Thursday, October 23, 2008

I miss being an English Lit grad sutdent sometimes...

Bakhtin came up in conversation the other day. I realized, at the time, that I miss talking about literature. The next day, however, in one of my classes, I got to bring my favourite Russian literary theorist in through the back door. One of my students asked whether his interpretation of "Mr. Tambourine Man" was wrong, since it was different from the one I'd just finished presenting.

Recalling Bakhtin's famous statement that "Truth is not born nor is it to be found inside the head of an individual person, it is born between people collectively searching for truth, in the process of their dialogic interaction”, I explained this notion to the class--in prolly too many words. It was terribly fun and, when another student exclaimed, ten minutes later,"Yeah, but poetry is still useless", I didn't have to argue with him, because the class jumped on him. "Maybe it's the discussion of the poem that's important, rather than the poem itself," another said. I almost cheered.

1 comment:

Joe Ruckus said...

Oh man, I live for those moments when some of the class 'gets' it. Congratulations! Now to get them interested in only RIGHT and CORRECT music, like the blogariddims series, instead of all their newfangled (and demonstrably WRONG) tastes... Keep it up!