Commonplacing (VII through IX)

VII

. . . while traditional literary criticism (likes its American cousin, 'New Criticism') was drawn to the text as an organic whole, the phenomenology of the classroom tends to suggest the impossibility of approaching any text longer than a haiku in other than fragmentary or pointillist ways.

Ben Knights
Pedagogic Criticism: Reconfiguring University English Studies (2017)


VIII

Everybody knew the song:

Bas ek baar mera khan maan lijiye
But just this once, my love, grant me my wish

That courtesan's song, or at least that one line, could have been the anthem for almost everybody [all the demonstrators and protestors] in Jantar Mantar that day. All those who were there were there because they believed that somebody cared, that somebody was listening. That somebody would grant them a hearing.

Arundhati Roy
The Ministry of Utmost Happiness (2017)


IX

I had everything I needed except my edition of The Complete Poems which I had left with a friend in Paris. Not that it mattered: just before the British Council Library in Rome had closed for the summer I had taken out several volumes . . . of Lawrence's letters and they would keep me going for a while. I had a biography to check dates, copies of a few of the novels . . . It was perfect. . . . It would have been helpful to have had my edition of The Complete Poems with me but it was not indispensable to my beginning the study. The important thing was that I had this chunk of uninterrupted time with no distractions. . . . I was more concerned about not having my edition of The Complete Poems which, for my purposes, was probably the single most important book of Lawrence's, without which I would be able to make only very limited progress on my study of Lawrence, such limited progress, in fact, that it would be scarcely worth starting. . . . Suddenly that book of poems which, until two weeks previously, had been by my side constantly for two months and which I hadn't even opened in that time . . . seemed indispensable to any progress.

Geoff Dyer
Out of Sheer Rage: Wrestling with D.H. Lawrence (1997)


Reading Aloud (#31): D.H. Lawrence's "The Best of School"

Commonplacing (I through VI)