Major Twentieth Century Writers
Summer 2000 students: Come to Narcissism versus Psychological Depth
Enter the Hell of New York with selections from Camus, Morrison and Lili Tomlin.
Go Red with the Peking Revolutionary Opera. Visit Red Azalea and Brave New World in Self versus State.
Explore Feminism and the Body.
Expand your timespace in Einstein's Dreams.
Camus, Albert. "The Myth of Sisyphus. "The Rains of New York."
Morrison, Toni. Selections from Jazz.
Oates, Joyce Carol. Lethal. (above)
Notes on other authors--
Life of Pi by Yann Martel, winner of Booker prize. Do you agree with his observations on the difficulty of finding a good story? How does story differ from dramatic structure? Second draft of webfolios due. Be prepared to read aloud. Group discussions on "How to find and develop good stories" and "The American Dream."
New York-- The Twenties versus the Nineties. Don DeLillo, Toni Morrison and F. Scott Fitzgerald. Even though they symbolize the American Dream, what are the prisons embedded in The Great Gatsby, Jazz and Cosmopolis? Is your American Dream just to be-- happy? Remember this when we get to Brave New World. In the twenties, the American Dream was Forbidden Fruit for many Americans. Langston Hughes captures this dilemma brilliantly in his poem, Harlem--
What happens to a dream
Does it dry up
Like a raisin in the sun?
Or does it fester like a sore -
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over like a syrupy sweet?
Maybe it just sags like a heavy load.
Or does it explode?
The following is my favorite descriptive
passage from The Great Gatsby because I love the way he personifies the lawn
and uses kinesthetic imagery to capture the brazen energy and grandiosity of
the nouveau riche and the role the women, particular Daisy, play in this
splendid charade-- "Their house was even more elaborate than I expected, a
cheerful red and white Georgian Colonial mansion overlooking the bay. The lawn
started at the beach and ran toward the front door for a quarter of a mile,
jumping over sun-dials and brick walls and burning gardens--finally when it
reached the house drifting up the side in bright vines as though from the
momentum of its run. The front was broken by a line of French windows, glowing
now with reflected gold, and wide open to the warm windy afternoon, and Tom
Buchanan in riding clothes was standing with his legs apart on the front porch.
He had changed since his New Haven years. Now he was a sturdy, straw-haired man of thirty with a rather hard mouth and a supercilious manner. Two shining, arrogant eyes had established dominance over his face and gave him the appearance of always leaning aggessively forward. Not even the effeminate swank of his riding clothes could hide the enormous power of that body--he seemed to fill those glistening boots until he strained the top lacing and you could see a great pack of muscle shifting when his shoulder moved under his thin coat. It was a body capable of enormous leverage--a cruel body....
We walked through a huge hallway into a bright rosy-colored space, fragilely bound into the house by French windows at either end. The windows were ajar and gleaming white against the fresh grass outside that seemed to grow a little way into the house. A breeze blew thorugh the room, blew curtains in at one end and out the other like pale flags, twisting them up toward the frosted wedding cake of the ceiling-- and then ripple over the wine-colored rug, making a shadow on it as wind does on the sea.
The only completely stationary object in the room was an enormous couch on which two young women were buoyed up as though upon an achored balloon. They were both in white and their dresses were rippling and fluttering as if they had just been blown back in after a short flight around the house. I must have stood for a few moments listening to the whip and snap of the curtains and the groan of a picture on the wall. Then there was a boom as Tom Buchanan shut the rear windows and the caught wind died out about the room and the curtains and the rugs and the two young women ballooned slowly to the floor." (11-12) Note the synesthesia--"groan of a picture," the use of dashes to make the description dynamic, and the way these short passages show how completely Tom dominates the scene, physically, sexually, materially--but maybe not spiritually.
Note how DeLillo deconstructs his journey through Manhattan. Is the author seeping in through Benito? Is this a naturalistic journey? DeLillo does not orchestrate his characters, although he is a fierce and fabulous social critic. Every word must succumb to his personal style--
DeLillo simply and vividly describes his raison d'etre-- "I am a sentence maker. Like a donut maker, only slower," or "Every sentence has a truth waiting at the end of it and the writer learns how to know it when he finally gets there. On one level this truth is the swing of the sentence, the beat and poise, but down deeper it's the integrity of the writer as he matches with the language. I've always seen myself in sentences. I begin to recognize myself, word by word, as I work through a sentence. The language of my books has shaped me as a man. There's a moral force in a sentence when it comes out right. It speaks the writer's will to live....The words typed on the page have a sculptural quality. They form odd correspondences. They match up not just through meaning but through sound and look. The rhythm of a sentence will accomodate a certain number of syllables. One syllable too many, I look for another word. There's always another word that means the same thing, and if it doesn't then I'll consider altering the meaing of a sentence to keep the rhythm, the syllable beat. I'm completely willing to let language press meaning upon me. Watching the way in which words match up, keeping the balance in a sentence--these are sensuous pleasures. I type rather than write longhand because I like the way words and letters look when they come off the hammers onto the page--finished, printed and beautifully formed."
Futuristic America-- Brave New World by Aldous Huxley. How do Huxley's predictions still apply to the world of clones and bioengineering? Have our values changed since the 1930s? Is happiness incompatible with art, science, monogamous love and family ties? What would happen if there were no death? If old age, suffering, weakness and disease were abolished, would that also mean the end of religion? If everyone were happy on earth, would we need God? What is your ideal designer baby? If you could stop aging at 50 and stay the same for the next fifty years, would you do it? What would happen if everyone did? What do you think of nursing homes and early retirement? Should people just 'hang out' for thirty years, living off the state?
Links--1) Jihad vs
McWorld-- Whose Paradise is Lost?
a)Jihad vs McWorld-- Only One Will Stand by Dylan Tucker
b) Integrating Current Events with Twentieth Century Literature and Rhetoric-- Keefer's Course Syllabus Fall 2001
i. Afghan Woman's Imaginary Journal by Jane Schreck
ii. An Imaginary Journal of Einstein's Dreams through 9/11 and Twentieth Century Literature by John Marrapodi
iii. Literary Journey of Sherida Davis-Bryan as Madame Mao
b) Osama Comes to New Paltz. Cameraman-- Kleber Delgado, Post-Production-- Douglas Short, Digitalization-- Linda Smith, NYU Streaming Video-- Rich Malenitza-- Fast Connection or 56k
Osama-- Micheil Yohannes, Suicide Bomber-- Yiannis Petrohilos, Tony Blair the Breaker-- Sean Pulliam, Komain Kool J the Afghan dancer, Head of MTV--Sean Hackett, Maureen Dowd with a gas mask-- Marilynne Troiano, The Colin Powell-- Michael Sweatt, The Singer-- Aria McKeon, George Carlin--Matthew Saikaly, Guiliani-- Dan Dugal, The Little Girl-- Erin Brady, The Shrink-- Jennifer Sheeley check out pictures of class!
c) Mock Criminal Trials of John Walker Lindh and Zacarias Moussaoui--
i. How Can You--Defend John Walker Lindh? by Frank Mosono
ii.Mock Attorney for Moussaoui by Michael Boyd
iii. Walker's Road to Jihad via McWorld by Christopher Tripoli
2) Leaders, Loners, True Believers, Corporate Clones
a)Americans-- The Truest Believers by Ioannis Petrohilos
b) Non-Believers-- Adopting the Buddhist Way by Thomas Maunz
c)Can Buchanan's Death of the West Threaten the True Multicultural America in 2002? by Eugene Thomas
3) Literature and Terrorism Webfolios
a)Mohammad Atta by Jacqueline Cervantes
b)Black Water Suczek
c)Elie Wiesel by Nicole Hughes
d)Ruth Snapper the Whirling Dervish
e)The Shaman of Soul Mountain by Leslie Marini
f)The Two-Sided Poet, Dr. Phil and Herself by Joan Lavanant
g)Elie Wiesel Wanders through Twentieth Century Literature by Carrie Caro
h) Marquez and Colombian Terrorism by Ziel
i) A Dead Soldier Talks to God by Stacy Larue
j) Sex, Lies and Terrorism by Yessica Gonzalez
k) Global Literature through the Eyes of an American Democratic Islamic Lawyer by Danelle Pitts
l) Weaving Einstein through Literature and Terror by Mildred Castagna
m)Eric On... by Jill Balme
n) Margaret Puleo Races through Modern Global Literature as Nefertiti
o) Lee Wilson's COPENHAGEN
4) Fighting Terrorism with Education Around the World
a) Violence Like a Volcano in Dominica by Marjorie George
b) America and Islam-- A Loving Relationship by Julia Evergreen Keefer
Hope DeVenuto, the Poet of Light
Sylvia Felendler, the Russian Shrink
Mary Kursar, the Prosecuting Attorney
Zachary Papazahariou, the Defending Attorney
Stacy Reilly, the Irishwoman
Gratia, the Neo-Deconstructionist
Wagner Jane. (performed by Lili Tomlin) "The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe."
Cyberperformance II: Self versus State on 19 December 1998 in Rm. 109.
PART I: Characters (including audience) mix, mingle,
drink (whatever), eat international food, read poetry, describe research projects
(on creativity, Indian marriage rituals, the deleterious effects of internet
addiction on marriage, Dante, Socrates, aging in the millenium, dying in Catholic
hospitals,the misogyny of gangsta rap music, investing in Manhattan real estate,
and therapeutic approaches to respiratory therapy) while giving advice about
humanity's dilemmas in the millenium, mceed by Einstein. The conflict begins
between self and state. This section ends with a cacophony of foreign tongues,
merging into a dissonant national anthem.
PART II:The Twentieth Century Trip: A virtual trip
through some of the Twentieth Century literature:
What is Literature? by the God of the Internet, Mr. Lies and Virginia Woolf
A Room of One's Own by Virginia Woolf, Picasso, and Einstein
God Dies by the Nile (Egypt) by the God who died, Einstein and Virginia Woolf
Ulysses and the stream of consciousness by Marquez/Escobar, the God that Died by the Nile, and Einstein
Red Azalea (Communist China) by Marquez/Escobar, Mr. Lies and Roy Cohn
The God of Small Things (India) by the God herself, Marquez/Escobar, and Virginia Woolf
Yoga, meditation and the afterlife by Tagore and Red Azalea/Sartre
The New York Medley:Jazz, Rains of New York, Mao II by entire cast, climaxing in New York cacophony with audience
PART III: Expanding and Condensing in Time and
Space, inspired by Einstein's Dreams.
with Einstein, God of the Internet, Roy Cohn, Virginia Woolf, Tagore, the God that Died by the Nile, the God of Small Things, Satan, Marquez/Escobar, Einstein and then the God of the Internet extinguishing all electricity.
Cast of Characters
Angel in America: Holly Hochstadt
Roy Cohn from Angels in America: Julian Moya
The French Businessman: Claude Guihounov
Our Ford: Andrew Baksh
Gangsta Rapper a la Sartre: Michelle Eskengren
The God of Big Things (the Internet)that will NEVER DIE:Gabriel Ioan
The God that Died by the Nile:Frank Valente
The God of Small Things:Lisa Brown
The God of Untimely Deaths: Antoine Williams
Bill Gray, the depressed, dying, decadent writer from Mao II: Jim Bernard
An old woman looking for a place to die: Julie Cooke
Mr. Lies from Angels in America:Lawrence Montle
Gabriel Garcia Marquez/Pablo Escobar: Juliet Paez
Picasso: Jesse Sweeney
Prisoner from Rikers Island:Pier Le Gendre
Rainbow Mother: Linda McKay
Red Azalea reincarnated as Jean-Paul Sartre:Evergreen Keefer
Satan: John Panico
The Savage from Brave New World: Mary Kursar
The Schizophrenic Investment Analyst searching for the Perfect Home: Barbara Weaver
Sisyphus: Michael Harkins
Rabindranath Tagore:Sujit Bhattacharjee
A terminally ill patient trying to die in a Catholic hospital: Michele Watson
Virginia Woolf:Kristen Bernard
This explosive course is an intensive reading, writing, thinking experience designed to analyse the work and explore the themes of major writers of the twentieth century, thereby improving our own abilities to read closely and thoroughly, write and think. Course objectives are to expand our knowledge and appreciation of the style and structure of literary works, and to examine their didactic, aesthetic and entertainment values in terms of the cultural relativity of world literature.
Classes are a combination of Meatspace as we bring selected reading to life through oral interpretation and performance; Deepspace as we do in-class writing on close textual analysis, subjective interactions and the relation of our unconscious, dreams, emotions etc. to the reading; and Cyberspace, investigating themes and multidisciplinary issues related to our weekly expository papers and the final research project. In addition we will design literary web sites on our chosen topics.
Read all the books as soon as possible. We will focus on the following readings according to theme, although the primary objective of this class is to develop skills for close textual analysis. Literature must be read over and over again to unravel its "tapestry." (Kathleen Hulley 1998). In these novels we are looking at the use of language to paint pictures, construct dialogue, evoke emotions, stimulate thoughts; the relationships of plot and character to audience and theme; and how voice and point of view make the literature a unique work of art in a specific historical context.
Angst and Alienation: Selections from What is Literature and "No Exit" by Jean-Paul Sartre and
Playing in the Dark by Toni Morrison. "The Myth of Sisyphus" by Camus.
Shoot the Kids... by Kenzaburo Oe,
and News of a Kidnapping
by Gabriel Garcia Marquez.
Alienated Gender: God Dies by the Nile , The God of Small Things, and Things Fall Apart .
Gender and the Unconscious: A Room of One's Own by Virginia Woolf, "Lethal" by Joyce Carol Oates, Molly Bloom's soliloquy from Ulysses , and Red Azalea by Anchee Min.
Heaven: Utopias and Dystopias: Brave New World
by Aldous Huxley. and Mao II by Don DeLillo.
"Angels in America" by Tony Kushner.
"The Red Detachment of Women" and other operas from the Peking Revolutionary Opera.
Einstein's Dreams. by Alan Lightman.
Final Projects: 5-7 page webfolio of literary criticism, dramatic monologue and graphics based on your character's journey through the syllabus.
Grading Contract: To get an A, you must not miss more than one class, you must come to class on time and leave on time, you must hand at least 2-3 pages of expository writing every week on the reading assignments in the voice of your character, and you must produce a Satisfactory final research paper (5-8 pages) on a topic of your choice, as well as a small webfolio of your best critical writing. You must participate in the Cyberperformance as an organizer and/or character.
LETHAL by Joyce Carol Oates
I want to touch you a little. That delicate little blue vein at your temple, the soft down of your neck. I just want to caress you a little.I just want to kiss you a little--your lips, your throat, your breasts. I just want to embrace you a little. I just want to comfort you a little. I just want to hold you tight!--like this. I just want to measure you skeleton with my arms. These are strong, healthy arms, aren't they. I just want to poke my tongue in your ear. Don't giggle! Don't squirm! This is serious! This is the real thing! I just want to suck a little. I just want to press into you a little. I just want to penetrate you a little. I just want to ejaculate into you a little. It won't hurt if you don't scream but you'll be hurt if you keep straining away like that, if you exaggerate. Thank you, I just want to squeeze you a little. I just want a taste of it. Your saliva, your blood. Just a taste. A little. You've got plenty to spare. You're being selfish. You're being ridiculous. You're being cruel. You're being unfair. You're hysterical. You're hyperventilating. You're provoking me. You're laughing at me. You want to humiliate me. You want to make a fool of me. You want to gut me like a chicken. You want to castrate me. You want to make me fight for my life, is that it? You want to make ME fight for my life, is that it?
There is a lot to read, but don't spend too much money:
Readings Online, Keefer web site:
"Angels in America" (Kushner.)What is Literature and "No Exit"(Sartre). Playing in the Dark (Morrison). News of a Kidnapping (Marquez). God Dies by the Nile(El Saadawi). The God of Small Things (Roy)Things Fall Apart (Achebe). Red Azalea (Min). A Room of One's Own( Woolf). Mao II (DeLillo). Brave New World (Huxley). Einstein's Dreams. (Lightman).
"We do not rank our favorite books in linear fashion, we hold them like planets around us, where they spin in and out of view." Alain de Boton
Optional Reading List: (Consult the following for special projects)
Abe, Kobo. Fiction.
Achebe, Chinua. Arrow of God. Anthills of the Savannah. Things Fall Apart.
Albee, Edward. Plays.
Allen, Woody. Collected Screenplays. Memoirs, essays, stories.
Alvarez, Julia. Stories and novels.
Atwood, Margaret. The Handmaid's Tale. The Robber Bride. Lady Oracle. Alias Grace.
Beckett, Samuel. "Waiting for Godot."
Jorge Luis Borges. Ficciones.
Braverman, Kate. Lithium for Medea.. Collected stories.
Bulgakov, Mikhail. The Master and Margarita.
Camus, Albert. The Stranger. The Plague. Essays.
Carver, Raymond. Short story collections.
cummings, e.e. collected poems.
DeLillo, Don. Underworld. White Noise. Libra. Mao II.
Duras, Marguerite. Moderato Cantabile. The Lover.
Eliot, T.S. Poems and Plays.
Ellison, Ralph. The Invisible Man.
Fitzgerald, F. Scott. The Great Gatsby.
Genet, Jean. Plays. The Thief's Journal. Funeral Rites.
Gibson, William. Neuromancer.
Gordimer, Nadine. Fiction.
Faulkner, William. The Sound and the Fury.
Fitzgerald, F. Scott. The Beautiful and the Damned. The Great Gatsby.
Frost, Robert. Collected Poetry
Hemingway, Ernest. Farewell to Arms. The Old Man and the Sea. To Have or Have Not. The Sun Also Rises.
Hesse, Hermann. Siddhartha, Narcissus and Goldmund, Steppenwolf, Magister Ludi, etc.
Huxley, Aldous. Point Counter Point. Brave New World. Island. After Many a Summer Dies the Swan.
Ionesco, Eugene. Exit the King , The Lesson, The Bald Soprano, and other plays.
Jalloun, Ben. The Sand Child.
Joyce, James. Ulysses. Portrait of an Artist as a Young Man.
Jung, Carl. Psychology books.
Kafka, Franz. The Metamorphosis. The Penal Colony.
Kundera, Milan. Immortality. The Unbearable Lightness of Being.
Kushner, Tony. "Angels in America."
Lawrence, D.H. Lady Chatterly's Lover. Women in Love.
Mamet, David. Screenplays and Plays. "Wag the Dog." "The Spanish Prisoner.""The Verdict."
Mann, Thomas. The Magic Mountain. Death in Venice.
Marquez, Gabriel Garcia. One Hundred Years of Solitude. Love in the Time of Cholera. News of a Kidnapping.
Min, Anchee. Red Azalea.
Morrison, Toni. The Bluest Eye. Jazz. Paradise. Beloved. Sula.
Nabokov, Vladimir. Lolita.
O'Neill, Eugene. Collected Plays.
Oates, Joyce Carol. Where is Here? Black Water. American Appetites. My Heart Laid Bare, etc.
Paz, Octavio. Fiction and poetry.
Proust, Marcel. Remembrance of Things Past .
Pynchon, Thomas. Gravity's Rainbow. Mason and Dixon.
Roy, Arundhati. The God of Small Things.
Sartre, Jean-Paul. Existentialism. The Wall. Being and Nothingness. No Exit.
Shaw, George Bernard. Complete Plays.
Steinbeck, John. Of Mice and Men. Grapes of Wrath.
Suskind, Patrick. Perfume.
Updike, John. In the Beauty of the Lilies. Toward the End of Time.
Vonnegut, Kurt. Timequake.
Williams, Tennessee. Collected Plays.
Woolf, Virginia. To the Lighthouse. Mrs. Dalloway. Orlando. A Room of One's Own. Critical essays.
Summer 1998 Breakdown
June 29: Discussion of Angst and Alienation. Performance of "No Exit." Lecture on Sartre, Morrison. Discussion of techniques of good dialogue, exposition and relationship of characters to theme. Scene study.
July 1: Camus' "Myth of Sisyphus." In-class writing.
A comparative analysis of descriptive styles. The New York medley: stream of
consciousness exercises laced with readings of
Caus, Tomlin and Morrison and close textual analysis to a "beat."
July 2: Angst and alienation papers due. Read aloud and discuss. Is great literature didactic, aesthetic, and/or entertaining? Define all three and give examples.
July 6: Kenzaburo Oe. Marquez. Lecture and discussion on narrative structure, plot points. Oe's connection to Sartre. Cross-cultural analysis.
July 8: In-class writing on hell. Close textual analysis of descriptive styles.
July 9: Papers due on Marquez and Oe. In-class writing on aesthetic taste.
July 13: Wrestling with Things Fall Apart. Comparison with God Dies by the Nile and The God of Small Things.. Cross cultural comparison of alienated gender in America, the middle east, India and Africa. How do male authors create female characters and vice versa. Writing and describing sex scenes.
July 15: In-class writing on character development and gender. Close textual analysis of Achebe, Roy and El Sadaawi.
July 16: Papers due on Achebe, Roy and El Saadawi. Analysis of pertinent literary criticism in terms of language, character, premise/theme, dramatic tension and conflict, structure, audience and cultural significance.
July 20: Gender and the Unconscious. Read aloud Molly Bloom's soliloquy and "Lethal." Lecture and discussion on James Joyce, Virginia Woolf, Marcel Proust, Carl Jung and Sigmund Freud. See a film of Ulysses. When orgasms end, death begins.
July 22: Meet in the West Room of the Avery Fisher Center for films on Virginia Woolf and Toni Morrison. What qualities does literature need to transcend race, gender, nationality and time?
July 23: Papers due on Joyce, Freud, Woolf etc. Automatic and stream of consciousness in-class writing. Discussion of Red Azalea.
July 27: Lecture on utopias, dystopias and communism. Discussion of Mao and the Revolutionary Opera. Cross-cultural comparison with DeLillo's Mao II. Use of spectacle to enhance dogma.
July 29: Brave New World. In-class writing on your utopias.
July 30: Einstein's Dreams. Introduction to non-linear narrative. Creative uses of Time and Space.
August 3: Oral Presentations of Final Projects. Write abstracts in Keefer forum.
August 5: Cross-editing and discussion.
August 6: Final projects due, 5-7 pages in html format.
FALL 1998 BREAKDOWN
N.B.: Each week read a chapter from Einstein's Dreams and meditate on that aspect of TIME, be it circular, backwards, split in three, converted to images or whatever. Apply it to your character journal. WHO are you?
September 12: Act out scenes from "Angels in America." Discussion of Heaven or Hell theme.
Sept. 19: Analyze "Angels in America." Pick characters and research in computer lab.
Sept.26: Brave New World. Utopias and dystopias. Everyone should have a character and be writing every week in the character's journal.
October 3: Red Azalea. Discussion of the Peking Revolutionary Opera.Take your character on a vacation to the Red Fire Farm.See Keefer web site.
October 10: Mao II. Lecture on Don DeLillo.What happens when your character has a passionate love affair with Bill Gray, Karen, Scott in Mao II?
October 17: Things Fall Apart and News of a Kidnapping. Understatement and simplicity to increase drama and irony.Lecture on Achebe's use of Western dramatic structure and African story-telling and the difference between Marquez' fiction and non-fiction. Creative writing and scene study on personal versus private selves, cross-cultural concepts of visibility, invisibility and anonymity.
October 24: The God of Small Things and God Dies by the Nile: Feminism in India and the Middle East. Non-linear narrative styles, use of theme, repetition, innovative styles.
October 31: Midterm papers due, including research on characters and how they would write a close critical analysis of the books already read, at least 4 pages. Act out scenes. Individual conferences. Cross-editing. Read Molly Bloom's soliloquy or as much of Ulysses as you can. Write a detailed psychoanalysis of your character. Read Einstein's Dreams about life condensed into one day.
November 7: Joyce, Freud, Jung and the unconscious.Bobst library. Read Playing in the Dark , and A Room of One's Own. Meet at Bobst Library to see Ulysses. Write your character's manifesto, artistic objectives.
November 14: Virginia Woolf and Toni Morrison. Bobst library films. Read Sartre and Oe. Describe your character's greatest self versus state conflict. Bring xeroxed copies of the New York site to class for close textual analysis next week.
November 21: Existentialism and the dilemma of self versus state.Jean-Paul Sartre and Albert Camus:What is Literature? The Myth of Sisyphus. Rough draft of final projects due.Nip the Buds, Shoot the Kids by Kenzaburo Oe. Prepare webfolios.
November 28: Vacation
December 5: Act out""No Exit." Hand in webfolios. Improvise your own NO EXIT.
December 12: Final papers due. Dress rehearsal of Cyberperformance.
December 19: Cyberperformance II: Self versus State (Heaven or Hell?) Your character does not have to be realistic. It can be half-man, half-woman, animal, mineral, vegetable. It can live forever or a moment. Be creative. The character must relate to all the readings as the character. This is an exercise to help you develop tolerance, empathy, global perspectives etc.
Match the following sentences to authors on the reading list:
The future belongs to crowds.
When the old God goes, they pray to flies and bottletops.
Hell is other people.
Writing and reading...require being alert and ready for unaccountable beauty, for the intricateness or simple elegance of the writer's imagination, for the world that imagination evokes. Both require being mindful of the places where imagination sabotages itself, locks its own gates, pollutes its vision. Writing and reading mean being aware of the writer's notions of risk and safety, the serene achievement of, or sweaty fight for, meaning and response-ability.
Whatever may be their use in civilised societies, mirrors are essential to all violent and heroic action.
Poets are men who refuse to utilize language.
Some say it is best not to go near the center of time. Life is a vessel of sadness, but it is noble to live life, and without time there is no life. Others disagree. They would rather have an eternity of contentment, even if that eternity were fixed and frozen, like a butterfly mounted in a case.
"Success prompts to exertion; and habit facilitates success." That is a man's sentence;...it was a sentence that was unsuited for a woman's use....Moreover a book is not made of sentences laid end to end, but of sentences built, if an image helps, into arcades or domes. And this shape too has been made by men out of their own needs for their own uses. There is no reason to think that the form of the epic or the poetic play suits a woman any more than the sentence suits her. The novel alone was young enough to be soft in her hands-- another reason, perhaps, why she wrote novels.
The "engaged" writer knows that words are actions.
Writers are among the most sensitive, the most intellectually anarchic, most representative, most probing of artists. The ability of writers to imagine what is not the self, to familiarize the strange and mystify the familiar, is the test of their power. The languages they use and the social and historical context in which these languages signify are indirect and direct revelations of that power and its limitations.
Why write? Each one has his reasons: for one, art is a flight; for another, a means of conquering.
One of the chief motives of artistic creation is certainly the need of feeling that we are essential in relation to the world.
All our literature and art are for the masses of the people, and in the first place for the workers, peasants and soldiers; they are created for the workers, peasants and soldiers and are for their use.
...a great mind is androgynous. It is when this fusion takes place that the mind is fully fertilised and uses all its faculties.
Like a domestic animal, time doesn't move without human beings' strict supervision.
When the words form under his pen, the author doubtless sees them, but he does not see them as the reader does, since he knows them before writing them down. The function of his gaze is not to reveal, by stroking them, the sleeping words which are waiting to be read, but to control the sketching of the signs.
What does death matter? Communism is the truth. Because they appear almost always in conjunction with representations of black or Africanist people who are dead, impotent, or under complete control, these images of blinding whiteness seem to function as both antidote for and meditation on the shadow that is companion to this whiteness-- a dark and abiding presence that moves the hearts and texts of American literature with fear and longing.
Imagine a world in which there is no time. Only images.
Race has become metaphorical-- a way of referring to and disguising forces, events, classes, and expressions of social decay and economic division far more threatening to the body politic than biological "race" ever was.
It is fatal to be a man or woman pure and simple; one must be woman-manly or man-womanly. It is fatal for a woman to lay the least stress on any grievance; to plead even with justice any cause; in any way to speak consciously as a woman. And fatal is no figure of speech for anything written with that conscious bias is doomed to death. It ceases to be fertilised. ...Some collaboration has to take place in the mind between the woman and the man before the act of creation can be accomplished.
Reading seems, in fact, to be the synthesis of perception and creation.
In this world, there are two times. There is mechanical time and there is body time. The first is as rigid and metallic as a massive pendulum of iron that swings back and forth, back and forth, back and forth. The second squirms and wriggles like a bluefish at bay. The first is unyielding, predetermined. The second makes up its mind as it goes along.... Where the two times meet, desperation. Where the two times go their separate ways, contentment. ... Each time is true but the truths are not the same.
There is no romance free of what Herman Melville called "the power of blackness," especially not in a country in which there was a resident population, already black, upon which the imagination could play; through which historical, moral, metaphysical, and social fears, problems, and dichotomies could be articulated. The slave population, it could be and was assumed, offered itself up as surrogate selves for meditation on problems of human freedom, its lure and its elusiveness. This black population was available for meditations on terror-- the terror of European outcasts, their dread of failure, powerlessness, Nature without limits, natal loneliness, internal aggression, evil, sin, greed.
In order to know himself, each person carries his own Book of Life, which is filled with the history of his life. ...With time, each person's Book of Life thickens until it cannot be read in its entirety....Some have stopped reading altogether. ... Such people walk with the limber stride of their youth. Such people have learned how to live in a world without memory.
I fear for you young people because you do not understand how strong is the bond of kinship. You do not know what it is to speak with one voice. And what is the result? An abominable religion has settled among you. A man can now leave his father and his brotheres. He can curse the gods of his fatheres and his ancestors, like a hunter's dog that suddenly goes mad and turns on his master.
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