Author: Patrick O'Leary PM
This is a framing of a missing paragraph within a piece of writing by New Critic, Marjorie Perloff, and the train of thought prior to and after the insertion of this paragraph in her critical essay of Yeats' Sailing to ByzantiumRated: Fiction T - English - Parody/Humor - Words: 635 - Published: 11-03-06 - Status: Complete - id: 2270940
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At this point, I think I could trash any new critic and really denounce what they did to poetry, but in many ways, that is the kind of thing that any person can do, and as a junior and English major, I hold myself in the light of a small bit of esteem and what may be called "arrogance," as such I find it necessary to defend Perloff in her remarkable accomplishment of almost pulling off what really is nearly impossible.
Perloff has demonstrated a remarkable ability to maintain her stand point and to find evidence in places most people, myself included would seem to be meaningless, but she does not reach with a weak arm at a thin twig, rather she points to the one hanging on the weak twig a much stronger branch upon which one can quite easily stand upon in harmless leisure. My biggest criticism of her valiant effort is that she did not justify her exploration into Yeats's journal and his previous revisions of the poem. And so instead of allowing such a heinous crime to be committed on such a well calculated series of language thought and math, I will write that justification out to be placed within her own writing. (Marjorie Perloff, if ever this writing should pass your eyes I apologize for my boldness to insert something that was not your own into the words that are not mine, but I feel I must.)
On page 24 she expresses her knowledge of Yeats's dissatisfaction and I so monstrously step in just prior to this point.
Before I continue to decipher Yeats's poem, I must express a small bit of theory in which I may justify the exploration of the text that is not apparently included within the final text. Many will disagree with this notion as I have claimed on many occasion that I firmly believe the text should stand on its own, but as I delve into Yeats's journal I must express my firm belief that though the words were not in the final text, they are part of the poem I am interpreting. You see the text we are delving into is only a translation of thoughts within the mind of a man and therefore there is a need to look into the language in which the original sentence structure is derived. This is somewhat of a logo-centric viewpoint, but you must understand that the thought came before the word and that the signs within this poem reach into the unsignifiable as Yeats reaches into such terminology as "Soul" and "God," these are terms which cannot be defined except by the one calling upon them, so you must see in reading his initial scribbling I am comparing it to the published text to create the image of what is meant by a soul and by God.
That concludes the dive into logo-centric view that I will delve into at this point. I understand there may have been a slight lean towards non-new critic stand point as there was an admission that some words cannot be defined but by the author, but it seems that no new critic has been able to remain solely true to the text at hand and so I believe this explanation could lie with their doctrine.
Or maybe my attempt at defense only leads to an easier criticism as to why the New Critics could not due what they wished, and an explanation of why Perloff excluded this from her reading of Sailing to Byzantium. (Well Perloff, I guess you were smarter than me after all, except that you tried for longer to write like this, but I guess you were a victim of the time as you surrendered this viewpoint later.)