"It=B4s hard to imagine a literature
student saying: " This Madame Bovary is sexist bullshit. I abandoned it in
Well, actually, it's not hard at all. Students have said exactly such things,
whether they are "literature" students in a general education course or
graduate literature majors. The continuing periodization of literature courses
contributes to this: modernists will refuse to read Pope; Renaissance scholars
will give up on Pynchon; and so on.
A few years ago, one of our Master's degree students more or less refused to
answer a question on her comprehensive exam that dealt with Melville and
Hawthorne because of their sexist approach. I could have handled a hearty
bashing of said authors in an answer but the refusal to speak or acknowledge
an object of study always bothers me, whether it's from the left or right.
But I suspect the problem applies to all sorts of artistic production--whether
film, literature, painting, sculpture, theater or whatever.
Don Larsson, Mankato State U (MN)
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