I'm about a third of the way through reading the Beloved critical articles for the M.A. Exam Part 2 next Monday. And I hit my limit, which is sad because I still have eight articles to go.
How do I know I hit my limit? When I have to reach for the dictionary to define words I already know. When I have a cracktastic idea that will not let go.
The cracktastic idea this time: I want someone to go all literary critical theory on one of my fanfics. Take the most extreme Freudian position possible. Or Lacan. Or ... okay I already forgot most of the major movements. Why do I want to see this happen? Because I can remember most of the stuff that churned in my brain, and proving or disproving patriarchal family models based on Oedipal theory was not one of them. The problem of domination was not one of them. Greek tragedy and resisting it wasn't one of them.
If none of them above make any sense to you whatsoever, thank the deity of your choice that you managed to skip literary criticism. But I honestly just want to see it from the other side of the curtain. Because deep down, I think this is all bunk any way when it comes to creation of the works analyzed. I think it has a purpose in helping people understand the work better or perhaps understanding the genre and stereotypes to break away from them. But I'm driven to hair pulling when I find one of these scholar positing so finitely "Morrison was creating an African-American feminist maternal dialogue to combat the white, patriarchal system that oppresses us to this day." You don't know that (but you sure wrote a damn long paper on the subject)! What if Morrison's inspirational thought was just exploring what about slavery would make a mother kill her child, which she has said there was a true case that sparked Sethe, and what if the child comes back as a ghost or something else?
Well, if you do want to psychoanalyze one of my works be prepared for me to laugh hysterically or congratulate you for getting into a character's headspace. Because the only agenda I have is seeing if I can make the plot and theme work and make readers happy.