Thursday, February 24, 2011

Hart Crane

I know many of you found parts of Hart Crane's The Bridge hard to understand, and that, my friends, is totally normal. I told you a bit about Crane's biography and his poetic "ancestry" (to Whitman, he believed); Tyler also gave you some information about Crane's life. We haven't spoken explicitly about "modernist" poetry, but I want you to do a little web-searching and tell me here what you've come to learn about how Crane's style is or is not reflective of some of the features of modernist poetry of the 1920s. Give me the URL in your response here and your own summary. Then, if you wish, make a connection if you can between Crane's style and his biography -- I know it might be a stretch, but how does the challenge of his style reveal to us anything about Crane himself?

Whitman and form

Pick one numbered section from "Song of Myself" that you found most comprehensible and interesting and tell me about its "form." Also, tell me about the "content" of the lines. So, this question asks you to think about two things: what does Whitman say and how does he say it? Do you think his form is a helpful strategy for the conveyance of his point or an obscuring one?

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The court...

Think of the metaphorical devices McCullers uses in her short story "A Court in the West Eighties." We particularly discussed the function of the "court" itself relative to the interpersonal dynamics in the story. What role does the court itself play? How does it work as a passable or impassable domain and what can we learn from that device in conjunction with some of the other "othering" devices we've examined this term?
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Monday, February 14, 2011

Language and motherland

If your native language is English and your home nation is the United States, you might have never thought much about the relationship between a mother-tongue and a motherland. As we discussed in class, Jacques Derrida thinks that there is a kind of psychological relationship between land and language and dissonance can result from prohibitions on use of the native tongue and movement away from the motherland (and language). How do you respond to this given our discussions of Viramontes's novel?
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