Monthly Archives: October 2008

students! eyes tired? feel like ROCKING OUT?

Put down yr books and come check out NJ indie rockers Titus Andronicus and Pitzer’s Rainbow Destroyer collective, live in concert! Note that they are named after a Shakespeare play, and thus totally relevant to English class.

KSPC 88.7fm and CCLA Live Arts present:

Titus Andronicus and Rainbow Destroyer

Wednesday, Oct. 29, 7-9 PM

at Dom’s Lounge. Halloween costumes encouraged!

death enhancing life

It looks like that there was no official post on the reading so I thought, at the early hour, that I would offer up something I found that seems to relate to the essay we read. For my Advanced Editing class, I was supposed to find a scene from a Hollywood film in order to analyze and later re-edit. I chose a scene from the movie No Country For Old Men (which I highly recommend) where a man’s fate  unknowingly  rests on a coin toss.

As I was re-watching it, I realized that the entire conversation and its climax are intimately tied up in what Brooks talks about in his paper. Death, and the chance of death, gives life and everything in it meaning. If you haven’t seen the film, you should. It’s quite good. If you’re interested in the scene alone, here’s a link to it on youtube (watch the movie too):

How do y’all feel about the online format of the Golden Notebook?

So, I’ve read most of the first two sections of the Golden Notebook, and am now going back and trying to comment intelligently. Usually I’m the type to jot down whatever I think as I go, but the idea that my comments would not be kept “confidential” exactly, really weirded me out and made me hesitant to comment at all. I feel like in this format my thoughts have to be much more “polished” and insightful, since they’re not just for me. Honestly, I don’t like that at all. I’m trying to ignore my inhibitions and comment more naturally, but it’s difficult. Is anyone else reacting to this new style of reading similarly? Or does anyone like it a lot more? I guess I’m just the type who likes to mark up an actual book without worrying about what I’m thinking, just jotting it down… Are you guys able to tap into that more easily than I am in this new online format??

The Golden Notebook

A reminder that you should be reading and commenting on The Golden Notebook this weekend. Many thanks to mercurylanes for leaving some great comments on one of the sites; I’ll look forward to seeing what the rest of you have to say. Please let me know sooner rather than later if you’re having any problems with the commenting function…

vocab time

Here’s a useful word for anyone working on the Gallagher reading (I had to look it up, so I figured I may as well share):

autochthonic, a.

Native to the soil, aboriginal, indigenous.

(from the Oxford English Dictionary)

History, Potatoes, etc. (Unofficial post)

This isn’t the weekly post, but I was just curious if anyone had opinions:

Both Gallagher and B&R bring up Adam Smith and compare his theories, in one way or another, to literature and literary theory. Gallagher references Smith to make the (somewhat satirical) claim that “only in the context of the economy does homo appetitus  turn into homo economicus” and that in a potato economy, the market is irrelevant to the self-sufficient, self-reliant homo apetitus  species (131). Bennett and Royle quote Smith directly, saying “Before the invention of the art of printing [which obviously gave way to the ‘literature’ we have today], a scholar and a beggar seem to have been terms very nearly synonymous” (119). The economy is a major factor in people’s lives and undoubtedly plays a role in people’s writings. So, taking into consideration the different viewpoints of the role of the author, what would you say is the appropriate relationship between the economy and literature today?


Hey all, I meant to write this a few days ago and it must have slipped my mind. On Monday we talked about ideologies and threw out a number of theories and definitions for “ideology.” One that was brought up said that ideology is what causes humans to tell stories that give rational explanations to things (the stories themselves, however, aren’t as important as the desire to create these rational explanations). About a month ago, we briefly discussed the motivation to write versus the motivation to publish a text and make it public, especially in light of the theory that published texts no longer belong to the author. Does this definition of ideology help explain the desire to publish at all? What about fictional texts, which in some sense are less about “rationally explaining” certain elements of life and are more about the story itself?

The modern author?

Hey people,

I stumbled across an interesting little article today while searching around the web for Barthes and figured, in the spirit of collaboration and a personal love for media articles, to share it with you all. It’s titled “Blogs and the Crisis of Authorship” and examines, surprisingly enough, the concept of the author within the new media genre of blogs.

I realize that this article will most likely have little to no impact the paper of anyone writing about Barthes, but I thought it was interesting to see the literary concepts we have been studying examined within the field of a recently developed form of media.

For whoever is interested, here’s the link:

The Rise of English

As you’ll have noticed, I forgot when I was talking about tomorrow’s class that I’d made the (very, very wise) decision at the beginning of the semester to cut the Lukacs essay from the syllabus. So it’s just Eagleton.

This, however, constitutes the opening of your on-blog discussion of Eagleton. What’s unexpected in the essay? What catches your attention? What gets under your skin?

A Request

I hope that your session in the library yesterday was productive.  I’ve been enjoying reading your first essays thus far, and look forward to hearing about your second papers.

I do, however, have one request for all of you:  as you send me documents, or as you upload them to Sakai, please be sure to save them as “.doc” files — that is, as files that are compatible with versions of MS Word prior to 2007/2008.  “.docx” files are incompatible with my system, and require me to jump through several conversion hoops, the sum of which wind up breaking all of your formatting.

So:  yes on “.doc”; no on “.docx”.  Many thanks, and have a great weekend!