Nancy Gish wrote:
> First, the assumption that there is one "right" and all else is wrong
> limits and reduces to caricature any serious literature.
I don't think so. I'm rather inclined to think, you won't be
surprised, that relativzing literature deguts it and makes it not worth
having. There may be degrees of "right" and there may be components of
right some of which some people get and some of which some people don't,
in various mixtures and measures; and an ultimate reading such as Guy
Brown provided of Bleistein; Burbank may have to be reestablished again
and again. An ultimate reading does not reduce the work but invigorates
it and offers it up for further development.
> The claim that there is "THE" point of view is one I find totally
> unhelpful, but even if there were, how do you know it?
For me, the first way you know it is by believing your question.
What in the first place makes your question possible? The examples
Thompson uses in his book to answer your question are of Socrates and
Eliot and Tennyson. The upshot is that we believe our questions have
right answers. What is it that enables that belief?
> How does Thompson acquire the capacity for infallibility?
He doesn't (nor was that my claim). He offers instead an
appropriate way to attend to Eliot or ultimately to any literature. (He
would not make that claim. Like TSE, he was a private and modest person.
But he knew what he was about.)