Saturday, October 14, 2017

An wretchedly awful and completely bad psychoanalytic Kristevan interpretation

Currently, I've begun reading a psychoanalytic interpretation of Stephen R. Donaldson (cuz that's how I roll, baby). Although quite well-written, especially engaging with Julia Kristeva's theory, the incompetent literary analysis finally irritated me so much that, after a particularly egregious misreading, I wrote in the margins, "Jesus, no, this is just stupid!"

Since this was a library book, no less, I now have the difficult moral decision of whether to erase that remark when I return the book. On one hand, marginalia is technically vandalism. On the other, I feel a responsibility to warn all those fresh-eyed eager young undergrads, bedazzled by the complexities of Theory, who might be tempted to consider anything this particular book said seriously.


Anyway, in other news. After getting bored with writing a feminist analysis of Tolkien, I decided to write a feminist analysis of Donaldson (spurred by the enthusiasm I felt in writing the encyclopedia article about him and aliens). Anyway, I wrote something along the lines, "SRD hasn't received the critical attention that his status as a major modern writer of speculative fiction deserves." After a bit, though, I realized that this wasn't quite true. Although only a handful of academic articles have appeared on Donaldson, there are currently three monographs on him -- which ain't bad for a still-living fantasy writer who isn't Rowling or George Martin. 

The best Donaldson book, of course, is by William Senior. Another is . . .. well, let's just say that it doesn't much challenge Senior for title of "best book on Donaldson."  Then there's this Kristevan monstrosity.


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