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Week 2 - Brooks, Frye, Fish Textbook Notes

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English 2200F/G
Matthew Rowlinson

Week 2The Heresy of ParaphraseCleanth BrooksBrooks argued that meaning in poetry is irreducible because a true poem is a simulacrum of realityan experience rather than any mere statement about experience or any mere abstraction from experience Brooks emphasized structure tension balance and irony over meaning statement and subject matter He relied on comparisons with nonverbal arts in order to shift discussion away from summarizable contentThe essential structure of a poem as distinguished from the rational or logical structure of the statement which we abstract from it resembles that of architecture or painting it is a pattern of resolved stresses Or to move closer still to poetry by considering the temporal arts the structure of a poem resembles that of a ballet or musical composition It is a pattern of resolutions and balances and harmonizations developed through a temporal scheme p 1223Proper criticism responds with suppleness and delicacy to such patterns rather than paraphrasing their propositional contentCentral to The Heresy of Paraphrase was a critique of distinctions between form and contentThe structure meant is certainly not form in the conventional sense in
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