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 meaning.  We want to make sense of the narrative offered to us.  However, we, the analytical readers, must step back and find out how we know what we know (and what we know we feel) about the writing in front of us.  The power of the literature we are reading is exactly to be found in the way it gestalts a world of meaning (sometimes by the absence of meaning) in our brains through the words on the page: a world of 41-year-old dwarfs who look like 8 year old girls, of barns gone up in flames, of hunting deer that might not exist, of itinerant preachers meeting bandits and naturalists in the woods of the South West, of red ponies, of fathers and sons, of jockeys who are crooks, of the men in grey flannel suits on 34th street, of Southern belles in rooming houses and so on.  In other words we are doing many things simultaneously (so don’t worry if your head is swimming a little right now): we are making meaning of the US literature in front of us, we are investigating how that meaning is produced in us, we are practicing talking about US literature in discussion, and we practice writing about our analysis (well, you do, but in my writing response letters to you I include myself—or at least I try—in the writing community of our class).

Finally, analyzing the way Steinbeck, Hemingway, and Faulkner use description so differently has really made me think about how we see the world around us and ourselves in it.  Now, on to writing my description!

Tomorrow: we will dive into new fictional worlds, this time from the perspective of (primarily) female protagonists and authors, we will talk about your next assignment, and, though it’s now clear that I can’t finish writing cover-letters to all your papers from Tuesday, I have read them all, and we will talk about common patterns and challenges in preparation for the short story assignment.  See you tomorrow!

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Comments



18 Comments so far

  1.    Jessica Singh on June 9, 2010 8:50 pm

    You said that we as people tend to interpret what we read (make sense of it) and not necessarily analyze it and I think that is 100% true. When I read the poems that I used to write my last paper I noticed that I more read it as a narrative and not really looked for the deeper meaning in the poem and I did ask myself why. I noticed that different pieces of literature are written in different forms, some are just naturally deep and philosophical and others are just naturally story like. I feel that on a regular basis people do not take the extra time to actually sit and analyze what a piece actually represents and what it could possibly mean. Life moves way too fast and I feel that people just read to understand and then just move on to the next piece; unless it is a professor or someone who does this for a living. It is actually a shame that there are people who spend years writing a piece for us to just read over quickly for five minutes and that’s it. It would be nice to appreciate the literature more but I think it is just a matter of time constraint and having other things to do.

  2.    Leo on June 9, 2010 9:26 pm

    I enjoyed reading what you just wrote Professor. It was amusing how yu used the same technical elements that we have read in White’s “Door” and the never ending sentence as used in Quo Vadimus”…

  3.    Elina on June 9, 2010 10:42 pm

    I actually enjoyed our discussion, and enjoyed the writing assignment that we were assigned to write in our journals =]

  4.    Ken Nielsen on June 10, 2010 8:21 am

    @ Leo–you caught me mimicking White. Maybe not the best way to model clarity in writing….

    @ Jessica–this awareness of different modes of reading (and knowing when to read in which way) is part of what I wanted you to start noticing.

    @ Elina–glad you liked it! It’s a fun exercise, I think. I enjoyed writing mine as well.

  5.    Britneymajolo.Wix.Com on December 13, 2015 1:42 am

    Britneymajolo.Wix.Com

    Busy Days / Spinning Perspectives : Great Works: American Literature

  6.    growtopia gem hack apk on December 13, 2015 4:35 am

    growtopia gem hack apk

    Busy Days / Spinning Perspectives : Great Works: American Literature

  7.    real racing 3 hack ios no survey on December 17, 2015 11:06 am

    real racing 3 hack ios no survey

    Busy Days / Spinning Perspectives : Great Works: American Literature

  8.    www.fullybookedonline.com on December 17, 2015 8:33 pm

    http://www.fullybookedonline.com

    Busy Days / Spinning Perspectives : Great Works: American Literature

  9.    hungry shark evolution hack download no survey on December 23, 2015 5:06 pm

    hungry shark evolution hack download no survey

    Busy Days / Spinning Perspectives : Great Works: American Literature

  10.    Growtopia Hack Apk on January 5, 2016 4:32 pm

    Growtopia Hack Apk

    Busy Days / Spinning Perspectives : Great Works: American Literature

  11.    Check This Out on January 10, 2016 9:13 am

    Check This Out

    Busy Days / Spinning Perspectives : Great Works: American Literature

  12.    paleo diet reviews by doctors on January 11, 2016 7:33 pm

    paleo diet reviews by doctors

    Busy Days / Spinning Perspectives : Great Works: American Literature

  13.    asiapatio17.webgarden.Com on January 14, 2016 3:13 am

    asiapatio17.webgarden.Com

    Busy Days / Spinning Perspectives : Great Works: American Literature

  14.    storify.com on January 14, 2016 3:30 pm

    storify.com

    Busy Days / Spinning Perspectives : Great Works: American Literature

  15.    https://speakerdeck.com/ on February 8, 2016 11:13 pm

    https://speakerdeck.com/

    Busy Days / Spinning Perspectives : Great Works: American Literature

  16.    http://blogs.rediff.com/mccluremcclure36/2016/02/05/death-call-of-duty-hero-hack-and-taxes-tips-to-avoiding-call-of-duty-hero-hack/ on February 10, 2016 12:49 am
  17.    medicuantica.co on February 15, 2016 11:06 am

    medicuantica.co

    Busy Days / Spinning Perspectives : Great Works: American Literature

  18.    Vigneronsproprietesassocies.net on June 27, 2016 6:06 pm

    Vigneronsproprietesassocies.net

    Busy Days / Spinning Perspectives : Great Works: American Literature

Name (required)

Email (required)

Website

Speak your mind

Spam prevention powered by Akismet

Skip to toolbar