does two plus three equal 7?

	Mon, 20 Sep 1999 11:00:39 -0400 (EDT)

Jim wrote, in part:

"But when confronted with a statement like "2+3=7", my curiousity simply
isn't strong enough to want to go exploring.  I'm curious as to what my
fellow 88vers think about why ED would make a poem's construction
deliberately hard."

Al now adds:

I don't disagree, really, with the passage above and I am not
unsympathetic with the feelings motivating your comment about Dickinson's
perhaps sloppy or imprecise (as opposed to deliberately hard) use of "as"
in "Of Chambers as the Cedars."

But after so many years of assuming the unvarying signifying truth of
meaning made on the analogy of the certitude of 2+3=5--of being taught by
all my teachers to assume it--when someone comes along who seems to know
what she wants and insists upon 2+3=7, I *am* curious to know more--about
her, about this different meaning-making system, and about what
constitutes "7" (as opposed to the usual, expected, conventional "5") in
her vocabulary.

Gertrude Stein, here we come! (a little later....)

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