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Blog Portfolio - EL267

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This is my final blog for American Literature, at least I believe that we were supposed to do one, if not it will still be here.

Coverage
These are the blogs that I did just for homework.
Surviving the crisis over and over
A Dry Flood


Timeliness
These are the blogs that I had in on time. I don't have any comments on very many of my American Lit blogs due to uninterest from my peers and difficulties with my blog.
Gomez and Clare
god is not God

Interaction
Most of my blogs do not have comments, so are some good blogs that I wrote regardless of the lack of comments
Surviving the crisis over and over
Disability or scar, a hinderance or a help?

Depth
These are the blogs that I have spent time on and they are longer than the others
Invisible
Sex is not well written

Discussion
These are the blogs that I commented on, some of these blogs I was the only poster and other blogs I was part of the discussion.
What is up with the Bloods? - April's blog
The Time Traveler's Wife - Chelsie's blog
Sex isn't sexy - Matt's blog


Blog Portfolio 3

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Well, I can't believe this semester is amost over, (and even though it's almost over I have way too much stuff to do). I think I have come so far this year and this semester. I have learned a lot about literary criticism, especially through my peers because of their blogs and their presentations (thanks guys!).
The project is coming fast and Quinn and I have made some changes already for our presentation. We found that although it is interesting, it is quite difficult to prove that Holden Caufield is Salinger. We are going to Present a little about Salinger's life, talk about what people said about him. Before he wrote Catcher he wasn't very well known. After that we will be talking about what critics had to say about the book its self and why it was banned and the culture that was going on at the time that the book came out, which is what influenced the banning. For the project we are going to be focusing on reader -response and cultural criticism.
For the paper I am going to be looking at catcher again, but through psychoanalysis. I want to talk about how Holden constantly talks about how he is lonely. Whenever he feels this way he acts out in crazy ways to get attention. Once he has the attention, or it wasn't the attention that he was seeking he alienates himself.
Unfortunately I'm not going to get to see my peer's projects but I have been looking at their blog entries and I think that everything that I have seen looks interesting.
Erica and Jenna
They are doing their project on Pride and Prejudice, actually on several different interpretations of it. They wil also produce their own scenes from this book. I think that it will be interesting to see how each movie directer interpreted the book. I also think it is very fun that they are preforming scenes themselves for the class to view. Their project inspires me to read Jane Austen, something I have never done before.
Ellen and Bethany
These girls are focusing the three little pigs. They are going to watch several versions of this story and then use intertextuality. I think it's such a cool idea. There are so many different versions of this tale and I think it will be interesting to see how they pull all of this together, well I guess I won't actually get to see it but I'm sure it will be good. I looked up some of the things the girls mentioned in their blog. The three little pigs by green jelly is hilarious.
Mara and Kayley
These girls are doing their project on the boxcar children and intertextuality. They are going to be looking at the differences that are made in the books due to ghost writers taking over the series after the author wrote the first 19 books. I read these books as a kid and never knew that there were ghost writers for this series and I didn't know that these books are still coming out. I might make a suggestion and use the babysitters club too because ann m martin only wrote the first 20 or so books and the rest are written by ghost writters. I'm sure their presentation will be interesting.

Coverage
These are the blogs that were completed for homework
Homicidal Tempest
Resisting the urge to scream


Timliness
All of my blogs for this portfolio were in on time but these are the ones that gathered the most responses from people.
Literature is or is not Knowledge?
Culture Shock
Insert really great title here

Discussion
These are the blogs that I commented on, there were a few conversations going on in some of them
Warnings on Analyzing Literature - Greta's blog
How do we teach literature - Derek's blog (we even had the same quote but different opinions)
Knowledge Exceeds History - Bethany's blog, she shared the same quote as well

Depth
I have been trying really hard to put depth into all of my blogs lately but here are a few that show depth
We take it for granted
Wall paper, wall-paper, or wall paper?

Discussion
These are the blogs that people commented on because I had them in on time
Womanly images and chastity
Culture Shock

Well, that's my final blog portfolio. I have spent a long time with this blog and I will be sad to see it go.

Other portfolios


Term Project

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Quinn and I are doing our term project on the book The Catcher in the Rye.
The Literary Criticisms we are planning on using are Reader Response and Author Intent

We plan to look at The Catcher in the Rye and through Author intent and prove that Holden Caufield is J.D. Salinger. To back up these claims we want to look at Reader Response to see what people were saying about Salinger and the book before and after the book was published.
Because it is important to look at both sides of any situation or theory we want to use author intent and reader response to disprove that Salinger isn't Caufield. We are planning to write a literary paper and sending it to an academic conference. For the presentation itself we will be using powerpoint.

Back to other projects


"Indeed, it became a commonplace to describe the peculiar quality of Greek art under the metaphor of chasity"

I was curious about greek art and what this quote meant. From what I found, and it wasn't much, greek artists usually used goddesses to display chastity especially Artemis, she was the goddess of and protector of chastity. Many artists liked to use some kind of image that Keats speaks about in his Urn poem.

I was also curious about the vases that Keats could have possibly used in some way for his poem. Appearently the portland vase was usually used to show off scenes about marriage. Some scenes would show something happening in the mythical relm. This vase is dated back to ancient Rome.

The Townley Vase was used to show off gods and goddesses.

Borghese vase doesn't seem much different from the portland vase, but it still shows us some kind of scene that may have influenced Keats.

The South Frieze of the Parthenon is one of the other pieces that are said to have influenced Keats.

After seeing all of these pieces I think it's funny that several critics now even Garson have even said that Keats was interested in Greek art and spent a lot of time looking at it. Most likely he was influenced by several pieces yet there are people out there that are convinced that there was once specific urn out there that he was talking about. When you look at these pieces you can see that he took something different from each one to create his own masterpiece of work.

Back to Garson

"In other words a text this is fixed in history and, at the same time, curiously free of historical limation" (Barker and Hulme 443).

Isn't this how literary works are supposed to be? If a text was completely about something that happened in history and had no fictionalization what so ever than that work would be some kind of history book or a biography or something.

"Holds that Shakespeare was influenced by his reading of the Bermuda pamphlets" (Barker and Hulme 445).

First of all how do we even know for sure that Shakespeare was even influenced by some kind of pamphlets for The Tempest? It seems like the deeper we get into this literary criticism the more we find out that some of the stuff we read isn't true due to the fact that the criticism isn't even based on true facts. I'm starting to think that some critics are so set in their ways that they don't even look at everything they can at a certain topic to find out if it's completely true. After reading this article I"m still not even sure how The Tempest is based on history. The writers of this article don't even talk about how they know the history behind it and mention sources but what are they? To be honest I want to see cold hard facts that nail down Shakespeare's influences for this play.

The authors of this article also mentioned the chess game that Miranda and Ferdinand play at the end of the game. To be honest I didn't understand the whole concept behind it so I thought I would do a little research behind it even though I'm sure most of you got it the when you initionally read the play. According to sparknotes Prospero had a whole game plan, and in chess you have to carefully think about how you move each piece because you want to eventually capture the king (although I don't understand why since the queen is supposedly more powerful? Dr. Jerz is that true?). Prospero does eventually get the king. Everyone in the story is a game piece, even Prospero's own daughter.

Since we are focusing on history this week I got to thinking about the fact that he mentions magic so much in his plays. I discovered that there were witch trials quite often. My big question is, since Shakespeare used so much magic and witch craft in his plays and appearently knew a lot about it, why wasn't he ever accused of witchcraft or anything like that? Royals were known to go see his plays, so why wasn't anything ever said about this?

I guess I went off the track a little bit but at least this article helped me to see that I really need to investigate things myself because critics don't always tell you everything or tell you the truth.

Back to Barker and Hulme

Culture Shock

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"Satire and panegyric. Works in these genres often seem immensely important when they first appear, but their power begins quickly to fade when the individuals to whom the works refer begin to fade, and the evaporation of literary power continues" (Greenblatt 437).

"The footnotes in modern editions of these works can give us the names and dates that have been lost, but they cannot in themselves enable us to reconver a sense the stakes that once gave readers pleasure and pain" (Greenblatt 437).

I think both of these statements are entirely true. My first thoughts when I read this were on Gulliver's Travels and Animal Farm. In Gulliver's Travel's Swift was most likely trying to teach his reader's something about humanity at least according to some critics. He also wrote this story around the time that England wanted to abolish christianity. Although I can't find anything about England's reaction to Swift's Gulliver's Travels Orwell who had written Animal Farm had been influenced by Swift. Part of me believes that the only reason Orwell was influenced by Swift's writting was because he wrote a book that was influential during it's time because he wanted to make some political points. I'm sure that anyone that reads either of these works react as strongly as readers of the past would have, especially since they actually lived through the realistic aspects of the works. I had to read Animal Farm in high school in history, I knew what it meant but I hated it because it was a horrible story. Maybe if I had lived through the Stalin era I would have thought differently about this book.

Back to Greenblatt

Ok, so I didn't get as much out of this article as I thought. I find this topic interesting but there wasn't anything that really grabbed my attention or stood out that really seemed understandable.

"Literature is not a knowledge. Literary criticism is a knowledge." (Belsey 432).
I really don't think I agree with this quote at all. First I think you can learn from literature, fiction and nonfiction. Awhile back my American Lit class read The Grapes of Wrath. Yeah it isn't the exact story about the dust bowl, but it does portray events that really happend (once I read the story I did a little research and found that most of the stuff Steinbach talked about was true - in the fact that people had to leave their land and most went to california and were treated badly and they were just in a bad situation.) I also believe that a lot of authors do this as well, write about a true even but fictionalize it a little bit, even Shakespeare did it.

I also believe that literary criticism isn't always knowledge. For one thing if you disagree with a certain criticism are you really going to learn from it? Possibly not. Also as I read in the other articles for this week lot of the critics especially those who focused on The Yellow Wallpaper didn't even have accurate information to go off of. So if we read works from those critics we will learn something but it will most likely be false information/knowledge.

I'm also wondering if some critics are being too political (once again going back to the feminist critics). If you are so focused on your own views and what you think was going on how are you/they ever going to have the accurate facts about the works?


Back to history literature and politics

Culture

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"Genetic studies that investigate an author's life and times to determine what that author might have meant in a given work continue to be produced in larg numbers" (Keesey 409).

When I read this I automatically thought of author intent. Isn't this what this is. When you look at history aren't you trying to figure out in some what what the author was trying to say or how the author was possibly influenced? I actually thought history or cultural criticism would be very different or could stand on it's own but I guess it can't.

"We need to be aware of how much of our present we carry into our investigations of the past." (Keesey 410).

This is so true. I mean how often do we judge the things that we read by today's standards. This happens on a regular basis in most of my classes especially my english classes and it drives me nuts. Look at The Yellow Wallpaper , feminists have gone crazy over it because they are looking at it today's standards, all they can think about are women's rights. I wonder how many of those feminist critics have actually looked at the history of Charlotte Gilman Perkins and what was going on around her when she wrote the story.

The article also talks about how critics believe that when we read things like the yellow wall paper we are supposed to become more self aware. I understand that we may relate to the work depending on the situation of the main character but I don't agree with this because I think it goes against cultural criticism. The article says that we are supposed to become more aware of ourselves but if we are going to look at a work in this criticism aren't we supposed to become more aware of history and the things concerning the work, not ourselves? I think that if you want to have some kind of awareness about yourself you should read nonfiction.

Back to Keesey

I really liked this article, well I guess it also helps that this was a story that I actually liked even though I have read it a million times. I also enjoy looking at what people have to say about it.

"If Gilman had the advantage of our perspective, she might have been pleased by this confusion of textual identity" (Feldstein 402).

When I read this I got to thinking, imagine that. Anyways, I have to wonder if Gilman did want different spellings of wallpaper, I really think that the different spellings helps the story, the confusion of the story ties in with the confusion of the narrator (well if you want to say the confusion of insanity). "It is appearent that the words wall - paper were conceived as a shifter calculated to creat ambiguity about a referent that resists analysis, even as the narrator resists her husband's diagnoisis" (Feldstien 402). We aren't really supposed to be very clear in knowing whether the woman is crazy or what is really going on, or even if we have and understanding of the narrator's relationship with her husband. I really don't think this is a mistake and I kind of wonder what the reader's reaction would be if the editors would have left the original spellings in.

Along with this, if we want to say that this has nothing to do with the story, Gilman was probably writing in a time where there wasn't restraints or rules in writing. For the longest time writers could do whatever they wanted. Look at Emily Dickenson with all of her dashes, nobody does that anymore because I'm sure some editor would come along and say, "you can't do that".

"Critics generally agree that the narrator's condition deteriorates after she stopes writing in her journal" (Feldstein 403)
To be honest I think everyone thinks this is interesting, ok maybe not everyone did but I noticed it and thought it was interesting. I think it makes a lot of sense too. I know we are getting into the whole history thing and the fact that we aren't supposed to use the present to figure out the past but I think in this case it works. Recently researchers have learned that writing/journaling is really good for people, it helps get get thoughts, emotions, and feelings, and thoughts out there. When people bottle everything up everything around them changes, and it make sense that the narrator (after being discouraged from writting) lost her mind. Not that we all lose our minds if we don't journal but she just wasn't able to get her feelings out in anyway, not in speaking or writing.

Back to more wallpaper

"It seems clear that we have to imagine what went on in the mind of Keats, as he wondered what the pot can have meant - we, it is understood, being those who have lost our innocence in the matter by reading the contradictory babble of the critics" (Guetti 385)

I really hated this article. I couldn't help but wonder why she wouldn't stop talking about everyone else's opinions and thoughts and get down to her won point. So I didn't as much out of this article as I would have liked. This is one little section though that I did get. I find it interesting that we always seem to turn to the critics or even just history to understand literature, or the writer his or herself because if we learn about something they were living through or going through it might explain everything. But what makes me want to scream is that my mind went back to author intent, we don't know if any of the stuff the author went through really affected what they wrote or what they were thinking. This never seems to end, every single literary criticism has something to do with another one in some way or another. Sometimes it would be nice if something meant one thing and we didn't have worry about what it really meant over here because of what the reader response is or whatever.

"The words in the poem, in other words - in Keats'swords - tease, us as the girl teases her forever panting lover, constantly holding out the bait of an object that is constituted by the failure of our efforts to reach it." (Guetti 389).

This whole section we had to read this week made me think about research. Sometimes I wonder if we really are supposed to reach what Keats is saying, or any other writer for that matter. This goes back to what I was saying earlier in another blog, maybe we are supposed to just enjoy the poem, story, play, or whatever. Yeah we are in literary criticism and we have to over analyze everything but in a normal situation are you really going to go out and try to figure out what the heck Shakespeare or Wordsworth was trying to say, probably not, most likely you are going to say, oh that was nice, or that sucked and then go on your merry way. Sometimes I love looking at books or whatever and discussing what they really mean but sometimes I really think we through the discussion and the research we miss out on the true beauty of any kind of work.

Home again home again jiggity jig

Homicidal Tempest

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Except for the most obvious one, residing in the gap between Miranda's innocence and our knowledge that some of these beauties are attempted homicdes" (Miko 375).

Miko mentions other characters when he talks about attempted homicides but I thought of Prospero. Yeah we know that he didn't kill anyone on the ship, he brought them safely to sure and even made sure their clothes were all nice and fresh but he could have easily killed everyone on that boat. You have to wonder why he didn't, that would have been his ultimate revenge if you think about it. He would have gotten rid of the brother that cast him out and then he could have easily had the ship repaired and could have easily sailed away, never even thinking twice about anything.

"Does this play have loose ends or not?" (Miko 375).

I think this play does have loose ends even though Miko argues that it doesn't. Yeah Prospero and his buddies go sailing away at the end but what about Caliban, nothing is ever really resolved in his story line. Does he rule the island now that he's on his own? Now that Prospero is gone he can do whatever he wants, he can live in their little castle or whatever it was that Prospero and Mariah lived in, he no longer has to be a slave. What about the two guys that are still bad when they sail away, nothing about them is changed. They knew that Prospero had magic (even though he gave it up at the end) they could have made him get it back and do things their way. The audience, ok me, has to wonder if things will go the way the are supposed to once they get back. Prospero's brother could easily change is mind even though I doubt it. The other reason I think that this play has loose ends is that I have heard several times that this play was never even finished, supposedly this was the last or one of the last plays that Shakespeare did. Maybe he didn't want to finish it.

"The creation of dream states for moral psychotherapy. The magic lore that creeps into the play is capable of causing embarrassment both to those who prefer the notion that they all just dreamt the tempest and the transportations and those who say magic is magic" (Miko 376).

Even though we know this play isn't a dream, why couldn't it be? First many of Shakespeare's plays did involve dreams, Taming of the Shrew is a play within a dream. But it the dream thing makes sense. Prospero could easily dreaming about he would love to reconcile with this brother, see his daughter fall in love with a great guy, and have spirits and other creatures running around to do his every little wish. I'm sure you are wondering how the bad guys would fit in then if this is a dream. Well, the world isn't perfect for one thing. The bad guys also would be used to make Prospero look good.

"Prospero's power does not extend to minds or souls, so we may wonder how much external manipulation can touch natural evil" (Miko 377).

I think it's so interesting that the characters in this play change only because they are good. I'm wondering if because they are good it makes them want to change. Also the magic never really seems to teach any lessons, I mean the bad guys don't learn anything thus there really isn't any reason for them to change. I think the magic can only be used to create a situation (a manipulative situation obviously) that causes change.

Back to The Tempest

We take it for granted

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"A property now perhaps somewhat too easily taken for granted" (De Man 365).

When I read this I had to stop and think about it. We do take literature for granted. Not only do we always assume that it will always be around but we have easy access to it too and we don't have to worry about someone taking it away because it isn't appropriate or whatever. I was also thinking about how we take it for granted that we can even read and appreciate things like Shakespeare's plays, or Emily Dickenson's poems. There are so many people out there who are unable to read, because they are too poor to go to school or they don't have anyone to teach them. Other people don't have the opportunity to read because books are banished, some people are punished for reading certain books (think Azar Nafisi). I just don't think we appreciate the literature that we have sometimes. This also made me think about how much time we spend analyzing every single work there is out there. People spend so much time looking at every little detail. Why can't we ever enjoy Keats without haveing to look into every little thing we can kind to explain why he wrote it?

"What's the difference? Being a reader of sublime simplicity, his wife replies by patiently explaining the difference between lacing over and lacing under, whatever this may be, but provokes only ire. What's the difference? did not ask for difference but means instead I don't give a damn what the difference is." (De Man 368).

I thought this was so interesting. How often do we do this and never really think about it? As a kid you think grammar isn't ever going to matter or make a big difference in how we talk or write but it ends up making a huge difference. I also have to think that there would also be a totally different reaction had Archie Bunker answered differently, saying he didn't really care instead of saying what's the difference. And we do get a laugh out of people sometimes when they don't use grammar correctly or in the right tense.

"Does the metaphor of reading really unite outer meaning with inner understanding, action with reflection, into one single totally?" (De Man 370).

At first I was totally confused when I read this, but it makes sense when you think about it. If you don't understand the metaphor that is used you aren't going to have inner understanding. There won't be inner understanding when we don't get the conversation that happens between Archie Bunker and his wife.

Back to De Man

god is not God

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I thought this play was really interesting and very different from Death of a Salesman. I was kind of interested in the references of God as god. There are a few people who I know who refer to God as god because they don't believe in him (athiests). Other times God is used as god is when people are talking about other gods, like the god of war.
Charley (as he is called for a short amount of time) is seen as a god, people think that he can fix everything and change their country from a third world country to a country England or the US. In some way Miller is trying to show us that Charley isn't God and this isn't the second coming.

I was also interested in another part in this play.
"It is true, Felix! And the Symptom of course is orange hair." (Miller 12).
I really didn't understand the whole orange hair thing. I went and did a little research and found that orange hair is a symptom of malnutrition. So basically the people in this country are malnurished. I never even realized this before. I think it's interesting and sad.

Back


Gomez and Clare

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At first I wasn't even going to have a quote in here because I was going to focus on a character who really irritated me (I liked the book but just hated this one character).

"Gomez is in love with Clare"
"Yes" I'm not helping her out with this.
"So....Clare has been telling him to take a hike, and he thinks that if he just hangs in there long enough something will happen, and he'll end up with her."
"Something will happen....?"
" To you." Charisse meets my eyes. (Niffenegger 442).

First I have to say that I had a feeling long before this part that Gomez was interested in Clare, especially since he kept tryiing to persuade her to stay away from Henry before they got married. In some ways I understand that part. Henry wasn't that great of a guy before he was with Clare, but I also can understand that he acted the way he did out of frustration, I think he just wanted to act out.
Until the moment that I quoted I had to wonder why Charisse and Henry didn't seem to notice or care. Even though we find out for sure that Gomez had a thing for Clare and that Charisse knew about it, why would she stay with him? Why didn't she talk to Clare about it? Wny talk to Henry? It's not like either of them can really do anything about it. Did Charisse expect Henry to do something? What could he have done? Why didn't this statement bother him? Why did he just let it go? That part ends with them leaving the opera and going to their own homes, Henry goes to bed and nothing is ever said again. I also never really understood why Henry trusted Gomez so much, he obviously wasn't a good guy. Also if Clare knew about it and kept telling him to buzz off why did she continue to be friends with him? I thought that was a little weird that she continued to hang out with him? Was it just because she was good friends with Charisse?

Travel back in time at least to the class blog anyway

Sex is not written well?

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"The truth is that most of the time when writers deal with sex, they avoid writing about the act itself." (Foster 144)
Ok, I will come right out and say that I was in total disagreement with Fostser throughout this chapter. I understand that way back in the day people had to write about sex through symbols because writing about the actual deed would be scandalous. "In the victorian age, sex was nearly impossible to find in polite literature, due to rigid censorship both official and self imposed." (Foster 144). But now things are different and this man has obviously never read a romance novel. In many of the romance novels I have read sex scenes go on and on for pages at a time and they happen quite frequently throughout the book, and it doesn't just last for a minute and a half. Also, most authors don't just skip over the act itself. I will agree with him in the fact that the sexiest stuff does happen before the sex but most romance writers put everything in their books. It's also true that many writers use metaphors but they still use all of the details.
I do also agree that there is more than just the sex. Most of the books that I have read have some kind of exciting adventure going on (and most of the time I read for that), for instance in a book called Montana Sky there is a murder mystery going on while the romance plays out.
In some ways I think it would be nice if books weren't saturated in actual sex scenes and still just focused on the metaphors such as the blowing curtains. We see sex everywhere in today's society it would be nice to take a break from it.

Back to Foster


This is the second blog portfolio for Lit Crit this semester. I found that keeping up with work and commenting on other peoples blogs helped to produce a better portfolio this time around.

Coverage
These are the blogs that I had to do for homework, its not that they weren't important but there are other blogs that I spent a lot more time on.

Plato hated poetry?
I am told I am a monster, therefore I am a monster
Azar Nafisi Lecture

Timeliness
These blogs were on time and had thought put into them.

Revenge is innocent
A whole lot of words
Can't explain everything

Discussion
These are the blogs that I commented on. I wasn't always first in commenting but I was included in the conversation that was going on.

What? He was supposed to be funny! OHHHH!!!!
Come on down, your the next contestant
Creator or Creature?

Depth
For this portion I think I have succeeded in doing better since the last blog portfolio. I spent time reading the text and going through everything that intrigued me in some way, while reading I spent a lot of time looking up words so that I could understand the text.

Taking the writer to a whole new level
Women = Other
You got the wright stuff


Interaction
Once my classmates saw that my blog was working they did finally start commenting on it. I don't have many comments but I did try in some cases to comment back to my classmates comments. Some comments weren't answered but they were helpful.

Starting at the beginning
Psychology just ties everything together
Life's a Dream, not the imitation we thought

Xeno Blogs
I still don't think anyone got any ideas from my blogs. I didn't really write any blogs that influenced my blogs either. Actually I'm not even sure if I even understand what a xeno blog is supposed to be.

Wildcard
I'm going to use my literary terms blog for this. I have been spending a lot of time looking up words I don't understand which usually do help me in the end and I think they help my classmates as well.

More words


Other blog portfolios

One big ol' muddy point

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Signs? Signifiers? Signified? I think this is the first article that we read that I honestly cannot post any kind of quote. Everything was muddy and I had no idea what the heck I was reading. I even looked up words and still felt completely lost. I will admit that I enjoyed reading the other stuff better than reading this. So if anyone actually understood any of Derrida and cares to enlighten me, please do.

Derrida blogs

More words

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Once again, I picked out a bunch of words I had to look up using the same literary term dictionary I used before. I also know that Derek looked up the word paradox already but I had to look it up again because his blog wasn't exactly around when I came across the word.

Metaphor - a figure of speech that associates two distinct things, the representation of one thing by another

Rhetoric: the art of persuassion through speaking and writing

Phoneme: A basic sound unit (unit of pronunciation) in a language.

Paradigm: A netword of discursive practices - of thoughts, concepts, and cultural codes - dominant during a given historical period and the rules governing the transformation of those practices.

Paradox: A statement that seems self contradictory or nonsensical on the surface but that, upon closer examination may be seen to contain an underlying truth.

Deconstruction: Deconstruction involves the close reading of texts in order to demonstrate that any given text has irreconcilably contradictory meanings rather than being a unified logical whole.

Dissemination: Sometimes used to refer to the way in which texts influence later texts across the generations, Recently it has been used to refer to the way in which the meaning of a given word scatters, spreads, or disperses.

Marxist Criticism: A type of criticism in which literary works are viewed as the product of work and whose practioners emphasize the role of class and ideology as they reflect propagate and even challenge the prevailing social order

Structure: When equated with form a term that refers to the arragement of material in a work, that is, the ordering of its component parts or the design devised by the author to convey content and meaning

Sign: Something that stands for something else

Signified: A term by swiss linguist to refer to the comparatively abstract idea being represented by the signifier

Signifer: A term used by swiss linguist to refer to the linguistic sound image used to represent some more abstract concept called the signified

Ambiguity: The result of something being stated in such a way its meaning cannot defintely determined

Even More Words

You got the wright stuff

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"Post-structuralist criticism undermines the notion that the text contains a stable meaning" (Wright 393).
Ok, so I probably shouldn't have started with this quote but it is the first thing I underlined and I figured I would throw this out there now. I'm not really sure what this statement is saying or what it means. Can anyone explain what exactly a stable meaning means?

"and Melville's Benito Cereno have been much praised for their ambiguity" (Wright 393).
After having to look up ambiguity (which will be in my literary terms section) I found that this statement made a lot of sense. Melville obviously wanted different reactions from the reader, he wanted to be missinterpreted because the reader was supposed to be lead down different paths.

"The uncanny force of the shaving scene resides in the slave's actions being both signifier of his good intentions to Delano, the new master, and at the same time, signifier of his bad ones to Cereno, his old master whose death is the moment he anticipates." (Wright 396)
Oh I have to say that I wish we would have read this article right after or even during the time we read Benito Cereno because I think it helped it to make more sense. I really liked this reading because it seemed to bring a lot of stuff to attention. Anyways, I thought this statement made a lot of sense, and I never even thought of it like this before. Yeah when we read the story we thought Babo is just using the shaving incident as a way to get him to keep quiet, to warn him. But it makes more sense that not only was he warning him but he was also implying that we would have loved to have killed Cereno and while he was in that postion he could have succeded easily. Later in the paragraph Wright mentions the oakum pickers. If you look at them in this new light of how we are now looking at Babo, they really wanted to kill as well especially since they were having a good old time sharpening their weapons.

"Delano's refusal to see difference is grounded in an idealization of another incompleteness: he loves Babo's naivete" (Wright 396).
This is another quote that helped me to see Benito Cereno differently. I never really thought that Babo could have been naive in Delano's eyes. I guess it kind of make sense since Babo was pretending to be slave or Cereno who was willing to do anything. I think what makes this statement for interesting is that Delano is the one that is really naive.

"For by his own act of cannibalism, the incorperation of the father's remains in a grotesque corperation of the father's remains in grotesque totemic feast" (Wright 397).
Ok so when I read Benito Cereno twice I never even thought about cannibalism, but I had wondered how they did what they did to the body and skeleton of Don Alexandro. If you think about it, it make sense. But do you think they ate him? I did a little research, I"m not linking anything just because I was a little grossed out and decided not to do so. But anyways, a lot of tribes did practice (and still do) cannibalism. In some ways this make sense that this was there ultimate way of getting back at Alexandro. The other thing that makes me believe that they really did eat him was something that Wright mentioned from the story. "Yan was the man who, by Babo's command, willing prepared the skeleton of Don Alexandro, in a way the Negroes afterwards told the deponent, but which he, so long as reason left him, can never divulge" (Wright) Eating a person is not exacly something that you want to tell people that you did, on purpose.

"At the level of the spanish sailor's gesteral utterance the knot is an image for words not being interpreted" (Wright 398)
I hadn't understood what this scene when I read it both times. I couldn't figure out what the sailor was trying to get Delano to do. But now it makes sense. Of course the sailor wanted Delano to unravel the mess and figure it out so that they could get out of there without getting killed or eaten.

Wright Blogs

Starting at the beginning

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"If language is our insturment of thought, as it is certainly our instrument of expression," (Keeley 342).
I figured I would start out with this quote because I really liked it. It's an obvious statement that rings true. We use language whether it's through writing or speaking every day to some how express ourselves. I love that so many writers have made some kind of statement through their works even though some of them got in trouble for it. In most of those cases though those outward statements brought about some kind of change in the world.

"Further more, elements that would be irrelevant and distracting in conversation or in a laboratory report - such as rhythm, ryme, meter, image, metaphor, and symbol - all combine in the poem to form meaning." (Keesey 342)
I was thinking about this quote and I realized that it is so true. It's fun to read poetry especially if there is some kind of rhyme scheme. But how distracting would that be if someone spoke like that all the time. The part I disagree with is the section about using metaphors and symbols. I think we do use these things in our speech, I just think that when we are speaking with someone we aren't think/focusing on whether they used a metaphor or not, although maybe if we really did speak in a rhyme scheme our metaphors and symbosl would be more obvious.

"The Sick Rose is a poem in English. It would mean little to a highly competent reader of Friench poetry who knew no English. But it would also mean little too a native speaker of Engish who knew nothing about poetry and who happened to be in search of gardening instruction." (Keesey 344).
First I have to come out and say this but once again I am offended by Keesey. Every time I read one of his intro chapters I am surprised by home much he seems to enjoy putting down people for different reasons without considering that is statement is completely false.
Anyways, with that said moving on. This whole gardening thing threw me off. First, why in the world would someone use the sick rose as a reliable gardening source. Even if someone was an inexperienced poetry reader I think they would realize something wasn't right as soon as they read this poem. I would think most people would be able to figure out the rose stands for something else, maybe they won't know exactly whats wrong but I think it's more obvious then what Keesey is trying to apply.

"We say that English listeners structure the sounds they hear, but only to the extent that those sounds conform to the independent and impersonal structure of English." (Keesey 345).
Can anyone answer this, would this above quote explain accents? I mean that kind of makes sense. The way that we grow up hearing words is the way we will grow up to speak those words. If we learn english in our own way how is the structure of english impersonal? How we learn to speak and use words is a part of who we are.

"In the case of speech and writing, for example, the paradoxical position that writing is prior to speech becomes more understandable when we notice that by writing" (Keesey/Derrida 347).
I was thinking about this and I don't this this statement is true at all. Ok, so I thought of this as learning a language. First I have heard from many people that if you go to a different country you learn the quickest by listening to other people. I think that when we start looking at the words themselves it changes everything. A lot of times words don't even look the same as they sound. I know when I went to France not long ago words look so different from what they sound like, I always felt confused after I would look at my language dictionary. The language made more sense when I learned words verbally through the family I stayed with.

Keesey Blogs


Invisible

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"I am invisible, understand, simply because people refuse to see me." (Ellison 3).

When I read this I immediately identified with it. First I have to say that feeling invisible or important is not just a race thing. I think it's something that a lot of people, including myself, deal with. As soon as I started reading the book I identified with the narrater. I am going to be a little personal here, just explain why this quote struck me so much. Like the narrarter I have always felt invisible to people, I mean people just don't really notice or care that I"m around. I even had a couple invisible incidents this week, which didn't really assist in my crappy week. So here goes:

So, on wednesday I really just didn't want to hang out in my room because it gets a little lonely, actually I don't like being in there at all, I do most of my work elsewhere. But anyways, I thought I would head down to the lounge and hangout. There wasn't anyone in there so I sat down in front of the tv and began working on a paper. As I was sitting there a group of girls walked in and sat on the couches. It seemed kind of weird but hey, I have walked in and sat down when other people were watching tv just. So I continued to attempt to watch tv and do my paper but it became difficult when these said girls begane to talk over the tv. As I was trying to watch the tv more people came in and sat down, which seemed kind of weird and I was starting to feel uncomfortable. Then one person speaks up and says, "hey why isn't the pens game on?" (now remember I was there first, there wasn't anyone else even in the lounge when I got there). Now I"m think oh my gosh what is going on here. Next a girl (one of the original group that walked in) got up and started changing the channels. I finally stood up and said loudly, "hey, I'm watching that! What you are doing is rude!" I packed my stuff up in my book bag and walked out super angry. I cannnot believe how rudely these people are, you don't just walk in and start changing channels and stuff when someone else is watching the tv first. It would have been one thing if they would asked me if they could watch something else or if I was even watching the tv. I felt like they didn't even see there, or they just figured since I was one person they could just come in as a group and gang up on me.

Then yesterday I went to a meeting and saw some so called friends (I'm quickly learning that they really aren't true and great friends, maybe to each other but def. not to me). I was sitting there when one of these said people asked me something. Actually it was about this book, Invisible Man (I was at the meeting early and I was reading while I was waiting) as I started to respond this said person just completely ignored me and started talking to someone else (why even ask about the book or even talk to me if you aren't even that interested anyway?). What makes it even more interesting is that I was going to explain the invisible thing which I thought was interesting because I identified with it and I was ignored, treated like I was invisible.

Ok, so this became a blog about Invisible Man and a rant, but I thought it all connected together. Has anyone else ever felt this way or identified with the narrater in some way?

Oh, p.s. This is going to be a weird question but did anyone think Mr. Norton could have possibly had some kind of incident with his daughter like Mr. Trueblood did. I was kind of getting that reaction from his reactions to Trueblood.

Other Invisible Blogs

Back to the Past

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"This story was published in 1957, using the best information Baldwin had at the time, and it is meant as a study of relations between brothers, not as a treatsie on addiction. It's about redemption, not reconver. If you read it as the latter, that is, if you don't akjust your eyes and mind to transport you from contemporary reality to Baldwin's 1957, whatever the ending has to offer will be pretty well lost on you." (Foster 228)

I really liked this chapter because what Foster wrote was so true. This is something that I see happen in my english classes all the time, meaning we will be reading something from some time in the past and everyone will get all worked up about an issue and addressing it to today which doesn't work because the story or whatever you are reading is based in a different time. Whenever this happens it drives me nuts. I know I struggled with this myself for a long time and then one day a friend and I, another fellow english major, talked about it and she made a good point that we shouldn't judge Chaucer or Fitzgerald in todays standards.

It totally makes sense that in this instance, when you are judging a book by todays standards you aren't really just reading with your eyes, you are reading with your head because you are thinking way too much when you are reading.

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A Dry Flood

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"The flooding that climaxes the novel is thematically situated to provide maximum counterpoint to the drought which originally forced the Joads to migrate west. Disenfranchised and dehumanized, the Joads can only curse the rising floodwaters even as they once prayed for a deluge to feed their parched crops." (Cassuto 2).

This quote really bugged me a lot. The crops were their livlihood, they needed the rain so that they could have money to feed and take care of their families. Eventually in the story picking crops, mostly fruit became their livlihood, the rain and flood kept them from making money to provide for their families but they were in a different situation by this time.

In some ways I thought this article was really interesting. Ever since we read The Grapes of Wrath I have been curious abut the dust bowl, mostly how and why it happend. I felt like I learned a lot and had quite a few of my questions answered, such as how the farmers treated the land, they pretty much destroyed it.

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A whole lot of words!

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As I said in a previous blog, I did a whole lot of research this week. I wasn't sure of a lot of words, after I looked everything up I found that I understood things a little better. I figured I would put them all up here in case there was anyone else was wondering about these words as well but just didn't post them. Also I used The Bedford Glossary of Critical and Literary Terms by Ross Murfin and Supryia M Ray for all of these words, (it is the book we used for the previous time I attempted to take this class and then dropped it case anyone was wondering). Also, all of these words were found through out the readings, most of them were found in Keesey Chapter 5.

Intertextuality: The condition of interconnectedness amoung texts, or the concept that any text is an amalgam of others, either because it exibits signs of influence or because its language inevitably contains common points of reference with other texts through such things as allusions, quotations, genre, style, and even revision.

Archetypal Criticism: A type of literary criticism that emerged in the 1930s that focuses on those patterns in a particular literary work that commonly recur in other literary works.

Archtype: Generally, the original model from which something is developed or made; in literary criticism, those images, figures, character types, settings, and story pattern that according to the swiss analytical psychologist Carl Jung, are universally shared by people across cultures

Myth Critics, they look for and analyze certain recurrent images, character types, and story lines under the assumption that their persistence in literature indicates their presense in the memories of the collective unconscious.

Convention: A literary device, usage, style, stiuation, or form so widely employed that it has become accepted and even expected by knowledgeable readers in order to function.

Pastoral Conventions: generally opening with an invocation that is followed by a statement of the poet's great grief and asubsequent description of a procession of mourners.

Postoral elegy: A serious formal poem in which a poet grieves the loss of a dead friend (often another poet)

Allusion: An indirect reference to a person event, statemnt or theme found in literature, the other arts, history, myths, religion, or popular culture.

Other Words

Revenge is innocent?

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I have to admit I thought this article was interesting, I think I actually liked this section the most so far, it seems like it was the most understandable. I also wish there was more info about Shakespeare out there. So I just discovered that I somehow managed to read the wrong Tempest article, I read the one that was written by Paris. At least now I will know why people probably won't respond to this blog because you will have no idea what I'm talking about. Sorry about the crazy mess up, don't know how I botched that one up.

"The Tempest is above all a fantasy of innocent revenge. The revenge is Prospero's, but the fantasy is Shakespeare's, whose conflicting needs are similar to those of his protaginist" (Paris 237).

First of all, how is revenge innocent? I don't think I could ever think of a situation where plottting revenge on someone is innocent, to any degree. Yes Caliban's revenge is different, he plots to kill Prospero whereas Prospero just wants to teach the other characters a little lesson. In both cases each man knows exactly what's going on, they have a plan in how they will seek their revenge. Innocent means: free from guilt or sin especially through lack of knowledge of evil - Prospero knew exactly what he was doing.

The author also focuses on the fact that Prospero's actions somehow relate to Shakespeare's life. As I said before I wish there was more info about Shakespeare out there. I have heard in the past that this play may have been the last play that he ever wrote, and there is a possiblilty that it's not really a finished play. "The Tempest is often read as Shakespeare's farewell to the theater" (Paris 241).

Since I read the wrong reading I will end it here, I will try to go back by the time second portfolio is due and add a blog about the actual article.

Blogs on the actually reading we were supposed to do, don't know how I missed it.

Women = Other

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Before I get into my quotes and things I have to say that I find feminist criticism interesting but I disagreed with this article quite a bit. I also think this article is outdated, I mean it even mentions that its focus is on what was going on in the 70s, obviously things have changed since then. So anyways, to the rest of my blog........

"Women in literature written by men are for the most part seen as Other, as ojects, of interest only insofar as they serve or detract from the goals of the male protagonist" (Donovan 225).
Going back to what I said in the paragraph above, this article is from the 70s. I wonder if this person is still even doing feminist criticism because she must not be catching male writers creating strong female characters. When I read this part I automatically thought of some of my favorite authors, well male authors. James Patterson is known for writting strong male and female characters. He has a series called Women's Murder Club. The four main characters are women, all strong roles. James Patterson also has another series with a strong female role as the main character, Maximum Ride. I really don't think it is true to say anymore that women are just portrayed as "other". I know there are a lot of other male writers who creat strong female roles. Even Donovan admited herself that Shakespeare created strong women characters who tend to help others find themselves. When i checked out some other blogs earlier Ellen had some great thoughts in the Shakespeare area.

I also want to note that yes, you will find women as others in historical fiction. (Someone else commented on this but I couldn't find the blog when i went back to look for it, so def. say something if you read this). First, it's mostly women that are writing this (at least the historical fiction that i have read). As someone else said, writers of the past are going to write what they know and have experienced. Writers of today want us to relive the past so they are going to try to give us the past. It makes me angry that Donovan never even looks at this aspect.

"Any text which does not recognize the fundamental moral reality of women is sexist" (Donovan 226).
I'm sorry but have to say this, what a load of crap! Once again I must tap back into my American Lit discussions. Recently in class we talked about The Great Gatsby and F.Scott Fitzgerald. Quite a few people said that he was a sexist (because of his portrayal of Daisy mostly). First of all, we don't know the author's intent (going back to Lit Crit) and as we learned in class, writers don't always write what they are feeling or what their true reactions to the subject really is. Second, it's just a story, something that the writer created, a story doesn't always have to reflect a writers thoughts and feelings. As I used Dr. Arnzen before in another blog I will use him again as my example. For those of you who might not know, Dr. Arnzen writes horror things (poetry, short stories, etc). I have had him once for class and he seems like a pretty nice guy, even though I know he writes some pretty crazy stuff (some interesting as well), I'm pretty sure that he isn't a crazy ax murderer. Here is one of my favorite poems that he wrote.

"In other words, women characters in film are usually presented as objects or as Other to the male protagonist and for the pleasure of the male viewer." (Donovan 226). First of all I thought it was interesting that not only did she pick on female characters in books but female characters in movies as well. I'm honestly beginning to wonder if she intentionally goes to movies that she knows are going to portray women in a bad light. Second, like some other people said she never even seems to look at the bright side of things, she never even tries to show us examples of good portrayals of women. If I didn't know any better I would think she wants us to think all men (especially male writers) are bad and they only look down on women and only see them as objects. As I mentioned before I agreed whole heartedly with Ellen's blog, I don't understand why she is trying to make us feel sorry for female writers and characters. Judging by other blogs, instead of gaining sympathy from her readers she has only found anger. Although, I do have to wonder if there were or are people out there who do agree with these articles.

"Under the category of the good woman stereotypes, that is, those who serve the interests of the hero, are the patient wife, the other/martyr, and the lady. In the bad or evil category are deviants who reject or do not properly serve men or his interets: the old maid/career woman, the witch/lesbian, the shrew or domineering mother/wife." (Donovan 228)
In some ways I think this statement is true. The respectful housewife carrying around a baby is usually seen as good in most books. And on the other side a woman who is trying to make something of herself, or at least support herself (at least in historical fiction) is looked down upon. It bothers me that Donovan seems to only go out of the way to find the things that support her ideas, that all women are treated badly in literary works, she never considers looking closer. When I read this I was really interested in the gender roles in the works that we have read already. I found that in two of our works it is the men who are evil and sinister and the women who are good, and these works weren't even written in the present day. I wonder what Donovan would think of that.

I'm really hoping all of that made sense, I kind of feel like I blathered on and on and didn't make sense.

Other Blogs

Can't explain everything

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"No literary facts can be explained by anything except a literary theory" (Frye 287).

I think this is such an interesting quote, especially since literary critics everywhere try to explain things about literature through their theories. What is the point of a literary theory if we can't use it to explain things about the literature that we are reading?

"literature is everywhere much alike.....does not keep bringing the student back to similar points, but to the same point, to the sense of an identitiy in literary experience" (Frye 286). I think this statement is true. I keep talking about american lit and lit crit and their comparisons. I find that I am learning the same points over and over again, as I learn about a new aspect of the point things become clearer.

I think these were the only two quotes I really understood from this article. I don't know about everyone else but I found it very hard to understand.

Other Blogs

I'm starting to truely believe that every single literary criticism and literature class ties into each other, each of these things just can't seem to survive on it's own.

"The three possible minds to which the psychological critic customarily refers are the author's mind, a character's mind, and the audence's mind." (Paris 216).

"Character study is not legitimate when as in most psycological criticism, it talks about literary characters as though they are real people" (Paris 216).

"Most literary critics do not - any more - treat liteary characters as real people" (Paris 216).

Firstly, I laughed out loud when I read this (and this is where lit crit once again ties back into American Lit). Recently we did a close reading exercise. A few of the people did a close reading on characters of the book that we were reading at the time. Dr. Jerz kept stressing that you can't do a close reading or analysis on a character in a book because they are not real, (but you can do this in a research paper). Whe we do research papers we are looking into what other people thought a certain character was portraying. Basically literary critics never look at characters as real people, but why does the audience see characters as real people? I have a friend who honestly thinks Edward Cullen of the Twilight Series is real. She has told me that on a sunny day Edward probably won't be out and about. Over the years my friends and I have had crushes on book characters. Why do we do this? I also think that this isn't limited to literary works either, it extends to tv characters as well. Back when Friends was around I remember talking with friends about Joey and Rachel's relationship, some people wanted them to get together and others didn't. I guess when we feel we can relate to certain characters they be come real to us. I think this quote kind of backs that idea up. "When we are immersed in the indomitable mental reality of a character we adopt his perspective and experience his feelings as though they were our own." (Paris 221).

Other blogs

It took me forever to get through this chapter over break. I kept stopping to research, well look up words that I wasn't quite sure about or just wanted to have a better understanding in general. I feel like I learned a lot from this chapter (and I think I may post several quotes just to get out my thoughts), well I learned a lot from my research. I don't want to put all of my definitions in here, I will put them in the literary terms blogs even though there are several.

"Our understanding of a particular work is an analogical process by which we measure its conformity to the linguistic and literary conventions we know.......Yet, if the work were truely unizue, if it used no conventions we knew, it would be simply unintelligible." (Keesey 266).
First I have to say that when I first read this I wasn't even sure what a convention was, so I looked it up and found that a convention is something that the writer uses, something familiar, something that everyone would know or understand without having to do research. For example, Shakespeare used conventions, people always expect a fool or a comic person. If Shakespeare had written a play that didn't give us a comic character I'm sure most people would be surprised. Second thing, I don't know if I totally agree with the second part of this quote. Yeah there are conventions in a lot of writers work that everyone recognize but I don't think a piece of writing will fall apart because a writer decides to do something out of the ordinary. But then again as readers we probably stick to conventions or writers that we are familiar with. I guess people won't get thrown off by unfamiliar conventions if they are willing learn and know about new ideas and thoughts. Don't we encounter new conventions when we start reading a book by an author that we have never considered before?

"A poem is best read in the light of all the other poems ever written. We read A the better to read B, (we have to start somewhere; we may get very little out of A). We read B the better to read C, C the better to read D, D the better to go back and get something out of A. Progress is not the aim, but circulation." (Keesey 267)
The first thing I thought when I read this was the importance of rereading. As the above quote says, eventually you are going to go back and read A again because that's really the only way you are going to eventually understand it. I also think it makes sense that we would read other poems to help us understand the original poem that we were reading. The first thing that came to mind was Shakespeare's sonnets, specifically the dark lady sonnets (127-152). You read the first one and end up reading the rest to try to figure out what is going on (who she is and what Shakespeare's relationship was with her). As you read about the dark lady you start to wonder who the fair youth is and how he adds into all of this (was he just Shakespeare's friend or lover?). So to get to the point, Keesey is right in saying that we just end up in one big reading circle.

"Recently modern critical theory has tended to play down the rose of convention" (Keesey 269)
"Yeats, like Blake before him, tried to solve the problem by making his own poems an interlocking set of images and symbols, a sounding box in which the individual poem may resonate." (Keesey 269).
Ok, so writers use conventions in their work, obviously things that we are supposed to be familiar with before we read the work, I agree with Keesey because even in a series of books many authors have begun to write each book in the series so that a reader can start anywhere, they don't have to start at the very beginning. So do we have to be aware of all of the works a writer created to understand one specific work? For example I will use an author I really like. Back awhile ago I read a book called Hard Truth by Mariah Stewart. After I read it I found that this was the second book in the series, so I ended up reading the first book, Cold Truth, and then the third book, Dark Truth, and then I read the last book (I recommend all of the books), Final Truth. I also found out that there are some books that come before this series but you don't have to read them in order because Mariah Stewart was careful to keep her conventions within one book, the reader is able to pick up any of these books and enjoy any of these books by itsself without ever knowing that its part of a series.
Sorry to ramble on there. I was also interested in the second part of the above Keesey quote. I'm not really sure if Keats really ever escapes using conventions, the poem seems like it is just one big convention.

"People who have read a lot of poetry can genearlly interpret a given poem better than people who have not" (Keesey 270).
I had to put this in here because I thought Keesey's comment was so obvious. Of course if we had read poems before we will probably understand other poems. As I started thinking about this quote I realized that I don't completely agree with Keesey. I like to read poetry, I have read plenty of it, but I have a hard time interpreting it, almost every single time. Usually I don't get it or I get the opposite oppinion of what everyone else got on the poem. I also think that its better to go into a poem without priar knowledge, if you don't have priar knowledge you can't be biased.
I have to say that I'm proud of myself for finally understanding some of this stuff, I never realized how much help those literary terms can be.

So, those are a few of my thoughts and here are a few other thoughts and blogs.

Azar Nafisi Lecture

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I went into this lecture not really knowing what I was going to hear, I just knew that I had to go. I'm really glad that I got to hear this amazing speaker. I thought she had a lot of great things to say. I do have to agree with Bethany that it was encouraging to hear someone encourage people to read and write. Bethany is right when she says that this stuff is usually looked down upon, especially among us english majors.
It's so hard to just pick one thing that stuck out in my mind. "One good thing about books are the connections that they make." I think this is so true. I think a lot of books whether it's fiction or non fiction, help us to connect to things that have happend in our lives, other people's lives, or just different situations and circumstances. Not only do books give us connections but they give us knowledge as well, I love that she came out and said this. I really think that people need to be encouraged to read, it's not always a bad thing.

Other Thoughts

"How many stories do you know in which the hero is different from everyone else in some way, and how many times is that difference physically visible?" (Foster 195)

I think this is the best chaper in the Foster book so far. I think this quote rings true in almost every book I have ever read. I really think that if the hero wasn't different the reader wouldn't be able to relate. I also think that this physical difference makes the reader really care about the character as well. If you read a book at portrays a character that is totally perfect you aren't going to give a hoot what happens to them because they have it all already, in fact if the hero is perfect the reader has no reason to like the hero.

I also think that characters tend to have physical or emotional problems because the author wants them to go through something that involves their physical problem and defeat it, usually learning something about themselves or others. I really don't think physical and emotional scars are ever just something that is there. I also agree with Foster that scars or other deformities or whatever the problem is, holds other symbols as well. "These character markings stand as indicators of the damage life inflicts." (Foster 195).
"But even the other bear signs illustrating the way life marks all who pass through it" (Foster 195). Foster used Harry Potter as an example so I'm going to stick with that. Harry Potter has a scar on his forehead, there are good things about the scar, it shows that Harry is the chosen one that he's different and that he's the good guy but it also shows us sadness. Because the scar exits Harry's parents are dead, and the bad guy is after him. To make it more clear, Harry was literally marked for something bad that happend. Now in other books the character isn't always marked because of a situation that happend but it represents something bad happend in society, something that effects every character, usually the person who has the scar is the one that is able to pull through some kind of bad situation.

Other Blogs

"We realize that the human race is perpetually caught in crises, but also perpetually surviving," (Vogel forward)

This play was so weird and depressing and I honestly believe that Wilder wanted us to be depressed when we saw or read the play. Somehow this one family manages to survive the world ending (or a crisis, however you want to look at it) three different times. I think the quote kind of somes all of this up. Sometimes it seems like we are going from one crisis to the next. I know quite a few people who are just trying to survive this life. I have to wonder if this is what thornton Wilder was trying to say as well.

I also disagree with this quote as well, infact I find it kind of irritating. Yeah, we have crisises that come and go in our lives, but I really don't think we are always just surviving. Wilder doesn't even seem to try to show the audience/reader that people need to make the most out of their lives. Wilder makes this play so depressing, I mean this family has been living a dismal life for five hundred years. I actually want to know why this weird disfunctional family has even been living and surviving so long when there doesn't really seem to be any hope in any of the characters.

After reading some other blogs, I realized that I probably took this play to seriously, I mean I thought it was depressing and all. I really think that Julianne made some really great comments and she reminded me that I shouldn't take this play so seriously.

Other Thoughts

I saw Life's a Dream this past Saturday night. It was really great, I'm actually really glad that I saw the play first, usually I read and then go to the play. For one thing, I knew Clarin was supposed to be funny. I also noticed and actually remembered that quite a few of the lines were different (not a lot but things were just said in a different way, obviously since we used a different translation. I have always enjoyed Seton Hill's productions, so since I'm graduating it is kind of sad that this is one of the last shows that I will see here. Anyways, I think the actors did a really great job. I look forward to the next show later this semester.

Ok, so I hope it's ok that I'm doing my Life's a Dream stuff all in one blog. So I was sitting in my room reading the play and I realized something, and hopefully it's not totally off. But anyways, I was thinking how mimetics is imitation and it's based off of some things that Plato talked about, I totally related this to Plato's cave allegory. In Plato's cave allegory the prisoners who are in the lowest part of the cave are the ones who are the furthest from understanding the true reality of things outside of the cave. At first I thought that Life is a dream is supposed to be an imitation of the cave allegory, but it's not, and here's why. Although Segismundo is a prisioner, has been a prisoner his whole life, he has a knowledge of reality. The prisioners of the allegory are uneducated, they are taking wild guess about the shadows that they see one the wall. Segismundo is educated by his jailor. "I have studied political science, instructed by the beasts, informed by the birds, and have measured the orbits of the gentle heavenly bodies." (Barca 17).
Ok, I just had another realization, yes Life is a Dream doesn't imitate entirely. Segismundo is not exactly like the prisoners who are trapped in the lowest part of the cave looking at the shadows. As the play continues he follows Plato's cave allegory. As he is prince for the day (the prisoner leaves the cave) he begins to see the reality in what has really been going on, finding out that he was locked up by his own father and learns that he is supposed to be a prince, not some kind of monster. (the prisoner realizes that the shadows on the wall are really just people walking around) Once Segismundo returns to the prison (the prisoner goes back to the cave) he realizes the true realiy of everything. He realizes that it's not ok to throw people out of windows just because they may make him angry, he can't take advantage of every woman he likes. He knows that if he had the chance to be a prince again, and he does, that he has to be a nice person. The cave allegory focus's on (ok so this is what Dr. Martino said, I love that I totally applied something I learned from my philosophy class last semester, shout out to Dr M ) one prisoner leaving the deepest part of the cave, knowing nothing about the true reality of what was outside of the cave, they journey through the cave learning through, when they leave the cave they understand what was truely going on outside of the cave and understand where they once were. Segismundo goes through the same thing, if that makes any sense. I think I just had an ah ha moment. I don't know if this is even right but I'm totally writing this for my case book.

Class thoughts on Life is a Dream

I guess I'm picking the most obvious word or I'm just the dumb one that didn't know what this ment, but whatever the case here it is.

Mimetic Criticism: A type of criticism started by Plato. It assumes literary works to be reflections or representations of life and the world in general.

Mimesis (told me to look up imitation, which makes sense now that I think about it): A greek term used by literary critics to refer to the representation of reality in literature.

Other words

"Every woman he sees, he wants, and he scatters commands without regard to their appropriateness" (Sears 3)
"Basilio, in other words, should have known that to raise a man in savage conditions will make of him a savage, for he will know nothing else." (Sears 4)

I thought a lot about this when I saw the play, and I'm really glad that Sears said this. I think it's interesting that Segismundo was locked up from the time he was small until the present of the story/play. He says continually that he's some kind of beast or monster, of course he would that that because thats all he has ever known. On top of that the king thought Segismundo would come out and treat everyone fairly and just be a good prince in general, but of course he won't because he has never been taught that he has to be kind and fair to others, he can't grab at women whenever he thinks one is pretty or whatever. It just surprises me that all of the characters are so surprised that he acts so badly at first.

Other opinions

Trying to escape

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"Dramatizations of imprisonment and escape are so all-pervasive in nineteenth-century literature by women that we believe they represent a uniquely female tradition in this period." (Gilbert and Gubar 260).

Ok, so I never really thought much about this before. I mean I noticed that the narrator of The Yellow Wallpaper wanted to escape. If you think about it, many women wanted to express their views (not just writers, the writers were the ones that were able to pull it off to some extent) politically, religiously, in a lot of other ways but were repressed my men. I did a little research, it's obvious that gender roles back then were quite different back then. I think it would be interesting to find out what men thought of these type stories like The Yellow Wallpaper, i doubt they even noticed that women felt trapped at that time.

Other blogs

Plato hated poetry?

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"he also objected to poetry on the affective grounds that it feeds and water the passions......it gives us a false view of the world" (Keesey 206)

Maybe Plato is right to some extent. Do you ever think about your emotional responses to poetry? I used to think I would swoon if a guy came to me and quoted how do I love thee, let me count the ways. As Plato said, this obviously gave me a false view of the world, for a long time I thought some guy was going to come in and sweep me of my feet and recite wonderful poetry. Poetry and even books help the reader to escape to some far off fantasy land.
Then this is where I become confused. First Keesey tells us that Plato thought that poetry stirs up passions and causes people to view the world the wrong way, which can be true because sometimes poetry causes us (we when read it, not necessarily when we write it) to be romantic or want to be romantic. I'm just using this as an example, I'm sure that some poetry stirs up anger or some other emotion. But anyways, Keesey later tells us that poetry is for us to relate to. Poetry is written for the true reader. Yes sometimes I do relate to poetry or a story that I read, but which one is it? Does poetry make us see the world in the wrong view or does it help us to see the world as it really is and then we relate to it?

Other thoughts

Portfolio 1 for EL 267

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This is the first blog for American Lit. Fortunately for this class I have all of my blogs in and will have this portfolio in ahead of time. I have been commenting on fellow peer blogs but do to complications with my own blog people have not been commenting on my blog.

Coverage
These are links to blogs that I had to do for homework. Most of my blogs are fairly short but they are still thoughtful.

Foster at the dinner table with Gatsby
There can't be just one

Timeliness
These are blogs I had in on time, I don't have any comments on them due to complications with my own blogs. I'm not even sure people are even reading my blog.

The Great Gatsby and Racism?
Fire and Ice and everything nice? or not?

Interaction
Even though for awhile there no one was able to write on my blog I commented on several classmates blogs because I either agreed with them or found their blog to be interesting or I learned something from them.

A Turtle in disguise
A western point of view

Depth
As I said before I don't have super long blogs but I do have a few even though they are a little short I did put some thought into them.

Sometimes machines don't make sense
Home is where the heart is

Discussion
I really don't think any of my comments sparked any discussion among my peers but I did comment and hopefully those comments will be insightful to someone, even to myself in some way. I did comment on Nikita's blog and Aja's blog but for some reason it is not showing up.

Animals
Racism and Sex

Other portfolios

"A big swift car whisked, near, tires squealed. The dog dodged helplessly, and with a shriek, cut off in the middle, went under the wheels. The big car slowed for a moment and faces looked back, and then it gathered speed and disappeared." (Steinbeck 130)

First, I have to say I was completely shocked by how the dog was run down. Actually I can't believe how all animals in this book are intentionally killed or people try to kill them. I also think there is a lot of stuff going on here that Steinbeck is trying to tell us. When I read this passage I couldn't believe that the people that killed the dog never really stopped and said anything to the Joads, they didn't even say that they were sorry. I think that this shows that the people in this book are only thinking of themselves, because if they tried to help everyone else people would either take advantage of them or they would starve/ lose everything. I'm really glad that I'm not the only one who was interested in the animal symbolism in this book. Nikita had some interesting views as well.

Other views

Portfolio 1 for EL 312

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This is the first Portfolio for EL 312. Unfortunately it's late. I think I learned a lesson just from this portfolio. I was trying to post entrys for all of other stuff I hadn't blogged about. Now that I am finished I can finally write up my portfolio. Because of the frustrations of this week I realized that if I keep up to date the portolio won't be so much work (like my EL 267 portfolio due tomorrow because I have everything up to date. So here's my portfolio.

Coverage
These are the entry that I needed to do for homework, most of my entries are short but there are other entries that I put more thought into.

Novella
Caliban and the Tempest
Semiotics

Depth
As I said above, most of my entries are short. Even though they are short they still have thought into them. For a few of the blogs I did a little research.

American Lit and Lit Crit Go Hand in Hand
http://blogs.setonhill.edu/SueMyers/2009/02/hello-my-name-i.html
Read it Again, it won't be the same

Interaction
Due to problems with my blog, I haven't been able to communicate very much through my blog with my peers. I did communicate some with my peers through their blogs.

Is Reader-Response Criticism One School or Four?
Real or Hypothetical?
There is no meaning of any work of literature

Discussions
Once again, because of problems with my blog, I have been unable to communicate through my blog with my peers until now, my most recent blogs are the ones that actually have any kind of commentage.

Prosaic
Literature isn't Personal?
Contradiction is my name, reader response is my game

Timeliness
Ok, so I will be honest and say all but this past batch of blogs were late. I felt frustrated because my blog wasn't working and figured what was the point? Now that my blog is working things will hopefully be different. I do think I have some good blogs even though they were late.

Manifestations in the Wallpaper
Locked in a Box
The Form of a Poem

Xeno Blogging
I don't have anything for this. I don't think anyone has been reading my blog as of late, and so I don't think anyone as gotten any ideas from me. I have agreed with many of my peers but I didn't get any great ideas from them to use for my case book.

Wildcard
I have been connecting Lit Crit with American Lit a lot lately, so I have been writing a little about it in my blogs. I used both of these blogs previous links
American lit and Crit Lit go hand in hand
Read it again, it won't be the same

Other Portfolios


Understanding the text

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"A Text cannot be made to speak to us until what it says has been understood" (Hirsch 18)

I totally agree that any kind of text is going to speak to us if we understand it. Obviously we are going to dismiss what we have read if we haven't totally understood it. I have another issue though. How do we know our opinions are right in the first place? Poems could say one thing to one person and something else to another person. Do we have to understand a text a certain way to really have us speak to us? For example in class I thought I totally understood what one of the critics was saying, (that the writer could be writing certain things to escape the current emotions of the moment) and Dr. Jerz made sure to tell me in front of everyone that I was obviously wrong. Even when we are wrong and we think we understand the text, the text still speaks to us.

The writer and his/her ideas

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"Not only are writers notorieously 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" (Keesey 9).

This quote really caught my attention. Obviously or I wouldn't have posted it here. Anyways, I think it is so interesting that we, as readers push authors so much for finding the meaning behind their works. How often do we enjoy a book or poem and start wondering about the author and what they ment by their work? Ok, I don't most of the time, especially when I read books. I also wonder how often writers, whether its a poet or a prose writer, really thinks about the true meaning behind their work. I would think some writers would get up one day and say hey, I should write a story about this, that sounds like fun idea, and they go off and write the story or poem.
I thinks its funny that we also pressure writers to talk about things they wrote in the past. How is a writer supposed to know what was influencing them or what they were thinking at the time they wrote a certain thing.

"Rayan has more recently claimed that the repetitions in the stanza charm the reader into forgetting the main argument of the ode"

Yes, I find it interesting that Keats chose so much repetition in the third stanza, but I disagree with this quote. First of all I kind of feel like Keats is trying to get a different point across in each stanza. In the third stanza he keeps repeating the word happy, I don't think this is to avoid the main point. I really think he is trying to capture the thoughts or feelings of the narrator, or the people/images that are on the urn.

Manifestations in the wallpaper

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I have read The Yellow Wallpaper so many times that I don't even bother to count anymore. This reading has continued to let me stick to my beliefs of this story. I truely believe that the woman in the story is really the woman in the wallpaper. She obviously feels trapped in many different ways. John won't let her visit family and friends. John's sister wants her to nap all the time. Nobody will let her write, even she isn't sure if she should be writting. It seems like she manifests herself into the wallpaper, her manifestation is shaking the bars of the paper to get out, the manifestation is running around in the garden, and any other place that the manifestation, woman in the paper is seen. The woman in the story obviously wants to be free and she sees herself at differnt times, sometimes she is trapped and trying to get out and at other times she is freely running around outside.

The form of a poem

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"The goal of their analyses is to get us back to the poem itself, to show how it differs from the paraphrase, to point out those formal elements that make it a peom" (Keesey 78).
"The formalist undertakes to show us not so much what the poem means" (Keesey 78"

I don't totally get formalism, but I think I understand what these two quotes are getting at and I think it's kind of interesting. Instead of looking at the true meaning of the poem, which we can't really ever do because for one thing we don't know what the poet was thinking when they wrote it. It seems like formalism focuses more on structure and things like that. I kind of like that there is a criticism that focuses on structure, not just the content, I think that sometimes there is a lot to say in structure. Recently in my American Lit class we read some Robert Frost poems. One of them is in some ways ment to be a slow read but you read it quickly, I never really realized that before until we talked about it in class. There is so much more to a poem than just the words.

Poetry = Simplicity?

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"There is no harm in thinking of Wordsworth's poem as simple and spontaneous unless these terms deny complexities that actually exist in the poem, and unless they justify as in reading the poem with only half our minds" ( Brooks 89)

I was thinking about this. I will admit that when I sit and read a poem I usually don't look for some kind of crazy or meaningful aspect. A lot of times I will read a poem, say that was nice and go off on my way, that probably makes me terrible but I'm more of a book reader not a poem reader. Anyways, to get to my point, I don't had to wonder if poetry really always has some kind of irony. I kind of felt like this is what Brooks was trying to say. Even in this quote he's saying, sure go ahead and think whatever poem you are reading is simple, but it's really not. I find it hard to believe that every single poet was always trying to go for irony.

Locked in a box

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"still pondering how unpleasent it is to be locked out; and I thought how it was worse perhaps to be locked in; and thinking of the safety and prosperity of the one sex and of the safety and prosperity of the one sex and of the proverty and insecurity of the other and of the effect of tradition and of the lack of tradition upon the mind of the writer" (Keesey 196)

I really liked this quote because it made me think. Obviously this is Virginia Woolf speaking of gender roles of her time and the experience she had, but I see it another way. I feel like this is also a quote that is telling us that says that readers can be stuck in their own ideas or views. Readers don't always look at the other side. For example people in my American Literature class tried to say that Fitzgerald was sexist, but many of those people never considered looking at what was going on at that time, they were thinking in the present terms. Also, as we learned in author intent, what the writer writes isn't always about what they feel or think.

Phenomenology

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I felt so confused when I saw this word. When I took Philosophy last semester we focused on Phenomenology, the study of development of human conscienceness and selfawareness as a preface to or a part of philosophy. Right away I knew this couldn't be the same thing we were talking about in class so I figured I should look into it.
Phenomenological criticism really isn't far from the philosophical study because that's were it came from. It is a form of literary criticism usually associated with the Geneva School. Critics try to anazlyze a literary work without any external references, experienceing the text passively, sympathetically, and meditatively to disconver the pattersn and relationships that make up the unique consciousness of its author. So there we have it. I'm sure no one was as confused as I was.

Prosaic

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I saw this term while reading, I guess it's not technically a literary term, but it was something I had to look up because I had no idea what it ment. If anyone needs to have a reference where I got the word, I found it in Eagleton, and here is the sentance I read it in.

"Indeed it is in the Romantic period that the descriptive term prosaic begins to aquire its negative sense of prosy, dull, uninspiring." (Eagleton 16)

And here is the definition


It is the characteristic of prose as distinquished from poetry.

I don't think this really explain anything but it was worth looking into. You never know when you will learn something interesting or valuable.

Literature isn't personal?

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"Literature was not a matter of felt experience, personal response, or imaginative uniqueness" (Eagleton 16)

I know that there isn't always person feelings involved in poetry but when it comes to prose I have always been told to write what you know. Yeah you might not always have a personal connections to whatever you are writing. I know that in the 18th century people did not always write, but I would think that when they did that they would have written from some kind of experience or wrote about what they knew. Yeah there was censorship but people were writing about their opinions or at least trying too. I also find it hard to belive that there was a lack of imagination. Look at Chaucer and Shakespeare and their work, I think that shows a lot of imagination right there.

Semiotics

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Well, I don't like big words, and I don't like when people use them to look smart and important. I think it's more important to use language that people are actually going to understand. So anyways, I was curious about semiotics since obviously I didn't know what it mean.

Semiotics: This was a term that was coined by Charles Sanders Peirce to refer to the study of signs, sign systems, and the way meaning is derived from them.

More fun facts: to a semiotician, a sign is not just simply a direct means of communication, such as a stop sign or a restaurant sign or language itself. Signs are apart of body language as well, such as crossing your arms, shaking hands, or waving at someone.

"Perspective is what might traditionally be called point of view, and can also be variously subdivided; the narrator may know more than the characters, less than them, or move on the same level outside the action or internally focalized, recounted by one character from a fixed position, from variable positions, or from several character-view-points. A form of external focalization' is possible, in which the narrator knows less than the characters do." (Eagleton 92)

This was probably one of the few clear points that I got last week. I couldn't believe that something I would read in my Lit crit class would help me understand something in my American Lit class. In my American Lit class we recently read The Great Gatsby. There was a good discussion going this exact quote. If you haven't read this book, Nick is the narrator of the story. Fitzgerald sets things up in a way that Nick only gives the reader only so much information. The reader can only make opinions or assumptions about Gatsby through Nick. If you read the book there is a lot that Nick doesn't say.
And as I was looking at the quote again, I realized that this quote can also apply to The Grapes of Wrath, the book we are currently reading in my American Lit class. Steinbeck sets up the story so that there are several different view points throughout, it's not ever just Tom Joad's perspective.
When I love when I actually get this stuff and can apply it to something else, some other class.

Novella

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Ok, so I will admit, I originally thought Benito Cereno was a short story, which is pretty silly because it's so long. The other day a friend of mine said something about Benito Cereno being a Novella so I had to check it out. I don't think I've even heard of that before, but anyways, here it is.

The Novella falls between the vovel and the short story in both length and complexity. A particular novella may be substantial enough to be published in a seperate volume, like a novel or included in a collection of works.

So if you ever wonder why your short story is so darn long, it's possibly a novella instead.

Innocent Thinking?

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"The narrator suggests that Delano should have been suspicious" (O'Connell 188)
According to part of this article the reader should see Delano as an innocent bystander. I guess the innocence thing makes a little sense. If he was totally fixated on helping this other captain and ship out, he wouldn't really notice the bad things that are going on because his mind was somewhere else. O'Connell continues this good point, "The narrator acknowledges that Delano gets it wrong but he tempts us with an easy explanation, one that still allows us to respond to Delano positvely, even though we know from the beginning that he is missing something crucial" (O'Connell 188). This makes sense. The reader would like Delano less if he obviously knew exactly was going on and chose to do nothing.

Ok, so I don't have a specifc agenda item, my main focus is on Captain Delano. I just don't understand his thinking. I did a little research and found that slaves were packed into ships, usually shackled up, mutanies did happen but often they weren't very successful. I don't understand why Captain Delano didn't seem to find it strange that there were slaves running around the ship freely. I also find it strange that he thought Benito Cereno was the one up to something. Well, I guess the first time I read this I agreed with Delano, I thought Cereno was up to something. But then again I was extremely confused, Melville seems to want his reader to remain in the dark until the end of the story. I realized the second time I read this that the signs are all there. The shaving incident is a good example. Cereno was scared to death Babo would kill him then and there easily enough if he said a word, thats why he was shaking so bad. As much as I understand this story a little better I don't get why Delano didn't get it until the last minute.

So, I just need to rant, I don't think anyone is actually reading this blog anyway. So this morning I posted some blogs for another class. I came back later and for some reason I couldn't even sign in. I went away in hopes it would be fine later and fortunately it was. Then I went to post my blog on the class item site and it just wouldn't let me put my blog there. For once I'm getting all of my blogs in this week, actually by Thursday I will have all of them up, obviously for the first portfolio. I haven't been blogging because I'm frustrated with my blog, first I was mad that no one was even looking at my blog or even commenting on it, thanks to Mara and Greta I found out this was because for some reason my blog doesn't want to let people blog on it. I wasn't commenting on other people's blogs because I was angry that people weren't commenting on my blog. Yeah, I know that's lame and I got over it, now I'm just behind in the reading, I can't comment (well now I can :) ) because I don't know what's going on. Dr. Jerz said I could get a whole new blog but I don't want to do that, I mean I've had this blog for a long time, since 2005, I can't just let it go and start it all over. So that's my rant, onto my blog, if anyone cares to read along, because for once I have something to say.

"Different meanings of the same text have emerged at differnt times, and indeed, the same text read a second time will have a differnt effect from that of its first reading." (Iser 142)

I love this statement because it is true. First of all sometimes you have to read a text (especially poems) repeatedly to understand them, once you understand them usually your initial opinion changes. I have read Benito Cereno before and I found it so confusing and hard to understand. Now that I read it again, some of it seemed to make more sense, I felt like I knew what to look for in the text. When I originally read this quote I automatically thought of my American Lit class, I think this is the second time I have read something for this class that applied to the other class. Some of the stuff I'm learning here is actually helping me in the other class, which I think is so weird. But anyways, in American Lit we just read The Great Gatsby. The first time I ever read it I hated it, and to be honest I couldn't get past certain points. Looking back I don't think I truely understood it before. This time around I found I actually liked the book. I knew what to expect and I found that I had a better understanding of Daisy, Nick, and Gatsby. Sometimes you really do need to read a text over again.

When I read this chapter I couldn't believe that instead of one specific rule of reader response there were 3 or 4. As everyone can see from my title, I think that these rules or whatever you want to call them seem to contradict each other. One critic would say that every reader is going to get something different from the text. One top of that most readers who read something again usually change their opinion about that work. Other critics had other things to say, some that bothered me, as you will see in the following quote.
"Actual readers, who may lack implied reader's master of the appropriate conventions and who may lack the important textual cues, will be more likely to minterpret the text and to produce readings" (Keesey 135)
Seriously tell me if I'm wrong but it seems like this is saying that some readers are too dumb to get the true meanings of the text, yet readers are supposed to each come up with their own opinon of the text. So which view of reader response is it? I don't think this is it.

Back

Mr. Turtle goes on an adventure

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Chapter 3 - turtle chapter - The Grapes of Wrath

Was it just me or did anyone else think of Tom Joad when they read about the turtle? When the turtle is crossing the street the first car swirves to miss him and runs into the ditch and then drives away. The driver is obviously afraid of hitting him. The trucker who gives Tom a ride seems to fear Tom (or was that just me?) He wants to swirve away from him, get him out of his truck as soon as he realizes that Tom just got out of prison.
The second driver intentionally tries to hit the turtle or even try to kill it. Before Tom goes to prison another main comes after him with a knife, endangering his life. Tom defends himself by using a shovel against the other man. The turtle tucks inside his shell to defend himself. Both of these things are an internal instinct, people reach within themselves to protect themselves.
Later the turtle is traped inside Tom's coat for what seems like quite a long time. Tom is stuck in prison for four years. Eventually the turtle and Tom regain their freedom. Maybe I am looking too far into this or I'm missing the point. Did anyone else notice this or see any other parallels?

So once again I'm using Aja's blog, because I really liked it. I thought of the turtle as Tom himself, but she makes a great point that the turtle represents the people, the tenants in this story.


Home again home again

Home is where the heart is

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"So high or low, near or far north or south, east or west, the places of poems and fiction really matter. It isn't just setting that hoary old English class topic. It's place and space and shape that bring us to ideas and psychology and history and dynamism." (Foster 174)

I think this is the first chapter in Foster's book that I sat up and said, "wow, he is right!". Geography is never just a place. Lets look at Muley Graves for example. When everyone gets kicked of the land, including his family he choses to stay. This is where his home is, this piece of land that he lives on has become a part of him and he isn't going to let some bank and the people the banks hire to make him leave. Many books that I have read have made this point. When I read this chapter I automatically thought of Gone with the Wind, sorry but I love that book and I couldn't help but think of Scarlet O'Hara. Tara, Scarlet's home is a huge part of who she is. She stays within Tara for most of the book even when danger is near because she has watched nearby homes destroyed and she isn't going to let some Yankee come in and take it all away from her. Scarlet's dad even speaks to her several times about how important home is. She should be proud of the place that she comes from.

After reading some of my fellow clasmate blogs I had trouble just picking one that I really liked and agreed with, because there were several. I'm using Aja's blog, just because I like her insite and I have liked her previous blogs even though I haven't commented on them, guess I should do that. But anyways, I would recommend reading her blog :)

Back to the class blog

"What the cave symbolizes will be determined to a larg extent by how the individual reader engages the text." (Foster 103)

This is such an interesting statement. I think in every English class I have ever read we, the class, has always been asked about the symbolizim in the text. In every single one of those classes we were supposed to know that one thing was supposed to mean a specific thing. It always ment that one thing, there were never any ifs ands or buts. Now Foster is saying that every single one of us is going to see symbolizim different in the book we are currently reading. So which one is it? Is everyone supposed to see the same thing, or are we supposed to see different things? Later Foster even says, "the great work allows for a considerable range of possible interpretations." (Foster 105). Obviously we, as readers are supposed to see the text differently. Just recently, in my literary criticism class, we learned that we don't always know the author's intent, so we can't say for sure if something really ment a specific thing.


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I can't really just pick one section to focus on. There are so many little things that make me think in this play.
In episode 1 the characters are acting like machines, they do things over and over without any kind of emotion. It's interesting that the young woman comes in and seems to want to get away from this. She doesn't know what she wants to do or who she wants to be but she doesn't want to be a machine, like the other people that she works with. I think life is like this, and I think that this is what Sophie Treadwell could been trying to show. A lot of people do the same thing day after day. They don't have a passion for what they do. But there are also people like the young woman who want to step out of the same old and be different but don't know how to do that.

I have also noticed repatition. The husband constantly says huh huh, which I don't really understand, Other characters do that as well, like the mother in the second episode, she repeats herself for awhile one one subject, like the potatoe and then the dishes, and then marriage, and then repeats herself a bunch of times on something else. I really don't quite understand Sophie Treadwell's reasoning behind this, I really think there is a reason for it though.

I have read this play several times now and I will admit that I am still confused by it. This fact made me think that machines, such as computers (at times) confuse people. Are we supposed to totally understand machines? This play seems to say that life is like a machine, and machines are confusing.

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There Can't Be Just One

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"There is only one Story," (Foster 32)

Foster says every story comes from one story and that every story we read makes us think of something else or someone else. I completely disagree with this. I read a lot of books and I don't think I have ever thought that one character from one book made me think of another character from another book, even from the same type of books. I don't even think that an author would want you be be thinking about another person's book while you are reading their book. At the most they would would you to be thinking about buying/reading more of their own books.

My other thought is, if this is supposed to be true, what is the one original story that every other story comes from? We might come up with ideas from another poem or story but what we will eventually produce is not the same thing as the thing we took the idea from.

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I never realized how much symblism is behind a meal. For once Foster might be right. Looking at Gatsby, the atmosphere noticeably changes when Tom leaves the dinner table for a phone call and Daisy leaves soon after (obviously chasing Tom away from the phone - ie from talking with his mistriss). There is an obvious sense of unease at the dinner table because the hosts have left and Nick is seated with somone he still doesn't know very well.
Learning about Tom's affair seems to add to the unease. I'm also wondering if there is always has to be symbolism behind the dinner table?


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Obedience and The Tempest

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"That many Renaissance texts constructed themselves as unable to speak authoritatively or powerfully about politics, and that by marking themselves as dumb, such texts were freed from censorship and thus able to represent political issues in a complex and candid ways." (Yachinn 37)


Many writers express their views in some way through their writing. They somehow write their opinion and get away with it. I think the above quote kind of helps to explain that. Under Mary's reign the protestants were treated cruely. When Elizabeth reigned the catholics were the ones who are treated badly. Shakespeare never really comes out to say whos side he is really one (although in past english classes I have been told that there is a possiblility that Shakespeare was a closet catholic - which could make sense considering that Elizabeth wasn't catholic).
Caliban in the obvious protestant/catholic. He is under someone else's rule, although he follows the rules he is still treated cruelly by Prospero (Mary or Elizabeth). To stay out of trouble Shakespeare never really says who this is really about. He continued to avoid trouble by having the play taking place on a magical island ruled by the former duke of milan. Shakespeare knew exactly what he was doing.

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Caliban and The Tempest

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I have never really liked this play or really ever understood it. I especially don't get Caliban. It seems like he finally has the chance to be free from Prospero and he puts himself right back into serventude with someone else, yeah they treat him better, but they keep calling him monster. Also is he part fish? I kind of had the impression that he looks like a man. I guess because he has never been free in any point of his life he doesn't know how to have conrol of his own life.

I honestly believe that this is a book you have to read a couple of times. I read this book a few years ago and I was so focused on useless little points, like how much I hated Tom. This time around I see Daisy in a whole new light.
I still find it interesting that Tom gets so upset over Daisy and Gatsby's affair. Earlier in the book Myrtle's sister even says that Daisy and Willson are the only things that are in the way of Tom and Myrtle getting together, yet when it seems like he (Tom) has more of an opportunity to be with Myrtle, he doesn't take it. I honestly believe that he never truely wanted to get together (marry) Myrtle, yeah she might be a nice fling on the side but she isn't beautiful, she wouldn't be a trophy wife like Daisy, and she isn't rich. I also think it's interesting that he goes on and on about Daisy loving him, but I don't think he ever says that he loves her, I honestly don't think he does.
On the Daisy side, it kind of makes sense that she stays with Tom even though she's in love with Gatsby. With Tom she is secure, his money is old money, it's an inheritance, where as Gatsby's money is kind of shady. Nice even says that when he talks to Chicago at the end of the book that something obviously went wrong, possibly loosing some money. I'm not saying what she did was right but her motives seem a little more clear now.

I'm a huge fan of Frost to be honest, my favorite poem will probably always be The Road Not Taken and in second place would be Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening, but instead of writing about something I like I wanted to talking about something that intrigued me, which was Frosts Fire and Ice.
How often do we freeze people out when we don't like someone? Growing up the best way I got back at people was to give them the cold shoulder and boy was I good at it too. Sometimes giving the cold shoulder lasts a lifetime then when something happens to one of the people, the other person feels terrible because all they had to do was say they were sorry.
How often do we get so angry at people that we say things that we don't mean. Our anger and hate hurts the people around us, most of the time someone that has nothing to do with the situation that you are angry about.
I guess I just like that Frost kind of tells it like it is.

In a normal circumstance after reading a poem a person would start thinking about the poem and what it means. After reading this poem I began to think about how fun it would be to pick apples on an apple orchard. I think this little fantasy began when I saw Cider House Rules (which is a really good movie I might add if you haven't seen it). This boy in an orphanage leaves to go see the world. He ends up spending quite a bit of time (most of the movie) at an apple orchard. There is just something about being involved in the festivities. I just always thought it would be something interesting to do even though it might sound kind of silly.

*Edit*
After talking with Dr. Jerz I thought I better add more to this blog.
I have always been a hard worker, just from doing things like habitat for humanity I realized that I like working hard from the beginning of the day till the end - at the end of the day you know you worked hard and got a lot done. I love that Frost mentions something like this in his poem.
"And I keep hearing from the cellar bin
The rumbling sound
Of load on load of apples coming in.
For I have had too much
Of apple-picking; I am overtired
Of the great harvest I myself desired.
There were ten thousand thousand fruit to touch,
Cherish in hand, lift down, and not let fall." (Frost)

The Great Gatsby and Racism?

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The last time I read this book I kind of raced through without really picking up on things. All I could think about was how much I hated Daisy and Tom. This time I took it slow at noticed things that I didn't before. We always talk about the issue of Gatsby being truely great or not, or we talk about issues we have with Daisy and the mistress, Mrs Wilson, but never something like racism.
"'Civilization's going to pieces', broke out Tom violently. "I've gotten to be a terible pessimist about things. Have you read The Rise of the Colored Empires by this man Goddard?"' (Fitzgerald 12).
"The idea is if we don't look out the white race will be - will be utterly submerged. It's all scientific stuff; it's been proved." (Fitzgerald 13)
"This fellow has worked out the whole thing. It's up to us, who are the dominant race to watch out or these other races will have control of things." (Fitzgerald 13).
I really can't remember if the rest of the book makes any mention of this but I'm kind of curious about it now

"Criticism is an inevitable as breathing, and that we should be non the worse for articulating what passes in our minds when we read a book and feel and emotion about it." (Elliot)
I really never thought about how much we criticize authors and poets. When we read a book we compare it to another author of the same genre or we compare it to another book by that same author. In almost every single one of my english classes we have comparied Shakespeare and Marlow. Whenever you read a book or a poem there is some kind of criticism going on inside your head.
When we criticize a poet, author, or some other writer we always look at their history, we have to dind out every part of their background because that may explain why they worte this or that. I have to aks, why do we do this? I'm sure there are times where the author/poet/whoever isn't writing about their life and genearl experiences but something they are interested in. I'm going to used Dr. Arnzen as an example. He writes all kinds of crazy horror stories and poems. He writes these poems and stories because this is where his interests lie. Obviously he isn't some crazy ax murderer in his off hours as a professor. I think it's one thing to look at the history, the things going on during the life of the author/poet/who ever. I honestly think this helps us understand the work better than learning about the author. If we can understand the environment that the author/poet is living in we can understand any kind of reference that is made.
To back this up I love that Elliot even says that our emotions don't have anything to do with what we write, sometimes people write to escape, a person may be miserable and alone but will write a poem or story about finding true love and riding off into the sunset because they are escaping their situation.


Sometimes I wonder why professors or anybody for that matter bothers to ask what is literature. I mean there are so many definitions and I love how this article comes right out and says that there are so many things that can be considered as literature from Shakespeare to some funeral letters. I have to wonder if there is anything that isn't considered literature, seriously. If I wrote something on a napkin (lets say a poem) at lunch and chose to share it with others does that make it literature?
I'm going to jump right in and say that there was one little section that really bothered me, something I totally disagreed with:
"The literary work was neither a vehicle for ideas, a reflection of social reality nor the incarnation of some transcendental truth: it was a material fact whoes functioning could be anazlysed rather as one could examine a machine" (Eagleton 3)
I really don't get this quote, I mean aren't there so many pieces of literature out there that are reflecting something about society of that time such as Animal Farm, If you have read it the book clearly makes a statement about marxism and the stalin era. I think that many writers write to make some kind of point especially when looking at differnt eras where there was some kind of crisis going on, hense animal farm. Guliver's Travels is another example. Swift is obviously making fun of society, such as the debate of what religion is right. I also think that the things that we write do influence other people, we can get ideas from other peoples work (without plagerizing of course).
As much as I disagreed with some of the issues that were discussed in this article in the book I agreed with some statments as well. "All literary works, in other words are rewritten, if only unconsciously by the societies which read them" (Eagleton 12). I really think that we do take the stories we read especially if it's something old such as Canterbury Tales or any of Shakespeare's plays and turn it into something that we can picture today, which I think is such a bad idea. People seem to forget that we need to put ourselves in Chaucer's shoes not the other way around or we won't begin to understand what we are reading.

Now that I"m finished with my little rant I want to add that I'm blogging for two classes this semester, the last two I need to graduate I may add (yay!) so I appoligize now if I put my blog links in the wrong class area.

My word this week is Paradox. I see and hear this word all the time. I will be honest and say I never truely know what it ment.
Paradox: A statement that seems self contradictory or nonsensical on the surface but upon closer examiniation may be seen to contain an underlying truth.
Sounds like some of the critics we have been reading in class.
Even more interesting and a little further down the page is some more definition of a paradox. As a rhetorical figure, it is used to grab the readers attention and to direct it to a specific point or image that provokes the reader to see something in a new way.
If you ask me that sounds like our critics.

"that Keats is not an escapist living in a pleasent dream"
True that Keats probably was not an escapist but he did have a vivid imagination. He also did not have the greatest life. Quite a few of his family membors died when he was quite young. He was an orphan and ended up being raised by several different people. He also knew he was dying at a young age. Isn't it possible that he could have been trying to create a nice world after death? A world that is sweet, filled with song, and enjoyed by a loved one. Maybe Keats was just trying to create something for people to think on. Maybe he was trying to help people have something to look forward to. I have to wonder if the scene on the urn is what he hoped to find when he died - that is, spending a blissful eternity with Fanny Brawne, his love interest.

Aside from all of this I feel that Austin is over analizing way too much. I think it's great to understand or make sense of a poem or piece of literature but talking about every little thing that Keats thought is a little too much. This article turned me off to further critical readings of authors and poets. I just wanted to enjoy Keats's poems or anyone elses works for what they are. Is there something so wrong with that?

"When the historian investigates the question whether the figure of Shylock in THe Merchant of Venice represents an antiemetic view, he regards the question as hardly distinguishable from a question about what Shakespeare and his first audience would have thought of Shylock"

I really like this quote, and I honestly think this opinion is true. Thinking back on my other english classes of the past, the class has almost always looked at that piece of literature in the ways and traditions of today. I realize how wrong that is, you can't compare the Elizabethian times with today.
I'm starting to think that it may be more important to look at the time period, the history surrounding the author opposed to the biography. We should understand the history, not because we want to know if it influenced the author, but because we want to understand we are reading in a better way. The author's life is important, but history is even more so.

I have to admit that this text just seemed to go over my head. Everything I read just seemed to go around in circles. As much as I was dazed by the texts there were a few quotes that jumped out at me. One quote was "it may be asserted as a general rule that whenever a reader confronts two interpretations which impose different emphases on similar meaning components, at least one of the interpretations must be wrong"
So they say one opinion may be wrong but how do you know which one it is? The other thing that bugs me is that everyone always seems to have a different opinon of a poem. I have been in class discussions where three different people say that the poet is saying something different. Does that mean that two people are wrong and one person right. Unless there is evidence, how can any of these three people be wrong. Doesn't opinion matter. If only one answer is right, what is the point of discussing what is going on in the poem?

My word of the week is Homeric epithet. If you are wondering why I picked it, I mentioned Homer in one of my blogs and thought I would check it out. So here's what it means.

Homeric epithet: A short descriptive phrase, often involving compound advectives, repeated so often that a more or less permanent association between the phrase and noun it was originally meant to modify is created.

Appearently he used this in quite a few of his poems/stories whatever you want to call them. I think that's kind of interesting. I guess it's true that you learn something new everyday.

"We have the pausible assumption that authors will be affeted by the intellectual currents and social conditions that surround them."
I totally agreed with this quote from Kessey. I would think that the world and times would be influencial to authors or to anyone in general. But then later Kessey talks about how this isn't true at all. He says that the world wouldn't be an influence at all to the author but a "special language" and possibly a great use of imagination. I would think that even if the world isn't influencing the author and his or her works I would think it would still be interesting to know what was going on when that author or poet was going for instance, even though we don't know that much about Homer and if he was influenced by his world, it would be interesting to know what was going on around him before he died.

EL312: Ghostly Wallpaper

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I think that each time I read the Yellow Wallpaper I have a new observation. I still think that the narrater is the woman in the wallpaper. I'm not starting to think the people in the stories are ghosts. Maybe it's a little far fetched but little things seemed to jump out at me. In the beginning the narrator says something about the house having a haunted effect. She (the narrator) also never seems to leave the house usually ghosts are stuck to one place. This story makes me think of the movie The Others. Nicole KIdman's character think all of these strange things that are happening due to ghosts but the strange things are happening because of Nicole and her kids. The narrator could possible not know that she is a ghost.

EL312: What is literature?

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After reading this article I found it interesting that some things are considered as literature and others aren't. What bugged me the most is that Madame de Sevigne's letters to her daughter are considered as literature but a note to a friend is not. Why not? Just like her letters were taken from the past and treasured why couldn't something I wrote to a friend be taken and treasured (in the future of course)? I mean really, what's the difference. In one quote "jokes, football chants, and slogans, newspaper headlines, advertisements, are not classified as literature" If this is true, why is it that letters from the past are considered literature? Is it because they were written by someone important? Would that mean if we found the letters of a peasant from long long ago it wouldn't be considered as literature? What confuses me is that in another quote later in the article, "Anything can be literature". If this is true than why aren't football chants considered as literature? Not that I think it is but it just seems like there really isn't any clear cut line defining literature, I don't think anyone could ever define it because everyone is always going to have a difference of opinion.

Well, I finished Benito Cereno awhile ago but just couldn't think of anything to write. I felt pressured to write something critical. I wasn't sure if I should just write my thoughts. Well, here are my thoughts regardless. I think it's quite interesting how Melville keeps the reader guessing. I was really starting to believe that Benito Cereno was a Pirate, I mean there was definately something shady going on, but what? On the critical side, highly critical, there was way to much description. I mean I like pictureing things in my mind and all but leave something to the imagination. Also, this story is supposed to be a short story yet it's so long. What's up with that? Sometimes I have to wonder if authors miss the point when someone tells them to write a SHORT story. I'm not sure if I'm even heading in the right direction with my thoughts but I figured that it's good that I at least tried.

EL 312: Aesthetics

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I will admit that there are times when I don't understand what something means. There is one word that I have been seeing a lot of lately. If you couldn't already tell, it's Aesthetics. When I don't know something I like to find out as much as I can, whether it's took look in a book or online, I try to find my answers. I never knew that there are two important things about aesthetics. One is that on a philosophical approcah, it poses questions relating to the nature or definition of beauty. The other is that one a psychological side, it examins the perception, origins, and the effects of beauty.
Now that I know what this word really means, I can have a better understanding of what I read.

Poetry is not a turning loose of emotion, but an escape from emotion; it is not the expression of personality, but an excape from personality."

This quote intriges me. I have always been lead to believe that poetry is always about emotion. If a person is expressing their feelings through poetry, how are they escaping from their emotions. Is it because they are finally setting their emotions free? I can understand how personality may not play a part in any kind of work. A person who comes off as being rough and tough could write the most beautiful poetry or story. This person would be losing their rough self (escaping their personality?) to write about something gentle or something about love.
I have just always thought that poetry has always had something to do with expressing oneself and putting oneself out there so that the world can see.

Keesey had a lot of interesting things to say but a couple remarkes caught my eye within his introduction. At one point he says "many theories of interpretation are based on the belief that we must look either to the author or the audience if we are to understand the meaning of the literary text." A few sentences later he says "other forms of critisim pursue the line in the opposite direction and fucus on the works effects rather than on its causes" and "meaning of literature results from the interaction of audience and work"

Is there really a right way to right way to look at literature in a critical fashion? How should we find the the true meaning of a literary piece?

In my own experiences I always like to get a better understanding of the author and where he or she might be coming from. I would think that his or her own experiences would effect a piece of writing.

I guess this work has me a little confused. If we aren't supposed to look to either the author or the audience where do we look?

Poetry Slam

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I was sitting around for awhile trying to figure out what I wanted to do for tonights class. One of my favorite poets is Emily Dickinson, and unfortunately she didn't fit the time period so I couldn't read any of her poetry. So I looked around among some of my other favorites. One of my personal favorites is Robert Frost. I found that he fits the time period and I picked out a couple of the poems that I really liked.

I am actually kind of excited but a little worried that I will be laughed a by how I am going to present them, especially one of them. I get really into it, hey, it's an awesome poem. I'm also kind of hoping that I won't have the same poems as anyone elses, that would be pretty crappy. I guess it won't matter since we would probably be reading it differently anyway.

P.S. the new movable type is so different, but I really like it, it seems a lot nicer than before.

Half-Skinned Steer

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I really thought this story was interesting. I have read it before, so I was ready to dive into it again. With this story I really feel that the author is trying to give a realistic view with a twist.
The harshness of ranch life is being reveiled. I really think that a lot of times that the lives of ranchers and farmers are fantasized and romantasized especially during the depression. And then there's the twist. One of the things that bugged me and intriged me the most about this story is the skinning of the steer. First, a lot of people in my other class said that this part was so gruesome, but in reality its what happens when someone butchers. It's real life, it's what goes on at a ranch, especially during that time, everyone butchered their own animals, they didn't go to the grocery store to pick up some meat. One of the other things that bugs the heck out of me is the fact that when I did some research about the author, I found out that she doesn't really like to do research herself. If she would have actually gone out of her way and actually researched she would have found out that what she wrote about the butchering and skinning was incorrect, at least in my eyes. After talking to my Grandparents who were raised on farms told me that butchering was actually a social thing. Nobody ever worked by themselves, and the whole "event" took the whole day to do. Nobody ever left the animal, and someone was always there taking care of things, like tending the fire and such. They would have never left it half-skinned and then walked away. The other thing is, even though this may be gruesome, but once you stick an animal, it's dead, there is no possible way that it is going to get up and start walking around.
One of the other things that makes me wonder in this story is the ending. It comes off as kind of being unclear, at least to me anyway. I really honestly believe that the old man didn't make it. The story speaks of the fact that its so cold out side. He's miles from his destination, and it's probably not really that safe to walk that distince in below freezing temperatures in his condition. Also, the car won't run, because it's stuck and there really isn't much that he can do. I really think that he died at the end. When the author speaks of him and the cow I kind of wonder if they are supposed to be ghosts at the end.

The World Trade Center

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I thought this poem was kind of interesting. First I must say since I have only ever been to New York twice in my whole life, I probably don't have the respect that the others have for the city. Although last time I was there I had a great time just strolling all over the city with a friend.
I kind of have to agree with David Lehman when he talks about the site of the city. Before the 9/11 attack I always thought the New York skyline was amazing, especially at night when all the lights are all lit up. Whenever I see pictures of the skyline now, it's still pretty but I think that it's lost some of its majesty. It makes me sad now whenever I look at the pictures now because of the sad reason why those buildings are no longer there.

First I have to apoligize that I didn't blog sooner. This whole weekend, which was scheduled quite nicely until I was struck down with whatever it is thats going around here at school. So, I got absolutly nothing done this past weekend, because I was so sick I could barely get out of bed. With that our little hacker problem happend again. Good Grief! So on with The Great Gatsby........

I would like to say that I do not like this book at all. One of the things that got under my skin was that there are all of these affairs going on. I don't understand why Tom married Daisy if he didn't like her. Along with that, I didn't like the fact that Tom even took his wife's cousin the meet the mistress. How stupid is that. I'm against people haveing affairs and cheating on their spouses, but if you are going to do it, at least do it in privet or secretly. Maybe Tom figured that Daisy is so dumb that she would never figure it out.

Lets talk about Daisy. I read other people's blogs and found that they thought that she is really intelligent, but I don't see it, really! Everything that comes out of her mouth makes no sense, and there is pretty much no point in anything she says. Like for instance when she talked about the bird on the lawn or when she suddenly started yelling at Tom that he bruised her finger. As I'm writing this I can now see a little why Tom would try to find someone else better than her. Although I don't think that his mistress is all that great either. It's really sad that she married a guy, who now suddenly she feels he is beneath her. Both of these women bug me.

There is one more thing, what is with F.Scott Fitzgerald making woman to look like idots. Look how he pretrated them in Bernice Bobs Her Hair. It kind of has me wonder what kind of person he really was. Did he really think of woman this way? For all I know it could be that he experienced woman acting this way when he wrote the book. Either way it still bothers me. As much as I don't like it I will really try to stay open-minded, maybe then end of the novel will be better.

The Adding Machine

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Being a play I read through this story pretty quickly, but I'm not sure how I feel about it. It was different, especially in the end when Zero has to start all over again.

To start with I have to say that I kind of felt sorry for Mr. Zero, it would be awful to be told "your fired" by a company that you have worked hard for, for 25 years. I could understand his anger but not his reasoning to kill the boss. There had to be better ways to fight the system. In todays world if that would have happend, somebody would have been taken to court.

I also found it quite funny that Mr.Zero seemed to find his "true love". He could have spent a happy eternity together. Because he wasn't happy unless he was working with numbers, he got screwed over in the end by having to go and start over again on his already low on the totum pole status.

One thing that I kept wondering about, was how did Mr. Zero die? Maybe I missed it. I know the jury convited him of being guilty but I don't think the judge gave him a death sentence, or did he?

I am so frustrated with my research paper. I really don't think that I have learned a thing. It took me forever to really find something that I really wanted to focus on. When I did find something, I couldn't ever find any research information. Right now, I am currently working on trickery in love and shakespeare for my paper. I'm using several of his plays and talking about how trickery can be bad and good in relationships. Even though I found plenty of books I have yet to find a journal entry about the works of shakespeare and trickery. Right now I am just going to use what I have found.

Besides all that I really don't think that I am going to be able to write 8 pages, I really don't think its going to happen. I am going to be lucky if its 6 pages. My luck Dr. Jerz will say that it is all "fluff" as he put it in class the other day. I don't think I am going to get a good grade on this paper either. This is the first time that I have ever felt like biggest failure when it comes to my writing this year. I just want this semester to end, be over with so that I go back to work (unfortunatly at the grocery store at Weis as a cashier) to earn money a little pocket money as well as pay bills, go horseback riding again (I miss that so much, going on a trail ride would releive so much stress right now but I don't think thats going to happen), get my license, I keep saying that every summer, hopefully its going to happen this time, hopefully before my birthday.........Ok, ok, I have no lost total focus of working on my research paper. I had gone to a friends room a little while ago to watch anime, for a break and now I'm blogging, oh well. Even though I might have to stay up all night, but I am bound and determined to get all of my work done on time. Ok, I'm trudging off to do my research paper now, at least I'm half way there.

w;t

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This play was a very quick read. After reading it, I'm not really sure if I like it or not. One thing that I am sure of was that while reading the play I felt sorry for Vivian, not just because she had cancer or that she was dying, but because she was alone. She was at time and place she definatly needed someone there with her, holding her hand until the end. Even though she came out as being very tough, deep down she really wanted someone to be there with her - or else she wouldn't have made her monitor go off (by pinching it) to get Susie's attention.

One aspect about the play that really caught my attention was that while going through cancer it made Vivian think about how hard she was on her students. I guess in some way, having Jason as a docter (I guess he was more like an intern) was kind of like pay back.

The one thing that I thought was so awful was the part when her heart stopped. Jason didn't even care about What Susie was trying to tell him. Even though Vivian was a great professor to him, all he cared about was that she was research. I understand that he's a doctor and you can't get attached to people, that was so heartless. I was kind of glad that they couldn't bring her back, it served Jason right.

I wouldn't mind seeing the movie. I know you can always picture a movie going on in your head but sometimes it's nice to be able to actually see it (for example reading As You Like It, and then going and seeing it).

English Major and Me!

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I think that being an English major has been an asset to all of my other classes. It definatly helps with writing papers. The topics aren't always too fun but I can always think about writing it creativly.

Just last year, at the end of the semester I changed my major. I thought I wanted to be a psychology major, but I found that I really didn't enjoy it that much. I had to struggle to keep my grades up, and I found it wasn't something that I really wanted to do. I love english and I love writing. When I was a little girl I used to write stories all the time, and everyonce in a while I still do today. I also love to read, since I have things to do during the day I always read for fun every night before I go to sleep, I think its a great way to end the day.

Someday I am going to be an english teacher, it's something I can see myself doing in the future. I have observed several classes and I really liked it. I have my worries though, what if I'm a bad teacher? What if the kids don't like me? What if I'm boring? I guess I should worry more about that in a couple years from now.

Mr. John Wright was found dead in his home. A family friend stopped by the home of Wrights and discovered that he had been strangled. A calm Mrs. Wright stated that this had happend sometime during the night, she said that she did not hear or see anything at that time.
Sherrif Peters, Mrs. Peters, and Mr. and Mrs. Hale went to the scene of the crime to investigate. Even though there was a complete search and investigation throughout the whole house, evidence was not found.
At this time the only suspect at this time is Mrs. Wright, but because there has been no evidence towards her commiting the murder she will be set free.

The Fight

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Here goes my first attempt at posting my very very very rough draft of the creative piece for Intro to Lit.
During my time of being awake all night, I came across some Norman Rockwell Paintings (Which I absolutly love) and I was totally inspired by this one particular picture. It made me think of a girl who gave me quite a hard time growing up, from elementary school to high school. She never beat me up or anything, but when I wrote this I kind of thought of her. Anyways, here it is. I called it The Fight!!!

As a special treat for one of the last days of school all of the sixth graders were given permission to sit out on the school lawn to eat their meal. Under the old oak tree, in the cool shade Daphne nervously twirled a long strand of auburn hair around a finger.
“Would you stop worrying, I don’t think she is even here. Plus school is almost over, I don’t think she would try anything now, and besides you already bought your lunch,” Chelsea said, gently patting her best friend on the knee
“That’s pretty easy for you to say,” Daphne replied, giving her friend a stony glare, her lips pressed into a straight line.
Judith Montgomery had been her worst nightmare since pre-school. She could clearly remember Judith joyfully ripping dolls and coloring books from her hands. There were many times when the big bully pushed her over, doing anything and everything to make her cry. As they grew older the tormentor turned to stealing lunch money. She was threatened into never telling her parents or teachers about the money. Her friends were always willing to share their lunches.
“Oh no! Don’t look now, but here she comes. You even said she wasn’t here today Chelsea,” groaned Lavender. Glancing around nervously she was prepared to flee at any moment.
A hawking figure from the distance moved toward them.

I would really appreciate any kind of critique or comments. I know it is very rough. Any kind of comment would be great :-)

I think I might post another story on here as well, getting a little braver each day.

50 word story

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Looking at Dr. Arnzen's artical and interview about flash-fiction interested me. I thought it was really neat, and actually a little restricted only because you are limited to 50 words.
Anyways, here is my first try at a 50 word story, flash fiction, whatever you want to call it.

Locking eyes across the room. Diving into deep brown pools, she floated towards him. "Hi" he said, his lips parted with a smile. With a wink he walked away. Unable to catch her breath. World a spinning. In a dead faint on the floor, a smile gently caressed her lips.

Bernice Bobs Her Hair

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Tonight I actually sat down and really read this story and found that I liked it. I also found the ending funny. In the end Marjorie deserved what she got in the end, she was asking for it.
Yeah, maybe Bernice was cowardly in the end, but can you blame her? I wouldn't have wanted to be around either when Marjorie woke up. I'm sure Bernice had a good laugh on the train though.
I thought it was good to some point that Marjorie helped Bernice, especially when it came to guys. Personally I am terrible around guys, I get nervous and don't know what to say, like Bernice I would have greatly taken advice from someone who was more "experienced". It was wrong though that Marjorie took advantage of her cousin.
I kind of wish we could have read further and found out how Marjorie reacted and maybe what she did, after probably throwing a fit, also it would have been fun reading about Warren's reaction to the braids on the porch. Oh well, anyways it was a very interesting story indeed!

After reading the first story of the semester, The Yellow Wallpaper, I wasn't quite sure how to think especially while reading in class. At first I was a bit confused. I couldn't understand how a woman could just be confined to a room like a caged animal.
At the end I was a little surpised, I kind of felt that the lady in the wallpaper was indeed the lady who was confined to this ugly wallpapered room. I think this because this showed how she felt trapped and the only way out was to sneak and lurk. She finally escaped by tearing the wallpaper down.
This was an ok story, I truely believe that there were many hidden meanings, but maybe that's just me.

I also wanted to state, I am really glad that Dr. Jerz is making us read As You Like it next semester before watching the theater majors put it on. Last year in one of my classes we read A Doll's House before seeing the play. It really does give you a whole different perspective, because you see the stage directions and visuallized it in your mind, its just a neat thing to actually see it come to life, right before your eyes whether its the way you thought it would be or not. Thanks Dr. Jerz :-)

Inspiration

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Considering that this is the first time that I have ever bloged before, it was nice hearing Julie talk about it. I know that there are a lot of things that I am going to have to learn. I don't know about the other newbies, but I really appreciate the fact that Dr. Jerz and Julie made it a point to make sure that we knew somewhat of the ins and outs.
I am very grate for Julie and her time and help. So, if you are reading this Julie, You Rock!! :)
you inspired me to do a great job :)

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