Memo to Self...

Thursday, September 20, 2001

Lots of blogging to do--Spanish, Amer. Lit, Writing Fiction, and Japanese. So I'm gonna split it into two entries: this Thursday one will be Amer. Lit and Writing Fiction, and then the next one, dated Monday, will deal with Spanish and Japanese. I'm still writing these all on my Monday break between Spanish and Japanese, but it's a nice bit of catchup. Plus, I can add material to the Japanese blog if necessary.

On another note, there's a book missing in this library. It is named American Gods, and from what I hear, kicks much boo-tey. I have been reading the library catalogue for it, and it finally showed up on Thursday. Rejoicing, I headed to the Gaiman section...and IT WAS GONE. More than that, the comp. says it hasn't been checked out. The people downstairs have no clue where it is. THE BOOK IS INVISIBLE, I tell you, INVISIBLE!

'Kay, 'nuff o' that, how about some...Amer.Lit?
In class we discussed the wonderful world of Tiggers. Not really, we talked more about Eliot's Wastey for the last time. Basically, she outlined everything in the poem for us. Nice of her, neh?
I. Burial of the Dead
General introduction; death and loss introduced early, especially in first few lines. People wish to be dead, ie wish to forget. Spiritual distruction already prominent.
First ideas of dryness--evident lack of water, rubble all around, a wasted, wasted land. Mme. Sosotris' fortunes, though she's regarded as not much more than a charlaten, all come true. The figures in her tarot show up throughout the poem.
Unreal city is here--work that is numbing in body and mind. All things beautiful become cold, dark, like the hyacinth girl who turns cold, wet, and dark.
II. Game of Chess
The very wealthy and the poor are snapshoted here. Rich woman and LIl have no connections in their life to their men, and Lil's friend goes from being rather nice to EVIL to her.
III. The Fire Sermon
FIre is the theme here, and Eliot balances the images of fire and has his contrasts of women.
IV. Death by Water
Water drowning him, theme expressed again--Wheel of Fortune
V. What the Thunder Said
The coming of rain and rebirth is important. Shows the fallen and reforming cities, all of that again.
No resolution to the poem. And it is the epitome of High Modernism.
(How did I suddenly get soooooooo tired?)
Now we have the Harlem Ren.--the biggest, most inmportant other group out of Modernism. Usually dated 1923-1929, though of course, others have differing opinions on this. It came about because with the de facto segregation in the South caused by the Jim Crow laws, lots of blacks went North into the cities there. The rise of Jazz also promoted this move up north. Harlem had been an old New York settlement, and by 1905 blacks were moving in. Slowed because of war preparations, but eventually became a pretty black neighborhood.
Talented Tenth--the top ten percent of blacks, who talent and intelligence and sophisitication would show whites how good they all were. (Rather like the trickle down theory of economy--silly.)
Harlem Ren. firsted used in 1925 in a newspaper account of the area. For awhile, Harlem was THE place to be, black or white. Then the stock market crashed in 1929, and the world fell away from Harlem.
Eatonville Anthology by Zora Neale Hurston:
The work as a whole is beautifully tucked together. The stories are like photographs with captions, slices of Eatonville life. If this was a novel, the main C would be Eatonville.
"How it Feels to be Colored Me" is such a strong work, in the same sense of strength that imbues most of Hurston's works. She recognizes discrimation and stereotypes, but she's who she is.
More on her next time.

Writing Fiction: Discussed the plot elements. Very quickly, there are two styles these days. One, the Classic, has exposition, conflict, rising action, climax/crisis moment, falling action, and resolution. The Contemporary model has the same sort of things, but in a different picture. The Classic looks like a triangle with two little lines out to the side. The Contemporary is an upside down check mark, or a backwards "he." Conflict starts early, and there's not a whole lot of either exposition or resolution.
Also discussed "Greenleaf" and how much fun it is to read Flannery O' Connor. And it is. Her imagery is so tense and well woven together. Very cool.

Dat's all for now. I am so in need of a nap, and I honestly don't know why. Jya!