Annette Kolodny (1941–) from “A Map for Rereading: Or, Gender and the Interpretation of Literary Texts,” New Literary History (1980)
Appealing particularly to a generation still in the process of divorcing itself from the New Critics’ habit of bracketing off any text as an entity in itself, as though “it could be read, understood, and criticized entirely in its own terms,”1 Harold Bloom has proposed a dialectical theory of influence between poets and poets, as well as between poems and poems which, in essence, does away with the static notion of a fixed or knowable text. As he argued in A Map of Misreading in 1975, “a poem is a response to a poem, as a poet is a response to a poet, or a person to his parent.” Thus, for Bloom, “poems ... are neither about ‘subjects’ nor about ‘themselves’. They are necessrily about other poems.”1
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