February 27, 2007

Feelings are Overrated

Donovan, ''Beyond the Net: Feminist Criticism as a Moral Criticism'' -- Jerz EL312 (Literary Criticism)

"All moral criticism of literature is based on the assumption that literature affects us, that it changes our attitudes and our behavior; in other words it assumes that literature can precipitate action, harmful or otherwise, in the 'real' world." (230)

Donovan had a good argument and I agreed with her essay. Morals create feelings but what if someone lost their sense of emotion and became numb to the world? Would that piece of literature still be considered moral criticism? I'm should that I felt more sympathetic towards Jane in "The Yellow Wallpaper" than a man would have when he read the same piece of work. So who's to say?

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Together or Seperate?

Brann, ''Pictures in Poetry: Keats's 'Ode on a Grecian Urn'' -- Jerz EL312 (Literary Criticism)

"Painting is poetry keeping silent; poetry is a talking picture"

I think this quote was the most helpful when I was trying to understand what Brann's argument was. I think that he was basically upset that critics no longer feel that poetry and paintings relate to another.

"Painting is poetry keeping silent; poetry is a talking picture"

I think this quote was the most helpful when I was trying to understand what Brann's argument was. I think that he was basically upset that critics no longer feel that poetry and paintings relate to another.

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Crazy

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

I have not yet watched this years play, but I have watched last years...it was excellent. Everyman is, at times, extreme but the storyline does focus on topics that do actually occur in people's lives.

Once I see the play, I will give you a much more deatiled response to how I feel about the play and its realism.

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February 26, 2007

Caricature

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

caricature: an exaggeration or other distortion of an individual's prominant features or characteristics to the point of making that individual appear ridiculous.

example: a big head on a small body
a large nose


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All About the Women

Gilbert and Gubar, ''The Yellow Wallpaper'' -- Jerz EL312 (Literary Criticism)

"As if to comment on the unity of all these points - on, that is, the anxiety-inducing conncections between what women writers tend to see as their parallel confinements in texts, housesm and maternal female bodies - Charolette Perkins Gilman brought them all together in 1890 .... "

Gilbert and Gubar brought up interesting connections between works of the 19th century writers and their gender. They pointed out the way that women tend to show their imprisionment and their
plan to escape. They also lightly brushed the way that men portray their need for freedom.

(the guys in our class, i can guarantee, will hate this essay)

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February 22, 2007

Blog Carnival...

The critic that I had found most interesting would have to be Iser. Iser's essay Readers and the Concept of the Implied Reader had a different effect on me. I know that other critics have said the same thing as he did, but he somehow found a way to have an interesting essay! I liked the style that he wrote his essay in and I liked the tone that was steady throughout the whole article. Like I have said before this is quotes sums up Iser's idea of literature:

"It has been said of Boehme that his books are like a picnic to which the author brings the words and the reader the meaning." Northrop Frye

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Portfolio

Coverage
Connecting the Dots
Stop Asking
Enjoy It
Listen to your Instincts
Existentalism
Who Writes the Rules
The Tempest
Get to the Point
Explanations
Read than Apply
Using Examples
Half-Rhyme

Depth
1.) Subconscious Thoughts
2.) Read than Apply

Interaction
1.) Writing Styles
2.) Connecting the Dots
3.) Stop Asking

Timeliness
1.) Enjoy it.
2.) Stop Asking

Discussions
1.) Tradition and the Individual Talent
2.) Are Poems Historical Acts

Blog Carnival
1.) Respond to a critic that we have read in class. I chose Wolfgang Iser.

Xenoblogging
1.) I think that I fulfilled the requirements of The Comment Informative on Tiffany's entry Going against the general thread. Although it was extremely wrong, it connected Tiffany and I because we both took the specified course with one another.
2.) I fulfilled the requirements of "Comment Primo" because I was the first to respond to Karissa's entry "Purposive and not likely to conform"

Wildcard
1.) Kind Acts

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February 19, 2007

Who Knew?

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

I was so happy when Kolodny finally mentioned a story that I had read - " A Jury of Her Peers,"

"The recognition in itself, of course, a kind of punishment. With it comes, as well, another recognition. as Mrs. Peters revelas experiences in her own life of analogous isolation, desperate lonliness, and brutality at the hands of a male."

I finally could relate to an author in this Keesey book!! I have read "A Jury of Her Peers" and I remember my exact feelings of how I felt when I learned how Minnie was before she married her husband. I felt bad for her, I sympathized with her. I didn't want her to go to jail. I was happy when her neighbors tried to cover up her actions.

But, as Kolodny pointed out, I somehow was persuaded to feel bad for Minnie, maybe because I'ma woman, but overall, I forgot that she killed her husband. She killed him!! Why didn't she just leave?

I am actually laughing at my stupidity at this point, I can't believe that I felt bad for her. I mean she killed her husband, I feel silly for trying, at one time, to justify her actions. Kolodny did an excellent job getting his point across to me. Now if only every author in the Keesey book would make references to stories that I know, maybe I would learn more, instead of being confused and skipping over those references.

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Information Overload

Keesey, Ch 3 (Introduction) -- Jerz EL312 (Literary Criticism)

During the beginning, I understood what Keesey was saying, esp. about how poems outlive their authors and people can still relate to their work even if it was written decades ago, but then I start getting confused. He mention other peoples opinions like Richards and Iser and Holland and Rosenblatt, Bleich and Fish...I mean all of these people have different opinions and with so many opinions flying around it was very hard for me to take in all of the information that Kessey was throwing at me!

The bottom line is- every person is going to have a different interpretation of the same piece of work. When coming up with an idea of what the author is trying to say, you have to have supporting evidence to back up your claims and if you have that, noone can say you're wrong.

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Haiku

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

Haiku: A Japanese verse form consisting of three unrhymed lines that together contain a total of seventeen syllables.

1st line consits of 5 syllables
2nd line consists of 7syllables
3rd line consists of5 syllables

I recieved a gift (5)
that had a note attached from (7)
my love, my best friend (5)

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Is it Always About Me?

O'Connell, ''Narrative Collusion and Occlusion in Melville's 'Benito Cereno''' -- Jerz EL312 (Literary Criticism)

Well after reading Iser's essay, I should have known other people were going to say there were more types of writers, I mean it could not have been so simple. Anyways, lets turn our focus to O'Connell...

"Delano is unquestionably muddled and unable to give the reader useful direction. However, the narrative does not push readers to do their own interpreting; in fact it makes it very difficult for them to do so."

It is nice when you sit down and begin reading a book that is very structed and easy to follow, but as the story begins rolling, I would not like for the narrative to "guide" me into thinking a certain way. Yes, information (background,historical, etc.) is useful but with that information I want to make my won decsions. Melville chose to keep the reader in the dark, which is why the ending was spectacular.

I was somewhat confused about O'Connell and I did not totally buy her argument. Towards the end of her essay she talks about Delano and says that the reader may ask, "How is this about me?" I, as a reader, did not know that the text was supposed to relate to every individual reader, but unless I misinterpreted O'Connell's message, I think she's a bit strange for thinking that every reader feels like the story should be about them.

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Dissecting Sentences

Kent, ''On the Third Stanza of Keats's 'Ode on a Grecian Urn''' -- Jerz EL312 (Literary Criticism)

Kent points out that various people have focused on certain aspects of Keats's "Ode on a Grecian Urn" and although those focus on certain topics, (repition) no one seemed to pay attention to the lack of clauses that were absent in the third stanza. Also, Kent wants the reader to pay attention to the excessive use of apostrophes. Kent doesn't only want the reader to pay attention to the clauses, but he wants the reader to pay attention to the words surrounding the apostrophes. Kent's also wants the reader to look at the repition of specific words, such as, "happy and for ever."

I think Kent's meaning behind his essay is he wants the reader to pay closer attention to the words and style of the text, which then may help the reader to understand what Keats's message was in his writing "Ode on a Grecian Urn."

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Writing Styles

McDonald, ''Reading The Tempest'' -- Jerz EL312 (Literary Criticism)

McDonald's essay describes different ways to look at the text of The Tempest

"Moreover, the style and form of The Tempest engage the audience textually with the same issues of control and mastery- the problem of power-that are brought into sharp focus by considerations of historical content."

As I was reading McDonald's essay, I couldn't help but realize that Iser had said that there was a type of reader who focused on the real and the historical, which is similar to what McDonald is saying.

McDonald mainly focuses on the style of the text and the repitition which Shakespeare uses throughout The Tempest. He then tries to explain the signifigance of Shakespeare's style and how the reader should then apply it to the text.

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Subconscious Thoughts

Iser, ''Readers and the Concept of the Implied Reader'' -- Jerz EL312 (Literary Criticism)

Iser could not have started his essay with a more relevant quote than this:

"It has been said of Behme that his books are like a picnic to which the author brings the words and the reader the meaning."

To start off, the quote mentioned above makes absolute sense and while I was reading his essay the quote kept repeating itself in the back of my head. I, previously, did not think much about how readers "read" so I was excited to learn the differences of the "three types of 'contemporary' readers, which are
1.) The real and historical
2.) Is constructed from social and historical knwoledge of time
3.) Is extrapolated from the reader's role laid dowm in the text.

Iser explains that the meaning that the reader gets out of the words comes from the experience and education of that individual reader. What soemone gets out the words that are written on the text is all based on that readers personal experiences and education.

While I was thinking about Iser's essay, I think he has a good argument. For example, think about one book that you absolutely love and then ask someone, who has read the book, their feelings about the same book. Since everyone processes information differently, it may be your experiences that control what the reader likes and dislikes.

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February 13, 2007

Kind Acts

Iím from Philadelphia, which doesnít have the best reputation, but regardless, I had a very good childhood. I have a lot of sisters and a many, many cousins, nephews, etc. I have always been very sheltered and provided for, I would not say spoiled, even though Iím sure my mom and dad would disagree : )
I do not handle change well. I mean I do not even handle ďa change of plansĒ well. I get very stressed out very easily, but ok this is not about meÖ On to my story:
It was about 2 degrees (not exaggerating) outside and I had to go to work, so Iím walking and I finally get to my car and the locks are frozen so while trying to get the doors unlocked I bent my key, I start the car and go to work. When I get out of work I notice that the key was bent, which probably happened when I tried to open my trunk, which was also frozen shut.
So I try to start the car and the key doesnít work. I try again and it doesnít work, so of course, my next thought is to call my dad. I get upset and start crying and itís so cold that the tears are freezing up on my face. Anyways, heís telling me to turn the wheel one way and do all these other things and I feel like Iím going to faint. So itís like 40 minutes that Iím trying to get this car to work, which doesnít seem like itís going to work.
As Iím sitting in the car crying, a man comes up to the window, in an extremely polite manner and asks if he could help. At this point, I canít give him my keys fast enough : ) He assured me numerous times that I could trust him and his intentions werenít bad. He allowed me to sit in his car, with the heat on, while he tried to get my car to work, which he eventually succeeded in doing : )
I donít really write many personal blogs, but that guy has still been on my mind even after a week has past. I do not know his name, but I know that people from everywhere read blogs, so I just wanted to say thank you again, you literally saved me from the freezing cold : ) When I encounter people like him, I wonder why we all canít be like that. If everyone just helped a little, the possibilities would be endless.

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February 12, 2007

Read then Apply

Keesey, Ch 2 (Introduction) -- Jerz EL312 (Literary Criticism)

If you read my blogs often, you would know that I hate looking too deep into words on paper, but as I flipped towards Chapter 2 I was once again being asked too. With this being the case, I decided to have an open mind (I can't say for sure I will do this again) and give it a shot.

At the beginning, it was helpful that Keesey provided exampls of the history that might have helped form Anglo-American criticism instead of just simply giveing us time frames, because I will be the first to admit, I do not know much about past history, especially dates.

"At the same time, it would be misleading to suggest that formal criticism represents a new or peculiary modern approach" (76).

I liked the statement above because he was being upfront and honest stating that the approaches that we use today are all influenced by the approaches that we used 50 years ago. It made me want to have an open-mind and trust him, so if that's what he intended, he succeeded.

"The speaker is a character who undergoes emotional changes as the "plot" of the poem moves from mood to mood, from statement to statement, from problem to solutions" (82).

""Poetic form and poetic meaning are inseperable, sre in fact, one and the same thing, and that all relevant criticism must start from this principle" (83).

I didn't know what statement I liked better so I chose both. Keesey did a pretty good job explaning a formalist point of view versus the historical point of view, but its all a matter of how each individual apllies the information. One way is not proven to be better than the other.


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Explanations

Austin, ''Toward Resolving Keats's Grecian Urn Ode -- Jerz EL312 (Literary Criticism)

At the beginning of this essay Austin says so himself that this poem has attracted hundreds of explicators, so I thought to myself, Well, why are you going to do the same thing? It was a perfect way to get me disinterested in his essay, but anyways, onto the intent of this essay:

I belive that Austin's intent was to make the reader understand how to read into Keats poem so the reader can figure out the hidden meanings in the poem. Throughout the whole essay, Austin basically gives us alternative meanings as to what Keats could have meant. For example,

"If Keats however, is referring to eternity, the Urn could be saying that in its world, which is an emblem of the world of eternity, beauty is truth" (51).

Austin definetly brings up some good suggestions, which he also does a good job of supporting, but it was not one that I enjoyed reading. Austin's essay was about as disspointing and boring as I had thought when I read the first few lines.

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Get to the Point

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

Yachnin does have a good meaning behind this essay - I just don't knwow what it was supposed to be. I hate when authors bring in other works besides the work mentioned in the title because then the reader goes into the story not knowing what he/she is supposed to know to understand the refrences being made. ( I know that that was a huge run on sentence but I am very frustrated).

I do not know or have any information on Eastward Ho! or A Game of Chess, which is fine because I was still able to read his essay but I do not think that I got as much out of it as I would have liked.

Yachnin does point out important events that happened during the play.

"Shakespeare arranges the details in order to make Gonzalo's act clearly less tantamount to murder; however, as Prospero suggests, their lives were saved by Providence, not by Gonzalo. In essence, therefore, the acts of Antigonus and Gonzalo are virtually identical."

This is a great connection between the characters that I didn't make, even after reading the play three times. It's a shame because there is some good information in Yachnin's essay, but it's very difficult to find it because of all the information that is thrown at the reader.

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The Tempest

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

I was fortunate enough, as some of my classmates, to actually dedicate a whole class to Shakespeare : ) Yes, I know.

Having learned so much about Shakespeare, it doesn't seem as fun to me to figure out what his intent was. His main intent was to create a storyline that would keep the crowds attention and bring in money. It was a convenience for Shakespeare to make women disuguise themselves as men based on the lack of props and actors (Shakespeare wasn't always rich).

Regardless of Shakespeare's financial intentions, he is a mastermind. Today, we are still recreating his stories. He had to have liked creating the stories and confusing the crowds because his stories all are pretty much the same (women dressing as men, playing two different rold, fighting, confusion, compliucations between family memebers, storms..etc.)

It was a great story to read, I can only imagine how fabulous it would be to watch.

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Who Writes the Rules

Watson, ''Are Poems Historical Acts?'' -- Jerz EL312 (Literary Criticism)

"But then nonsesne can be literature too, and csometimes is-a warning that, if there is a limit to be placed, it may be worth insisting that it should be placed at some remote point."

After discussing in class, the different credentials that one's work must meet to be classified as a particular type of work, this essay helps me to get an even better understanding of exactly how we should view anothers work.

The quote that I picked out caught my eye because Watson explained in simple words that someones nonsense may have a different effect on someone else. I'm sure everyone has heard of the cliche, "Every trashcan has it's lid."

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Using Examples

Brooks, ''Irony as a Principle of Structure'' -- Jerz EL312 (Literary Criticism)

Brooks started his essay in a very strong tone of voice. He spoke in a matter-of-fact tone which made me really wonder if what he was saying would work. Is there a poet out there who didn't step out into the universe only by first going through the door of the particular?

Brooks on Shakespeare's song:
"At any rate, it is intresting to see what happens if we are aware of these overtones. We get a delightful richness, and we also get something very close to irony." (87)

Once Brooks used that example, I began to really understand what he was saying. Shakespear's song helped because Brooks began asking the questions as if he was a reader.

The he said, "Grace, I suppose, refers to grace of movement and some readers will insit that we leave it at that." (87) Since he begins talking about how to read the text, it relates to Eagleston's article, "What is Literature?" So after taking into account, everything that I read, I do think that Brooks had a pretty good argument. There are some readers who would read selected works one way, which would differ from a different reader. The bottom line is - Brooks prepeared me with the tools so I now have a better chance of finding hidden ironic messages, but he also makes me wonder if you should right poetry following the steps he gives.

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Half-Rhyme

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

I was flipping through my book when I came across the defintion of "half-rhyme". Half-Ryme: A form of rhyme in which words contain similar sounds but do not rhyme perfectly.

For example: the words need to have a similar sound...time/pine

So if I were to write a few words of a poem it would have to sound like this:

I was looking at the time
when I stepped on a pine
which made me see a sign

haha that was pretty bad : ) but hopefully I got my point across.

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