Thursday, August 18, 2005

Differences in Humans

In this article:

It is stated that most people hated math. I always loved math (still do). What amazes me is the differences this brings up in humans. In the article, this quote is given:

"It was cold and calculating," she said. "There was no gray, it was black and white."

This epitomizes the difference that I'm talking about. That is exactly the reason that I love math. There is no interpretation. There is no GUESSING what the author meant by this. Hell, when "interpreting" novels, we don't even know that the author INTENDED it to be interpreted!! Maybe the author character was a carpenter, because the author likes working with wood, instead of trying to make a christ metaphor. We'll never know because no one read the fucking book until after the guy was DEAD!

So English, in my mind, is not about interpreting what the authors' intent was. Instead, it is about interpreting the book in the same way the TEACHER interprets it. Right or wrong.

Now, don't get me wrong. I enjoy reading. I just question how much I enjoy ANALYSIS of what I have read.

My buddy ( Fellswoop13 ) and I tried to spend a summer reading the same book, and discussing it chapter by chapter. He is one of those literary types that totally digs on getting into the guts of an authors mind. The book was I,Robot by Isaac Azimov. Short story by short story, actually. Not chapter by chapter. We ran into a couple of hurdles.

The most significant hurdle was that when ever we got together, we would just talk about other shit. Politics, life, news, cars, music, etc...

The other main hurdle was that the type of book/story that I like (Sci-Fi), generally can not be dissected in the way that classic text can be. The author was writing for pennies, not for interprettation. He included that sub-plot of a dream because he gets paid by the word, not because the dream is a metaphor for how his mother left him.

The most productive parts of these discussions came when he would ask me about the Sci-Fi elements of a particular story. (He doesn't read much sci-fi, so I had to fill him in on some of the standards for the genre) Once he knew what the author was actually talking about, he could then talk to me about how that fills in the story from a literary sense. So we played off of each other rather well...when we finally got down to these parts.

But that's the difference in humans that amazes me. I know half of the goal, and he knows the other half. Once he tells me what his half is about, I have no problem grasping it. And vice verse. But I simply can't come to the conclusion that he came to on my own...and vice verse...


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