February 2009 Archives

Blogging Portfolio 1: I Blog therefore I am

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I have found thus far this term that Literary Criticism is best done with a few drinks pumping through one's veins.  Just enough to loosen the mind,  allowing it to run more efficiently without the hang-ups of the everyday world breaking in. 

Coverage: My blogs, I will go in order from the beginning of the class

 http://blogs.setonhill.edu/JamesLohr/2009/01/eagletonwhat_is_literature_its.html

http://blogs.setonhill.edu/JamesLohr/2009/01/keats_forever_spring.html

http://blogs.setonhill.edu/JamesLohr/2009/01/elliot_find_yourself_in_your_r.html

http://blogs.setonhill.edu/JamesLohr/2009/01/austin_to_understand_one_you_m.html

http://blogs.setonhill.edu/JamesLohr/2009/01/hamilton_words_i_did_not_know.html

http://blogs.setonhill.edu/JamesLohr/2009/02/eagleton_industrial_revolution.html

http://blogs.setonhill.edu/JamesLohr/2009/02/hirsch_lose_your_thoughts_try.html

http://blogs.setonhill.edu/JamesLohr/2009/02/hamilton_periphrasis_is_a_type.html

http://blogs.setonhill.edu/JamesLohr/2009/02/gilman_the_yellow_wallpaper_i.html

http://blogs.setonhill.edu/JamesLohr/2009/02/keesey_an_introduction_is_a_go.html

http://blogs.setonhill.edu/JamesLohr/2009/02/watson_there_is_more_too_a_wor.html

http://blogs.setonhill.edu/JamesLohr/2009/02/yachnin_guess_which_hand_my_re.html

http://blogs.setonhill.edu/JamesLohr/2009/02/mcdonald_if_russ_mcdonald_had.html

http://blogs.setonhill.edu/JamesLohr/2009/02/shakespear_by_round_of_applaus.html

http://blogs.setonhill.edu/JamesLohr/2009/02/eagleton_which_came_first_the.html

http://blogs.setonhill.edu/JamesLohr/2009/02/hamilton_mr_assonantal_has_ass.html

http://blogs.setonhill.edu/JamesLohr/2009/02/keesey_if_a_poem_falls_in_the.html

http://blogs.setonhill.edu/JamesLohr/2009/02/kent_why_do_you_always_have_to.html

http://blogs.setonhill.edu/JamesLohr/2009/02/brooks_eat_your_vegetables_wri.html

http://blogs.setonhill.edu/JamesLohr/2009/02/keesey_another_introduction_is.html

http://blogs.setonhill.edu/JamesLohr/2009/02/iser_someday_father_i_will_be.html

http://blogs.setonhill.edu/JamesLohr/2009/02/melville_furry_white_monasteri.html

http://blogs.setonhill.edu/JamesLohr/2009/02/oconnell_listen_to_your_gut_bu.html

http://blogs.setonhill.edu/JamesLohr/2009/02/kolodny_remember_to_use_protec.html

http://blogs.setonhill.edu/JamesLohr/2009/02/hamilton_bildungsromanwhat_int.html

I have to admit, after looking back at the titles of my blogs, I really enjoyed them.

 

Depth:  Here are a few of my more in depth blogs

http://blogs.setonhill.edu/JamesLohr/2009/02/kolodny_remember_to_use_protec.html

http://blogs.setonhill.edu/JamesLohr/2009/02/iser_someday_father_i_will_be.html

http://blogs.setonhill.edu/JamesLohr/2009/01/elliot_find_yourself_in_your_r.html

http://blogs.setonhill.edu/JamesLohr/2009/02/eagleton_industrial_revolution.html

 

Blogging Carnival:  Here you will find the blogs Michelle Tantlinger and I have been working on Concerning Gilman's "The Yellow Wallpaper" and Chopin's "The Awakening"

http://blogs.setonhill.edu/JamesLohr/2009/02/blogging_carnival_unusual_pers.html

http://blogs.setonhill.edu/MichelleTantlinger/2009/02/blogging_carnival_unusual_pers.html

Interaction:  I really enjoy the blog entries by Mara Barreiro and Michelle Tantlinger, this is where most of my interaction takes place. 

http://blogs.setonhill.edu/MaraBarreiro/2009/02/wrongful_repetition.html

http://blogs.setonhill.edu/MaraBarreiro/2009/02/real_or_hypothetical.html

http://blogs.setonhill.edu/MichelleTantlinger/2009/02/that_delano_is_a_shady_charact.html

http://blogs.setonhill.edu/MichelleTantlinger/2009/02/political_obedience.html

 

Discussions:  Yea I have friends...and the villagers rejoiced.  Not much to this section, i guess nobody really enjoys what i have to write. 

http://blogs.setonhill.edu/JamesLohr/2009/02/keesey_if_a_poem_falls_in_the.html

http://blogs.setonhill.edu/JamesLohr/2009/02/keesey_an_introduction_is_a_go.html

http://blogs.setonhill.edu/JamesLohr/2009/02/eagleton_industrial_revolution.html

 

Timeliness:  Unfortunately I have had some terrible computer problems this term, and as a result some of my blogs have been late.  This includes the ones from this week.  I have a very tight schedule, and because of I'm obsessive compulsive, i micromanage my own life and do each task for each class on a specific day.  I think the fact that I am a straight A student vouches for the fact that I take my work seriously.

Xenoblogging: 

http://blogs.setonhill.edu/MaraBarreiro/2009/02/the_intimate_act_of_reading.html

http://blogs.setonhill.edu/MaraBarreiro/2009/02/wrongful_repetition.html

http://blogs.setonhill.edu/KayleyDardano/2009/02/white_guilt_and_the_american_s.html

http://blogs.setonhill.edu/MichelleTantlinger/2009/02/the_intimacy_of_reader_respons.html

http://blogs.setonhill.edu/MichelleTantlinger/2009/02/write_the_key_to_your_subconsc.html

 

Wildcard:

http://blogs.setonhill.edu/JamesLohr/2009/02/kolodny_remember_to_use_protec.html

Hope this is what you were looking for Dr. Jerz, I'm still a bit sketchy on this project.  But I did my best, and here it is. 

 

Michelle Tantlinger and I are both fascinated with the story "The Yellow Wallpaper".  She recently told me about a story written by Chopin called "The Awakening" written around the same time as Gilman's story.  After reading through parts of it, it becomes quite obvious that both were breaking the mold of the norm for women writers of their time.

Hamilton: Bildungsroman...what interesting architecture

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"...Bildungsroman depicts the intellectual and emotional development of the Protagonist from childhood into adulthood" (Hamilton 10).

     This term was not in our readings but I just happened to be flipping through Hamilton's book when i noticed it.  I have a background in German, and the term caught my eye.  One of my favorite series of fantasy adventure novels covers this term. 

"I think it worth noting that there exists an intimate interaction between readers and writers in and through which each defines for the other what s/he is about" (Kolodny 196).

     Without sharing an experience of some sort, what is the point of a story.  If I don't care for the characters, what reason do I have to read even if the plot is the best in history?  As humans we share many experiences, despite the diffrences in our societies.  In China you are just as likely to find most people have felt at some point that they don't belong, or they are lonely.  These same people exist in Canada, in Columbia, in any other country you wish to check.  We as humans share emotions, love, fear, hate, dissappointment, not a single person in this world is immune.  Even the criminally insane have emotions like those who are so called normal.  It is because of this that readers and writers can share an "intimate interaction".  When I read stories from other countries, the settings may be unfamiliar, but the messages, the emotions are not.

O'Connell: Listen to your gut, but never trust a burp

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"Melville opens his story by setting up the expectation that the reader should be wise and discerning, able to see beyond the allegedly innocent interpretations of Delano" (O'Connell 191).

     I love the fact that throughout the story Delano notices things are out of sorts, but is unable to put his finger on the problem, and therefore brushes off his instincts.  Always listen to your gut, it is very rarely wrong, although your heart will lead you astray.  We can see this clearly in Benito Cereno, Delano hears his gut, but follows his heart, wanting to believe that the story he hears is sad but true.  I was always told that if it walks like a duck and sounds like a duck...well you know the rest.

"...on the verge of the leaden-hued swells, with the shreds of fog her and there raggedly furring her, appeared like a white-washed monastery after a thunder-storm, seen perched upon some dun cliff among the Pyrenees" (Melville 490).

     I loved this quote the first time I read this work, and I love it just as much now.  The sound is just beautiful, as is the mental picture.  Reminds me of a scene I would picture while meditating.  Thank you Melville.

"...the implied reader as a concept has his roots firmly planted in the structure of the text; he is a construct and in no way to be identified with any real reader" (Iser 145).

     If a story was written without an implied reader, would it be interesting at all.  There are certain structures applied to works that as humans, as readers, we are accustomed to viewing.  Without a point of conflict, would the story be worth reading?  Would it be believable, there is always conflict if only to a small degree in life, and without it in a story, no matter in what genre that story was written, it would be lacking without this.  Maybe it is simply a comfort point of story telling, but I find it hard to come up with any examples where I would find interest in a work lacking one of the critical elements we find throughout stories, from all over the world.

"For if, as many reader-response critics argue, the poem truly exists only when it is apprehended, then we seem to be driven toward the conclusion that there are as many Hamlets as there are readers of Hamlet.  More accurately, there are as many Hamlets as there are readings, for our responses change from year to year, or even from day to day" (Keesey 133).

     I'm not sure why this is such a problem, or how this point can be argued.  I stated in an earlier blog that when I read certain novels from my childhood, then reread them later in life the messages I recieved changed from reading to reading.  I do think that there is a general understanding that will be noticed by most, but this general understanding will have tweeks and small differences from person to person and time to time.  If asked what I want for breakfast on Monday afternoon, I might say nothing because I'm not usually hungry in the mornings.  But if I am not afforded the opportunity to eat dinner on Monday night, you can be sure by Tuesday morning I will likely have changed my mind concerning breakfast.  Each day is an event that changes us, and each time we change, each time we grow, so do the messages we read in a text.  There is nothing that can be done about it, not many people would be interested in reading if we could not find part of ourselves in not only the characters, but things that have happened to us as well as those in the stories.  There must be a connection between reader and text.

Brooks: Eat your vegetables, write a poem

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"The beauty of the poem is the flowering of the whole plant, and needs the stalk, the leaf, and the hidden roots" (Brooks 85).

I love this idea, I think it is great to forget about the author, and concentrate on the work itself.  The whole work and nothing but the work.  Why do we need the author, why can't a story just be a story?

"In effect, the rhetoric of repetition destabilizes the assertion of happiness" (Kent 114).

Is it possible that the destabilization of the happiness only occurs because Keats is recognizing that he can never experience the urn, or any of the emotions being described for the first time again?

"This concept implies...that we can have access to the poem quite apart from from the mind of its creator or the circumstances of its creation" (Keesey 76).

It's great that any work can live beyond itself, and the life and times of the person who created it.  Isn't this what makes a work great, that it is not only relevent to the time it was written, but many periods to come?

"Assonance...is the repetition of identical or similar vowel sounds in nearby words or stressed syllables" (Hamilton 220).  It is very similar to alliteration, and hopefully can by found in my title.

Eagleton: Which Came First: The Word or The Speaker

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"To be able to transmit a message at all, he or she must already be caught up in and constituted by language.  In the beginning was the Word" (Eagleton 98).

This passage sounds an awful like the chicken and the egg argument.  I hope I don't need to point out that there is no answer to this kind of illogic.  I would have to agree with Levi-Strauss' idea that language "...must have been born at a stroke" (Eagleton 98), because there is no slow moving idea that in my mind at least makes sense in any other formation of language.  I immediately got a picture of two cave men in my head when I read this section.  They are perched on the edge of a field in which great Wooley Mammoths are grazing.  They both speak the same grunt at the same time, surprised they look at one another and realize they just gave this animal a name.

"As you from crimes would pardoned be, Let your indulgence set me free" (5.1.188).  What Prospero seems to be calling for here, is by round of applause how many audience members forgive him for what he has done.  When I read this I thought how funny it would be to see something like this happen in a courtroom.

Judge:  By round of applause, how many jurors find this man not guilty?

And the jurors all stand up and applaude the accused.  Tears and streamers fall from eyes and the ceiling.  A band begins to play. And the now acquited is carried from the courtroom on the shoulders of the courtroom spectators.

"...in late Shakespeare generally, the effect of the poetry is to promote uncertainty and to insist on ambiguity..." (McDonald 101).  I find it really nice that it seems Shakespeare left much to the audience.  Could this be why many of his works are so timeless.  The more you leave to be filled in by the audience, the more the audience is going to feel part of the work.

Yachnin: Guess which hand my revolution is in...

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"...it seems clear that the majority of the English people throughout the Elizabethan and Jacobean periods both espused a doctrine of a political obedience and renounced any idea of active resistance" (Yachnin 35).  Don't you just love it when the cattle like masses all moo in unison about how their mooing doesn't accomplish anything.  Join the herd and do nothing about a government you don't agree with, just let them do what they wish.

Watson: There is more too a work than just it's past

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"...but to demand fo the historical critic that he should in all circumstances limit himself to seeing ina Shakespeare play only as much as the dramatist himself might have seen in something like the very terms in which he would have seen it is to ask, in large measure, that literary studies should be stopped" (Watson 33).  Only Shakespear can have an idea of what he truly meant, and it would be silly for us to only try to figure out what he meant.  A work means different things to each person that reads it.
 "In practice, a single critic, sometimes in a single essay, may operate in two or more of these contexts.  Furthermore, the contexts themselves tend to shade into each other as we move from their central to their peripheral concerns" (Keesey 5).  In other words, no matter which form of literary criticism one chooses to use, there comes a time when the points that support one, will blur with the points supporting another. 

Gilman: The Yellow Wallpaper, I Want to Creep too

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"I kept on creeping just the same...'I've got out at last...in spite of you and Jane.  And I've pulled off most of the paper, so you can't put me back"  (Gilman 538).  I want so badly to do this with school, I am so very tired of walking in academic circles, learning the same things over and over again.  I wish it would be so easy to pull away the paper that is blindfolding me.  Maybe I am in the wrong, maybe I am the one not conforming to society, but who says I should, certainly not the shadow on the wall.

Hamilton: Periphrasis is a type of Euphemism

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Periphrasis according to Hamilton allows a narrator to use their vocabulary to its fullest extent.  The man died, and he passed away, and he went on, and he bought the farm, and he is poking up daisys, and he is an angel.  All say the same thing, but the repetition is not there.
"The interpreter's goal is simply this:  to show that a given reading is more probable than others"  (Hirsch 24).  Since it is impossible to show another persons true meaning, when often times the writer may or may not know this for themselves, it is the job of the interpreter, or critic to try to the best of their ability to find the most logical meaning fo the text.  I used this quote because it seems to me that it would be very difficult for any person to remove themselves so much from their own thoughts to be able to look at a work as something unto itself.
"The whole point of 'creative' writing was that it was gloriously useless, an 'end in itself' loftily removed from any sordid social purpose."  This quote stood out to me because that is the reason I have fallen in love with writing and reading.  I can get away from the everyday life, and the stresses therein, and move to another place free of worries.  It seems that this was just as necessary during the industrial revolution as it is today.