Portfolio 1

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Welcome to my blogging portfolio!

This is the first collection of my blogs for Literary Criticism Spring, 2009.  I have organized them into categories in order to present them for easy reading. I have highlighted the blogs that I personally feel are not only the best, but that also show my advancement in blogging and in the class, my deep or insightful treatment of the material, and my communication with classmates. 

Also, I want to say that I have a much more positive view of blogging this semester than I did when I first experienced blogging.  I know that it almost forces me to understand the text to a certain extent before going to class, and I really think it aids in the conversation in class.  Because we only meet once a week, our class time is valuable, and the blogs help to direct the discussion much more than a question-and-respond method.  They also create an environment where we as students lead discussion instead of listening to the professor lecture. 

Anyway, here are some of my best blogs from this semester.  I hope you enjoy them!




These are all of the blogs that were on time and well done, yet did not fit particularly well into the other categories.  I actually think some of these may be better or more helpful than those listed below.  Please enjoy them!

"Who Can Be a Critic?"


"Is It a Help, a Hindrance, or Just Plain Crazy?"


"Who Is the Reader?"


"Yay--There Are Pictures in This Book!"


"I Think Watson Has Learned Something from Sherlock"


"History and the Audience"


"No More Paraphrase (Okay, We Have to Use it Sometimes)"


"An Aphorism and Chiasmus"

"Understanding Formalist Criticism"




"Really, Who Is the Unidentified "they?": This entry shows depth because not only did I critique and question Eagleton's essay, I also applied it to John Keat's poem "Ode on a Grecian Urn." 


"Formalism, Corresponsence, Coherence, or a Little Bit of Everything?: By connecting two of the authors' (Austin and Hirsch) ideas we are reading in this class, I feel that I took a more in-depth approach to analysis and understanding than in some of my other blogs.


"Letters, Novels, or Blogs-What Really Is Literature?":  I feel that this is an in-depth blog because I touched upon many ideas concering the way literature has developed over the time, including ideas about current and future literature in relationship to Terry Eagleton's Literary Theory: An Introduction.


"I Get Her Condition, but What about the Rest of the Story?":  I was very interested in "The Yellow Wallpaper" by Charlotte Perkins Gillman, so I did a lot of research to find out exactly what sort of psychological disorder the woman had in the story.  It is actually really interesting, especially if you are fascinated by the human mind as I am. 


"Is Reader-Response Criticism One School or Four?": I feel that I did a really good job of using the descriptions in the text to explain my confusion.  Even though I was very confused by Donald Keesey's essay, I was able to explain my confusion in depth and was thus able to achieve understanding once we talked about it in class.  By not understanding it, but doing so thoroughly, I was later able to understand it thoroughly.



Blog Carnival:

"Colonialism Carnival":  Jenna Miller, Bethany Merriman, and I created this blogging carnival based on Herman Melville's "Benito Cereno" and Joseph Conrad's "Heart of Darkness."




"I Get Her Condition, but What about the Rest of the Story?":  Although I also referred to this blog as an in-depth blog, I also interacted with my peer's assessments of the story "The Yellow Wallpaper."  While they suggested the main character in the story was suffering from postpartum depression, I thought she was dealing with a much more serious disorder.  Read to find out more about it!


"Reader-Response Criticism + Others= Understanding":  Although I did not challenge a peer's ideas, I did help two peers understand the text a bit better through my description.  I included this here because I felt that it applied more to the definition of interaction than it did to the definition of the informative Xenoblog, since I had no intention of answering a question aside from my own. 




"Getting Ready for 'Life Is a Dream'":  I included this blog within the discussion section because of the discussion Angela and I had.  I think that, although I was able to answer one of her questions, she also provided me with an opportunity to being to think about the play that we are going to see either this week or next.  I was happy to find out that someone else knows a little Spanish so that we can help each outer understand this text better than if we worked on it only by ourselves. 


"I Think I Found a Muddy Point": I chose this blog because I proposed one way of reading Terry Eagleton's essay entitled "Structuralism and Semiotics, while Katie questioned it and Ellen answered with another point of view.  Even though only two comments were made, I feel that this blog was one of my best because such varied opinions were given and supported.


"A+ Example of Style and Organization, but I'm Not Sure about the Rest": I chose this blog because, much like the one above, those who commented had varied ideas about Kent's accuracy in choosing Keats's third stanza as the turning point in "Ode on a Grecian Urn."  I was able to create a controversial blog where all opinions were valuable and interesting.   


Greta's blog, "Misleading, Misinforming, Misguiding: The Flip Side of Literature": I was the first person to leave a comment on Greta's blog and soon after, others commented, including Greta.  This blog shows that not only can I create discussion on my own blogs, but I can also do so on others' blogs.  I think the points that Greta brings up are worth reading, and our discussion is interesting as well, so please read them!




All of my blogs were turned in on time, and usually the day before they were due; however, I posted "I Think I Found a Muddy Point" two days before it was due, a great feat, in my opinion, when we have so much difficult reading to do.  Perhaps this is the reason why the reading caused a muddy point!




"Animated Shakespeare":  I chose this as a xenoblog because, based on the comments, this seems to be an informative blog.  Jodi especially seems to have benefited from the links to the Animated Shakespeare episodes, probably because we are both visual learners.  I hope you enjoy the links as well!


"Where Is the Perfect Formula for Literary Criticism?":  This blog, although it does not link to other's blogs, it does mention Angela's assessment of Literary Criticism being similar to Philosophy.  She talked about this concept in class, so, although I could not link it to another blog, I think it is important to relate what occurs in class to our blogging.  Her idea sparked my imagination as I read McDonald's piece and wrote this blog.


"Thank Goodness We Have Hamilton!": In this blog, I looked up the word "philistine," which had appeared in texts read in Literary Criticism as well as other classes.  Two of my classmates found their questions concerning the meaning of the word answered by the information in my blog.




"Lack of Personality and Emotion-Is this really what writing is about?": I have included this blog because not only did I enjoy Eliot's essay, but I also found a lot of valid meaning in it.  This blog is also very well written and discusses how reading Eliot's essay has helped me to be a better author, reader, and critic. 


"Litotes and Chiasmus-I've Never Heard of Them, but Did Keats?": I really enjoy this blog a lot because it helped me to apply the literary definitions of the words I looked up in Hamilton.  Also, although I could not find an example of litotes in the poem when I wrote this blog, our class discussions allowed us to find one.  This blog was also highly commented on and seemed to be appreciated.


Overall, I feel that my progress has been good.  I do hope to continue to post timely, planned, helpful and interesting blogs.  However, I also hope that next time, I will have more blogs that fall into the categories of discussion and interaction, as well as blogs that attract more attention from my classmates.


To take a look at some other portfolios, click here.   

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