Pages Turn, Clock Hands Turn, and the Gears of the Mind Do, Too.
Welcome to my second portfolio for EL267 (American Literature 1915-Present). Over the course of this class, we have discussed numerous works of literature by multiple authors ranging from poems to plays to novels. Close reading, or reading between the lines, so to speak, has been an objective that we have all been developing further. I feel that I have grown a great deal as a reader, even since my last portfolio (http://blogs.setonhill.edu/ChristopherDufalla/2009/03/reading_closer_and_thinking_de.html)
As the second half of the semester has prgressed, I feel that I too have matured as a reader and interpreter of American literature. Below are some of my blogs and comments from the second half of the semester that exhibit my development and maturation.
Coverage: the following blog entries all include proper citations and links back to the course web page
Humility: within this entry, I commented about the Elizabeth Bishop poem, "Manners". I felt that she was sending a message about lost kindness in the world of today.
Distortion: this entry focuses on Sylvia Plath's disturbing poem "Daddy", which I interpretted as lashing out against the father-figure in life.
The Wrath of Irony: commenting on Thomas Foster's literary guide, I felt that he made a particularly good point about irony and its seemingly invincible nature.
Timeliness: these three entries were all posted in advance to the required date of posting.
Reading into Something: Foster made a point about when authors intend for the audience to grasp a specific meaning from the literary work, but I made mention of how vastly interpretations might vary.
Overlapping Myths: David Cassuto's academic article spoke about the use of water within Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath.
Madness: Theodore Roethke was quoted in the introduction of the poetry anthology Eight American Poets. Madness was his topic, and I found it to be a rather interesting perspective...perhaps you will, too.
Interaction: these blogs all contain comment threads of significant discussion and length. There was a distinct interaction of my thoughts with those of my peers.
Do I Need New Specs?: speakign about Foster and the importance of grasping literary meaning, I felt that a tremendous amount of meaning depends on perspective.
Speakin' the Blues: Hanlon's academic article dealing with jazz and speech was of a particular interest to me, since I am myself a jazz musician. I commented on the coordination between the two items.
The Vicious Circle Known as Life: Arthur Miller's play "Resurrection Blues" embodies the idea that man will sink to the lowest levels of survival- the survival of the fittest.
Depth: these blogs all go into detail about something that I felt very personal about or had a specific content knowledge about that I wished to share.
You Can't Start a Fire Without a Spark: Thorton WIlder's play "The Skin of Our Teeth" presents the idea that flames not only warm the body, but also stimulate the mind.
Even the Gray is Black...and White: Ralph Ellison's novel Invisible Man constantly deals with racism. This particualr blog deals with a passage drenched in subliminal racism.
Love What You Do: Audrey Niffenegger's novel The Time Traveler's Wife covers many grounds within life, but I was particularly attracted to the mindset of a musician: do what you do because you love it.
Discussion: the following are blogs of peers that I have contributed to via commenting. All conversations made for fruitful class discussions.
Gladys Left Out: Julianne Banda's blog dealt with myths and symbolism within Wilder's play.
The Trouble With Bugs and Coffee: April Minerd's blog dealt with a conversation between Ellison's narrator and a boarding house woman. The conversation was deeper than I had first thought...
Jazzed-Up Emerson: Matthew Henderson's blog about Hanlon's academic article made an impressive connection between the jazz age and the literary works of Ralph Waldo Emerson and Ralph Waldo Ellison.
The Future Isn't Set in Stone: Jennifer Prex's blog about Niffenegger's novel presents an interesting take on how the main character, Henry, travels through time and justifies "destiny".
Thank you for reading. If you'd like to reurn to the course webpage in order to view more portfolios...