Thursday, February 5, 2015

The affective fallacy, not Effective

Everyone has a different reaction based on what they read, and sometimes that can have impact on what they read. The affective fallacy focuses on emotions that one has when reading. However, the emotions in this case are not the answer. This fallacy argues that emotions are the least important thing when reading. "The Affective Fallacy is a confusion between the poem and its results (what it is and what it does), a special case of epistemological skepticism". When you are analyzing literature, emotions should be the last thing on your mind, according to them. Emotions take over and can affect the way you see things, including literature. I can see why that would be true for cynics and people who are skeptical. Skepticism is a key term in the article. Emotions are complicated so naturally they believe that they complicate the way a person views literature. When an author publishes a piece, he/ she may or may not be impacted by the reactions from the readers.
My picture here shows all the emotions and how the writers apparently don't want them near the books. So I drew the basic emotions which are happy, mad, sad, scared and disgusted- they are all emotions that we experience when reading literature and through every day life. Below them are just a few examples of classic works of literature, and Tina Fey's autobiography hehe.

This article raised a few questions for me:
Are emotions the same as opinions in this case?
We are humans, so naturally we have emotions, so should we try to fight them?
What if our emotions include happiness and laughter? is that still a negative?
Where did you guys come up with this theory?
Obviously books have characters with emotions, should we ignore theirs too? or just ours? if so, how on earth does that work?
I definitely do not agree with their theory but it is interesting to see all the different points of view. the whole point of living is having emotions, and those emotions help us understand what we really want and what we look for in the books we choose to read. I guess hearing all the different theories and different perspectives is what being an English major is all about.

1 comment:

  1. I absolutely LOVE LOVE LOVE your questions! I do think the front end of the post is a bit confused... W&B are not overly interested in what the writers will think of a reader's emotional response to their texts; remember, for the New Critics, the author is dead. But they do want to make the point that a reader's personal emotional response is not relevant to a good interpretation of a literary text...