Lost in Translation Essay

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Perkins is a professor of American and English literature and film. In the following essay, Perkins examines the exploration of the problematic process of gaining knowledge in Merrill's poem.

Prior to the twentieth century, authors structured their works to reflect their belief in the stability of character and the intelligibility of experience. Traditionally, literary works ended with a clear sense of closure, as conflicts were resolved and characters gained knowledge about themselves and their world. Poetic images coalesced into an organic whole that expressed the poet's view of the coherence of experience. Many writers during the twentieth century challenged these assumptions as they expanded literature's traditional form to accommodate their characters' and their own questions about the indeterminate nature of knowing in the modern age—a major thematic concern for these writers. The critic Allan Rodway, in an article on the problem of knowledge in Tom Stoppard's...

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This section contains 1,444 words
(approx. 4 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Lost in Translation Study Guide
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