April 18, 2007

Dock and Friends: Show Me the Struggle

Dock, '''But One Expects That': Charlotte Perkins Gilman's 'The Yellow Wallpaper' and the Shifting Light of Scholarship'' -- Jerz EL312 (Literary Criticism)

"It seems inevitable that critics seeking recognition for previously ignored, forgotten, or suppressed individuals or groups -- women, gay men and lesbians, writers of color, to name a few -- should channel their energies single-mindedly toward a compelling political struggle" (Dock 480).

Now I finally understand a deeper meaning behind new historicism and the conventions of finding an ideological understanding in literature. Through a portrayal of a struggle between race, gender, political issues, etc... the author can display a struggle that occurs in the literature, and show the depth of these issues, rather than simply telling the issues. Gilman showed the struggle of a female, along with issue concerning male dominance, and bad medicinal methods through portraying a character that absolutely loses her minds by the bars she was trapped behind. There is more of an investigation of these issues because of the portrayal of an ACCURATE history of the late 1800's in American society. In my opinion, I really think that creating a symbolic representation of the issues is important, but when the historical issues are shown literally, rather than figuratively, I think more can be seen behind the history and politics behind the literature itself.

Posted by The Gentle Giant at 4:15 PM | Comments (0)

Barker and Hrume: Reading the Readings

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

"Critique operates in a number of ways, adopting various strategies and lines of attack as it engages with the current ideological formations, but one aspect of its campaign is likely to have to remain constant" (Barker and Hrume 444).

Reading readings will explain history correct? Or is it that a reaction to historical events can cause a different perspective that the author would like to get across to the reader? This article appears to be a mix between reader-response and authorial intent, because its more about display ideological perspectives rather than the history itself. Is it because there is a certain achievement the author is trying to display? I think that to accomplish such a task, there should be a representation of the society in the present time of the author, so that the author and the critics can be able to make references in this type of criticism. A new historical criticism is not necessarily history as much as it is an ideological representation of how history should have been, or what is wrong with the history. It is not the act as much as it is the reaction to the acts that matter.

Posted by The Gentle Giant at 3:53 PM | Comments (0)

Garson and Keats's Historical Knowledge

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

"Keats's project has as its prototype the very historical process that made the urn accessible to him in the first place -- the process of cultural and national appropriation" (Garson 458).

Garson create a completely different side of the urn that we are not necessarily used to after the other interpretations of the urn. Last week, the ambiguity of the urn is more meaningful than anything else. We have also seen in the past how Keats reads the urn, and how we we read the urn ourselves, but for once, we are looking at how the Grecian Urn actually comes to life, how the Grecian culture becomes more about possession of a culture than a reading of the urn itself. Once again, there is a representation of history, but there is also an emphasis on the symbolism behind the urn, especially a cultural emphasis.

Posted by The Gentle Giant at 3:40 PM | Comments (1)

Greenblatt and A Different Spin on Culture

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

"In any culture there is a general symbolic economy made up of the myriad signs that excite human desire, fear, and aggression. Through their ability to construct resonant stories, their command of effective imagery, and all above their sensitivity to the greatest collective creation of culture-- language-- literary artists are skilled at manipulating this economy" (Greenblatt 440).

I know that this is a lengthy quote, but I really felt that this quote is the overall point behind Greenblatt's entire argument. Writers and authors are literary artists, and they do have a skill that requires skewing perspective on a society through literary conventions. Although there are differences, culture is generally represented in one general and broad manner. 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. It does not necessarily have to be the culture or history, as much as the portrayal of a society comparable to the one in the history. The best part of this type of criticism so far that I have seen, is that symbolism becomes an important element. We always talk about symbolism in literature, but it appears that the new historical criticism emphasizes symbolism more than any other one that I've seen.

Posted by The Gentle Giant at 3:23 PM | Comments (0)

Belsey and Representation of History

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

"Representative experience is understood to be whatever a lot of people said they felt, and it is held to be the origin of, and to issue in, representative behaviour" (Belsey 431).

So majority rules? Truth and history occurs because of the majority of the society's experiences? That actually makes some sense, although it takes away the credibility of facts in this criticism. It also appears that the acts that occurred are not as important as the reaction to those acts. While I would agree with representative experiences for the most part, I would also like to believe that history is not only recalled or expressed the emotions of society. Those become opinions, rather than the facts that actually occurred. I am not saying that Belsey is doing this; I am simply saying that the representations are taking the places of the acts themselves, and opinions are being imposed on them in the literature. This argument by Belsey is focusing on a postmodernist view of history, not literature, which I find to be most intriguing, but in relation to literature, we need to consider the facts that actually occurred along with the reactions to those experiences.

I was going to discuss the mixed feelings of the War in Iraq as an example of reactions to history, but I really do not want to stir a debate on the war as much as Belsey's criticial argument on the portrayal of history.

Posted by The Gentle Giant at 2:57 PM | Comments (0)

April 9, 2007

Eagleton and Culture as the Base

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

"But we do not understand ideology either unless we grasp the part it plays in the society as a whoe -- how it consists of a definite, historically relative structure of perception which underpins the power of a particular social class" (Eagleton 421).

I do not believe we have considered social class in any of the criticisms so far, and that completely slipped my mind. The importance of social class can sometimes be absolutely crucial to understanding the society as a whole and the difficulties that they faced. In a majority of the stories that I have read throughout these four years have held a great impact on the socioeconomic status, and the issues with it. While the Marxist approach appears to be the answer to those issues, I have also read other stories that showed a Marxist society that also failed in stories, such as Margaret Peterson Haddix's Among the Hidden and Lois Lowry's The Giver. I wish I would have presented on this essay, because I really could have had a fantastic time showing how this essay is completely relevant toward a cultural criticism, especially a sociological criticism.

Posted by The Gentle Giant at 9:28 PM | Comments (0)

Keesey Chapter 7 Introduction

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

"In addition to these loosely defined groups and practices, the latest turn to history includes the work of a large number of unaffiliated or multiaffiliated critics who may disagree about much but who agree that literary studies must become more historical and more engage with "real-world" problems."

This appears to be a cultural criticism wrapped in a mimetic wrapping paper. Understanding that the importance of the literature is staying true to realistic problems that actually occurred in the society is a necessary convention for this type of criticism. While there is a historical criticism, this also appears to be a "sociological" criticism, because it looks at the issues of the society that actually occurred, and appears to expand creativity off of that basis. This criticism is actually the criticism that implements racism, homosexuality, feminism, and other stereotypes involved in literature, because this will be, and already is a part of history. I am kind of freaked out with this criticism, but I am fascinated at the same time. But enough about me, what about you?

Posted by The Gentle Giant at 9:17 PM | Comments (0)

Feldstein and the Reader-Respoststructuralist Criticism

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

"The use of text as mirror problematizes interpretation because it produces a doubling that, like the reductio ad absurdum of irony, resists the easy answer or definitive diagnosis" (Feldstein 406).

Looking at The Yellow Wallpaper in this type of criticism definitely requires that the literature takes another critical approach as well: The Reader-Response Criticism. This type of reading requires that the audience looks at the text in a specific manner, whether it be ironically or a realistic reading, and discusses the influences and the issues of looking at the literature as a mirror reflective on the audience. The ambiguity of the ending, and the role of John, and the rest of the story (sarcasm intended) is actually intended, and the only way we can have a shot of interpreting the literature is by looking for signifiers to help provide a couple of possible solutions for the reader.

Posted by The Gentle Giant at 9:10 PM | Comments (1)

Guetti Gets Down to Business

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

"The questions he (Keats) starts to ask are not so much about what's on the urn, as about what's missing from it: what has been omitted, what must be sacrificed if we are to remain obedient to his previous instructions" (Guetti 389).

Guetti really impressed me, because she takes a different approach to John Keats's poem. Instead of taking the approach of trying to say what the urn is about, Guetti takes the approach of how to actually read the urn and ask really important, although broad, questions. I was more than impressed with the questions Guetti was asking, because those are deep philosophical questions that we could ask. The only problem is that we really are not provided with answers, but according to Dr. Jerz, "that's a good thing." In the statement above, primarily concerning staying obedient, I think that the person reading it becomes actually more disobedient toward those instructions, mainly because it causes that person to complete stray away from the conventional questions that are normally asked about the meaning of the words on the urn. Another thing is that Guetti makes the assumption that we once could know the answer on the Urn, but in all actuality, we never really knew the answers; we only made evaluative speculations based off of what we can interpret from the poem and the Urn. Some interesting points to note, but I would like to actually hear your thoughts on Guetti.

Posted by The Gentle Giant at 8:54 PM | Comments (0)

Guetti Gets Down to Business

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

"The questions he (Keats) starts to ask are not so much about what's on the urn, as about what's missing from it: what has been omitted, what must be sacrificed if we are to remain obedient to his previous instructions" (Guetti 389).

Guetti really impressed me, because she takes a different approach to John Keats's poem. Instead of taking the approach of trying to say what the urn is about, Guetti takes the approach of how to actually read the urn and ask really important, although broad, questions. I was more than impressed with the questions Guetti was asking, because those are deep philosophical questions that we could ask. The only problem is that we really are not provided with answers, but according to Dr. Jerz, "that's a good thing." In the statement above, primarily concerning staying obedient, I think that the person reading it becomes actually more disobedient toward those instructions, mainly because it causes that person to complete stray away from the conventional questions that are normally asked about the meaning of the words on the urn. Another thing is that Guetti makes the assumption that we once could know the answer on the Urn, but in all actuality, we never really knew the answers; we only made evaluative speculations based off of what we can interpret from the poem and the Urn. Some interesting points to note, but I would like to actually hear your thoughts on Guetti.

Posted by The Gentle Giant at 8:53 PM | Comments (0)

Loose Ends are Intentional: A Miko Essay

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

...the play's failure to achieve an unambiguous resolution, its resistance to any available version of a neat, closed form, suggests that games with closed form may be going on, and the mode of these may be playful (yet not without seriousness)" (Miko 377).

I guess it would only be reasonable to create an essay that states that Shakespeare's literature has loose ends, not because it is on accident, but it was intentional. It was very apparant to note that the reader looks to far into the literature to find a meaning, but the point of leaving a piece of The Tempest was actually done on purpose. To me, ambiguity as a greater understanding of literature can really only happen if the reader tends to continuously search to find that answer in the first place. Later, Miko describes The Tempest as "experimental" (Miko 380), which is actually an intriguing notion. I wish that Miko would have delved further into this topic, because it seems that Shakespeare appears to create a similar structure, and really, every play he writes has some ambiguity in the play that is intentional. While I would like to believe that this play was experimental, I would have liked to see some comparison to another piece of Shakespeare's literature in order to find where that experiment takes place. I am not saying that Miko is wrong, I just think that he would need a bit more to argue something so broad like that. Basically, if Miko would have given a bit more on some of his theories in his application, I would have been a bit more impressed. But overall, Miko brings up some very valid points, and this discussion should be very good for Thursday's class.

Posted by The Gentle Giant at 8:42 PM | Comments (1)

de Man Tells it Like it Is

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

"Literature as well as criticism -- the difference between them being delusive -- are condemned (or privileged to be forever the most rigorous and, consequently, the most unreliable language in terms of which man names and modifies himself" (de Man 373)

This criticism was very confusing at first, (which apparantly is a good thing), but now there is a greater understanding on the point of signifiers, rather than facts, constituting a better comprehension of the meaning of a piece of literature. Understanding the difference between what a word can mean, and how a word can provide meaning is a big difference according to de Man. And gaining that comprehension will not necessarily provide an answer, but the semiotics will guide the reader into a signifier that will potentially unlock a certain meaning. Also, another interesting point de Man makes is the emphasis of metaphors being a huge signifier, and through that, can actually open up meaning, just as a fact helps a science student understand meaning, or a standard solution to a problem. Overall, de Man's theory was very interesting, and brought up very valid points, and I am looking forward to Karissa's presentation on de Man.

Posted by The Gentle Giant at 8:31 PM | Comments (1)

April 5, 2007

EL312 Term Project: Me and the Kiz

Karissa and I are having an absolute blast with our term project. I think that the term project is such a great idea, and I also think that Karissa and I found a way to not only create a valid and reasonable formalist argument, but we also managed to completely go wild and turn this project into something that was beyond our imagination. We are so close to being done, and now, all we have to do is pretty much write the annotated bibliography and present in a "kick-ass" way. Without giving away too much information on our term project, I will briefly describe the term project due on April 19th.

We are using AIM chat, or text messaging chat (same difference), to create a formalist argument, saying that while some may argue that this is not language, or that it completely lacks form, our argument, and our presentation of Tennessee Williams' "A Streetcar Named Desire" in AIM chat will show that the storyline, the dramatic effect of the play, and the characters personas and qualities are still very comparable to the original play, and the AIM chat is not only understandable, but has been modernized for any member of our current society to understand. I think that if "A Streetcar Named Desire" was rewritten in AIM chat, that younger people would read it, and might get them interested in the story, relatively comparable to an epistolary story.

Overall, Karissa and I have been working very hard on this project, and I think that it will definitely show whenever we present on the 19th of April. Karissa has been awesome so far, and I would like to believe that I have been an asset to this team. This has been so much fun, and I only wish that I could have been able to do a project like this in some of my other classes.

Posted by The Gentle Giant at 12:25 AM | Comments (1)

April 4, 2007

Fan Fiction: A Diana Geleskie Carnival Event

Let's discuss what type of criticism Fan Fiction can consist of in relation to Literary Criticism. First of all, it could make sense that Fan Fiction can really be a reader-response criticism because one has to read critically and interpret the literature before they can make a stab at recreating. Wolfgang Iser writes that "...the reader is situated in such a position that he can assemble the meaning toward whihc the perspectives of the text have guided him" (Keesey 147). So basically, from the reader's perspective, he cannot rewrite, or even respond to a piece of literature, without already having some guidance already.

Not only could fan fiction be a reader-response criticism; it could also be part of authorial intent. Maybe the author wanted the audience to react a certain way, and thus, they wanted the audience to recreate their own thoughts to make what they think is a better story. The only reason why I feel that fan fiction could be authorial intent is because the author of the recreation is something that reflects something wrong or misplaced by a previous story, and the intent of the author is to change something that really influenced them.

So actually, what Fan Fiction could be, and what I truly think it is, is based on an intertextual criticism. There is no Fan Fiction without the original piece of literature, which is the basic premise behind an intertextual criticism. Northrop Frye writes that "If criticism is in proper balance, the tendency of critics to move from critical to larger social issues becomes more intelligible" (Keesey 284). I think that covering social issues that are associated with something an audience does not necessarily agree with is a very good reason to alter an ending, or rewrite a story. The influence that the original piece of literature has on the fan fiction is crucial, which is why I think that intertextuality, mixed with a little reader-response, and a tiny bit of authorial intent is an integral part to Fan Fiction.

Posted by The Gentle Giant at 11:45 PM | Comments (2)

Blog Portfolio - Second Edition

http://blogs.setonhill.edu/JasonPugh/019877.htmlPortfolio II -- Jerz EL312 (Literary Criticism)

This portfolio is the second of three, and I must say that I have truly gained in this course. Some may disagree, but learning about different critical theories have not only stretched my mind, but they have stretched my will and ability as well. I feel like I am facing difficult challenges with greater ambition, and as a whole, I feel like I am well on my way to continue learning.

I have really found an appreciation for the difficulty, and the amount of work that these portfolio take. I have learned, not only about my opinions, but about my type of critical thinking, and how others can either relate or differentiate themselves from my thoughts. These portfolios take a lot of time, but that gives me a lot of time to reflect on my own work, and others. I think that a lot of hard work goes into these, and for those who have made it this far, congratulations.

So far, I must say that my favorite criticism is definitely the mimetic criticism, although Karissa and I are having a blast with our term project on formalism and poststructuralism (to see more, read my wildcard). I think that looking at literature in a realistic sense has always been my strength in interpreting literature. I must say that I am also enjoying intertextual criticism, although I do find some flaws in that argument.

Without further a due, here is the giant compilation of the Second Weblog Portfolio. I hope that you enjoy it, and that you may gain from it. Note: all of the entries but two (Blade Runner and The Uncanny) are covered under coverage and timeliness (C & T).

WEBLOGS

Everyman (C, T, Depth)
Mimetic Criticism: The Mixed Bag of Literary Goodies (C, T, Depth, Interaction, Discussion)
Characterization as a Mode of Mimeses (C, T, Interaction)
Murfin and Ray: Realism (C & T)
Donovan: A Better Feminist Essay (C & T)
Talking Pictures: Brann and "The Ode" (C, T, Interaction)
Gilbert and Gubar and The Imprisonment of Women (C & T)
Murfin and Ray: Intertextuality (C & T)
Conventions and Relations: Keesey Number 5 (C & T)
Intertextual and Social Criticism: A Frye Perspective (C, T, Depth)
Would You Like Frye with That? Frye and The Tempest (C & T)
Sherlock Holmes and Benito Cereno (C & T)
Commentary and Structure: Nobokov's Pale Fire (C, T, Depth, Interaction)
Structuralism and Literature: A Presentation on Jonathan Culler (C, T, Depth, Interaction, Discussion)
Murfin and the Real...umm...I Mean Ray (C & T)
The Uncanny and Eyes (Coverage)
Come on Roy!!! Are you Serious!?! (Coverage and Interaction)
Murfin and Ray: Antinovel (C & T)
Keesey Chapter 6 Intro (C, T, Interaction, Discussion)
Origin and Freeplay: Jacques Derrida (C & T)
Wright is Not Necessarily Right (C, T, Depth, Interaction)
Postmortem for a Postmodernist: No Answers Solved (C & T)


BLOG CARNIVAL

I decided to write on Diana Geleskie's Blog Carnival on Fan Fiction and Literary Criticism. Here is the entry to this Blog Carnival:

Fan Fiction: A Diana Geleskie Carnival Event


XENOBLOGGING

My Top Ten Comments for the EL312 Class ARE:

Lorin Schumacher's "Let's Work Together"
Denamarie Ercolani's "The Critical Path Presentation"
Kevin Hinton's "Outside Of The Norm"
Gina Burgese's "Meanings"
Karissa Kilgore's "EL312: Brann is such an unfortunate last name (thank goodness her first name isn't "raisin")"
Erin Waite's "Blade Runner: Peek-a-boo, Eyes Can See You"
Tiffany Brattina's "Attack of the EYES!"
Kevin McGinnis's "Gilbert and Sullivan....wait, no, Gilbert and Gubar"
David Moio's "Look Left, Look Right, Okay, Get It?"
Vanessa Kolberg's "Mortem for a Modernist"


WILDCARD

I decided to give mad props to Karissa Kilgore (a.k.a. The Kiz), because her and I are completely dominating this Term Project. Here is my Wildcard Entry on the EL312 Term Project:

EL312 Term Project: Me and the Kiz


Posted by The Gentle Giant at 9:58 PM | Comments (0)