May 3, 2007

Thanks Jay.

I just want to thank Jay for his input on my paper.
I looked over his and was unable to find anything wrong with it.

As our peer reviewing process began, I was a little worried knowing my partner was Jay. I was expecting him to rip apart my paper and make me feel like a horrible writer; however, I was surprised when he said that I had a very good start to my paper, I just need to add more with the Id and the Superego into my paper to support my psychoanalytic criticism in "The Tempest" and Cinderella.

As he was looking over my paper, I glance over and see that my first whole page is covered with his pen. Most of his comments were constructive and helpful and a lot of them were positive remarks on my ideas and sentences.

Looking over Jay's paper, I could not really find a lot of problems except for use of the same word in his paper, which I also did in my paper. Jay was very clear and precise with his arguments and ideas as well as went in depth into his paper. His structure was well done and it is noticed that he organized in a way to prove his argument in a great way.

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May 1, 2007

Reflections on Term Projects

I am only going to tak about a few presentations. Sorry if you weren't one of them, I hope you are not offended. This is just very time consuming.

Congratulations to everyone for doing a fabulous job on the projects. Every project was unique and original and made very strong arguments and comments : )

Karissa and Jay's presentation was very original and was a breath of fresh air to see that for once we could use slang and improper language. Their idea and argument was that AIM chat could be a literary form of its own. They explained that with its pervasiveness, IM language is becoming a genre all its own and it has conventions like any other, and develops as the technology does. AIM chat can be seen as a lack of form, but the reality of the language is that the lack of "form" creates the newer version of form.

Even though I am not a fan of fantasy literature, Valerie and Tiffany's presentation was very informative and original. The website/blog they created with the outside links were very useful and creative. They explored the books of J.K Rowling's, particulary Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, through several theories we have studied in class, mostly Canon, Authorial Intent, Reader Response, and Freudian.

Gina and Mitchell and their project is next. Their main idea was about the ideal viewer of children's programs.The idea of an ideal viewer would be proposed from the standpoint of the creators of the programming. This leads us to a more mature adult standpoint, not the innocent point of view of a child. Which leads to the question then, is the ideal viewer really the ideal viewer for children’s programming. Their arguments and use of outside material, the videos online, supported their arguments by showing that even though the main viewers of the shows are children, most of the content is for the adult viewer.

The rest of the presentations were great. Every project was completely different and used different kinds of criticisms. Through these presentations, it gave me a different viewpoint and a better understanding to the criticisms.

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A Little 411 On My Term Paper

Here is just a little bit of what I am doing for this wonderful 15-20 page paper.

ENJOY and feel free to leave some comments : )

So it is noticed that literature is a dream written down. Literature contains both the obvious text and the subtext. The obvious text is known as the conscious, while the subtext is parallel to the unconscious. The subtext is what we criticize and where we recognize the dreams of the characters. It is noticed that psychoanalysis reads too much into the meanings of things. It is the job of a literary critic to delve deeper into the text and the intent of the author. The criticism seems a bit reductive. Freud has shown that what we do, say and write- as well as what we fail to do, say and write-bears the stamp of our unconscious. Freud believes that our unconscious thoughts that are unacceptable and choice of certain images and symbols not only in our thoughts but in writings have more than meets the eye. Psychoanalytic criticism also helps achieve a better understanding of a writer’s triumphs and failures even though our judgment as to what a writers triumph and failure is based on considerations which are fairly independent of psychoanalysis. How the audience responds and perceives the author’s work explains the eventual failure and success based on the overall theme of their work and how the audience can relate towards it. The author’s of “The Tempest” and Cinderella chose particular symbols and objects, the tempest and the fairy godmother, as well as powers of magic, to emphasize the idea that in order to fulfill dreams and desires one must have the help of magic.

In most literature, stories start with a character in trouble which leads to dreams and desires to escape their problems. Within “The Tempest” and the Disney animated feature film, Cinderella, the idea of a dream and desire of achieving a better life is seen with the use of magic. In the Tempest, Prospero uses his magic to create a tempest to get revenge with his brother and his assistants when they land on his island. In Cinderella, a fairy godmother helps her meet the prince with the use of magic that allows for her dream to come true at the end of the story. The idea of magic relieving one's problems is far-fetched and unrealistic, yet it is a choice behind both authors used to gain the audiences attention. Behind both stories the main focus is on a desire, a desire found within a dream and a storm that became attainable through the help of magic. Shakespeare’s story as well as Disney’s animated film is considered unrealistic popular fiction. Approaching these different stories with psychoanalytical criticism shows Freudian’s perspective of dreams and trying to achieve desires through dreams. The author’s choice of including both magic and dreams captivates the audience and allows for them to relate to the idea of dreams.

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Blog Carnival - Education and Criticism

Tiffany posted a blog carnival question regarding teaching literary criticism and education. Even though I am not an education major here at Seton Hilll, even though I used to be, I still find this subject very interesting.

We may not have known it when we were in school but our teachers in school approached literature in a particular fashion that eventually affected us more than we thought.

If I was to pursue my teaching career, which I am thankful I decided against, I would not just teach only a few criticisms, but I would present my students to all the criticisms, and as we do in this class, I would then pick a piece of literature and choose a particular criticism and in class discuss their take on criticizing the work with this type of criticism.

By doing this, as Karissa mentioned in her blog, it would 1) keep their attention, 2) create interest in the work itself (and not just in the pieces of the work), and 3) help them help themselves (and each other) understand both the work and the type of criticism at the time.

I would introduce the students to both the background of the author as well as the history during this specific time period to see if it had any effect on the work as a whole.

I would want to emphasize the flexibility of the study of literature and emphasize to the students that there is more to literature than the plot and that there is never a "right" answer to the work, there is only endless possibilities that one needs to explore through different types of criticisms.

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Blogging Portfolio III

This blog portfolio is short and sweet. This does not show the full extent of my literary growth throughout this class but it does show how I have turned out. Each week I think I have progressed from a sophomore in a hard upper level class to a sophomore who has accomplished more in this past semester in this one class than in her whole high school career.

Through many blog entries presented in blogging portfolio I and blogging portfolio II and presentations, not only have I learned through Dr. Jerz, but also through my peers, and I thank you all.

The blogging readly helped me and I think for many of the other students to keep track of our thoughts. For our critical exercises, to clear up confusion on a particular topic, discussions, projects, and papers, I used our blogs as a reference to all the criticims we have learned.

Coverage and Timeliness:
Greenblatt and Culture
Barker, Hulme and Nymphs??
Garson and Keats
de Man and signs
Miko and "The Tempest"
Guetti and Aesthetic
Feldstein and "The Yellow Wallpaper"
Keesey and Chapter 7
Eagleton, Literature and History

Depth:
Not much in depth writing about these essays and articles. I was so concentrated on the project and paper, sorry.

Interaction:

Blog Carnival comment
Vanessa, Culture and I

Blog Carnival:
Teaching Literary Criticism

Discussion:

de Man discussion
Apostrophes

Term Project and Paper:
Reflections on Term Projects
Garden State and "The Yellow Wallpaper"
A Little 411 On My Term Paper
Research Paper Workshop

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April 23, 2007

I Love Apostrophes

Garson, 'Bodily Harm" Keats's Figures in the 'Ode on a Grecian Urn''' -- Jerz EL312 (Literary Criticism)

"Apostrophe is an address to the absent as if present, the inanimate as if animate; a rhetorical question is one to which no answer is expected. These figures of power. To use them is to address someone who cannot talk back-a strategy that ensures not only that you will have the last work, but that your discourse will manifest a high degress of "'literariness'" (Garson 453).

It seems to me that Keats used apostrophes to allow for an unanswerable, unsolvable rhetorical question about the urn and the overall poem. Since the narrator speaks to her, the figure as it is noted that the urn is personified as a female, by apostrophizing her, he calls her into being; he tells her history even as he laments her citizens' inability to tell it (Garson 458).

This lack of identity to the urn/female as well as this dream of cultural possession shows a dream or desire of supplementing our lack with a borrowed integritas (Garson 458). The urn speaks to the spiritual ear in search of an answer that the urn/female as well as the readers are looking for to explain not only the urn but the overall theme of the poem rather than the material ear.

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Can't we all just agree???

Barker and Hulme, ''Nymphs and Reapers Heavily Vanish'' -- Jerz EL312 (Literary Criticism)

"Instead of having meaning, statements should be seen as performative of meaning; not as possessing some portable and 'universal' content but, rather, as instrumental in organisation and legitimation of powerrelations" (Barker and Hulme 445).

Jay explains in his blog that it is not the act as much as it is the reaction to the acts that matter. This focus from the interpretative problem of meaning to questions of instrumentality and function allow for the audience and critics to view the text and their meanings as yo-yos. Their meanings and ideas sway from side to side and everyone views them through different lenses.
These statements, discourses, and the level they operate at are not easy to observe but are only approachable through their effects similar to the way grammar work in certain sentences.

Who is to say that 'something' means this?? Where is the power held? And here we are back to the politics...

As Kevin Hinton states in his blog, culture itself is open to interpretation and can be changed to fit anything. This also applies to meanings of texts.

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April 22, 2007

Culture =]

Greenblatt, ''Culture'' -- Jerz EL312 (Literary Criticism)

"And if an exploration of a particular culture will lead to a heightened understanding of a work of literature produced within that culture, so too a careful reading of a work of literature will lead to a heightened understanding of the culture within which it was produced" (Greenblatt 438).

Culture and literature depend on one another. Literature needs the culture to produce new ideas and suggestions to write about; and culture feeds of literature by looking back at works and understanding the themes and values at that time. So it seems to me that cultural criticism is a good thing. =]

A cultural analysis needs to go beyond the text though to establish links between the text and values, institutions and practices elsewhere in the culture. These links should not be considered a close reading. Literary texts are cultural by virtue of social values and contexts that they have themselves successfully absorbed, not just because of the reference to the world beyond themselves.

As Jay puts it nicely, Literature, or at least a majority of it, tries to find something that was against a culture, and through imagery and dialogue, the author completes the task of portraying a different spin on the representative culture portrayed in that story.

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Belsey tells all

Belsey, ''Literature, History, Politics'' -- Jerz EL312 (Literary Criticism)

"Here all writing and all speech is fiction in a timeless present without presence, adn the subject celebrates its own non-being in an infinite space where there is no room for politics" (Belsey 430).

So Belsey is stating that between literature, history and politics there is a connection while arguing against deconstructionists who take it that there is no such thing as meaning, adn in consequence, since meaningless language is literally unthinkable, that words mean whatever you want them to mean.
Along with the above quote, this meaningless language idea is almost related to fiction in a timeless presetn without presence and that in this infinite space it shows its own self. There seems to be an evaporated meaning of text that are from the past in the present. It almost seems that the language is almost useless to us because of the difference in cultures. This evaporation of meaning leaves us with no place to analyze meaning and that ther is no possibility of tracing changes of teh meaning/history.
Belsey argues this and says that it the text within a work shows everything about change in history.

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April 19, 2007

Term Project Presentation

A project by Denamarie Ercolani and Lorin Schumacher.

Most often, critics take a feminist approach to “The Yellow Wallpaper.” While this is a legitimate angle to take in regards to this story as there are many things to explore through this lens, we feel that looking at the story this way causes readers to miss the comment Gilman makes in regards to doctor/patient relationships.
Since there is already so much criticism done on the “The Yellow Wallpaper” with a feminist approach it was hard for us to see what else there might be to focus on besides how oppressed the woman is by her husband. But, at the beginning of the semester when we read Gilman’s “Why I Wrote the Yellow Wallpaper” way back when we were studying authorial intent it made us think about Gilman’s resentment towards her bed rest treatment, but it wasn’t until we watched the film Garden State that we both realized the strong argument Gilman presents against unethical doctor/patient relationships such as the one presented between the woman and her husband in “The Yellow Wallpaper.”
In Garden State, the main character, Andrew, is on all sorts of medications and has been since he was a kid because his father prescribed them to him. His father prescribed them to him due to an incident Andrew was involved in that caused his mother to become paralyzed and he assumed that his son was going to have all sorts of psychological problems as a result. After all these years of his father trying to protect him from having any sort of problems through these medications, Andrew really does develop issues that he probably wouldn’t have otherwise had.
In a similar way, John assumes that his wife in “The Yellow Wallpaper” has problems, or is going to have problems (perhaps as a result of the baby she’s just had?...although there is limited information given to the reader in regards to this) and he either amplifies or perhaps even causes them by putting her on bed rest, which seems to be more a result of him trying to protect her rather than cure her. (Because, as she says, he doesn’t really believe that she has a problem. Why treat someone who doesn’t have a problem? Because he thinks he is taking some sort of preventative measures.)
This is difficult for readers to notice in the story than it is in the film because the relationship is a husband/wife or male/female rather than the father/son or male/male relationship that is in Garden State.
Also, if Gilman was being truthful in her essay “Why I Wrote the Yellow Wallpaper” and her goal of writing the story is really the result of her distrusting doctors, it makes sense that John would be portrayed negatively and made to look like the “bad guy” in the story. But, there is a big difference in the meaning of the story if you look at John as “the bad doctor” instead of as “the bad husband.”
So, ultimately, what we’ve discovered through our investigation of “The Yellow Wallpaper” and Garden State is that the woman’s insanity is the result of her treatment, prescribed by her doctor, not the result of her husband’s oppression.
For our project, we thought it would be an interesting twist in the story “The Yellow Wallpaper” if we used an intertextual approach along with Garden State. We then decided on creating two new scenes to be incorporated into Gillman’s story which was similar to Garden State. These scenes contain lines from both stories and also emphasis the doctor/patient relationships in both plots. For “The Yellow Wallpaper” these two scenes would give the story an alternate ending that would conclude in a positive note and ultimately show the overall point in the story, doctor/patient relationships.

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April 9, 2007

Literature as my mother

Just a little emotional paper for a wildcard.
I wrote this last year, but I thought it was appropriate for this class.

I never had a Mother, so I had to compromise

I never really had a relationship with my mother so I didn’t know what feeling to expect when I read a piece of work that dealt with mother and children acts of love. By reading books that dealt with mothers and daughters, I, in a way, compromised having a mother by reading and reacting. I always wanted to know how it felt to have a mother.

"A daughter is a mother's gender partner, her closest ally in the family confederacy,
an extension of her self. And mothers are their daughters' role model, their biological
and emotional road map, the arbiter of all their relationships."
Victoria Secunda

I never had the chance to look up to my mother, but my mother isn’t a great role model to begin with. The quote above is everything I never had in my life. “What does it mean to have a mother, what are they supposed to do for me,” I would ask myself and my friends. Most reactions would be, “You don’t have a mom that stinks. I don’t know what I would do without my mom; she is always there for me.” Literature has answered the previous questions and has become my mother. It is always there when I need it and it helps me on my bad days. By reading literature it opened windows to let me feel and see how a mother-daughter relationship is like. After analyzing many pieces of literature that dealt with children with just fathers I realized that there are others out in the world that feel the same as I do. I finally realized what love was; having a father that loves you more than any mother could. Authors who write literature try to show a side of a mother that you don’t think is typical, for example in A Doll’s House, why would a mother leave her children; this is reality in my life. It is great to read books that deal with situations I went through and see how the author presented the characters that were left behind by their mothers. I thank my father every day for being there for me through thick and thin. My father is not only my dad, but also my mom.

If I never read literature, I wouldn’t know how to deal with a mother. By reviewing the stories that dealt with mothers, it made me grow into a stronger person physically and emotionally. My father was my backbone throughout my life. He helped me get over my mother in a way by just talking with me about how I felt. As I was eating breakfast before I left to go to first grade, my father interested me in tee ball. He showed me how to bat using my cereal as a ball and the spoon as a bat. Ever since that moment I have had sports in my life that have filled that emptiness from my mother. This emptiness came out a lot during sad movies and books, but it was therapy to me. I had to let her go, so by reading I did and I learned that I can go through life without her. At the end of the school day as I would swing on the old, rusty, squeaky swing set on the playground, I would see my best friends run into their mother’s arms. I felt left out and that I was the oddball for the reason that everyone would go home with their mothers, but I went home with my dad. I felt that I was swinging into the distance, and there was no one (mother) to push me. I didn’t need a mother to push me, I needed my dad. When I would cry, my father would get down on his knees and tell me, “You don’t need a mother Dena; I love you more than she could in a million years.” I know my father did love me a lot, but I felt that I was missing out on something that every child needs, a mother’s love.

One piece of literature that really touched me was A Doll’s House. The mother was never really involved in her children’s life. When she felt sheltered and lost her freedom she wanted to leave, and she did. Nora, the mother, just left her children without a good-bye and told her husband that she wasn’t a great mother and to keep the children away from her. My mom left in the middle of the night with out any warning and I never saw her until I was 14. To this day, I don’t speak to her because I have lost respect for her. She didn’t realize, well at least I think she didn’t, about my feelings or how I would be brought up and how my life would turn out. Personally, I lead a pretty good life. This story opened me up to my feelings about my mother; this book was a great therapeutic implement. I grew a little bit because of this play. I will never become my mother or Nora; I will be there at every moment for my children. Even though I did not grow up with both my mother and father, I received twice as much love and attention as well as care from my father.

Literature is a great piece of work that touches you, even if it is just in the slightest way. It will stick with you for the rest of your life; just like how not having a mother will stick with me for the rest of my life. I learned a lesson through my mother’s actions and literature. Not everyone will make the right choices. Literature makes you think in a whole new perspective and in a whole new light. By reading literature, you are helping your self grow as a person. For me personally, I took a lot into literature and came out with even more; I will never become a replica of any mother that leaves their children. Literature is my new mother; I want to be just like it.

Posted by Denamarie at 9:35 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Fan Fiction and Literary Criticism

Thank you Diana for starting this wonderful blog carnival that I know we all love to do.
=]

FanFiction Blog Carnival

Diana is questioning FanFiction and how it should be portrayed in the literary world. To start off, let's explore the true defintion of FanFiction. It is defined as on dictionary.com a fictional account written by a fan of a show, movie, book, or video game to explore themes and ideas that will not or cannot be explored via the originating medium.
So bascially, FanFiction is an exploration of a world that would never be experienced on a normal basis. Examples of FanFiction are: Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, Goosebumps and Chornicles of Narnia.

Authorial intent is an integral part to FanFiction.The creator of the fan fiction wants a certain story to happen with the characters of the original work, so they write it in order to make it happen. The intention of all FanFiction it to create a world and characters that are out of the norm and experience situations that would never occur in a normal society. This intention is to allow the readers to step out of the real world and to let go and just be free with their imagination. Like Karissa said on her blog, FanFiction is an ORIGINAL authorial intent--not insofar that it is deriving something the author didn't intend, but that it deviates from the author's style and becomes a kind of Frankenstein of the original writing.

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Blog Portfolio II

This is the second blogging portfolio for Literary Criticism. Since the first portfolio, we have discussed poststructuralism, historical criticism, intertextual criticism as well as mimetic criticism.

Coverage and Timeliness:
Structuralism and Literature
Pale Fire
Chapter 5 Introduction
The Uses of Psychology
Everyman
Miko and the Tempest
Feldstein
Postmortem for a Postmodernist
The New Psychoanalysis
Pictures and Poetry
Frye and the Tempest
Rhetoric
Chapter 6 Introduction

Depth:
Critical Path Presentation Blog
Beyond the Net
Gilbert's and Gubar's Yellow Wallpaper

Blog Carnival:
FanFiction

Interaction:
Karissa's Meaning Garden
Lorin's Postmortem
Blade Runner and Tiffany
Kevin, Blade Runner and I

Discussion:
Whodunnit?? Swann
Deja Vu and The Uncanny
Envy in Blade Runner

Wildcard:
Literature as my mother

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thick descriptions

Keesey, Ch 7 (Introduction) -- Jerz EL312 (Literary Criticism)

Marxist critics have been opposed to New Historical practices of "thick descriptions". They are historically disabling, supposively.

One point made was that these descriptions of links between the most disparate elements in a society may imply power relationships at once so intricate and so agentless as to render futile any attempts to change them (414).

Also, the "thick descriptions" are like snapshots or stills that present a detailed picture of a society at a point in time but that offer no way to move from one time frame to another (414).

Marxist critics explain that this practice has no way to explain changes from one period to another and that its not really historical. There are inescapable biases that hinder our perception and recognition of a work historical.

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A popular subject: Art

Eagleton, ''Literature and History'' -- Jerz EL312 (Literary Criticism)

"...art does more than just passively reflect experience. It is held within ideology, but also manages to distance itself from it, to the point where it permits us to 'feel' and 'perceive' the ideology from which it springs" (425).

Art does not allow readers to know the truth. This ideology allows for readers to experience the real world in imaginary wasy which is similar to literature. It allows for us to experience a particular situation we normally would not be presented to. Art gives us the experience of a situation while science gives us the knowledge of it. However, it was once remarked that all art bears the imprint of its historical epoch, but that great art is that in which this imprint is most deeply marked. As students of literature, we are taught that the greatest art is that which timelessly transcends its historical conditions.

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Perkins, Gillman, Perkins Gillman, Stetson???

Feldstein, ''Reader, Text, and Ambiguous Referentiality in 'The Yellow Wallpaper''' -- Jerz EL312 (Literary Criticism)

"...the narrator's obsession with the wall-paper constitutes a regression from a linguistic presentation, the one she would write if John would allow her 'work', to an imaginary reconfiguration, an identification with mirror images in the paper as gestalt" (404).

The overdetermined signifier, the wallpaper, refers to both the title and the image of protean change featured in the story. The presentation of the wall-paper as mirror depicts the "intrapsychic splitting" of the protagionist (406). Lacan explains that hte mirror stage in child development shows the ability of an infant to differentiate itself from the projected image, a development from zero to one, self awareness. The narrator believes that her projections of the victims in a restrictive wallpaper might be similar to her and they share a common psychogenesis with her: they all want to come out.

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unveiling the urn

Guetti, ''Resisting the Aesthetic'' -- Jerz EL312 (Literary Criticism)

"...we find a more indescribable, and perhaps less easily resolvable, feud between Keats's desire to 'know' the urn, to understand what it says and his suspicion that any such access to the meanings the urn once actually had in its culture would in fact seriously threaten its status as a distinct 'form,' or 'shape,' or coherent aesthetic object" (389).

It is suspected that Keats believes that it is better that off if the urn is left untouched and unknown. The mystery of the urn is the best part. The urn matters soo much to Keats because of his ignorance about it. It has not occured to anyone that Keats is attempting to read, rather thatn imagine, the urn. The ode does not give us the kind of concretely sensuous description of its object that we may have come to expect from Keats.

Posted by Denamarie at 6:52 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

i'm a dreamer

Miko, ''Tempest'' -- Jerz EL312 (Literary Criticism)

"If Prosperso's art is a type (in any sense) of Art, the most obvious inference is not that Shakespeare yearns for a dream world, but that Art comes from one, or constitutes one, and that any effects Art has on the world "outside" must include recognizing this" (378).

Prospero's magic is seen as an Art and that it defines moral limits by illustrating psychological obduracy, including Prospero's own. Reading his behavior as stubborn and reluctant to leave his island, we can look at this as a preference of art (and dream) over "reality". Shakespeare in a sense drowns "The Tempest" and shows the idea that Art can, even in its own realm, control the desires it reflects.
Prospero's magic is used as a way of dreaming a perfect ending to a horrible beginning. By using his magical powers, he is using a sort of Art to create a perfect wonder.

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de Man showed me the sign

de Man, ''Semilogy and Rhetoric'' -- Jerz EL312 (Literary Criticism)

The reproduction of signs has come loose in this article.

"The interpretation of the sign is not, for Pierce, a meaning but another sign; it is a reading, not a decodage, and this reading has, in its turn, to be interpreted into another sign, and so on ad infinitum" (367).

Basically, one sign gives birth to another. Within de Man's essay, it is described to us that a sign is not the thing but a meaning derived from teh thing by a process called representation. The sign entertains with its object. Readers are to interpret the signs in order to comprehend the meaning it is conveying.

de Man spoke of Pierce who laid the philosophical foundation for modern seminology, the study of signs as signifiers. Pierce stressed the distinction between grammar and rhetoric in his celebrated and so suggestively unfathomable definiton of the sign (367).

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March 29, 2007

blank expression

Berger, Postmortem for a Postmodernist -- Jerz EL312 (Literary Criticism)

"It takes a theory to catch a theorist."
And...

Okay, so the only part of the story that I got a sense of what exactly Postmodernism is was on pages 24 and 25.
"...a condition or theroy, a collection of beliefs and values and attitudes that, though we might not realize it, shapes our consciousness and our society. We find it in the way we mix up different styles and genres in the arts and architecture...it's a way of understanding the world and of living."
Everything we do is based on our culture and society. The characters in the book acted on the murder based on their specfic culture and consciousness. In a postmodern world, nothing is simple anymore. There is no coherence or linearity in a postmodernist's life.

"It's like a murder mystery that doesn't identify the killer for the readers" (26).
Foreshadowing much?
It seems to me that Postmodernism is an unsolvable criticism and is quite meaningless even though it subtly shapes our contemporary consciousness.

Like Kevin said on Mitchell's blog, in a postmodern world...no one can be trusted. Critics of postmodernism are looking for the very best answer and are willing to do anything to get it.

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March 25, 2007

enjoy the beauty and power of your innocence

Wright, ''The New Psychoanalysis and Literary Criticism'' -- Jerz EL312 (Literary Criticism)

"Reading a text is no longer considered an innocent activity. Post-structuralist criticism undermines the notion that the text contains a stable meaning. The author's intention is not only not recoverable but was never where he might have thought it was in the first place" (393).

Reading is no longer a leisure activity. No matter how you read a story, there is a stable meaning that is not recoverable because not even the author knows where it is. Everyone is blind when reading a piece of literature because we can never see the stable meaning.

Also, readers are most likely to go by their intutition when reading a work, but there is a limit to the explicability which any theory or intutition has. Our intutitions only allow us to get so far; our intutitions allow for us to become blind when reading.

Another point is that meanings grow but are not constituted by the language in which they appear. One should not allow for a game of verbal association to appear when reading and forget about their relevance to the world at large. The audience should allow the context to emerge from the work rather than stress out about the obvious and whether it is the right interpretation.

Posted by Denamarie at 10:06 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Yeah, what he said

Derrida, ''Structure, Sign and Play in the Discourse of the Human Sciences'' -- Jerz EL312 (Literary Criticism)

Okay, WOW!

As Dave mentioned in his blog, the meaning of words, signs or concepts can change based upon the interpretations of the very structures they exist in, anyone with a different perspective can create a contradiction.
That is basically a little summary of what I also got out of this particular essay.

Derrida began to talk a little about freeplay throughout the essay.
At one point it is said that freeplay "which is limited to the substitution of given and existing, present, pieces" (362). So freeplay is the ability to interpret works in many ways?

The author also talks about origin of the words and creating our own freeplay. Both of these are associated with one another because through the origins and conventions of the words throughout a text we are able to 'freeplay' and apply our own interpretations. The structure they exist in though allow for our perception to differ from one another.

(I was a little confused on this essay, so I hope my blog wasnt the same way. I was trying to learn more from it from blogging =])

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What happened?

Keesey, Ch 6 (Introduction) -- Jerz EL312 (Literary Criticism)

WHAT HAPPENED?

What is normally a simple, easy reading became this twisted, confusing introduction that seemed like Keesey decided to go off on a tangent and talk about everything.

Okay, so the poststructuralism is the deconstructing of a text to show how it was constructed which will reveal its underlying metaphorical base. It is noticed throughout the reading, well mainly at the end, that poststructuralism is applicable to all aspects of culture and thought.
Most deconstructive critics have been mainly focused on literary and philosophical texts; however, many other writers ahve been applying this criticism to the ideas and analytical strategies to layers of cultural coding.

"...all culture is a language, then the deconstructive critque of language will similarly destabilize all cultural codes" (350).

So all in all, poststructuralism looks deeper into ideas and theories of structuralism. It is not trying to break through this criticism but to become an extension of it.

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March 24, 2007

Art of Persuasion

Murfin and Ray, Bedford Glossary of Critical and Literary Terms -- Jerz EL312 (Literary Criticism)

Throughout the introduction and in the other readings, there was a common word used, rhetoric.

Rhetoric is the art of persuasion through speaking and writing.
There are five components or rhetoric:
1- invention > the argument or evidence
2- disposition > the arrangement
3- style
4- memory
5- delivery

Along with these five components of this persuasive art there are also three different types of rhetoric.
1- deliberative > to persuade toward a course of action
2- epideictic > to praise or blame
3- forensic > to establish a positive or negative opinion

Rhetoric is a way of using language effectively whether it is in speech or writing to please or persuade. This is used in all types of literary works whether the persuasion is conscious or unconscious.

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March 19, 2007

envy

Scott, dir. Blade Runner (Director's Cut) -- Jerz EL312 (Literary Criticism)

Not to be harsh or anything of the sort, but I was not a huge fan of this movie. I felt that the plot just crawled along. It was very slow and not interesting at all. The overall idea was great, I just wish the actors were better and the plot was a little more fast paced. An obvious point to talk about is the overall emphasis and recurrence of eyes.
In Blade Runner, the stress of the eyes shows the replicant’s envy of human life and freedom. Their emotions are shown through their eyes that occasionally change color from time to time. The replicant’s explain to humans that there is nothing worse than having an itch you can never scratch. They have no sense of feeling and only have memories to fall back on due to implants that were surgically put into their brains from other humans. They only live by memory, but have no logic of feeling and emotion.
The close examination of the eyes throughout the film allows for this strong visual to serve and create a dehumanized earth where specific human elements, eyes, are used to stand out and make a point of envy. The involuntary recurrence of the eyes is used to create an uncanny feeling of helplessness and fear for the audience. The uncanny feeling felt throughout the film is mainly contributed from the overall theme of the film where a machine, a replicant, tries to kill all humankind and take over the world. The use of the eyes is a factor that gives a stronger feeling of mystery and fear.

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March 17, 2007

Deja Vu

Freud, ''The Uncanny'' -- Jerz EL312 (Literary Criticism)

"...this factor of involuntary repetition which surrounds with an uncanny atmosphere what would otherwise be innocent enough, and forces upon us the idea of something fateful and unescapable..." (390).

Coming upon this particular aspect of uncanny feelings, I thought of deja vu. This involuntary return to the same situation results in a feeling of helplessness and of something mysterious and beyond the normal. The recurrence of a dream, situation, feeling or action allows for one to give a meaning to the recurring image.

Deja vu is the illusion of having previously experienced something actually being encountered for the first time. Having an illusion of something that already occurred only can lead one to the feeling of uncanny-ness.

Not everyone will see the recurrence of situations, things and events as a source of uncanny feeling. This phenonmenon does, however, subject to certain conditions as well as combined circumstances that recalls a sense of helplessness which is sometimes experienced in dreams. This impression may alter if the events happen close together. This also maybe a form of superstition as well.

Coincidences of desire and fulfillment, mysterious recurrences of similiar experiences, deceiving sights and noises all lead to a fear of something uncanny.

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Ecocriticism

Murfin and Ray, Bedford Glossary of Critical and Literary Terms -- Jerz EL312 (Literary Criticism)

This criticism is grounded in ecology, natural histroy, and environmental studies, examines how people interact with nature and how these interactions inform and are forged by symbolic representations of nature.

Ecocritics often analyze:
-relationship between literary representations of nature and human interactions with the natural world
-role of literature and language in furthering agendas for changing humanity's relationship with the natural environment

This criticism addresses the relationship between writers, texts, and the world from a global perspective.

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March 15, 2007

Critical Path Presentation Blog

Frye, ''The Critical Path'' -- Jerz EL312 (Literary Criticism)

The main idea Frye was trying to get across throughout his essay was to not draw too heavily on one idea but rather take all of ideas/criticisms and encompass them all.
The critical path we need is a criticism that "accounts for the major phenomena of literary experience, and, second, would lead to some view of the place of literature in civilization as a whole” as well as balances the two aspects of criticism; structure and cultural phenomena (280). With the help of one another, the structure and the cultural phenomena that forms the social environment of literature, it makes a balance. The one is worked on to the exclusion of the other; the critical perspective goes out of focus (284).

As Jason put it nicely on Gina’s blog, “the key word underneath of intertextual criticism: LINKS. There is a link between different types of literature that allow us, the reader, to find something useful or meaningful in both of them, and refer to each as necessary for Reason A and Reason B”. Enough said.
Frye wants readers to include all forms of criticism to celebrate the similarities and differences that are interlinked in a variety of works. As Dave commented on Vanessa’s blog, he sees that intertextuality encompasses other criticisms as a natural part of its process than others. Intertextuality criticism allows for social relevance. It picks up historicism in one way through comparing and contrasting works. Tiffany had a question posted on Lorin’s blog about the historical part of intertextuality. Tiffany asked whether intertextuality can be used between periods or if it must remain within the same time period?
Do you believe that it can be used for both?

Frye concentrates a lot on archetypal criticism. By definition it is investigation of recurrent images, character types and story lines that under the assumption the persistence indicates the presence. The idea of looking specifically at conventions, genres and recurring image groups helps explore the context which eventually leads to the discovery of the meaning behind the story from the text.
The context, a set of circumstances or facts that surround a particular event of work, helps a reader or critic delve deeper into the work to see the archetypal and intertextual criticism within all literary works. Literary study has a great deal of social relevance and it is mostly understood with a criticism, intertextuality/archetype, which opens reader's eyes to see literature as a whole in its social context.
Frye also commented on the importance of the "unfallen" world, a world that most of us can experience only through articulated analogies. Through some kind of articulated analogy, art can supply an illusion based on reality. (Articulated analogy--distinct or clearly represented similarity) There are lots of articulated analogies noticed when using intertextual criticism.

The interconnectedness among texts is the concept that any text is an amalgam (mixture/combination) of others either because it shows signs of influence or contains points of reference with other text with things such as allusions, quotations, genre and style. Frye explained that that recurring structural patterns of literature lead the reader to the conviction that literature is everywhere and is much alike. It is not to keep bringing the student back to the same point but to the sense of identity in literary experience which is the objective counterpart to his own identity. Intertextuality seems like an endless circle to Vanessa that she mentioned on her blog. We “read to understand, understand by reading.”

Kevin Hinton asked a question on his blog about whether or not a text is really unique and individual?
To answer in words of the wise, Frye, yes, a text is unique and individual because "the ultimate source of a poem is not so much the individual poet as the social situation from which he springs" (281).
Although literature maybe similar, it is the small differences that show the individuality. Karissa mentioned in her blog that "it seems that even though we compare texts to one another for what they are it's what they aren't, in comparison, that makes them what they truly are in literature as individual works".

The idea that poets are alike is a false statement that Frye emphasizes on. On page 283, Frye explains that "it is identity that makes individuality possible: poems are made out of the same images, just as poems in English are all made out of the same language". The main idea of intertextuality is to compare and contrast works based not only if they are unique and individual thoughts, but also on the archetypes, the conventions, genres, and recurring image groups.

Frye makes another example towards the subject of whether or not a poet is a unique, individual writer. He begins to say that “a scholar, qua scholar, cannot thin for himself or think at random: he can only expand an organic body of thought, add something logically related to what he or someone else has already thought. But this is precisely the way that poets have always talked about their relation to poetry” (284).
Writers’ thoughts are provoked by a social or cultural influence that allows a reader to make connections between different kinds of literature.

In conclusion, Frye ends the essay with a strong point that shows “criticism that studies literature through organizing patterns of conventions, genre and archetype enables him (a reader) to see what the structure is. Such criticism can hardly injure the ‘uniqueness’ of each experience” (286). If we read and could not make connections between novels, poems or plays, it would be basically useless and “time filling” for the leisure reader. With intertextual criticism, that I think we all do subconsciously, we are able to see the similarities and differences between each other and story. It would not be a literary experience if one could not make connections between different pieces of literature.

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March 12, 2007

not so much

Nabokov, Pale Fire -- Jerz EL312 (Literary Criticism)

As English majors we can't shy away from books that we think are confusing and disinteresting and this was definitely confusing and disinteresting.
The 999 lines seemed everlasting and soo florid. The sporadic ideas and thoughts that ran through the author's mind is shown through the style and language. In the foreword, it is mentioned that Shade was a methodical man and would recopy his lines on cards labeled as his corrected draft or first fair copy. Without the commentary, the text holds no human reality because the lines depend entirely on the reality of the author which we would not know without the commentary presented as well.

The lines 235-237 stood out the most to me while reading this poem/novel.

Life is a message scribbled in the dark.
Anonymous.
Espied on a pine's bark

The passion brought from the author and intense emotion put into these few lines shows not only the overall idea and thought of the poem but also the author's aspect of life.
We never know what is going to happen in life. The darkness symbolizes our sense of wonder and expectation of life.

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March 11, 2007

Study of Language

Murfin and Ray, Bedford Glossary of Critical and Literary Terms -- Jerz EL312 (Literary Criticism)

In Culler's essay on Structuralism and Literature, he talks a lot about linguistics. This seems to be a pretty simple and basic term used in literature. The linguistics is just a starter for understanding the structuralistic view of any piece of work.
Linguistics is an application of scientific principles to the study of language that is used primarily in literary criticism.
There are several divisions:
syntax--arrangement of words
semantics--meaning of the words
morphology--study of the form of words and their smallest meaningful parts
etymology--derivation of words
and phonology--study of basic sounds

All of these are used frequently in Culler's explanation and clarification of structuralism.

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very, very sneaky

Swann, ''Whodunnit? Or, Who Did What? 'Benito Cereno' and the Politics of Narrative Structure'' -- Jerz EL312 (Literary Criticism)

"...complex narrative structure of "Benito Cereno"-- what might be called its "layering," a form in which two stories are being told simultaneoulsy: ...one is known only otthe criminal and to the author himself...the other is the story which is told" (320).

The double narrative given throughout this story as suggested by Chandler was drawn on another point that Swann reiterates.
Swann establishes the point that this structure has its political implications. The necessity of connecting both stories allows for the reader to see it it bits and pieces that shows the hidden story/meaning.
The first reading you see the structuring principle of the story is built around an opposition between Delano and Cereno; however, the revelation of the true state of affairs aboard the boat show the hidden story we see a consequent explicit alliance between Delano and Cereno.
This narrative involves the action which recaptures the ship and re-establishes white control and Cereno's story to the court emphasizes white control over historiography. The bridging of the narratives construct a connection between the two different worlds/view points.

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save the drama

Frye, ''Shakespeare's The Tempest'' -- Jerz EL312 (Literary Criticism)

"...the characters in The Tempest are invited to a meeting to be held after the play in which the puzzling features of their experiences will be explained to them. This seems a curious and unnecessary convention, but it is true to the situation of drama, where the audience always knows more about what is going on than the characters do..." (303).

At the beginning of the play each character is lost in a private drama of his own but gradually throughout the story all the characters identify themselves within the same drama, a drama that the audience sees before they do.
Frye notices that the characters are acquiring self knowledge and seem to be taking their places in a moral hierarchy. We see this before they even realize it due to Shakespeare's comedy. In a Shakespearean comedy the play is opaque: it surrounds us and wraps us up, with nothing to do but to see and hear what is passing.

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interpretations of sounds

Culler, ''Structuralism and Literature'' -- Jerz EL312 (Literary Criticism)

"The best way to ease oneself into this structuralist perspective is to take linguisitcs as a model and to think of the relationship between an utterance and the speaker/hearer...the question of linguistics askes is how is this possible, and the answer, of course, is that you bring the act of communication an immense amount of implicit, subconscious knowledge" (290).

The physical sounds extracted from any sentence allows for a reader to give it a meaning. The phonological system of English allows us as readers to relate the sounds to abstract and relational phonemes of English. Our grammatical system is so complex that fully understanding it is hard. The grammatical system enables us to assign a structural description to a sentence. Once we recognize the parts of the sentence, the grammar, the form we being to assign an interpretation to a string of sounds.
Once we are able to assign an interpretation to a sound and sentence, the divisions of linguistics see easier to apply to the sentence. The linguistics is just a starter for understanding the structuralistic view of any piece of work. The arrangement of words, meaning of words, derivations of words as well as the sounds of words are apart of a structuralistic criticism. Our knowledge we gain from the sequence of sounds and our subconscious knowledge allows for readers to better understand this criticism; it is a baby step.

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mirror, mirror on the wall

Keesey, Ch 5 (Introduction) -- Jerz EL312 (Literary Criticism)

"The mirror may tell us what we are; memory may tell us what we were; but only imagination can tell us what we might be. It is the function of art to provide these imagined worlds, and to extent that artists work with the materials of this world, they must not copy but transform those materials" (268).

Our imagination used when reading a piece of literature is based on a mimetic view of life. The authors use the reality of the world, not copying it but putting it in to their own words that reflect our ending imagination of the work and the world. Our memory can tell us who we were, but our imagination allows for us as readers to view our life as clay; we are able to mold our life and imaginations and views of life however we want. Authors influence our imaginations with their stories that are mimetic to reality. The book may reflect the real world, like a mirror, but our memory allows to see ourselves in the past allowing our imagination to take over and present us with a new outlook on the reading eventually leading us to a new outlook on the world.
Authors transform not the raw material of the world but conventions of their medium and conventions of literature are worth studying because they are mimetic, because they imitate life.

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February 27, 2007

EVERYMAN

Anonymous, ''Everyman'' -- Jerz EL312 (Literary Criticism)

I was not expecting a musical to come out of this play.
The Seton Hill University performance of Everyman was very good.
I enjoyed it even though it was more of a musical than a play.

I also read this play last year in Dr. Jerz's Drama as Literature class.
Within this play, there is an immense amount of drama and fear.
God sends Death to Everyman, or the group of five humans, to tell them to prepare to meet the Lord. The play still stands today because it shows the audience that we can't let sin or vanity get the best of us and also reminds us that good deeds are the most important.

The dramatic image that Death will come for every one of us and that faith, strength, beauty, fellowship, etc. alone are not sufficient for the Christian to go to heaven. The only figure to accompany Everyman into his grave is Good Deeds.

This play represents the reality of the world today.

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February 26, 2007

short and sweet

"...since it is a poet who is making the observation, he puts in terms of silence and speech, giving sound, the poet's element, a certain preeminence over sight, the painter's sense."

So much information on so few pages in Brann's essay Pictures in Poetry" Keats's "Ode on a Grecian Urn"

Poetry is like a picture. In Keats's poem, his poem is about a picture on an urn.
The use of descriptive words, their magical capacity for evoking visual images, might well be applied to visions which are themselves artful.
Keats produces an image in his poem. This is an image of an image, though.
The urn is depicted with silently articulating scenes and sharp vividness.
These pictures induce visions of a world behind them. The urn itself has its own voice and responds the the poet's questioning.
The vision and objects held by one's imagination are actual and has a visual character.
Poetry is visualizable. The language in the poetry and visual images received from the language depict something that is based on one's imagination.

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we can learn from literature

"Literature on its most profound level is a form of learning. We learn, we grow from the knowledge of life, of psychology, of human behavior and realtionshiops that we discover in worthwhile works of art."

Donovan complained in her essay Beyond the Net: Feminist Criticism as a Moral Criticism, argued the point that women were represented not as free, moral, human beings but as stereotypes of good and evil whose only function was to help or hinder the male. In most worthwhile works, there are negative images of women and the women are used as a vehicle for the male's growth in self-awareness.

Western literature does not provide women with such models of behavior and only provides the moral learning experience. However, as Donovan quotes from Muroch, art and literature in a particular novel are important vehicles for the liberation of people from fantasy mechanisms. These can foster the growth of moral attention to reality of oneself. Great writers help the audience to open their eyes to the reality of life and see all of the diversity and allows the readers to make choices to become responsible and informed.

Not to sound to feminist, but is noticed through some contemporary novels and other pieces of literature taht the image of women has not changed and women are still idenified as something other than themselves.

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come together

"A careful examination of the nature of realistic fiction as modern criticism is coming to conceive it will show that in certain cases it is proper to treat literary characters as real people and that only by doing so can we fully appreciate the distinctive achievement of the genre."

My question is what cases are we allowed to view literary characters as real people?
Paris recognized that a psychological approach to the characters and the implied author are not going to be useful in every piece of literature.
However, everytime i read a story i imagine them as if they were real.

In the essay The Uses of Psychology, Paris made it clear that mimetic characterization gives us a full grasp of experience of the fictional character and that this characterization depends on the continual resistance to the patterns by which the atuhor tried to shape. He also believes that the minds of the implied authors and the minds of the leading character that can be studied in realistic novels.
However, Paris is telling us that by getting inside the mind of the character we can learn more rather than just looking at the style and text. He believes that the character should create itself. and with the character's mindset, we will be presented with new idea. Taking the character as a real person will allow the reader to fully appreciate the work.

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let me be your mime

"...the prosecution is likely to argue the affective line that the work in question, in its language or the actions it portrays, has a harmful effect on its audience, whle the defense may respond with the mimetic argument that the work gives an accurate picture of reality. After all, people say and do such things, and the author is simply reporting the facts of life."

One side of this quote appeals to wholeness and goodness while the other side appeals to the truth, reality. Truth is a higher good.
In Keesey's introduction to chapter 4, Mimetic Criticism: Reality as Context, is seen that almost any verbal representation, particularly one in narrative or dramatic form, seems to invite comparison with our nonliterary experience. Literature reveals a sort of truth whether it is about reality or not.

Mimetic criticism is a piece of philosophical reality that is seen from the person who wrote the literature that shows the audience either the truth, or the harshness of the reality.

Mimesis separates coherence and congruence. The criticism starts with finding the reality in poems and then tries to make it fit with what we think about in the real world today. Reality and truth is what literature is all about.

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I am living in a prison

"More obviously, agoraphobis and its complementary opposite, claustrophobia, are by definition associated with the spatial imagery through which these poets and novelists express their feelings of social confinement and their yearning for spiritual escape."

There was an idea of confinement that was mentioned and throughly examined throughout this essay. Works in the nineteenth-century, that mainly dealt with imprisonment and escape of women, generally begin using houses as primary symbols of female imprisonment.

It is noticed throughout the essay "The Yellow Wallpaper" by Gilbert and Gubar, that male writers used imagery of enclosure and escape and is more comfortable with his literary role that he is able to elaborate upon his visionary them more objectively than a woman. Women reflect their reality of their own confinement with recording their own experience. They are secretly working through and within the conventions of literary texts to define their own lives.

Women define themselves as prisoners and create characters who attempt to escape if only into nothingness but towards something to attract attention to them.

In "The Yellow Wallpaper," Gillman creates a character, or herself, that attempts to leave the house, the prison, and shows that the only way to leave the confinement is through nothingness and attract attention to how serious her disease has become due to the imprisonment. It is also obvious that the women seems to gain this sense of agorophobia and claustrophobia that allows for her breakdown and yearning for mental and emotional escape.

The images of imprisonment written by men are metaphysical and metaphorical because they do not understand the harmful effects of confinement whereas the women show the confinement as social and actual.

The conflicting pressure society has placed on women are shown through the pervasive scenes of imprisonment.

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Icon

Murfin and Ray, Bedford Glossary of Critical and Literary Terms -- Jerz EL312 (Literary Criticism)

In Brann's essay on Pictures in Poetry about Keats's "Ode on a Grecian Urn," he uses the word icon and iconic mulitple times.
An icon is a type of sighn that signifies what is represents by its inherent similiarity to that object, person, or place.

In Keats's poem the urn could be iconic of reality or eternity.
However, his poem is placed in the tradition of iconic poetry were poetry is like a picture. The iconic poem refers and represents a prevailing idea.

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February 20, 2007

Blog Carnival

What about the critics we've read so far has been most stimulating?

The most stimulating idea that I have read so far in our Literary Criticism class is the essay "Shakespeare and the Idea of Obedience:Gonzalo in The Tempest" by Paul Yachnin.

As Tiffany said in her blog, "the background information about this time period also helps to make the argument about obedience applicable to the play". The main idea behind Shakespeare's character Gonzalo in "The Tempest" is to emphasize the idea that you must obey those that control the government no matter what your political or religious views are; an order is an order.

Even though I sometimes question whether or not we should focus in on the history of the author and the time, in Shakespeare's work, it seems, as Karissa pointed out, nearly impossible to read much of Shakespeare without looking at the history around it.

The evidence provided in the essay formed a solid argument that was original and intriguing. Yachnin's argument says that even though Gonzalo was committing treason against Prospero he was allowing the city to continue to exist.

Yachnin's essay on obedience and Gonzalo clarified a lot of my questions about the play considering I watched a play version on tape and the argument presented was profound and original and one that I never would have picked up on if I did look at the historical criticism of this time.

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Malibu had her snow boots on

STUPID?!

Well, it was this day last week, the 13th, when the snow was coming down in vast amounts.
It was a normal day for me. I woke up at 5:30AM for practice at six and then went lifting. My roommate and I got a little hungry after all that and decided, "Hey, let's go to Starbucks and tanning." Of course, we did. Not even caring that it was snowing outside we jumped into her Chevrolet Malibu and headed to Starbucks. We didn't mind that there was at least six inches of snow on the roads because the Malibu and her snow boots on. (A little inside joke)
We arrived at Starbucks in one piece, sat down drinking our lattes and frappucinos for a while and then headed towards Tan Around the World to catch some rays. (We know they are fake and can cause cancer) Drving again on Route 30, we some how ended up in the left lane that was untouched by both plows and other vehicles. As my friend tried to merge into the right lane, we almost died.
We both simutaneously looked to our left and saw the cement divider, the wall, about one foot away from the Malibu. With a sense of panic and fear, my friend turned the wheel as we started to slip and slide down Route 30 as if we were on a water ride at Kennywood. After about 5 left-to-rights, we ended up in our desired lane. Luckily for us, there were no cars in front of us or behind us.
Luckily for us, we ended up at the tanning salon in one piece all because of Malibu's snow boots.

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February 18, 2007

Enough with this already

Kolodny, '"A Map for Rereading: Or, Gender and the Interpretation of Literary Texts'' -- Jerz EL312 (Literary Criticism)

She seems to be using this work to defend women as authors more than discuss reader response. As Erin said in her blog, I wanted Kolodny to write an argument I could use to further myself as a woman, not make me feel like the victim of some frivolous “male oppression.”

The last paragraph in this essay made me furious. Kolodny was trying to make a point that we all need to "recognize the existence of a significant body of writing by women in America and be encouraged to learn how to read it within its own unique and informing contexts of meaning and symbol."
So basically Kolodny was illustrating how the writings of women are so different that we need to focus more on how to read their writing because it was written by a woman.
This makes no sense to me because it did not relate to reader-response at all. All writers have different styles and language and that is what makes literature, literature. It doesn't matter if an alien wrote it, the work still has a main objective that allows for the reader to respond to it whether they relate to it or can empathize with the writer.
Yes, a woman may be able to relate to a woman writer more so than a male writer and vice versa and we may have learned through traditions. It is obvious that males and females interpret a work differently, but that is what is unique about literature. Everyone can respond to the same work differently and share it with others.

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February 17, 2007

What exactly do you want out of me?

"For in the imagery and characters of great works, in the green gardens and wintery wastelands, in the questing heroes and menacing villains, and in the archetypal patterns of their actions that form analogies to rites of spring and rites of passage, to cycles of death adn rebirth, we recognize, usually at some subconscious level, the images and actions that haunt our dreams and that form substance of our psychic lives."

We are all affected by literature whether it makes us happy, sad, or even depressed. It has been noted that authors can persuade the reader to have a certain response to the work by using specific types of words, phrases, diction, syntax and other literary elements and uses of language.

When I read the above quote, I realized that when I read a detailed scene or emotion, that I become that same exact emotion presented by the author. Whether the intention is consciously or unconsciously, we can be persuaded by the authors writing style.
At the end of the paragraph on page 131, Keesey ends the sentence with "underlying patterns of archetypal symbolism, which I used for my vocabulary word of the week.
It is a universal feeling that the author uses to persuade, again unconsciously or consciously, to get a certain response out of the reader.

Interesting, or am I just really out of it right now??

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Archetype

Murfin and Ray, Bedford Glossary of Critical and Literary Terms -- Jerz EL312 (Literary Criticism)

I read this work, acutally another spelling of it, in Keesey's chapter three introduction.

I never heard of this word before, so I became curious.

Archetype is an original model from which something is developed or made. In literary criticism those images, figures, character types, settings, and story patterns that are universally shared by people across cultures.

In Keesey's introduction it said that authors used this type of archetypal symbolism that effects unarmed readers who think they are responding to the surface level, but are really being affected by something universal.

Check out this blog.

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What kind of reader are you?

"...the implied reader as a concept has his roots firmly planted in the structure of hte text; he is a construct and in ono way to be identified with any real reader."

I never realized the many different types of readers. I knew that everyone interprets works in different ways, but I thought the different types of critcism was supposed to be the most complex idea.

I guess I could call myself an implied reader only because I love looking into the textual structure within a story as well as diction, symbolism, alliteration and so on.

The concept of the implied reader is to designate a network of response-inviting structures which persuade the reader to grasp the text. Does the implied reader give a role to the structure of the text to help a reader comprehend the work?

At the end of the essay, Iser says, "The concept of the implied reader offers a means of describing the process whereby the textual structures are transmuted through ideational activities into personal experiences."

Did Iser end the essay by stating that reader-response only is correct if it comes from the implied reader?
I didn't quite understand the end.

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A very sneaky narrator

"The narrator structures a reading response that likewise seves self-interest and vanity; readers are invited to see Delano's confusions as innocence and to view their own subsequent confusion through the same lense...Readers are not aksed to believe Delano-indeed we are warned taht he is a bit simple-minded-but to believe in him, in his essential good heartedness."

Very true.
When I first met Delano in the story, I began to relate to him as well as have empathy for him.
After a while we begin to, as Dr. Jerz put it, call him Captain Happy.
He is trying to help everyone out. Delano makes mistakes; however, the narrator tempts us with an explanation that still allows the reader to respond positively to him.
Even though I am screaming towards Delano during my reading saying "GET OFF THE BOAT!", I still believed in him.

There is a force of the narrator that makes the reader identify with Delano even if we think he is too gullible and stupid. The overall manipulation of the reader is accomplished through Melville's narration. The narrator is a shadow within the story who is enticing the reader to believe that all will work out well and at the same time building up the vague, confusing plot.
O'Connell presented great points and justifications throughout this essay that actually helped me with the overall reading of "Benito Cereno".

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Words and Clauses

"The word "happy" occurs six times in the first five lines of hte stanza. The phrase "for ever" appears five times in the stanza, with an additional "ever" used in the second line...the fact of repetition may spring from the poet's envy of the happiness the figures on the urn appear to be experiencing, although "envy" is precisely what Keats repudiates as a motive in the similarly empathic experience of the companion "Ode to a Nightingale"."

YES. We are finally looking into the textual structure for once and maybe a little bit of author intent.

When I read this paragraph on page 114, I became suddenly interested in the rest of the essay. Kent examines Keats' grammatical style that allows me to comprehend the poem in depth.

Looking into the text, one can find words, punctuation, metaphors, allusions, etc. to help interpret the poem and/or story.
The word and phrase used in the quote make sense in Kent's idea that maybe Keats was envious of the figures being happier than he was. He went on to say that the urn has a "superior status" maybe higher than Keats's.
Kent also backed up his point by relating another poem written by Keats talking about envy being a motive of "Ode to a Nightingale".

Kent really looked into not only words and phrases but also independent clauses, commas and exclamations to emphasize his main objective.

Personally, I just really enjoyed this essay. It was not dull, obvious or dragging out the main point.

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Show Or Tell

"...the artist is sufficiently confident of his ability to tell a story and of his audience's capacity to receive it that he is able to signal an action rather than develop it in detail"

We have all read in a previous essay about the obedience that is in "The Tempest". During the time Shakespeare wrote "The Tempest" was during the Reformation as well as the political obedience that was controversial.
When I read this essay, I enjoyed it. I enjoyed that McDonald paid attention to the text rather than the history behind the text. This quote stood out to me because of how it related so well to Shakespeare's style throughout the play.
He knew the circumstances going on around this time and wrote to it. He did realize who the audience was going to be so he knew that he did was "able to signal an action rather than develop it in detail" because the audience would be able to relate and comprehend the overall point.
So basically, Shakespeare told instead of showed.
Personally, I like being showed with extreme detail about the occuring action or scene.
But that is just me.

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February 15, 2007

Literary Criticism Portfolio

Here it is again, another blogging portfolio.
As you can see I used the no-nonsense type. I wonder why.

Learning about all the different types of literary criticism is very fascinating.
Literary criticism is an attempt to evaluate and understand the literature of an author. It is a description, analysis, evaluation, or interpretation of a particular literary work or an author's writings as a whole. Literary criticism is a view or opinion on what a particular written work means.

Here are my blogs based on essays from Contexts for Criticism that deal with all different types of literary criticism.

COVERAGE:
Are Poems Historical Acts?

Shakespeare, "The Tempest"

Keesey, Chapter 2 Introduction

Vocabulary Word - Archetype

Show and Tell

What kind of reader are you?

Perfection

Vocabulary Word - Closure

DEPTH:

Melville, "Benito Cereno"

What is Literature?

Gillman, "The Yellow Wallpaper"

Yes, we are looking at the text

BLOG CARNIVAL:

Which essay was the most stimulating?

INTERACTION:
Irony as a Principle of Structure

The Tempest and Time

Lorin, Benito and I?

Keesey's Introduction with Kevin and I

DISCUSSION:
Yachnin and the Idea of Obedience

Kaplan & Melville

Keesey, Chapter 1 Introduction

Enough already

TIMELINESS:
All entries are included in timeliness.
Some examples:
Words and Clauses

General Introduction

Gillman's "The Yellow Wallpaper"

XENOBLOGGING:
Uniquely yours, Shakespeare

Chic-Lit - Vanessa opening my eyes and seeing the other side

In between the Lines with Kevin

Short agreement with Tiffany

Val, it really isn't that bad. Gonzalo and "The Tempest"

WILDCARD:
Thank you for wearing your snow boots

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February 12, 2007

Brooks & Irony 101

"The tail of the kite, it is true, seems to negate the kite's function: it weights down something made to rise; and in the same way, the concrete particulars with which the poet loads himself seem to deny the universal to which he aspires...Through his metaphors, he risks saying it partially and obscurely, and risks not saying it at allx. But the risk must be taken, for direct statement leads to abstraction and threatens to take us out of poetry altogether" (85).

Brooks, you are killing me.
The tail makes the kite fly, just like the metaphors and irony make the writing poetry.
I guess that Brooks was saying that metaphors in poems almost allows for the reader to miss the main idea in a piece of writing?
Brooks thinks that instead of using metaphors to write directly what you want said because this leads the reader to abstraction, general ideas or themes.

I understand that Brooks is arguing that irony can be found in most works but we tend to overlook it because we are looking for a deeper meaning. I just don't see how this ties into his argument. I guess I am just overlooking it and looking for a deeper meaning.

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Pay attention to the actual text and not author intent.

"For when we consider the formalists' quarrel with the historical and reader-response approaches, their conception of the objective status of the poem, and their insistence tha thte context formed by the poem itslef is the ultimate determiner of meaning, we see that their main concern is always with the unique verbal construct before them, with these particular words in this particular order. To put is another way, formalists refuse to separate form from context" (77).

So basically, Formalists focus on the words and their meaning in the context of the text.
Formalists concentrate solely on textual meaning.
Rhythm, syntax, rhyme, metaphor, similie and well as narrative techniques are special usages of language that also help define the form of the literary text.
I love reading poems or other forms of literature and looking at specific words as well as the different usages of language within the work to get a better understanding of what is meant in the line.

"Poetry is verbal art, which means we must apprehend it first as a process while our eyes move down the page or the syllables fall on the ear" (77).

Poetry is written down and contains words. These words should be the first thing readers should look at when trying to interpret a meaning of the work because they make up the story or poem, not the history of the author.

Authorial intent and history could help strengthen a specific interpretation only if needed, but it should not be a main component in determing the meaning of the poem.

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February 11, 2007

Great job, Gonzalo

Yachnin, ''Shakespare and the Idea of Obedience: Gonzalo in The Tempest -- Jerz EL312 (Literary Criticism)

"From Prospero's viewpoint, Gonzalo's obedience to his master (even though it has entailed Prospero's suffering and near-death) is praiseworthy because political obedience guarantees the stability of government. Prospero's own experience with disobeident and treacherous subjects (Antonio and Caliban) underlies his praise of Gonzalo, whom he finds "good" both because Gonzalo tempered his immortal act by charitably providing food and other necessities and because Gonzalo did not allow for his charity to violate the terms of the assignment..."

I agree with Yachnin that Prospero is aware of hte guilt of theman he chooses to praise and this suggests the fullness of Prospero's acknowledgement of the moral cost of preserving political hierarchy. Especially during the time this story was written, obedience of politics was a priority and failure to do so could mean death.

Later in the essay it is said that Gonzalo's charity was conducive to Prospero's survival as well as preserved political hierarchy and "suggests that although Gonzalo's act was tragically culpable, it has nevertheless been redeemed by the providential ordering of history."

Since I only watched "The Tempest" in video form, it was hard to comprend what exactly Gonzalo did to Prospero and why Prospero valued Gonzalo so much.
Yachnin's essay on obedience and Gonzalo clarified a lot of my questions and brought to my attention an idea as profound as this one.

So Shakespeare was endorsing political obedience, thanks Yachnin.

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The Tempest

Shakespeare, The Tempest -- Jerz EL312 (Literary Criticism)

I did not read this story; however Lorin, Kevin and myself watched in on 5th floor Maura.

It was quite an experience watching a Shakespeare play on televison. It seemed almost a little wrong.

I did not detest against "The Tempest", I just think I would have got a lot more out of the story if I read it. Due to the massive amounts of readings I already had, I thought that I would take the short cut and watch it.

I thought the storyline was interesting being that there was magic and spirits and an island as well as the protagionist trying to make things right with Alsono and his brother, Antonio, once and for all.

I am going to steal a little bit of Karissa's thunder with the idea that this whole story took place in one day. It was a relief to know that there weren't any confusing time details to worry about, even though it seemed like a lifetime watching this 1980's produced play.

Another thing that was interesting was the idea that Prospero creates the tempest, causing his enemies’ ship to wreck and its passengers to be dispersed about the island. I thought that this was odd being that Alonso is an enemy of his as well as Prospero looks to his magic to make both Alonso and his brother to have remorse from banishing him from Italy with his daughter.
Almost like a blackmail, wouldn't you say.

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Perfection

"Similar to teh diea that the Ode portrays a dream world is the idea that it is Platonic; the world set apart from the real world is representative of absolute reality: "Beauty is eternal; in its concrete reality it is a symbol, a 'shadow' of the absolute; its tangible, visible being merely a mode of revealing divine, ideal immutable turth." In the world of the Absolute, "Beauty is truth, truth beauty." That is all that Man knows or needs to know on earth."

WOW. That is a lot.

I became very intrigued when I read this one interpretation. Keats' idea of ideal beauty in his poem is represented in the line "Beauty is eternal; in its concrete reality it is a symbol, a 'shadow' of the absolute", explaining that not only is beauty on the outside, but it is an intimation that the only thing Man knows is beauty and that is what is absolute.

From this interpretation about the Absolute, the perfect, it seems that there is almost an underlying message that the truth or even the reality of the world is that beauty is what makes and breaks you and that Man is the only one who understands that and confers with it.
Or even that a dream world of perfection is all about beauty because that is an indisputable fact of the world..

If I am missing something, just let me know. This is just what I got from it.

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SATIRE

Murfin and Ray, Bedford Glossary of Critical and Literary Terms -- Jerz EL312 (Literary Criticism)

Satire is a literary genre that uses irony, wit and sometimes sarcasm to expose humanity's vices and foibles.
(Foibles- a minor weakness or failing of character.)

Not only is satire used in literature but in the real world.
As humans, we sometimes use satire when making fun of a friend for saying or doing something either out of stupidity or, well just out of stupidity.

For example: As I read, "a poet is a man speaking to men", she looked at me as if I was lying and reading the context correctly. "Oh well that is profound," Lorin said with a satric tone.
As a scholar writing this essay, you would think that they would have either stated that line in a more "profound" manner or have just let that be obvious to the reader.

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Wordsworth, you are the man.

"As Wordsworth put it, a poet is a man speaking to men. On the whole, we listen to those who address us in order to discover what they mean. It is also true that, in rare and memorable instances, people say remarkable things without meaning them" (31).

To start off, I read this aloud to Lorin. As I read, "a poet is a man speaking to men", she looked at me as if I was lying and reading the context correctly. "Oh, well that is profound," Lorin said with a satric tone. HAHA.

Another thing, umm, Wordsworth is sexist. Does he only think that men read poetry? I think more women do because of the sappy, romantic view of most poems.
I was just kidding about the sexist comment; I am not a feminist.

Okay, back to my quote. As I read this line, I thought to myself that Wordsworth was pointing out a great argument. I do think that poets write lines down without ever realizing what remarkable poetry they are creating. When Wordsworth pointed out we as humans listen to those who address us without knowing what words will come out of their mouth, that we take in what they said to discover what exactly they are trying to point out.

Along with the mistake of remarkable poetry written, according to Wordsworth, another line that is along the lines of the previous one is:
"What is involved here, at its widest extent, is the momentous issue whether literature is primarily to be studied as a purposive activity or not. It was among the greatest achievements of nineteenth-century historiography to emphasize, perhaps even exaggerate, the sense of purpose out of which a great poem is born" (30).

With this purposive activity, we then begin to look deeper into the author's intention. But what if the poet was just writing words down and then eventually became popular, we would then have to begin with the possible, then the probable and finally the likely which then makes the reader look into the history of the time period and/or the author.

Round and round we go; where this author intention stuff stops, we will never know!!!

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February 4, 2007

american classic by accident?

Kaplan, ''Herman Melville and the American National Sin: The Meaning of 'Benito Cereno''' -- Jerz EL312 (Literary Criticism)

"In seeking the "meaning" of Benito Cereno, Sidney Kaplan agrees with Hirsch, Watson, and other traditional literary historians that we need to place the work in its original setting and to reconstruct the author's probably intentions" (58).

Okay, I'll agree with this statement only because it seems that the story was dealing with current issues during the time Melville wrote this story. "'Benito Cereno' was written at the mid-point of the hottest decade of the anti-slavery struggle prior to the Civil War, when to many the conflict seemed both irrepressible and impending" (59).

It seems that what Kaplan explained throughout this reading was very basic and observable to the normal reader. However, I didn't realize one thing that the author did mention. On page 62, Kaplan explains that "Melville chose Babo- the baboon, ring-leader of the Negroes who are primitives, beasts. The imagery connected with Babo and the other Negroes throughout the tale is strictly from the bestiary."
A bestiary is a collection of moralized fables. So from this information I can figure out why Melville named the servant's character Babo.

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words = a sentence that represents a thought

Hirsch, ''Objective Interpretation'' -- Jerz EL312 (Literary Criticism)

"...that the text automatically has a meaning simply because it represents an unalteralbe sequence of words" (19).

Thank you.
I think that critics have to stop looking at an author's background to figure out what their work meant. Because there are paragraphs on a page that contain sentences that include words and punctuation, that leads one to think that there was some sort of thought process that was needed to get this point across.

In Vanessa's blog she couldn't have explained this any better.
"It is not what the author ate for breakfast when they wrote it, but what words they used to get their meaning across. Without analyzing this important factor, we can understand nothing."

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What are your intentions?

Keesey, Ch 1 (Introduction) -- Jerz EL312 (Literary Criticism)

"Not only are writers notoriously inclined to be reticent, evasive, or even deceptive when discussing the "meaning" of their works, but they are seldom in a position to know what they may have unconsciously intended, and in any case they must always talk about what they may have meant at some point in the past- last week, last year, three decades ago" (10).

So basically what this meant is that the author never knows why he wrote something besides the fact that they thought it would be an interesting read. I think that authors rarely pay attention to style and word choice. The authors do not know how a reader is going to perceive their writing rather than if they liked it or not. Later in the reading there was another line that I thought related well to the previous one.
"Every utterance is an attempt to express something- an idea, a feeling, a set of facts- and is successful to the extent that it effectively communicates what it set out to communicate. A poem, then, would be good if it achieved what its author intended" (14).

Every piece of literature that we criticize and try to find the intentions of the author will never be known because we don't really know what the author was thinking as well as the author probably didn't know what they were writing. They were influenced by their surrounding enviroment and current ideas in the world.

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February 1, 2007

Closure

Murfin and Ray, Bedford Glossary of Critical and Literary Terms -- Jerz EL312 (Literary Criticism)

Closure is the process by which a literary work is either brought to a logical conclusion or structured in such a way that the reader feels it is complete and coherent.
One could also look at this normally easy word as drawing together of edges, parts or ideas to form a united whole.

An example of bad closure could be "The Yellow Wallpaper". The ending lead me very confused on what happened to the narrator.
It also ended with a line that keeps you on the edge waiting for more information to help close the story. "Now why should that man have fainted? But he did, and right across my path by the wall, so that I had to creep over him every time!"
One just has to guess that she stayed in the house permanently or what not? I am not entirely sure which proves that this short story did not have closure.

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Mentally unstable? You could say so.

Gilman, ''The Yellow Wallpaper'' -- Jerz EL312 (Literary Criticism)

"You think you have mastered it, but just as you get well underway in following, it turns a back-somersault and there you are. It slaps you in the face, knocks you down, and tramples on you. It is like a bad dream."

It is also a lot like the narrator's illness which could be determined as a slight hysterical tendency (nervous depression). She is belittled by her husband on both her illness and her general concerns and thoughts. The narrator believes that she has overcomed or mastered her illness, but then the wall-paper disturbs her and then she is back at the beginning.
I think it is remarkable how wall-paper that is bright and lively could possibly bother her. Maybe because it is soo bright and alive, it reminds her that she is not allowed to be 'alive'. The wall-paper allows for her to try to figure out the pattern (her illness).

The narrator states earlier when she was little she had hallucinations in her bedroom of the knobs, bureau and the plain furniture. The yellow wall-paper is also in a way plain and could possibly bring back memories of her sporadic thoughts and illusions as a child.

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January 29, 2007

Oh, Melville

"As he thus responded, Captain Delano again glanced at Don Benito, but the latter's eyes were averted; while abruptly and awkwardly shifting the subject, he made some peevish allusion to the calm, and then, without apology, once more, with his attendant, withdrew to the opposite bulwarks, where the whispering was resumed."

When I read these lines, I thought they described the relationship between the two seaman. Delano is wanting to help, but Don Benito doesn't care for his attempt and leaves Delano wiht little or no information. When Delano goes to other sailors to find the story out, Cereno abruptly interupts like there is something that is not allowed to be public.
This came after Benito questioned Delano's approval of his seaman going on midnight fishing parties and not being well armed.
Cereno is a strange man who is very nervous at all times and aloof. Delano is seen as a patient, forgiving man that figures out that Cereno is both sick and perhaps a little mentally troubled due to all his problems with his ship and crew.
This line gave me a funny feeling about Benito's servant; however, earlier he said he trusted his servant, Babo.

As I read on, I also found another line that also showed the feelings towards one another.
"There was a difference between the idea of Don Benito's darkly preordaining Captain Delano's fate, and Captain Delano's lightly arranging Don Benito's."
It seems that Benito dislikes Delano's presence on his ship and is stirring up a lot more trouble with his crew. To me, Delano wants to help Benito all he can, but this is troublesome because he can never hold a steady conversation due to his illness and his servant constantly pulling him away.

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January 28, 2007

What is Literature?

"The Formalists started out be seeing the literary work as a more or less arbirtraray assemblage of 'devices', and only later came to see these devices as interrelated elements or 'functions' within a total textual system."

To the Formalists, the application of linguistics to the study of literature was essential. They passed over the 'content' and studied far into the 'form'. The content was the motivation of form. This then helps explain why the Formalists started out seeing literary works with an assembly of devices and then finally seeing that the devices intertwined with functions within the story.
Devices were the content of the of stories; however, the functions of the devices help build the form within the piece of literature.

Earlier in the reading, the author came up with an idea that maybe "literature is not whether it is fiction or 'imaginative', but because of the language in peculiar ways." The Formalists were not necessarily out to define literature, but 'literariness'. Literariness is the special uses of language that could be found not only in literary texts but also in many places outside them. Special uses of language could be rhythm, syntax, rhyme, metaphor, similie and well as narrative techniques. These special usages of language also help define the form of the literary text.

It seems that the language, form, devices and literariness all come together to to show how the Formalists went from content to form and devices to device interrelated with function.

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January 27, 2007

Tradition and the Individual Talent

"The emotion of art is impersonal. And the poet cannot reach this impersonality without surrendering himself wholly to the work to be done. And he is not likely to know what is to be done unless he lives in what is not merely the present, but the present moment of the past, unless he is conscious, not of what is dead, but of what is already living."

I chose these lines because they are very intense and passionate about this subject; however, i am a bit confused on whether I completely understand what Eliot is trying to say. T.S. Eliot speaks strongly about a poet having emotion that is impersonal, that is lacking human emotion. I am not entirely sure if Eliot is saying that poets need to step away from their own personal emotions to write a great piece of poetry or that they need to be aware that if their personal emotions are in the poem it will allow for a reader to understand why they wrote a certain piece due to the poet's past.
Eliot also goes on to say that the poet needs to understand that his work is essential and that if his own emotions go into what he is writing then he is not entirely committing himself to the work.

The last line is very deep and hard to make of. If anyone would like to take a shot at it, it would really help me as well.

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Bedford Glossary of Critical and Literary Terms

AESTHETICS

Aesthetics is known as the study of beauty in nature and the arts. This term is relevant to literary criticism because it looks at the relationship between the beauty and the truth. The two main parts of aestheticism are the philosophical approach that allows for questions relating to nature or definition of beauty as well as the psychological approach that looks into the perception, origins, and effects of beauty. The branch of philosophy deals a lot with the nature and expression of beauty, as in the fine arts; while, the psychological aspect looks at the readers response to the beauty and artistic experiences within the literature. In literary aesthetics, the study of effect shows the deep structures of reading and receiving literary works. These effects may be grouped by their types of writing and the relationship that the reader assumes with time.

I think the philosophical and psychological aspects of this type of criticism is very interesting and makes the critic really delve into the story.

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General Introduction

"...forms of criticism that orient toward "reality" or "life as experienced outside of art" are at once the most venerable and the most popular. Because they are chiefly concerned with measuring the accuracy or "truth" of the characters and actions presented in literature, these approaches are traditionally labeled "mimetic"."

After reading the entire general introduction, I skimmed over it again and found myself reading this line over again. This line seems to describe my whole life of reading literature. I need to know the truth about the story as well as how it relates to the real world or. The mimetic criticism assumes literary works to be reflections or representations of life and the world in general. I think that everyone likes to read stories that they can relate to and see how they dealt with the problem at hand.
The story must be true and portray the subject matter to an art form. I enjoyed this quote because of the truth and reality that is a part of the mimetic criticism. I like to over analyze everything in stories and make sure it is based upon something reliable and relatable to life. If a story is parallel to the real world, I am more interested when reading it then I would if I read something that is false about life and the world.

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