Tag Archives: Stanley Fish

The Reader’s Role in Literature

Reader Response Theory focuses on the reader’s involvement in literature, opening up avenues untouched by formalist criticism.

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Most Plagiarists Fail to “Sin Nobly”

Jason Blake’s guest column this week is on the issue of plagiarism. Jason’s experience matches my own: it takes more work to produce a successful plagiarism than to write an acceptable essay. Plagiarism is generally so obvious that the plagiarist resembles Tom Sawyer in the episode involving memorized Bible verses. As you may recall, students […]

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You, Sir, Are No Jay Gatsby

  Everyone has something to say about Barack Obama, who has been the subject of non-stop scrutiny since last year’s Democratic primaries.  It therefore is not surprising that some would turn to literature to understand what he means.  Including, in recent weeks,  two New York Times columnists. Stanley Fish, the subject of three posts this […]

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Yes, Stanley, Lit Can Change Lives

  George Herbert I’m trying to figure out why Stanley Fish bothers me so.  Maybe it’s because I’m already worried that our society doesn’t take poetry seriously enough.  Then an English professor with a national forum comes along and confirms that people should consider the study of literature as an arcane study yielding satisfactions only to […]

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Lit Is More than Just an End in Itself

Alan Paskow      Yesterday I talked about how Alan Paskow (in philosophy) and I violently disagreed with a series of columns that Stanley Fish wrote on his New York Time blog about the humanities.  Fish was going after those who use the humanities “instrumentally”—as good for something else rather than as ends in themselves.   Alan, […]

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Fish’s Claim that Lit is of No Use

Stanley Fish    Last week I was talking to my colleague in philosophy Alan Paskow about a Stanley Fish New York Times column. (Cancer update: Alan had one of the five tumors in his lungs removed two weeks ago through cyberknife surgery.) Although an old post—last January—it had stuck with us because it contradicts so […]

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  • Literature is as vital to our lives as food and shelter. Stories and poems help us work through the challenges we face, from everyday irritations to loneliness, heartache, and death. Literature is meant to mix it up with life. This website explores how it does so.

    Please feel free to e-mail me [rrbates (at) smcm (dot) edu]. I would be honored to hear your thoughts and questions about literature.

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