Questions, not answers

‎The clumsy formulations I grew up with—what is the moral of the story? what is the hero’s or heroine’s tragic flaw?—still influence and flatten the questions people often ask about literary works, as if there were one answer, and a right answer, at that. The genius of literary study comes in asking questions, not in finding answers.

—Marjorie Garber, ‘The Use and Abuse of Literature’ p. 14

Or as I always tell my students, great literature doesn’t provide answers; it raises questions.

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