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Transcript of Literature
with older writers. Why? make them sound smarter give us a kind of authority Henry has to grow up and be a leader
Harold makes us reexamine assumptions. EXAMPLES- Pulp Fiction East of Eden Beloved- time of judgement Pale River- speaks words Araby Absalom Canterbury Tales- Easter Uses phrases or sayings directly from
the Bible without us knowing. significance of characters- Names of the books in the Bible. Some biblical perceptions are easy
to tell and some aren't. Borrow from-Ghostbusters What literary canon means? Master list of works that everyone pretends
doesn't exist. "traditional" works- Alice in Wonderland , Narnia novels, Cat in the Hat Fairy Tales- Sleeping Beauty Snow White Hansel and Gretel Metonymy- Rhetorical device in which a part is made
to stand for a whole. sexist fairy tales- Bloody Chamber (1979) Puss-in-Boots Portions of other stories
to add depth and texture. Want strangeness in stories, but want familiarity. Fairy tales simplistic crop have a connection with our complicated world, certainly plain irony. "myth" in a story- Ability of story to explain ourselves
in ways that others can't. Greek and Roman myth of fabric of conciousness. Classic myth works- overt subject matter for poems,
paintings, operas, and novels. Why compare? We are all descended from God. Readers and writers share knowledge of a
big portion of this body of story. It's never just rain. Weather is never just weather. Why is rain special? Noah and the Ark, drowning brings fear Why bring rain into stories? Plot device, atmospherics, misery factor, democratic element,
it's clean, restorative, element of spring, rainbows, new awakenings. Snow- clean, stark, severe, warm, inhospitable, inviting,
playful, suffocating, filthy Fog- confusion, people can't see clearly No one knows for certain. intentionalist- attempt to control every facet of the creative
output and who intend virtually every effect in their works Lateral thinking is what we are really talking about. Violence- most personal and even intimate acts between
human beings, but also cultural and societal. Violence in real life just is. Violence is everywhere in literature. 2 categories- range of behavior , authorial violence How are they the same and different? They are different because no guilty party exists in the narrative. They are the same because it doesn't really matter if the person is dead. Generally more than 1, range of possibilities
are far larger than 1. problems with symbols- People except them to mean something in particular. Expect to be objects and images rather than
events or actions. allegory- Can't be reduced to one standing. caves? Earliest ancestors, connection to basic and primitive
elements in our natures, caves keep its secret. A Christmas Carol was made to be a political view. Political writing can be one dimensional, simplistic,
reductionist, preachy, and dull. dislikes of political writing- don't travel well, age well, aren't good in their own place and time. likes about political writing- thinks about human problems, addresses rights of person, and compelling. All writing is political on some level. Writers tend to be people who are interested in the world around them. It always-or almost always-is. Knowing something about the New and Old testament is essential. What makes Christ Christ? 1. crucified, wounds in hands, feet, side, head 2. agony 3. self-sacrificing 4. good with children, loaves, fishes, water, wine 5. thirty years old when last seen 6. carpenter 7. humble modes of transportation 8. walked on water 9. arms outstretched 10. alone in wilderness 11. confrontation with devil 12. company of thieves 13. aphorisms and parables 14. arose in three days 15. twelve disciples 16. forgiving 17. redeem unworthy world Writers want to make certain point, parallel deepens sense or
characters sacrifice, redemption, hope, miracle, character look smaller. person in air flying ? superhero, ski jumper, crazy,fictional circus act, on wires, anger, heavily symbolic Toyed with flight since early times. Flying is freedom, escape, return home, largeness or spirit, love. Irony trumps everything. Allows us to take off, let our imagination take flight. Sex doesn't have to look like sex. Twentieth century didn't invent sexual symbolism. movies? Think of ways to hide it like waves, curtains, campfire, fireworks. books? Not actual sex but form of sex, more intense than literal depictions. Sex is displaced into other areas of experience the same way it is in our lives and our own conciousness. Describing two humans having sex is least rewarding. Describing parts and movements in a haze of breathy metaphors and heroic adverbs, hard to write without seeming. When they are writing about other things, they mean sex when they mean something else, it means sex. Most famous sex scene? French Lieutenants Woman (1969) Sex is tied up with something to cover for espionage,
personal sacrifice, psychological neediness, and power
over someone. O' Briens writing is about liberation and failure of liberation. People in water? Wish, fulfillment, exorcism of primal fear, exploration of possible,
hand solution to messy plot. You have to be ready to receive it. When writers baptize characters it means death, new birth, new identity. examples- Unicorn (1963), The River (1955) Drowning has plenty to tell us in a story. Every story or poem is a vacation. literary geography- humans inhabiting spaces, at the same time spaces that inhabit humans revelatory or virtually any element in the work, develop character, specific
plot role in literary work. When writers send characters south, its so they
can run amok. because they are having direct, raw encounters with the sub conscious. specific places Bagland (1969) Snows of Kilimanjaro (1936) Place, shape, and space bring us to ideas, psychology, history, and dynasium. Places of poems and fiction really matter. Happiness and dissatisfaction have their seasons. summer- passion, love, adulthood, romance, and fulfillment winter- anger, hatred, old age, resentment, and death spring- childhood and youth fall- decline, middle age, tiredness, harvest examples- Hotel du Lac (1984), Fern Hill (1946) There's only one story. Writers have to practice a kind of amnesia, pure originality is impossible. examples- Child's Garden of verses Other writers pretend their work is their own, untutored,
immediate, unaffected. example- On the Road (1957) Can't avoid them, archetype or pattern. example- Lord of The Rings Myth, archetype, religious narrative, great body of lit.- always with us. In real life, when people have any physical mark or imperfection. It means nothing thematically, metaphorically, or spiritually. Physical imperfection in symbolic terms. Scars resemble/ mean something. examples- Farewell to Arms, The Waste Land, Alexandria Quartet Always significant? Deformities and scars not always but does. If a writer brings up physical problem or handicap or deficiency, probably means something. What a writer does with a blind character. Every statement by or about the character has to relate to the lack of sight. Writer created minor constellation of difficulties. Seeing and blindness are generally at issue in many works. If you want your audience to know something important about your character. Introduce it early, before you need it. example- Waiting for Godot (1954) No better, no more lyrical, no more perfectly metaphorical
illness than heart disease. Heart- symbolic repository of emotion. how the author uses it- shorthand for the character examples- Iliad Odyssey Good heart- something good. bad heart- emotional trouble becomes physical ailment. Paralysis- physical, moral, social, spiritual, intellectual, political. 1. Not all diseases are equal.
2. It should be picture. 3. Should be mysterious in origin.
4. Should have strong symbolic possibilities. Sufficiently compelling metaphor can induce an author to bring
an otherwise objectionable illness into a work. types of disease- malaria, AIDS/HIV, PTSD, fever AIDS adds another property- political angle Real illness comes with baggage, can be useful or overcome in a novel. Don't read with your eyes. Find perspective for sympathy with historical moment of story. Deconstruction- to demonstrate how the work is controlled and reduced by
values and prejudice of its own time. last-change-for-change story Can this person be saved? If your a professor, you have to deal with some pretty unsavory
characters and some questionable works. Irony trumps everything. sign- something that signifies a message Irony is chiefly structural and dramatic rather than verbal. examples- Passage to India, Mrs, Dalloway, Unicorn Irony doesn't work for everyone. How do you know its irony? Listen. What does the story signify? Clash between the social classes, how people
insulate themselves. Everybody gets the story. How does it signify? Birds and flight. What does it signify? Offers a critique of the class system, story of initiation into the adult
world of sex and death, amusing examinations of family dynamics touching portrait of a child struggling to establish herself as an independent entity in the face of nearly overwhelming parental influence.