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May 4, 2006

Final Blogging Portfolio

Portfolio 3 -- Jerz: American Lit II (EL 267)


Here is the link to my final blogging portfolio, with my items from Feb. 28 to the end of the semester.

Posted by MattHampton at 4:07 AM | Comments (1)

Final Blogging Portfolio

Matt Hampton
4 May 2006

Final Blogging Portfolio for EL 267


Holocaust complete?
This was my last blog concerning The Great Gatsby. In it, I remarked I thought Tom knew Daisy was behind the wheel of Gatsby’s car when Myrtle Wilson was reduced to road kill. In fact, that detail was very much in doubt.

They should’ve gone to Tennessee
My blog about Flannery O’Connor’s story “A Good Man Is Hard To Find.” I sort of opened the floodgates and let it all pour out, so this blog is lengthy.

Bevel the baptized
My blog about O’Connor’s “The River.” I had a lot of cited passages in this one. What was I thinking?

Great Googly-Moogly
My blog about Roberts, Chapter 18, “Writing and Documenting the Research Essay: Using Extra Resources for Understanding” I think Vivisimo.com is a very useful search engine. Now Brenda C. thinks so too.

Lady and the Tramp
My blog about O’Connor’s “The Life You Save May Be Your Own.” I don’t know what happened, but his one didn’t make it beyond my own blog.

Raising Kane
Comments on the essay “Welles’s Citizen Kane: Whittling a Giant Down to Size.” We discussed this in class too.

The apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree.
My blog about O’Connor’s “A Stroke of Good Fortune.”

A temple rent asunder
My blog about O’Connor’s “A Temple of the Holy Ghost.”

Pairaguys Lost
My blog about O’Connor’s “The Artificial Nigger.”

Appendix cited
My blog about Roberts, Appendix A “Critical Approaches Important in the Study of Literature.” I have to admit that since we read this section, I’ve had a bookmark there and I’ve reread it a few times for clarity’s sake.

Flashing (of) the bird
My blog about O’Connor’s “The Displaced Person.” In this blog, I talk about the peacocks and how the plumage reminded me of the Eyes of Dr. T.J. Eckleburg.

My blog about O’Connor’s “A Circle in the Fire.” Circle-Fire … Disc-o-inferno. Get it? Anyway, I remarked this story could lead to write from an economic determinist critical perspective.

Houston, we have a …
My blog about Roberts, Chapter 12 “Writing About a Problem: Challenges to Overcome in Reading”

Frosty, this known man
My blog about Robert Frost. I still think “The Fear” is creepy. By the way, it took me about half an hour to decide which was the best combination of sounds for this blog title, so that when you say it, it sounds like the fellow with the corncob pipe and a button nose and two eyes made out of coal.

Lang’s 10 hues
My blog about Langston Hughes. Good poet. Excruciating play on words. It was late.

Water, water everywhere
History lesson
My blogs about James McBride’s The Color of Water.

Aww shucks, it’s nothing
My blog about O’Connor’s “Good Country People” in which I mangle the passage in Hulga Hopewell’s philosophy book.

General disorder: a late encounter with blogging
My blog about O’Connor’s “A Late Encounter with the Enemy.” I guess it’s only fitting that I waited so long for this.

Being put to the test
My blog about Roberts, Chapter 17, also known as Chapter 19 in the 11th edition.

Achievable goals for Paper III
A blog I was asked to post that identified some goals I felt I could reach regarding our third paper. These also served as some goals I could take from this class in general. I think I was able to reach or nearly reach all five.

Oral hygiene
My thank you blog to the class for their help during and after my oral presentation concerning Paper III. Jennifer D. is right: misery loves company. To know that others are struggling too gives you some comfort.

Tangled up in Blue
Blue note
My blogs regarding Arthur Miller’s Resurrection Blues.


Water, water everywhere
In this blog, in reference to The Color of Water, I drew upon a personal experience.

A temple rent asunder
I had to consult a Bible to find the correct passage. I also added a link to a web site that is a useful quick reference for Biblical matters.


They should’ve gone to Tennessee
My novella. I guess it was a shotgun-style approach (discuss everything and something of value is bound to be there). A few people thought so.

Tangled up in Blue
I give credit to Arthur Miller (because we all liked Resurrection Blues) and credit to folks who needed to update their portfolios, but little to myself. The end result looks like I started something.


Lisa Randolph’s item about O’Connor’s “The Artificial Nigger”
I commented on her entry and elaborated at length about the N-word in the story and in general. This apparently attracted the interest of a black female who joined the discussion and had some productive things to say. I probably owe Dr. Jerz an apology for freelancing so much since it seemed to me he came to my defense in an effort to smooth out the wrinkles. When I wrote that, I seriously considered not sending it, but I decided I wouldn’t shy away from the possible charged comments that might come my way because my feelings were genuine. Had I another chance to write it, I admit I’d treat it a bit differently.

General disorder: a late encounter with blogging
I took some time before I felt like blogging on “A Late Encounter with the Enemy,” because I guess I just didn’t have a strong reaction. I don’t think it was until I read Megan Ritter’s blog that something began to form.


They should’ve gone to Tennessee
I actually sat on this blog for about a month. I accidentally read it too far in advance, but I hung onto it until closer to the time we’d discuss the story. I’m not certain that did me any good at all.

History lesson
This blog about The Color of Water generated a discussion in which Chris Ulicne and Jennifer DiFulvio added some interesting counterpoints.

A temple rent asunder
People’s interest this blog, regarding O’Connor’s A Temple of the Holy Ghost in this one mildly surprised me since I was sort of lukewarm on this story.

Pairaguys Lost
This blog, about “The Artificial Nigger” generated some thoughtful comments from Chris Ulicne, Jennifer DiFulvio and Lisa Randolph


Lisa Randolph’s item about O’Connor’s “The Artificial Nigger”
A Comment Grande and (maybe) a comment half-baked: I also thought maybe my comments would carry over to the classroom and we’d talk about it at length.

My comment on Chris Ulicne’s blog about O’Connor’s “A Temple of the Holy Ghost.”
A Comment Informative: I just drew on my scant knowledge of the Old Testament. I find inspiration in Biblical stories about people who stand up for their beliefs in the face of danger. That and I remembered Marjorie’s statement from “Bernice Bobs Her Hair.”

My comment Brenda Christeleit’s blog about O’Connor’s “Good Country People.”
A Link Gracious: Brenda hit on some good ideas concerning O’Connor’s assignment of defects to her characters. Considering my topic for Paper III, this was food for thought to me.


Aww shucks, it’s nothing
My comments about the philosophy passage Hulga Hopewell had underlined. I wish someone would have blogged about that since that passage was a mystery to me. I would have liked to have seen someone else’s comments.

Posted by MattHampton at 2:54 AM | Comments (0)

May 3, 2006

Blue note

Resurrection Blues Study Guide (online) -- Jerz: American Lit II (EL 267)

“Like any blues, it speaks of pain, public and private, and it speaks of loss. For all its humor, it presents broken relationships, casual betrayals, a denatured language, greed disguised as principle, a vacuity at the heart of affairs. The question it raises is what transcendent idea makes us welcome each new dawn, or have we consigned the very idea of transcendence to a history in which we no longer believe? Would we rather not be embarrassed by the thought that we serve something beyond our own desires, exist to do something more than insulate ourselves from the reality we fear?” (35).

This was an interesting study guide and I liked the extensive timeline at the beginning. I think it’s important to try to understand some of the obvious forces that shape a writer. This is one thing I tried to do with Flannery O’Connor, with an arguable amount of success. Some things were obvious, others less so, many were debatable to a large degree.

Especially with someone who had the success and longevity as Arthur Miller (whose career spanned 70 years and a great deal of world and cultural change), understanding what he saw and experienced can be very useful. He lived and worked during some of the greatest events in world history.

I lit on the above passage because it seemed to try and touch on the issues the writer thought were essential in Resurrection Blues. I especially liked the last question. Rather provocative, I thought. My answer is no, but that’s me and that is born of the things I’ve seen and experienced. I’ve also met and suffered some Felixes and Skip Cheeseboros in my life. Their motivations would be something more material, I think we can all agree. However having characters like that in a play or novel provide such a contrast to the Nick Carraways and Henri Shultzes that we can’t help but trust the latter.

Posted by MattHampton at 12:28 PM | Comments (1)

Tangled up in Blue

Miller, Resurrection Blues (to be published in February) -- Jerz: American Lit II (EL 267)

“I’m sorry but we can’t be twisting the historical record! Great new idea … And furthermore, I will not superimpose American mores on a dignified foreign people. The custom here is to crucify criminals, period! I am not about to condescend to these people with a foreign colonialist mentality!” (44).

I originally blogged this passage, but this must have been about the time the web site went haywire, and it never posted.

Judging from our class discussion, we all enjoyed the banter between the characters and passages like the one above make me think this would be a great play to see. I’ll bet it is hilarious and one can only imagine the body language and gestures of the characters when they’re not speaking. This would be even funnier when the characters are together and the lines are coming rapid fire.

I suppose most people don’t like Felix, but I thought he his crazy narcissism was funny and made him Henri’s opposite.

Posted by MattHampton at 12:23 AM | Comments (5)