Sunday, November 30, 2008

Semester Reflection

Looking back on the semester, I have learned a good bit about contemporary literature. I am not a big reader, and had saved the class until my final semester. In the end, I enjoyed it and I shouldn't have been worrying about taking it. I enjoyed reading The Watchmen, because it was something different and new. Graphic novels are an emerging form of literature, and the amount of information that is contained inside those issues is unbelievable. I think we really should have spent more time on the graphic novel, and even maybe read an additional one with a somewhat different approach. I also believe that A Streetcar Named Desire and Atonement were worth reading this semester.

I didn't really enjoy reading Sula or some of the short stories in the Anthology, and I wouldn't have minded if they were left out of the course. Now, I would say that I hate poems, so yes, I would probably say that I didn't enjoy them, but I think it is always important to read and discuss different types of literature that are hard for some students, like myself, to comprehend.

As for additions to the class, I think I would just recommend choosing a book that is on the current years best selling list. Not just any book, but by an author that has influenced many writers and may do the same for future writers. A book on the list that many have room for good class discussion. I do understand the importance of reading historic influential literature, but I also believe in reading literature that is written in the time of discussion.

Thanks for a good semester.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

I Lost My Comic Book Virginity Too!

I think the author of the review described the moments leading up to reading the popular graphic novel perfectly. I too had never dabbled in the comic scene. I enjoyed the movies that were made after the comics had been published, but that was about it. The day I purchased the graphic novel, near the beginning of the semester, it definitely interested me. I turned through some pages seeing how the writing flowed and how the graphic depictions made reading more interesting. I couldn't wait for the graphic novel to become our class discussion topic.

As I begun reading, and we began discussing the graphic novel, it was very clear that this book had many deep meanings. I was almost overwhelmed. I wanted to read and survey each page a few times to help with these hidden meanings (only if I had the time). When I graduate in December, I think I will come back to The Watchmen and re-read the very interesting and insightful writing. We said it right in class...this book could take up a whole semester discussing.

The author of the review said, "More than I expected with this rite of passage, of losing my comic book virginity, I was taken to the warm buzz of a liminal zone, a place out of rung with normal routine where growth is allowed and upon returning from which, a person is never seen or sees the same way again." That sums it up perfectly.

I have already been recommended this graphic novel to friends, family, and my fellow workmates. I am excited, but nervous, about how The Watchmen will come out on film.

Sunday, October 26, 2008


Well, I'm going to start with Briony. Do I feel sympathetic? Yes, of course. She was a young girl who was confused with what she was seeing first hand. She wanted so much to feel these adult emotions, but was unable to translate what she was seeing. Did she make an awful mistake? Yes, she made a mistake that haunted her throughout the novel. She was trying to atone for her mistake as she was able to comprehend the resulting actions while she was truly becoming an adult. Of course, we soon see that it is too late. I don't think she was able to atone for her mistakes, but I believe her adding the fictitous sections of her "final" novel, helped her in a way to cope with what she had done. She truly wanted her sister and Robbie to have a great life together.

I think that Lola could have atoned for what she has hidden inside her. She was laying there after it happened knowing who had done this to her, but she still was able to stay quiet when the heroic Robbie returned to the estate. He was always treated as a lower class servant, while the powerful Mr. Marshall laid back and took a nap.

Because of Robbie's tragic death, him and Cecilia were unable to atone for their actions that night. They should have had a chance to prove that their love was real.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Looking Deeper

I am not the best of readers. I haven't had much interest in reading in the past. It has been very interesting how some of the writers this semester have used symbolism in their works. It isn't always easy for me to uncover the hidden meanings. In one of our recent classes, we discussed Boyle's "The Decent of Man". The title for starters relates back to Charles Darwin's theory of evolution. In the short story, Boyle has satired the notion of evolution, in other words taking a slight jab to the famous philosopher. Through some of the many symbolic moments throughout his writting, we saw Boyle creating a notion of the human race to almost be de-evolving. Jane values the ape's opinion more, because he is a genious. Through historical norms, woman are thought to have a goal of attracting a mate; many times just in order to survive. We see Jane going against this as she returns home to her "roomate" dirty and smelling like animal feces, and she continues to experiment with Master Konrad.

Through our discussions, I have been able to better understand some of these creative writers. Through the use of their symbolic meanings, these authors have help me gain a better understanding of creative contemporary literature.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

My Try at Barthelme's Style

My mind is racing. Around and around the track it goes. I sit here wondering. Wondering what I could have done differently; how I could have prevented this. Maybe a better question, could I have prevented this? I knew something was wrong when the suit asked me to see him in his office with that straight-forward tone. The tone that let me know this wasn't a normal meeting. All I remember is him saying something along the lines of we're better off without you. And just like that I'm jobless.

"Oh everything will be fine," my Mother says, "it is just fate, you will find a better place, where you can..." My mind started to wander at that point. What is fate? I think the word she was looking for was life. It is just life. Sure, it may work out for the best. But fate isn't going to guide me. I could sit on my ass and wait for fate to take over. But, that's not going to work. This is life. This is an ordinary occurrence, and it is now in my hands to make changes and improve the way I perform my assigned duties. Fate, hah. Life throws many curve balls; this is one of them, and I am going to hit it out of the park. Fate is going to stay on the bench watching and waiting.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Not An Obsolete Man

Wordsworth in "The Obsolete Man" is told to be obsolete, because he is a religious librarian. In the state, there is no religion or books allowed. The chancellor and the court have declared him obsolete and because he is not worthy in any other capacity, he is sentenced to death by means of his recommendation. Wordsworth does not budge on his beliefs, as he reads from the bible during his final minutes of life. I found a funny song from a childrens show called Veggie Tales. The song is titled "Stand Up". The lyrics are as follows:

My Mummy always told me to do what's right;
To wash behind my ears and try to be polite.
She says she loves me so.
(That's beautiful.)
It's like she tells me what I need to know.
(I've got alot of respect for that woman.)

But sometimes when I'm playing with a buddy or two,
They're doing things you're not supposed to do.
(Do you go along - even though the things they do are wrong?)

I remember stand (Stand up, stand up)
For what you believe in, believe in,
Believe in God (He's the one to back you up)
We'll stand with you!

When everybody tells you that you have to be cool,
Remember what you learnt in church and Sunday School.
Just check it out - the Bible tells us what it's all about.
(Oh, you know that's right.)

So if you have a question, go ask your Dad,
And he can tell you if the thing is good or bad.
You'll make they're day,
If you remember what you're parents say (what they say.)

They told us stand (Stand up, stand up)
For what you believe in, believe in,
Believe in God (He's the one to back you up)
We'll stand with you!

Oh, stand (Stand up, stand up)
For what you believe in, believe in,
Believe in God (He's the one to back you up)
We'll stand with you!
He'll stand with you, oh yeah.

I think that Wordsworth lives by some of the same principles preached throughout the song. He believes that everyone has a worth and should be able to be free to have their own beliefs. The songs preaches to stand up and believe in God and what you were taught by family. The shouldn't be a state or norm that can tell you what and how to believe.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Blanche Brought to Life

This blog question isn't very difficult for me. The older version of the movie where Blanche is played by Vivien Leigh portrays the true character that Tennessee Williams was trying to create. I understand who Tennessee Williams was trying to create through his famous quote where he said, "I have found it easier to identify with the characters who verge upon hysteria, who were frightened of life, who were desperate to reach out to another person. But these seemingly fragile people are the strong people really."

I see this in Vivien Leigh as opposed to Jessica Lange. In the modern rendition of The Streetcar Named Desire, I didn't feel that Ms. Lange was involved in the emotional aspects of the character. She wasn't the least bit sincere or delicate. Now, I believe Vivien Leigh portrayed the character successfully, where Tennessee Williams would have been able to identify with her. She was emotionally involved in the character she portrayed through the scene where I truly saw her in a hystaric nature, and she was desperately looking to find someone to be by her side, (cough) (cough) Mitch.

Vivien Leigh truly looked frightened by life and fragile. Tennessee Williams would have appreciated her work in the 1951 version of the novel. I saw Blanche in Vivien Leigh, but saw just a phony actress in Jessica Lange.