American Lit II (EL 267)


Frost, ''Desert Places'' (1936)

In Roberts, 334. It's not out of copyright, so I won't post it here, but you can easily find a copy through Google.

Permalink | 24 Jan 2006 | Comments (0)

Historical Context

What are some of the key events that shaped American literature since 1915?

Early 20th C

End of railroad era, beginning of the automotive era

Ford’s mass-produced cars were cheap enough that even blue-collar workers could afford them. What were once small, isolated urban communities were slowly being connected by highways – but big engineering projects were expensive and didn’t seem sensible, since most people lived near trains.

1902 – First Rose Bowl game
1903 – Movie, The Great Train Robbery (first movie that told a story)
1903 – Ford Motor Company founded
1903 – Wright Brothers’ first powered human flight
1904 – Teddy Roosevelt acquires land for Panama Canal
1908 – FBI founded
1909 – American Robert Perry reaches South Pole
1909 – NAACP (founded by WEB DuBois)
1910 – Boy Scouts of America
1912 – Titanic sinks
1914 – Europe at war (the US declares neutrality)
1917 – US enters The Great War
1919 to 1933: Prohibition
1920 – 19th Amendment
1020 - Flappers -- Jazz
1925 – Scopes trial
1927 – Lindbergh’s Spirit of St. Louis crosses Atlantic
1927 – First “talking picture” – The Jazz Singer. (Singing and music presented througha synchronized sound track; yet the filmmakers still used title cards to represent the spoken word within the film.
1928 – Mickey Mouse appears in Steamboat Willie
1929 – Roaring Twenties ends as the stock market crashes.

[My main source was Wikipedia, but these facts all count as general knoweldge.]

Permalink | 24 Jan 2006 | Comments (0)

Ice-breaker

Permalink | 24 Jan 2006 | Comments (0)

Masculine and Feminine Rhyme

BrendaChristeleit: Hey Jude! Take a sad song and make it better!

What is a feminine line and why are they considered weak? I'm no raving feminist, but perhaps a different descriptive term is in order.

Great question, Brenda!

What if I were to tell you that a masculine rhyme is blunt and obvious, while a feminine rhyme is more complex and delicate?

If your rhyme
Everytime
Is a chime
On a dime

That's a masculine rhyme. It's a single-syllable rhyme at the very end of a line. Thus, "the plane" and "explain" would be a masculine rhyme, since even though "explain" is a two-syllable word, only the last syllable rhymes.

Feminine rhyme, on the other hand, does not come at the very end of the line.

It's curvy
And nervy.
Its measure
Is pleasure.
Okay, maybe its measure isn't really always pleasure, but in English, a feminine rhyme means more than one syllable is rhymed at the end of a line.

While the use of the gendered terms "masculine" and "feminine" may seem strange to speakers of English, since English doesn't ascribe grammatical gender to its words, it may be useful to note that the Latin word for "manliness" was given a feminine gender, and the German word for "girl" is neuter. Perhaps if we had the whole world to do over again, it might make sense to choose terms that are less fraught with political meaning. The unspoken assumptions about strength and weakness, dominance and submission inform every corner of culture, including language.

Having said that, I do think it's useful to understand that when one comes across a reference to masculine or feminine rhyme, the author is usually referring to a technical term describing a rhyming pattern, and it's probably safe to assume that the vast majority of today's authors are writing without the delusion that what men consider "strength" is the only kind of strength. (We'll talk about this when we discuss Trifles.)

Permalink | 31 Jan 2006 | Comments (2)

Blogging Refresher

We will run through the steps for the RRRR sequence, consider why and how Trackbacks are useful, and practice the "MT Quickpost" procedure that should help your peers find the work that you put online.

See online handouts on blogging and quickpost/trackbacks.

Permalink | 1 Feb 2006 | Comments (0)

Final Exam Workshop

A brainstorming session for possible final exam questions.

Permalink | 4 May 2006 | Comments (0)