Survery of Literary Criticism

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

What does that have to do with the 3rd world war?

Today we had group presentations and I must say that they were pretty darn good. However, if you have not been a faithful attender of the class, some of the dialogues may have seemed pretty strange. In fact, I'm sure an outsider would have wondered what any of our presentations had in common with each other and perhaps even themselves. Dr. Sexson has warned us that part of the final will be on the presentation, so here are some notes:

Group 1: Matt, Andrea, Kate, Ed, Zak, Debbie

The scene is Linda Richman's show "Coffee Talk" (she's a zealous fan of most males and Barbara Streisand). She invites 5 critics on to talk about the canon and why Shakespeare's on top. There was plenty of humor - poor 'ol Hugh was a little out-of-century and Thomas got a little too much enjoyment out of tormenting Roland.


Group 2: Lindsee, Amanda, Tristan, Nancy, and Kelly

An angry playwright is trying to reason with the director, Jung, about the content and direction of her play. The play was supposed to be a mystery, but Jung tries to make it into feminism (a woman's part done very well by Tristan!), Medieval, and a drama. Dr. Sexson likened it to "A Mid-Summer Night's Dream".


Group 3: Nikole, Lisa, Brian, Danny, me

The story of a new journalist who must write a review about the "Deja-vu Glitch in the Matrix", this group (an inside source said) had many more laughs practicing than the audience seemed to have. The journalist was visited by Plotinus, Shelley, the next door neighbor, and a cheap Keanu Reeves impersonator (that one's for you, Danny!). Eventually, after a plethora of references to class discussions, the journalists determines that really all critics work together.

Sunday, November 28, 2004

Holidays and memories

This weekend I spent my Thanksgiving here in Bozeman. Normally I would go home, to my house near Plevna, for the holiday. But this year I have an especially busy class schedule, so I went home last weekend to see my youngest brother play his last junior high basketball game. As a consequence, I determined to remain in Bozeman and do TONS of homework over the break.

Well, I didn't count on being quite so lonely. It's not like I've never spent Thanksgiving away from home before. My junior year of high school I was in Atlanta, Georgia at the National 4-H Congress, which I had won a state award in order to attend, having turkey at Hard Rock Cafe. Last year I was in Australia, traveling throughout Queensland and visitng family friends. Neither of those Thanksgiving were especially rough on me.

This year, I watched each of my four roommates get in her car and drive home, taking the direction I would be taking if I had been going. Then I had our five bedroom house all to myself, which seemed a little excessive and a lot empty. Plus the only thing I had to look forward to was a stack of textbooks and using a lot of pencil lead. So I was pretty bumbed on Wednesday night.

The saving grace was that a friend of mine had also decided to stay in Bozeman, and his parents came to him! So his mom was going to cook Thanksgiving dinner and I was invited. I stipulated that I would only come if I could bring something. So I was assigned the green bean casserole.

Thursday morning I awoke to begin my weekend of being studious. I put some bars in the oven to bake, set out the ingredients for the casserole, and worked on a presentation for an hour or so. Sometime in there, I called home to see how their Thanksgiving was going. I only talked to my mom, since everyone else was out trying to shoot something (and not being successful, as usual!). She was chipper, but it still made me melancholy to talk to her. I said a sad goodbye and made my casserole. At the appointed hour of noon, I headed over to my friend's house.

My intentions were to stay for dinner and to help clean-up. Then I was going to return to my own abode to get more homework done. However, after a delicious meal, they put in my favorite movie ever - "The Man from Snowy River". It's a must-see!! And of course and must have seen it then! So I stayed to watch the movie. Then they decided that as long as they saw the first one, they might as well watch the sequel! Oh heavens! What's a girl to do? Of course I stayed to watch the sequel "Return to Snowy River"- it's almost as good as the original! And somewhere in-between I had another helping of turkey dinner.

So I arrived back at my house at 9 o'clock that night. Well. So much for my goal of ultimate productivity! However, I was very productive the next three days and by the time my roommates arrived back in Bozeman, I was ready for some human company.

To sum up my latest Thanksgiving experience, I would say that being so close, yet so far from home is very tough; friends and their mothers are a must have in life; and some movies you can truly never get enough of. Next year, unless I'm in another country, I'll be heading home for my holidays.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

"Quiz 2" and answers!

Today we took the second test of the semester and then corrected them. The test questions and the correct answers are as follows:

1. Table of Element, Approach, and Time Frame
Work= Objective = Modern
Artist = Expression = Romantic
Universe (World) = Mimetic = Classical/Ancient
Audience = Pragmatic = Neo-Classical

2. Archibald MacLeish's last line in his poem Ars Poetica, "a poem should not mean but be" would most likely be a manifesto or credo for which school of criticism? NEW CRITICISM

3. TS Eliot, in his essay, "Tradition and the Individual Talent" would most likely believe that poetry is: AN ESCAPE FROM EMOTION

4. If, Virginia Woolf says, Shakespeare had a sister, she: WOULD HAVE BEEN UNDEREDUCATED, EXCLUDED FROM THE STAGE, AND WOULD PROBABLY HAVE COMMITTED SUICIDE

5. Which critic would most likely be concerned with structures and patterns modeled on the seasons and on mythic categories? NORTHRUP FRYE

6. According to Derrida, the western world has privileged __SPEECH_ over __WRITING__.

7. The word "pharmakon" used by the ancients, according to Derrida, means both: REMEDY AND POISON

8. Given Zach's description of himself in his e-journal, he would probably be least likely to admire the workd of: JACQUES DERRIDA

9. Pigeon Holes.
a) Simone de Beauvoir - FEMINIST
b) William Wimsatt - FORMALIST
c) Paul de Man - DECONSTRUCTIONIST
d) Steven Greenblatt - NEW HISTORICIST
e) Terry Eagleton - MARXIST
f) Tzetan Todorov - STRUCTUALIST
g) Homi Bhabha - POST COLONIALIST

10. What is the term that corresponds to the following defnition and who best exemplifies this defintion: "A literary and philosophical movement asserting the existence of an ideal spiritual reality that transcends the empirical and scientific and is knowable through intuition."
a) Term: TRANSCENDENTALISM
b) Person, writer, or critic: RALPH WALDO EMERSON

11. To Judith Butler, gender is: NOT SO MUCH A SOCIAL AND CULTURAL CONSTRUCT AS A PERFORMANCE or A NONSENSE CATEGORY

12. Walter Benjamin believes that before the age of mechancial reproduction, works of art possessed a unique quality similar to works of religious veneration. His word for this was: AURA

13. Stephen Greenblatt didn't want to be called what he is typically called; instead he wanted to be known as a critic who was involved in: THE POETICS OF CULTURE

14. "The spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings" your instructor believes is a "nutshell" definition of which critical movement? ROMANTICISM

15. The best description for Thomas Love Peacock who wrote the "Four Ages of Poetry", an attack on poetry that led to Shelley's great response, is: A ROMANTIC SATIRIST

16. To Michel Foucault, all of history is: DISCOURSE

17. Mikhail Bakhtin is famous for a term that suggests the dynamic, give-and-take qualities of real human speech reflecting the actualitites of life rather than the single-minded concepts or thoughts of an author. This term is: DIALOGIC

18. Friedrich Nietzsche said something about truth that is worth repreating exactly, word for word. What is it? TRUTH IS A MOBILE ARMY OF METAPHORS.

19. What vivid metaphor did Hugh of St. Victor use to refer to the activity of reading? POPPING VINEYARD BERRIES INTO THE MOUTH

20. "To understand the whole text, one must understand each part; but to understand each part, one must undersatnd the whole." This, in Friedrich Schleiermacher's famous phrase, is: THE HERMENEUTICAL CIRCLE

21. A word that isused by both Frye and Jung to refer to basic patterns, images, models, which recur throughout human discourse: ARCHTYPES

22. Someone like Eagleton who says that literature concerns not only beauty but "the social control of the middle and working classes" is most likely to be what kind of critic: MARXIST

23. In addition to giving us William Tell, the Ode to Joy, and Aesthetic Education for people, Friedrich von Schiller understood that: IN ERROR ONLY IS THERE TRUTH (go Freddy!)

24. Which feminist was described by her impersonator as the the "FRIST" feminist? MARY WOLLSTONECRAFT

25. Which did Edgar Allan Poe NOT think: REPETITION IS USUALLY TO BE AVOIDED IN GOOD LITERARY WORKS

26. Phonocentrism suggests that: SPEECH IS SUPERIOR TO WRITING

27. To the New Critic, "Stay inside the Text!" To the deconstructionist: "THERE IS NO OUTSIDE THE TEXT"

28. Stanley Fish (Fishy Foo), left on the blackboard a series of assignments and names written by the previous instructor. He decptively told his class that what was on the blackboard was: A RELIGIOUS POEM

29. Jane Tomkins wanted to bring back the element of the __PERSONAL__ in texts that men seemed to have ignored or left out.

30. We couldn't decide what to call her: linguist, literary critic, cultural theorist, psychoanalyst, deconstructionist, semiologist, stucturalist, post-structuralist. We do know that she coined the term "sem-analysis" and was interested in language as a system of signs. Who is she? JULIA KRISTEVA

31. Fill in the blanks from Vico: The age of Gods is followed by the Age of __HEROES__ which is followed by the Age of __MEN__ which is followed by the Age of Chaos.

32. Laura Muvey, a theorist of cinema, was much interested in what she called: THE MALE GAZE

33. Whic is the phrase which best sums up Henry Louis Gates' views: RACE CAN BE UNDERSTOOD AS A TEXT

34. According to Gilbert and Gubar, women do not experience the "anxiety of influence" in the same way as men; but rather the: ANXIETY OF AUTHORSHIP

35. Wimsatt has given us two powerful fallacies to think about. What are they?
a) INTENTIONAL FALLACY
b) AFFECTIVE FALLACY

36. Derrida in his practice of deconstruction wishes to replace the privileged term in each binary opposition with its opposite. FALSE

37. Roland Barthes is associated with all of the following except: FRENCH ROMANTICISM

38. Dustin as Bakhtin did a Bakhtinian analysis of the language of: BEAVIS AND BUTTHEAD

39. Horace was the first who said that the purpose of poetry was to: INSTRUCT AND ENTERTAIN

40. A philosophy, espoused by Jean Pual Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir, which insists the universe is absurd but that we are completely undetermined, absolutely free to invent ourselves: EXISTENTIALISM

41. Stanley Fish would best be thought of as a: READER RESPONSE CRITIC

42. According to our time-traveler John Dryden, the two most essential works in the canon would be a) THE BIBLE and b) THE COMPLETE WORKS OF JOHN DRYDEN

43. What does Derrida typically find when he "deconstructs" the writings of others? A DESIRE TO PRIVILEGE THE HAVE NOTS OVER THE HAVES

44. "close reading" and "explication" would be most likely to belong to: NEW CRITICS

45. - extra credit for drawing a picture (of any quality or inferiority)
Xtra credit for writing down as much of Wallace Stevens' "The Idea of Order in Key West" as you can!

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Derrida and review

Here are my notes from today's class:

difference between deconstructionist - everythign is a part of a text or textual itself; and New Criticism - no history, biography, or other contexts, just words

Derrida (page 1817)
the last of the canonical critics
"there is nothing outside the text"
he loves to play with language
"The interpretation is simply another room of the dream" - everything is textual, language, and discourse
- writing is really superior to speech
he disagrees with: logocentrism - truth, reality , facts, and reason are privileged center of Western culture, phonocentrism - privilege speech over writing, transcendental signified - something out there is beyond us and etermines who we are and what we do
- writing is fundamental, even the critics of writing have to criticize it IN WRITING!!
PHARMAKON - word for writing - means drug, remedy, poison
language is dynamic
mythocentrism(??)


Pigeon-holing the critics

Foucault - post structualist "History is discourse". "power" (much in common with Derrida)

Paul de Man - deconstructionist, "Language is rhetorical", texts are unstable, interpretation is rhetorical, look at rhetoric, not dealing with truth but with play of words

Wimsatt - Formalist, New Critic intentional fallacy - can't look at author's intent
affective fallacy - can't look at reader's response, to get the meaning of the text

Poe - Classicist, a work should have one single effect (Aristotle on drugs?!)
death of a beautiful woman is very important, works should be short - readable in one sitting

Dryden - also a Classicist

Fish - Fishy Foo, Reader Response, poetry is that which is seen with poetry seeing eyes

Wollstonecraft - first feminist - society should educate women equally with men (handout)

Jung - depth psychologist, of the unconscious mind, known for his archetypes of the collective unconscious (of characters) Remember Star Wars

Peacocke- Romantic satirist, critic of poetry, inspired Shellly to write Defense of Poetry, give up childish poems, etc.

Emerson - transcendentalist, petry is inspired by God, (opposite of Derrida)

Thompkins - feminist, wants people to take off their straight jackets and write more personally and less objectively (which is how males write)

Vico - "original", system of Ages - gods, heroes, men, chaos he was a historian, mythologist, and much more

Hugh of St. Victor - function of literature is to TEACH, didactic, his image of the berry and plucking it from vineyard to put in your mouth (you do the same with words)

Bhabha - post-colonialist, influenced by deconstructionists, breaks down Western binary oppostitions, the haves and have nots

Nietzsche - Existentialist, God IS DEAD, How do we knokw what is essential?, existence is more important than essence, "TRUTH IS A MOBILE ARMY OF METAPHORS"

Bakhtin - structualist, monologic versus dialogic writing (single speech versus dialogue, dynamic speech)

Barthes - French structualist, Death of the author, language is important

de Beavuoir - feminist (one of the top 5), her book "The Second Sex", existentialist, women have been defined by men, but now should be free to define themselves

Kristeva - feminist - hard to classify, semanalysis - linguistics dissolve the sign, intertextuality

Mulvey - feminist film critic, issues of the "Male Gaze", men representing females

Gates - deconstructionist, address questions of race, "RACE Is A TEXT"

G and G - feminists (also in the top 5ish), book "The Mad Woman in the Attic", males experience anxiety of influence, females experience anxiety of authorship

Todorov - structual analyst, simple clauses arranged to form the plot

Schlermaker - Romantic, HERMENUETICS - science of interpretation, relating to the BIBLE, also the hermenuetic circle

Schiller - Romantic, concerned with spiritual and physical freedom, "In error only is there truth", making mistakes are important

Eagleton - Marxist, social and political roles in literature and in culture

Greenblatt - New Historicist, text is history and history is a text, history is a collection of rhetoric

Wordsworth - Romantic, "Poetry is a spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings"

Benjamin - social historian, "aura", aesthetic changes in social history

Butler - feminist and queer theorist, probably pissed of most people with her work, gender and sexuality is a costume that society imposes upon us and gender is a construct, we've invented sexuality, her book "Gender Trouble"

70% of the exam will come from what's on the blackboard today

Also included on the exam will be Northrup Frye and other things from notes previous to the individual critic presentations


Tuesday, November 16, 2004

the end of the visits from the past

Today we finished up with the individual critic presentations.


Judith Butler (a.k.a Debbie)

classified as a feminist, even though she prefers not to be called one
queer theory
her book "Gender Trouble"
femininity is defined as other of masculinity
it needs to be one identity, not opposites
through language, we ill break down walls that oppress us - gender roles
not fear of literal castration but fear of homosexual castration (figuratively)
gender roles come from society
more than identifying with or desiring a sex
so, we need to break down feminine and masculine and make them less static, we all take on many roles


Cleanth Brooks (a.k.a. Ray)

Formalist, New Critic
"If poetry is worth teaching at all, it is worth teaching as poetry"
the text itself is important
not the reader, author, historical contexts - they don't matter!!
his book "Well Wrought Urn" (or poem?)
not origin, author, reader that matters, but only the text itself


Stanley Fish

story about 2 classes and carried over assignment - how a class made a religious poem out of a random grouping of names
How do you know a poem when you see one?
usually by distinguishable language
Reader Response critic
"Is there a text in this class" - his book


Steven Greenblatt

New Historicism - inadvertantly coined the phrase
prefers Poetics of Culture
"the text is history and history is textual" - can't seperate the two
example - prisoners who were influenced by text - acutal history, historical currency
osellatin gbetween art and history
"Learning To Curse" - his book


John Dryden (a.k.a. Danny)

Restoration Dramatist, Classicist
best known for poetry
Dryden found a brick, left a marble
"Marriage a la mode" - his play
quote - "man should have a resonable.....to be a good poet"
canon
1. The Bible
2. The complete works of John Dryden
Excellent oration of the poem "One Happy Moment" !!!



And that's the last of them!!
For Thursday, we are supposed to bring a one sentence description of our critics, along with a one to two word definition and a test question.

Dr. Sexson encouraged us to invite dead people to dinner to learn more about them - sounds a little funky but it could be fun!

New Critics say to "stay inside the text", that the author doesn't know anymore about the text than the reader knows

Jacques Derrida - deconstructionist
he responded to the stay inside the text by saying that "there is NO outside the text"
he broadened the definition of the text
it's not just words on a page, but anything that can be interpreted and read
for example - movies, people, events, etc.
deconstruction - THERE IS NO TRUTH - Nietzche

Brooks say poem "the tree" is a bad poem, but we remember it and some like it very much!
"all is vain" from Isaiah
realist - real, substantial, and...?
nominalist - just words, don't mean anything

Finnegan's Wake - end point of criticism?

Personally, I don't think there will ever be an end to criticism. As long as there someone out there who wants to impress someone else, there will always be people acting like they know more than they really do and attempting to sound intelluctual by criticizing. I will try to not let it be me!!

Friday, November 12, 2004

and the psychos, I mean, alter egos continue.....

Nietzsche (a.k.a. Jamie)

anit-christ of Western thought
there is no real truth!!!!
because 1. Truth is totally dependant on language
2. Truth is a product of society
sprachkrise o- crisis of language - too general
3 types of people
1. man of reason - no emotion
2. man of intuition - wants to be deceived
3. stoic - no suffering, forfeits life
LIVE BY ENERGY
(truth is a noble army of metaphors)


Terry Eagleton (a.k.a. Nikole)

premier British marxist critic
distinct class orientation of literature
all literature has a social significance in reinforcing social


Horace (a.k.a. J.R.)

Roman - first century B.C.
whetstone that sharpens knives of other literary critics who cut who literature
"Art of Poetry" - most famous work
2 objectives: 1. obstruct 2. entertain
most important poart of literature is decorum - unity of piece
NO PURPLE PATCHES!! - unneccessary frivolties
advice for poets - not afraid of criticism, foundation of wisdome, poetry needs innate talent, figut your weight, exercise your work (make it fit, lean, and strong)


Simon de Beauvor (a.k.a. Jennifer)

Queen Bee of feminist works
"The second sex" - her work
women are defined by men - no past or history of their own, but they need to act as their own subjects
she's not a man hater
"One is not born, but rather becomes... a woman"


William Wimsatt (a.k.a. Megan)

text is important!!!
Formalist, New Criticism
autotellic - independatn of outside sources (text is)
biographical, external, physcological aspect are only important if included in the text
Can't use author's intention, or reader's response, to find meaning of the text
1. INTENTIONAL FALLACY
2. AFFECTIVE FALLACY


Sandy Gilbert, Susan Gubar (a.k.a. Yoshie)

anxiety of authorship in female authors
example - Snow White trades cooking and cleaning for a place to stay
Bloom's anxiety (?)
patriarchy world - women are inferior
enormously influential text - "Mad Woman in the Attic"


Henry Lewis Gates, Jr. (a.k.a. Opai)

RACE IS A TEXT ITSELF
blackness, darkness in literature
'temutic scholar' - preserve race
talking Black


Michel Foucaviet (a.k.a. Andrea)

French - (great accent!!)
discourse - anything relevant to a topic
signifier - word (deconstructionist's definition)
signified - object
ecriture - French for writing
taken out object - writin about wriring, not writing about something
The author is DEAD, fives a text a certain level of quality
decenter the author
no longer center of universal
DECONSTRUCTIONIST


Walter Benjamin (a.k.a. Kelly)

wrote on Marxist theory
joined German Communist party
"aura" - not timeless, changes with capitalistic production
reproduction of art - not authentic
due to capitalism, we view art differently thatn is should be viewed


Thomas Love Peacocke (a.k.a. Ed)

marginal about modern poetry - change your major!!
gifted person wastes energy on poetry
"trifles and toy of childhood"
poets were first historians and served a purpose
Iron Age - bards
Golden Age - useful, best time
Silver Age - polished previous poetry, same ideas, change language
example - Virgil refurbishes Homer
Bronze - no new ideas, language overdone , sciences
they cycle starts all over
Milton bridges gap between Golden and Silver Ages
Coleridge drop off
Peacocke's work "4 Ages of Poetry"
poetry deserves to be cultivated
if going to waste time with poetry, at least waste with classical, not contemporary


Schlermaker (a.k.a Lindsee)

German Romanticist
HERMENEUTICS - art of understanding and interpreting a text thru systematic
no interpreting allegorically or symbolic
2 principals for an artful interpretation
1. grammatical -
2. psychological - author's purpose


Hugh of St. Victor (Matt?)

12th centry, medieval
lightness out of darkness
teacher for teachers, reader amongst readers
nothing more important than reading
purpose of literary study:
what should we read? what sequence, matter?
DIDASCIALICON - new reading, hiding place in your heart recall it later for wisdom
closer you get, more RADIANCE
everyone can read, rhyme in everything
1. theoretical - strive for idea of truth
2. mechanical - incorporate occupation
3. practical - ethics and mortality
4. logic - provides necessary knowledge for speaking and argument
figurative language is OH, so important
go to the ultimate text - to understand the Bible, God
"follow the shadow....come closer to truth"
image: pluck berries and put them into your mouth


Bhabha (a.k.a Kate)

post colony theory
East Indian, dual doctorate
2001 - Harvard English professor
hybrid culture is normal
deconstructionist
canon - problem - ethnocentric - towards dominate culture (western)

Thursday, November 04, 2004

A strange crew, part II

More individual presentations today. Here are my notes:

Carl Jung (a.k.a. Nancy)

psychoanalysis - she analyzes the psycho!
3 levels - conscious, personal conscious and collective unconsciousness
many kinds of collective unconsciousness (archetypes, universal ideas we all share)
mother
anima - female collective conscious in the male
animus - male collective conscious in the female
syzygy - we are all bisexual - most primal, closest thing to collective unconsciousness
Example - Star Wars - archetypes are hero, maiden, wise man, and shadow


William Wordsworth (a.k.a. Sarah)

he does not want to be a critic or judge other people's work
if time was spent creating and not critiquing, we would all be more productive
Definition: poet - man speaking to man
poetry - spontaneous overflowing of powerful feelings
disagrees with novels and that language of poetry should be elevated above normal speaking language
friends with Samuel Taylor Coleridge
parting prediction - Poets will have to defend their work against scientists


Edgar Allan Poe (a.k.a. Amanda)

writing backwards - start with outcome you want to achieve, not with a thesis
Example - The Raven
start with the outcome, the effect you want to have, and the desired length (one sitting)
more than one sitting will break unity, sometimes that all right (Robinson Crusoe)
Effect of Raven was sorrow, mournful, beauty
Tone is melancholy - most legitimate tone
Refrain - "nevermore" at end of stanza, hard 'O' sound
pretext - non-reasoning creature - first a parrot, but decided upon a raven
Topic - death is melancholy, death of a beautiful women is even more
narrator is love of dead beauty
he wrote the most climatic stanza first
For a poem to be successful - must have complexity and level of suggestiveness (metaphor)


Jane Thompkins (a.k.a. Mandy)

She wants us to write from our gut (and eat donuts, thank you very much, Mandy!!!)
current society is repressing us as writers
she can't stop reading becuase she's looking and finding the personal connection between the reader and the
author
women are bearers of emotion and they should spill their guts in their writing, even though our Western epistomology discourages women
When we write in a distant voice, we revise and strive for perfection
We are scared our real writing will be criticized
Reach out and steal somebody's heart!!
"Take off your straight-jacket!"
"you as writers to cast shadows yourselves"


Laura Mulvey (a.k.a. Lisa)

Feminist, leading woman movie producer
Most famous book - "Fetishism and Curiousity"
Lisa brought us a Playboy - demonstration of how humans find female body beautiful
Both men and women like to look at naked females
Women are passively controlled by male need to gaze upon them
Laura was a supporter of Freud and the "male gaze"
Breast obsession - from infancy when we all suckled?
Laura helped establish feminist film theory and worked with husband to produce 6 films


Julia Kristeva (a.k.a. Cindy)

she was many things, among them a feminist and psychoanalyst
Glossary of terms
semiotic - science of signs
symbolic - follows semiotic, dowmain of position and judgement
semanalysis - linguistic analysis by Kristeva
every text is influenced by another text which is influenced by language
2 axises - horizontal and vertical
she developed her thought by mergin other contemporaries' theories


Rowland Barthes (a.k.a. Zach)

French guy, but actually just LANGUAGE
every author has language in common
as soon as words are written, language is killed
author is possessed by Neurosis - flirtatious diety
text must be liminal, on the edge
suppress/remove the author - enjoy just the text
author allows himself to be suppressed?


Mikhail Bakhtin (a.k.a. Dustin)

Dialogical imagination
talking about words, English majors have troubles with this?!
we don't speak in poetry, what is practicality of it?
language is dialogue, like spoken words, not written
NOVEL captures spoken word
writing language - something dies
Example - Beevis and Butthead
tension - between words "suck" and "cool", etc.
spoken word rings with us in a way written word does not


John Baptisto Vico (a.k.a. Tristan)

"New Science" book
theories - universality of history
Gentile nations - 'simple men' beginning of poetics
not enough to have Iron, Bronze ages, but need:
1. Age of Gods - oral traditions, speaking
2. Age of Heros - symbols, emblems, images
3. Age of Man - words agreed upon by all people
imagination is cause of poetic wisdom from Gentile Man
divine fable - JOB (symbol)
muse - science of the knowledge of good and evil
fear awakened in man by???
Man in his ignorance.......

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

The Scrooge of election day

So I sat down in a class today and the girl next to me (who I think is a very nice person) starts to talk about how depressed she is because Bush won the election and how our country is going to go down the drain because he's leading us for another four years.
Keep in mind this is totally out of character for me, but I kinda snapped at her. I asked her to please not tell me about it because I am so sick of politics right now. We can't change the outcome of the election now!! and we probably couldn't change it before the election either, for that matter. Now, it's probably easier for me to say this because my candidate won - I voted for Bush. However, I also voted for Bob Brown and he didn't get elected. Does that mean I spend my time letting everyone within hearing distance know that I don't want Brian Schweitzer to be my governor?? NO!!! I suck it up, take it like a woman, and resolve to look for something positive. So please don't mention politics for sometime while in my ear shot - I don't want to hear and am betting there are many others who feel the same way.

This doesn't mean that I"m an un-caring bigot who doesn't pay attention to how my country and state are being run. However, I am an economics major and let me fill you in on a little secret. No matter which candidate gets elected, it won't make much difference to us. You see, in order for a candidate to stand half of a chance of winning, he/she has to share the opinions of a majority of the people. And you are never going to get a candidate that you agree with every single stance of his/her's. So economics tells us that actually one candidate is not much different than the other, because in order for either Bush or Kerry to stand a chance of winning, each must have pretty middle of the political spectrum views. And as close as race as it was, I would say that the two candidates are pretty close. I would venture that every American can find at least one opinion from each candidate to agree with. I don't like to admit it, but Kerry does have a few redeeming qualities, otherwise he would never have gotten as far as he did.

The moral of my Scrooge story is I'm glad the election only happens every four years!!!