Theory is kicking my butt



I knew I was going to have a tough time with this class. I just can’t get my brain to delve that deeply into a text. I don’t want to analyze a story to death–that kind of takes the magic out of it. But it’s required for my major so I push on.

This week we’re doing structuralist vs deconstructive criticism. I couldn’t even begin to explain what either of them mean other than they focus on the structure of the novel and not the words. I chose structuralism and spent the last few days in near tears trying to figure it out.

I have always had an interest in linguistics so I understood the basic concepts the book was talking about–how different parts of the novel became the structure that the story was built on. But I could not figure out how to transfer that to analyzing the text. It made no sense to me and everything I looked up online never said more than the text. I need examples people! And not just from my classmates who may or may not know what the hell they are doing (since the teacher has very little contact with us and never tells us if we’re on the right track or not after we make our posts).

I’ve been working on this for the last SIX hours. I was in near tears at one point, rocking and pulling at my hair, before I calmed down. I’m so stressed out. I have to find resources for my final paper this week and make an annotated bibliography, but nothing I can get my hands on can help me understand this crap. My public library has like five books on the topic of literary theory. I put them on hold but who knows when I’ll get them. Everything else is from online journals from the 70s (because no one uses this method any more). And now that I’ve figured something about this out, I’m not sure any of the sources I tagged last week (after 12 hours of searching) will work any more.

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