GRE Reading Comprehension: JiJing 352-GRE阅读机经352篇 - 76TI052YOJ9TMD2LK

Catherine Stimpson calls for a reassessment of literary merit based on affective standards – on how literary works make readers feel – rather than on the aesthetic standards traditionally used to define the canon, the body of literary works generally accepted as "great". Stimpson advocates an alterative para-canon for literary works, such as Louisa May Alcott's Little Women, because she believes such works have been unjustifiably neglected by unsympathetic scholars. According to Stimpson, a para-canonical work may or may not have literary value by traditional standards; rather, its worth consists in its "capacity to inspire love." Elizabeth Barnes criticizes Stimpson's approach as subjective and therefore uncritical. "Although Stimpson never actually defines 'love,' she implies that a lovable work is one that so engages the reader that its worldview becomes inseparable from the reader's own" (Stimpson acknowledges that the values reflected in Little Women may have subconsciously influenced her invention of the para canon). For Barnes, the conflation of ethics and aesthetics implicit in Stimpson's approach (in which "good" can refer to something morally sound and/or above average in quality) demonstrates the ambiguity inherent in such concepts as goodness and love.