What_is_a_classic[1] - Pomi 1 Marc Pomi Rachel Walsh WRT...

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Pomi 1 Marc Pomi Rachel Walsh WRT 102 2/18/07 A Classic T.S. Eliot offers an interesting idea of what an artist should be; transcendental and depersonalized. However we see in JM Coetzee’s “What is a Classic?” that the ideology of Coetzee and Eliot conflict. According to Coetzee “The classic defines itself by surviving” (Coetzee 16). A classic must also be able to protect itself from attack or it can never prove itself a classic (Coetzee 16). Coetzee believes a classic is a piece of work that has great enough value and worthy enough that it will be remembered and used forever. These ideas roughly establish the basis for what a classic is. Throughout his critique of T.S. Eliot, he indirectly reveals this idea. In the poem “Power” by Adrienne Rich, she also sends the reader a message of the piece surviving history and “itself.” In Rich’s poem, she discusses the importance of history. History can be an aiding power or it can also be a source of downfall. A classic may also suffer this fate as it can use history as something to strengthen the piece or destroy it. A classic must be able to survive history which, can act as a catalyst for survival or elimination. Coetzee argues that a classic must survive itself. A classic must be something that is worth value, “Rather, what survives the worst barbarism, surviving because generations of people cannot afford to let go of it and therefore hold on to it at all
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Pomi 2 costs- that is the classic” (Coetzee 16). Barbarism is considered to be the constant abuse and degrading of a classic. If the piece can endure the barbarism and criticizing,
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This note was uploaded on 12/09/2009 for the course WRT 102 taught by Professor Frost during the Fall '08 term at SUNY Stony Brook.

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What_is_a_classic[1] - Pomi 1 Marc Pomi Rachel Walsh WRT...

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