Hidden Gems

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Course assignment: http://jerz.setonhill.edu/EL150/2008/foster_2_3_5.php

 “A small part of what transpires is what I call the aha! factor, the delight we feel at recognizing a familiar component from earlier experience” (Foster 33). 

 “The aha! factor,” what an appropriate name.  I can definitely relate to what Foster is talking about.  How many times have I been reading a book, only to find an allusion to Jane Austen or Hawthorne?  Recognizing these references is always a wonderful feeling.  I always feel like I have pulled something over on the author, like I am too clever for the author to pull anything over on me.  Now, I do realize the author is not actually trying to hide anything from me.  Yet, there is nothing more frustrating than to realize the author is referring to some piece of literature that I don’t know!  It drives me crazy, ha-ha.  But as Foster mentions, as I read more, I will recognize more and more of these allusions.  It really is an amazing feeling to recognize one of these hidden gems, I’m glad to hear I am not the only nerd who enjoys them.      


Maddie Gillespie said:

Hey, it takes people of all kinds to recognize different allusions to other works. But you're right, the feeling of just having figured out what parts of a character that were used by another author is a neat feeling. It's almost like you've found a gold coin after all this effort of looking for it. So, you pick it up and hide it behind you back like a little kid who doesn't want anyone else to know! This little nugget of knowledge will serve you better in the future as well. I guess if you want to recognize every allusion out there, you're gonna need some deep pockets in some pants made out of a strong material, or at least a sack to carry all of those coins around!

Stephanie Wytovich said:

I completely agree with you. There is no greater feeling in literature to finally understand and grasp what the author is writing about. I mean when you can compare and contrast characters to Macbeth and Hamlet, you have to give yourself a pat of the back. Allusion is one of the most powerful tools in writing, so when one can find them and make the connection, they should feel very proud indeed.

Great comments, folks. There are of course times when I read or watch a movie purely to kill time and avoid having to think, but the pleasure that comes from these kinds of "aha" moments only grows the more you have been exposed to literature, and the more allusions you can recognize. And I find this kind of pleasure is lasting, while the pleasure that comes from purely escapist entertainment is fleeting.

Juliana Cox said:

I can not say I have had a defiant aha moment, but that is why I starting to become serious as an English Literature major. I have never been a fan of english, but during the end of my senior year I found it useful to be well-rounded in all types of literature; therefore I would be able to relate and understand concepts that the author tries to point out, but I always miss because I have yet to be exposed to all kinds of literature. I believe this course is the beginning path for me to have those aha moments.

Deana Kubat said:

there are many times when the author will through a curve ball and just throw you off track of what you anticipate will happen. doesn't it just bug you? but i guess that that is why those are the people that write literature for the rest of us to read and be able to use for examples. it takes just one curious mind to infect many others.

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Recent Comments

Deana Kubat on Hidden Gems: there are many times when the
Juliana Cox on Hidden Gems: I can not say I have had a def
Dennis G. Jerz on Hidden Gems: Great comments, folks. There
Stephanie Wytovich on Hidden Gems: I completely agree with you.
Maddie Gillespie on Hidden Gems: Hey, it takes people of all ki