Angels in America

June 18, 2010 | 28 Comments

Thank you all for some interesting discussions of Angels in America these last two days.  The Signature Theater here in NYC dedicates its next season to performances of Angels in America and Kushner’s new play, The Intelligent Homosexuals Guide to Capitalism and Socialism with a Key to the Scriptures (iHo).  Tickets go on sale August […]

Character Studies

June 16, 2010 | 28 Comments

For tomorrow, please write a diary entry for one of the following characters / situations: Hanna Pitt after Joe’s late-night phone call; Belize after his meeting with Louis at the diner; Louis after his argument with Prior in 2.9; Ethel Rosenberg after she sees Roy Cohn; or, finally, Prior or Harper after their first shared hallucination.

Those of you who are interested in knowing more about Glaspell and the origins of Trifles might want to check out Linda Ben-Zvi’s article “Murder, She Wrote”: The Genesis of Susan Glaspell’s Trifles

Drama Is:

June 15, 2010 | 32 Comments

dramatic, emotional, serious, depiction of life’s complexity and irony, dialogue that needs interpretation, audience interpretation, expressive, action, enjoyable, suspenseful, setting, made for performance,  entertainment, tense, acting, rain dance—ritual, different genres, the lifetime network, transformative, a group effort, conventional. Feel free to add more!

Well, well, you learn something every day! The reference “After You, My Dear Alphonse” is to a popular comic strip starting in the early 1900s.  It was the basis for a whole slew of different cultural products: books, a movie, this short story, and several vaudeville acts.  The strip itself and the idea of it […]


June 13, 2010 | 14 Comments

Here, in random order, are the poets that you all were writing about.  It’s an impressive and eclectic list.   U.S. Americans: Mark Doty, Edgar Allan Poe, Pierre A. Lubin Jr., Emily Dickinson, Shel Silverstein, Maya Angelou, Tracy Chapman, Langston Hughes, Amy Lowell, Stephan Crane, Elizabeth Bishop, Robert Frost, William Blake, Conrad Aiken, Philip Booth, Marianne Moore, Patricia Smith, T.S. Eliot, Walt Whitman, Ralph Angel, Ralph Waldo Thoreau, Henry David Thoreau, Edwin Arlington Robinson, and Daniel Beatty. Another North […]

I discussed the new assignment (and your essays that I read) with a couple of you after class today. Reba correctly pointed out that this is not a writing intensive class.  That’s perfectly true.  However, I believe that the true learning of reading and analyzing literature happens most productively when we are forced to grapple […]

I found today’s discussion on Hemingway, Steinbeck, and White illuminating and somewhat surprising.  I think our discussions on POV and character illuminated how the relationship between plot and character is often a complicated and shifty one. It’s interesting how we—the pleasure readers of the world (or at lest the ones in Razran 343)—read for immediate […]

After today’s class I am a little bewildered and maybe even slightly concerned.  A great number of you had not done the reading—that’s unacceptable!  We can’t do our work if you don’t read.  Now, I know that assigning Faulkner on essay day was probably not the smartest planning on my part—I’ll admit that.  That said, […]

Since we were discussing the writing process today–and as you all refine and revise your essays tonight–I came to think of something I wrote last year for Revisions: a Zine on Writing at Queens College: The Honest Professor–a Manifesto. I thought it might be of interest to some of you!

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