I confess I have only scanned the papers. Rebecca has looked at them
in more detail, but I do think the problems of this sort of analysis,
using computer programs, fairly intractable, and the more especially
when talking of highly conscious imaginative verbal activity like
writing poetry. I would think any conclusion would be almost
impossible to reach on the basus of what was studied. (And in the
paper on deception, there is no consciousness of the idea that
narratives might be both true and not true, as in the work of a
fiction writer, which I would think would be a question which
problematises the whole question of less conscious speech
considerably, and is a consideration which troubled me). Mostly it
seems to me that the terms are set in order to provide a set of
findings which enclose the phenomena being examined in its own narrow
terms. How were suicidal and control poems chosen? They only
scanned 159 poems from about a dozen poets, and a fair number of
those, as I said, didn't write in English, so they are talking about
translations (I assume: they are silent on this point) which would
have different usages of pronouns, for sure, than the original. It
all seems very odd to me.
At 7:34 PM -0500 16/8/03, tom bell wrote:
>Over the years he seems to have developed an
>interest in pronoun use which seems to operate independently of content and
>what you picked up regarding 'sad' etc. comes I think from his early work?
He calls sadness a "negative emotion", in the paper on suicidal poets.
Btw, a correction - I called Elaine Scarry Elizabeth in an earlier
post. I don't know why I keep making this mistake, especially as I
am reading the book...