Young Adult Lit/Crit

March 19, 2008

Wrestling with Reeves & Sting

Filed under: Uncategorized — Joyce @ 1:42 pm

I tried to find Mandy’s post about the Reeves reading, but it isn’t showing up for some reason. I remember reading it, but I just can’t find it now. So, I’m sorry if I’m not addressing specifics of your response, Mandy.

I definitely enjoyed reading about Sting. The intro was a little long, in my opinion, though filled with good information. Around page 30 or so I was thinking “get to the point” as harsh as that might sound. I think I’m a little like Sting in that sense; I just wanted to start reading case studies (the action) and then finish with all the explanatory stuff.

 One thing that I thought made total sense was the organizational methods for student response. On page 34 when Reeves mentions the “narrative analysis forms explicated by Reissman […] break[ing] the narrative text into pieces according to linguists’ structural analysis of speech” I felt appreciative. It is not that the students were speaking improperly, it was that the visual formatting of their responses was off. (Speaking of formatting, I think we’ve all had some wordpress trouble with that-)

Another moment I found particularly insightful was the Mazer read of wrestling as ritualized encounter. To quote:

The colorful characters presented and stories told both in the wrestling ring and in the television programming that contextualizes matches are simultaneously archetypal and topical, open to straightforward readings but in that very openness resistant to simple reading of dominant cultural values [.]     Reeves, 62

I was definitely interested in the wrestling aspect (who didn’t try an atomic drop from the top bunk when they were a kid?) More so, though, I was enlightened by the idea that the interests of students are WORTH the time of analytical thought, even if they do seem “fake” or “violent.” 

Great reading. Looking forward to Duke.




  1. Joyce, here’s Mandy’s post. KES

    Comment by sunyprof — March 19, 2008 @ 2:59 pm

  2. No one else seems to want to have this discussion Joyce so I’ll jump in. I see a real connection between Reeves’ analysis of STING and the work Bronwyn Williams does in the essay A Puzzle to the Rest of Us: Who Is a Reader Anyway?

    I’m esp. interested in Reeves’ noting Sting’s invisibility in the school context. The exchanges with his teachers are superficial or discouraging for the most part. Sting has no chance of entering the “magic circle” Reeves refers to in ch. 1 in the school context she describes.

    Yet Sting seems poised to do the kind of critical work on a key text for him, wrestling, we so want students to do, and yet where is the mentor who can help him do that? Very sad. Our schools are full of adolescent males just like Sting.

    And we keep rolling out the canonical texts and blame students when they don’t want to read them or read them grudgingly without ever making the kind of connection Sting makes to the reading he does about wrestling.

    Join the discussion!! KES

    Comment by sunyprof — March 19, 2008 @ 7:44 pm

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