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Does the term myopia have a special meaning in the context of literature?

Myopia is in its most direct meaning a healthcare condition: relating to, or exhibiting myopia : NEARSIGHTED

Myopia or myopic should refer to: lacking in foresight or discernment : narrow in perspective and without concern for broader implications.

Quotes from merriam-webster

Like most who mutilate Chopin, he was musically myopic, fawning over each note instead of seeking the longer shape of a phrase, its arc and context, where the real beauty lay. — Andrew Corsello


Higher learning can offer individuals and societies a depth and breadth of vision absent from the inevitably myopic present. — Drew Gilpin Faust


When he ran again in 2013, this time without a primary opponent, his campaign had an almost myopic focus on a subject dear to Republicans: job creation. — Andy Kroll

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    Myopia has a figurative meaning, per the OED, of 'Lack of imagination, foresight, or intellectual insight.' Would that cover the usages you are finding? – Spagirl Apr 29 '19 at 13:21
  • Thinking more like the meaning: Things are a mess, nothing works, Things are blended together. – MOLAP Apr 29 '19 at 20:00
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    can you add example sentences and their context into the question? It’s really difficult to understand what the usage is without that. – Spagirl Apr 29 '19 at 21:34
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    I am sorry, but without your citing examples in your question of the word in use, where it is referencing literature specifically, it is unlikely that anyone is going to be able to help much.. – Spagirl Apr 30 '19 at 9:24
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    I’m sorry, I’ve done my best here and I still don’t really know what your question is. Good luck with it though. – Spagirl Apr 30 '19 at 22:52
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All of the examples you give seem to be using the term "myopic" to mean focusing on something small, or very specific, while ignoring the larger view.

Like most who mutilate Chopin, he was musically myopic, fawning over each note instead of seeking the longer shape of a phrase, its arc and context, where the real beauty lay.

In this context, we're talking about someone, presumably a musician. The paragraph is saying that he, this musician, "mutilates" Chopin (a famous composer). The musician focuses - myopically - on each individual note, where the real beauty is in how they all work together. He's nearsightedly peering at the notes instead of seeing the song.

Higher learning can offer individuals and societies a depth and breadth of vision absent from the inevitably myopic present.

In this example, we're again using myopic in a sense of not seeing the bigger picture. The "inevitably myopic present" is that we focus on the here and now. The present is inherently not the past or future. We inevitably focus on the present, not the past or future.

When he ran again in 2013, this time without a primary opponent, his campaign had an almost myopic focus on a subject dear to Republicans: job creation.

This one's is talking about the focus of the candidate's campaign - job creation. This person running for office is basing his campaign around one thing. He's focused on this one thing, so much so that it is basically the only thing that he's working with.


So, to answer the initial question: No, it doesn't have a "special meaning" in literary context. It's a word; treat it as one. If you come across a word in a work of literature, the interpretation and nuances of that will change drastically based on the context and surrounding text. It has to be analyzed along with all the other words.
Don't be myopically focused on analyzing this one word at the expense of the others.

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  • A "special meaning" in literary context could maybe be a special way of structuring a story by an author, giving the characters in a story such characteristics, so that the whole book ends up becoming a myopia. Could that be a use case? – MOLAP May 1 '19 at 9:57
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Myopia is not a literary term; it is more like a slight or a slur due to the term's negative connotations. If we transferred the meaning implied in the example about Chopin, it might be used, for example, for a poet who is adept at rhyme and metre but much less competent at composing a poem that has a consistent meaning, or for a novelist who writes great sentences or even great scenes but doesn't know how to construct a good plot.[1] I have not seen this term in any of the glossaries of literary terms I have used or consulted, including van Gorp, Cuddon and Baldick (see references).

Incidentally, "Myopia" is the name of "a visualization tool in support of close reading". Close reading is a technique or approach popularised by the New Criticism and focuses on features of the text as such (imagery, character, symbols, point of view, rhyme, metre, etcetera). The tool's name, "Myopia", is obviously an allusion on the adjective "close" in "close reading" (imagining a reader with their nose close to the page).

The visualization tool was developed at Miami University (but no longer available on the university's website) and relies on texts that are tagged based on guidelines by the Text Encoding Initiative (TEI). Following these guidelines, you can mark up, for example, a poem's stanzas and lines. Since the markup is XML-based, the tags can be extended to add annotations for, for example, metaphors, ambiguities and connotations. These can then be visualised using CSS stylesheets (simply in a web browser, for example). However, the same poem can be encoded in various different ways, wich creates the need for a tool that makes comparing different encodings easier.

References:

[1] (The quote about Chopin is probably unfair to the composer. For example, Robert Schumann considered Chopin's Piano Sonata No. 2 "structurally inferior" (Wikipedia's words) and thought that Chopin "could not quite handle sonata form" (apparently Schumann's words), but this criticism has not withstood time. The article about the sonata on the Los Angeles Philharmonic's website states that although "Chopin is regarded primarily as a peerless miniaturist", he "also scaled the heights in larger forms".)

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