Ruination comes in the materials world from testing to the point of annihilation. Once that kind of testing is carried out to the ulitmate failure outcomes, there's death of continuing existence. Many, most goods sold anymore undergo that kind of rigorous testing at points in time before, during, and after distribution. They do it for consumers, who in the remote past did their own testing as they did most everything for themselves.
I do my own testing to destruction too. I look for a certain solidity of state, perhaps it's a heft. A good nailing hammer feels heavy. A good jeweler's hammer feels somewhat heavy, but elegant too. A half-heavy hammer, a handheld sledge hammer, feels like it will do some major damage. Flimsy junk I can spot from a ways off. The patina of a finish tells me if it's an afterthought or a well-thought out and applied product completion. See, I worked in a factory painting goods by state-of-the-art practices. I can spot a powder coated finish that wasn't baked to perfection. For that matter, spot a sugar cookie or short bread bisquit that was made with shortening or synthetic fat instead of butter. I don't have to macerate one, test to destruction, to make a buying decision. I used to be annoyed by packaging that obscures a product's solidity of state. Now I know by a packaging's intent to deceive that the product is junk. Though sometimes I do buy junk because it's cheap and convenient and suits my instant need and budget.
Literature is one of a very few goods that comes more alive through testing to annihilation. A thick book isn't necessarily a heavy book. It's weight is no indication of its depth or artful weightiness. I've bought junk books for shelf fillers, display pieces for sham bookcase displays in commercial venues. A bar once. The junk books filled up the space, fulfilled the purpose, and were left alone because they weren't worth stealing by the clientele. And they were cheap.
Unto each writer, reader, literary critic there is a spectrum of skills, stylistics, structuralistics, and aesthetics when it comes to analyzing merits and shortcomings, and tastes and sentiments and opinions too. Feminist approaches have a wide spectrum ranging from militant to New Feminism. Militant feminism takes a masculine approach to female oppression, co-opting masculine status competition methods for feminist agendas. New Feminism approaches literature from feminine emotional bonding ritual directions. And there are many individualized feminist approaches between.
There are as many literary schools of thought engaged in the secondary discourse of analyzing and responding to literature as there are literary movements, as there are genre categorizations, as there are reality consensuses. It's a conversation, after all, spanning the opus of literature and human history. Feminist, Marxist, historicist, structuralist, formalist, to name a few literary schools of thought categories.
New Criticism was all the rage in the U.S. early to middle Twentieth century, building on Russian Formalism and French Structuralism, and falling out of favor for its rigid formalistic structuralist and moralistic approach during the Postmodern social upheavals of the times favoring aesthetics and creativity over form, but not at the expense of form, and challenging and questioning presupposed notions of propriety; re: formalism and structuralism. New Criticism's subtext is morality ties into structure and discipline and Romanticism's predetermination conventions, the nemeses of creativity and free will exercise. New Criticism's popularity paralleled the Modernist era's ascendance and peak and fall from favor, reacting to Modernism's self-enlightened coping with the perils and progress traps and few and far between joys and rewards of predetermination and free will exercise in clashing contention to the point of confrontation.
I read for pleasure, taking pleasure in an artful creation, taking pleasure in testing to annihilation, taking pleasure in fathoming the depths and the shallows and the feathers and the anvils, taking pleasure in shredding a lackluster narrative, taking pleasure in whatever presents. My reading experiences have become evermore pleasurable regardless, more so because of. I'll sink my teeth into something, anything, though mechanical style issues will stifle my pleasure most of all.
The novels I thought were ruined by analyzing them I came back to and rediscovered their pleasures and more. Huzzah!
Spread the love of written word.