Monday, June 28, 2010
Will O’ the Wisp by Pierre Drieu la Rochelle was very hard to read, somewhat out of my reading level. The writing contained a lot of adjectives or adverbs to help its readers create a perfect picture of scenes, which made me hard to read on, I had to keep a dictionary as I read the novel. Within the story, Alain, the main, went through various emotional changes as the story progressed. His life seemed to start falling down more rapidly than before when he started to use drug, which finally made him commit suicide. He turned to drugs to avoid what is happening around him. He didn’t have guts to confront the problems he is facing and find the solution. He used drug to escape his miserable life to enjoy short momentary pleasure. Most of us want money and women in our life. More is better I believe. Alain had both of them. He achieved them so easily; it made him to treat them not as valuable as we normally. He didn’t appreciate them since he didn’t have to work hard to get them. The life of Alain reminded me of news I heard a story of a twenty year old British man who won about 15 million dollar. He spent all of his money on sex, drug, and gamble. He even had to go to prison for possessing of drug and false behavior. Now he is bankrupted and is on jobseeker’s allowance which is about 100dollars per week. The message Rochelle tries to send us through his novel, Will O’ Wisp, is that we need to appreciate what we currently possess and thank our life. And finally Will O’ the Wisp is one of the strangest and depressing novels I have ever read.
You can read a story of Michael Carrol at
Sunday, June 27, 2010
Saturday, June 26, 2010
From the very beginning of the piece, one can start making connections to Secret Journal. The way Pierre describes Lydia getting ready and applying makeup clearly reflects his ideas about aging and getting old. He describes it as, “Lydia had gone back to the bathroom to paint a strange caricature of life over her corpse’s face. White on white, red and black. Her hand was shaking. Without horror or pity she looked at the imperceptible decay which was tracing crow’s feet at the corners of her mouth and eyes.” (Page 11) The idea of aging as decaying, as if it were truly horrible. Also, in his descriptions of the people in the nursing, Pierre has the habit of using the most morbid and death-related terms to describe the characters, for example “worn-out carcass” (Page 17).
I think the lines in this novel which really stuck with me were those Page 14, “To leave this poor, charming boy was to place him at the mercy of his worst enemy, himself, it was to abandon him to the grey light of the Rue Cambon- with the mournful trees of the Tuileries at the end.” I feel as though these lines describe the entire novel and Alain’s character as a whole, a self-destructive, isolated, addict.
After reading Alexander’s post, I found it difficult to understand the connection between We Always Treat Women Too Well and Will O’ The Wisp. We Always Treat Women Too Well had almost and airy, comical feel, as opposed to Will O’ The Wisp which just has this dark undertone to it. Alain, who is living in the nursing home to come over his heroin addiction while living off of money given to him by different women, does not relate to any of the characters for me in We Always Treat Women Too Well.
I also liked the part where Alain is contemplating what he will do with the money from Lydia. Drieu seems to have a running theme throughout the work that comments on the cyclical nature of drug use and how that mimics the cycle between day and night. There's one point where he just says, "It was the night, it was drugs. It was no longer Lydia, whom the night, whom the drugs erased..." When I read this I got the sense that things would not turn out so great for Alain and his attempt to find a "cure.' I thought this subtle synonym between drugs and night points to the idea that regardless of what Alain does, he will continue to use drugs because it has become a 'natural' cycle for him, as natural as the day turns to night without any will of our own. To me, I think this is a style that is again, cynical, but is written to appear secretly cynical-as if there is some hope (which mimics Alain's entire predicament of drugs and hanging onto some idea of hope).
Both Queaneau and Drieu's stories had a biting sense of humor that I was particularly fond of, however I found that Drieu's sense of humor was a bit more subtle and sarcastic, whereas Queaneau's was a bit more irreverent. One of my favorite lines from this story was in the beginning when the narrator is introducing Marquis d'Averseau who possessed “a literary name since he had written A History of French Princes who were Sodomites.” This humor was a bit less obvious than a lot of the jokes Queaneau had used. It is also probably funny to a smaller selection of people. However the unique and obscure nature of this type of joke is what makes it so great. Often the less “mainstream” or understandable humor is, the funnier it is. Somebody once told me that at its heart, humor is simply the realization of incongruity in the world. This discrepancy between the funny and the obscure is what makes this particular style of humor so humorous because it adds to that of the original incongruity that comprises the joke.
Although my first instinct is to compare Will O' The Wisp with We Always Treat Women Too Well, it was more similar in complexity of language to Kierkegard's Fear and Trembling. This is in the sense that both works give a feeling of unraveling a mystery by virtue of the hidden messages and nuances in the language. Also, both Drieu and Kierkegaard spend a lot of time describing the motivations, emotional states, and internal milieus of their characters – much more so than Queneau (and the Focault reading we were assigned didn't really have any characters).
As for James Quinn's response, I happened to believe that Alain could save himself in the beginning of this story. At least I wanted to. I guess I just wanted to believe that anybody could change if they wanted to, which maybe isn't so true. I don't think it was that Alain didn't really want to change deep down inside, but that he was trapped in a self-defeating mindset. My favorite line in this story is “I only know myself. Life is myself. I, I am nothing; and death is nothing twice over.” Here his clash with the absurd brings him to a state where he cannot reconcile his feelings of nothingness. This is something that I believe everyone faces at some point in life. Some people choose to ignore it and bottle it up forever, others cannot. In my opinion this second group of people have to either find some sort of existential meaning or go the same route as Alain (not necessarily committing suicide, but remaining as empty, hollow people).
One final thing I would like to bring up is the name of Drieu's story – Will O' The Wisp. This was the name that the translator or publisher gave to to the English translation. The original title Le Feu Follet (meaning the fire within) was abandoned. I am really starting to wonder why the name was changed and also what other aspects of the story were changed in the translation of this story. The name Will O' The Wisp is interesting. I looked it up and it is a reference to a mysterious light that is said to be seen floating over lakes at night, retreating into the distance when approached by anybody. This, although fundamentally different accomplishes some of the same things as the title The Fire Within. They both are referring to some sort of inexplicable conflict of unknown consequence, a subject which characterized this book. However, I feel like a lot of meaning is lost in the name change. The Fire Within had more of a feeling of internal struggle, whereas Will O' The Wisp denotes more of a mysterious and haunting quality. Similarly, I wonder how the translation of some of the metaphors worked out. Surely some of the meaning was lost or changed in translation, but how much of the insight and depth differs between the original and the translation?
Friday, June 25, 2010
No convoluted thoughts, and again simple enough to interpret.
Found the film online, and it put images and sounds to the novel well. The piano every now and then captured the melancholic feel of the text. The introverted alcoholic was played better than I could have imagined. My favorite part being after he wakes up the day he's going to take his life, buys the two delivery men a drink, says he doesn't drink and they are confused. They want to know what is wrong with him. He simply says there is a problem with his heart, nonchalantly.
In both the text and film, it's clear from his point of view he'll be taking his life from the beginning. Dead man walking. A recovering alcoholic, masquerading as a changed man, I enjoyed the subtle interactions that are clear signs something is wrong, but no one seems to notice, only adding to the low self esteem, and contributing to the problem. Understanding this spiral downward is captivating.
Thursday, June 24, 2010
The Secret Journal by Pierre Drieu la Rochchelle was a short story about the author himself. Within the Drieu’s written piece he describes his various suicide attempts from childhood onwards, culminating in a full description of his feelings the day before his last attempt in 1944. As I kept reading on the novel, it gave me the feeling that he tried to justify his action, suicidal attempts or self-hatred, only from his point of view. I had the impression that he is just one of the psychopaths who has low self-esteem and feels the society abandoned him. In the page 11, he talked about the exam he took when he was twenty and failed. He said the reason he didn’t pass the test is ‘because of the authorities and not through any incompetence of mine.’ It cleared shows that he doesn’t want to take responsibility of failing the test on him; he rather blames the society for making him to fail the examination. And in my opinion it also let us to know that he is one of the very self-centered persons, yet with fancy mouth only to defend himself from everything works against him. And finally he talks about various suicidal attempts when he was young but didn’t actually commit those. I think he is just one of the cowards we encounter everyday life. If he really wanted to kill himself, he could easily jump off a building or shoot himself when he was at war.
We Aways Treat Women Too Well by Raymond Queneau is a novel that a pulp erotical novel that was set in place in England around 1940. When I first encountered the novel, it was very difficult to read and understand what the author was saying, thus sometimes forced me to go back to the front of the page and read again to understand what was going on in the novel, I assume it was because of my lack of English reading skill or the not-the-best French to English translation. Thus it sometimes bored me to keep reading on. However it contained some sexual scenes and humor part in it to prevent me from stop reading(Who hates humor and sex?). During the scenes of the Irish rebels and Gertie taking a hold of her hostage within the Dublin post office, I especially can’t help myself to squirm and laugh uncomfortably at the same time. In page 78, there was a little script about the Gallagar’s reaction to a certain situation. ‘It’s her bootees that got on his nerves, every so often they made a noise, with their high heels’. I’m surprised to find that Gallagar still had some kind of sexual attraction to the dead body of a female when he tried to move the corps. In my opinion Queneau was spoofing a particularly low-class a particularly low-class style of sadistic and erotic thriller. I found this novel the oddest, yet a wonderfully bizarre piece of work.
A Story as You Like it by Raymond Queneau is one of the unique piece of work I ever read. A story that the reader can chose to suit his or her taste is very clever and funny. By this way the reader can really enjoy as they read a story and create stories that end differently, yet satisfy its reader. Within the literature work by Queneau, readers can change the progress of how the story goes by selecting the given guideline. It reminded me of the uniqueness of the Korean soup opera. In Korea, when a soup opera made a huge hit and very popular, sometimes the script of the soup opera changes dramatically to suit its viewers taste. For example, let’s say if a main female character were to die of a cancer in the original script and, its viewers would say to let her live. The scripter of the soup opera would change the story and satisfy its viewers by letting her live. The graph in page 159 caught my attention, I guess it was because of my major in Binghamton University; Actuarial science. I calculated the ways that the stories can be created if an author chose the form shown in the picture. There were 16 stories can be created within the ‘tree’!!.
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
Monday, June 21, 2010
The “Secret Journal and other writings” was a little bit more of an interesting read. I’m not sure who commented on it earlier, but I also got somewhat of a Holden Caufield vibe reading it. I thought the choice of mentioned readings before the secret journal, were interesting choices. Although they were parts of readings that were quoted, it was interesting, the various authors that were chosen from the Bible, to Montaigne, to Peguy. As I read them I wondered why they were selected. I suppose I missed the connection. Anyway, I found Drieu La Rochelle’s way of thinking about aging to be a bit fascinating for the lack of a better word. I understood his whole thought process but I never knew anyone really planned when they wanted to die. It was kind of amusing when he talked about his palm being read and how the “prophecy” came true. He had a good point that although people may not be extremely superstitious, superstitions still “color” our decisions. I feel like if people really sat and thought about their decision making process, they would figure out that this probably holds a bit true to them too.
Saturday, June 19, 2010
I really liked Secret Journal. It has a Mrs.-Dalloway-meets-Catcher-in-the-Rye feel to it. I'm a sucker for stories which seem too personal, where reading them seems almost taboo (I mean, what’s more personal to a person than their Journal?) However, this was a good read. The beginning was very curious, as it sounded Freudian. the whole idea of not being a complete stream of thought, but a series of flashback was interesting. However, I was confused because, I was reading then I read a part about him cutting himself. I was confused, however it seemed perfect in the way the story was told. Even though the instances in his childhood seemed odd, such as the cutting incident. However, I liked how it transitioned and when the odd moments came up, it wasn't shocking. It just flowed. It really seemed to resemble 'Catcher in the Rye.' However, as much as I disliked that story, I liked Secret Journal J
Friday, June 18, 2010
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
I am sorry for the late response this week. The reading was little bit hard to understand to me, so it took too much time. The reading ‘We always treat women too well’ was kind of boring to me at first. However, this book attracted my interests of the war. The writing style was kind of confuse and hard to understand. The language was kind of new to me, and it showed some funny things. Queneaus’s word choice was not easy to understand, but it gave me a lot of interest of the rest of reading.
The initial jumping back and forth from viewpoints started the reader out a bit confused as they were trying to kepe both stories straight and develop ideas for these characters. This helped with Gertie getting the hopeless idea in the readers mind as they were only given a brief section on her stuck in the bathroom. By jumping back and forth it was easy for the reader to know the paths were going to cross. However, what suprised the audience was the way hopeless Gertie was able to out smart the rebels. It was also interesting that at the beginning we are shown that the rebels are the heroes as they are taking unjust into their own hands, but at the end it is gertie who is the heroine by being able to basically disolve the rebellion herself.
Sunday, June 13, 2010
There are also many other examples of this union of humor and cruel horrific incidents. In another instance the British shoot a woman who worked in the post office when she arrives to retrieve her handbag. She lays sprawled out, legs apart with her skirts blowing in the breeze. Some of the IRA members want to cover up her body, and others feel strangely aroused by her position, which suggests sexual activity. I really like the language style in this reading and Queneau's humor. :)
The way Queneau wrote this creates a lot of confusion. As I just mentioned, it is simultaneously a very busy piece of writing as well as a minimalist work. Aside from this though, the way he phrases things just causes a bit of confusion. For example, the last paragraph on pg. 45 where the narrator is using a series of synonymous translations of words from various languages to describe the actions taken by Caffrey and how his "intuition" led him to these actions causes the reader to do a double take.
The purposeful and “tricky” wording, however, adds a lot of depth to the writing. It makes the reader realize that there is more than one way to go about saying something and that no one way is really ideal. This idea can be related to the topic of this story, which is revolution. A revolution is not like any other type of war in that it is more random and less planned out than a “classic” war, but at the same time more passion goes into fighting it because its soldiers must have deep passion for it to exist in the first place. This randomness and disorder presents a great variety of options for the revolutionaries to take. This is much the same as how an author of an interesting work of literature has many options when describing events and ideas.
As Jazmyn pointed out, even the conflicts in this story seem to be split into two opposing factions, and the soldiers' need to be correct in the context of a rebellious desire is a great example. This represents the characters' attempts to make order out of the disorder that lies before them. The style in which this story was written brings up very similar dilemmas.
One of my favorite passages in this story was “During the whole of this time she had been thinking of nothing. Absolutely nothing. Next she reflected, in fragmentary fashion, on what was going to happen. She was at a loss for elements to nourish her fear. Therefore what she was experiencing wasn't exactly fear. Not precisely fear. She was aware that the near future would go far beyond her imagination.” To me this is the perfect description of the shock that accompanies impending doom. This is so true - when a person knows that something terrible is about to happen the first reaction is that everything goes blank and there is no way to even feel a fear response. However, this passage is also an example of the minimalist writing that Queneau did in this story. Nonetheless, it accomplishes the goal of description quite well. If it was more complex it would not convey the raw emotion that was felt as well, as this raw emotion itself was quite minimalist by nature.
Fittingly when Queneau is describing a more complex emotion such as lust, he switches to his abstract and ultra-descriptive style of writing. “As for Callinan, who was a bachelor, he knew little of the blandishments preliminary to the radical act, never having hunted anything other than fubsy totties, or slatterns harvested on piles of hay or tavern tables still greasy with everything. He found his caress hard to bear, therefore, and began to forsee that this series of gestures would lead to a quite different conclusion than from that of an honest refusal. But where would this conclusion take place? - that was what he was asking himself, now that he had found himself in extremis. He still had one penultimate scruple: the social level of his Iphigenia, and then one ultimate one: the girl's virginity.” Looking back at the scene with Callinan and Gertie it is clear that Queneau uses his varying styles with some purpose and this last passage was a great example. It was written with a much deeper level of language and emotion because it was needed to describe a situation that was inherently more complex than something such as the emotions that Gertie felt when she realized she had been discovered. Queaneau's style is not entirely as random and disordered as it may seem, and this is a large part of what made We Always Treat Women Too Well such an interesting read.
One last (semi-unrelated) thing I'd like to bring up is that I looked up the phrase "finnegan's wake." After a quick googling I found that it was a humorous literary work that was known for having a very enigmatic style - a characteristic that I think led to it being chosen as the catchphrase for the Irish Revolutionaries in this story. Does anyone know if this was an actual slogan that was used by the IRA or if it was something that Queneau made up? It wouldn't surprise me if it was made up as it lends itself well to Queneau's own style.
This novel was definitely something new and intriguing. In my opinion the language was very fresh and casual, along with being undeniably funny, which actually made it a great read. I loved Queneau’s word choices, which only added to the overall humor of the novel, for example on the very first page Queneau describes the death of the doorman as a bullet being injected into his noggin. I am not going to lie, I did have an extremely hard time at the beginning on the novel, trying to understand what was happening between these extremely short chapters, however by chapter ten, I had gotten use to Queneau’s style. I cannot emphasize how much I enjoyed Quenaeu’s laid back use of language throughout the novel. Throughout the dialogue between the characters and the descriptions of all the events, the casual tone of novel only made it that much easier to imagine the story as if it were a movie or a play. I especially enjoyed the chapters in which Gertie tried to stay hidden in the ladies room. Everything she was doing and thinking was so ridiculously hilarious, for example, when she heard footsteps outside of the ladies room, the first thing she thought to do was fix her hair. She also thought that just because she was in the ladies room she would be safe because no one else would be allowed to come in.
Silence was an interesting poem. It actually makes a lot of sense. The entire idea of the poem is that silence doesn’t really exist. Silence can never exist, unless everything in the world is dead. Everything has a sound. The insects walking around, the grass blowing, the wind moving around the room; it all has some form of sound. I like the poem because of the examples it uses to demonstrate the nonexistence of silence. I think the line which demonstrates it well was "Perfect silence is not, because all parts of like are vigilant and audible. A blade of grass emits an /enormous and menacing sound like a 420 which rises towards the heavens." I really feel as if that epitomizes the idea of the poem. However, I found it interesting the turn the poem takes in the last stanza. Finally, after describing that Silence does not exist, the first line is 'A Silence Falls.' Honestly, the last stanza confuses me a great deal. I'm wondering what the scene here was. I get the picture of a man wandering through a field looking for survivors, or surviving soldiers after some massive attack. Here is where I find myself confused, because, to me, its as if the two ideas are not cohesive. Up to the last stanza, the language is interesting, the poetic and the strength of the words. It pulls out odd references, such as grass and soil, and makes them powerful, but not in a mystical or unrealistic way. I think it does a great job with emphasizing the role of everything in life without personifying it, which can come across as cliché. It's a very in-depth analysis. I approve J
'We always treat women too well' was a very interesting and unexpected read. Honestly it started off a bit boring to me. I hate war novels. I never read 'The Red Badge of Courage' because I couldn't stand the mundane nature of war novels. The I came to the part with Gertie. I liked the way she sounded, somewhat full of herself, when she describes the men never able to come into the Girl's bathroom. It sounded a bit ridiculous but in a very funny way. After a few more pages/chapters (the chapters were very short, weren't they?) It seemed more like one of those 'Lusty Reads' I find in my Cosmopolitan magazine. I was actually confused, because I was wondering where the story was going. Honestly, the wording was intense K Perhaps it's just surprising because I'm not used to that type of description in older books. However, the story read very well, like a play. The dialogue was very straightforward, very colloquial. However, when it came to descriptions, particularly the descriptions of the women. The first scene of intimacy with Gertie was almost poetic, almost romantic. However, it returned to coloquial quickly, when the other men were looking for him and they shouted "He's Fucking her?" It really was hilarious. I'm glad this wasn't a run-of-the-mill war novel. It was really sexual and hilarious; I have trouble believing this was not written before the 1980's. I find humor is everything, especially the whole "God save the King" then death. It's a bunch of satirical humor, the type that backfires and sounds like your smart-ass friend. It's almost as if the story was written by two different people, but yet flows amazingly. I like the balance of humor, sarcasm, and the sophisticated descriptive language.
Saturday, June 12, 2010
Wednesday, June 9, 2010
Another moment I found intriguing was during one of the firefights. The rebel staring at the girl dead in the street was getting turned on by the way she was lying there, and then the narration cut away from him until it cut back to him cleaning himself up. It never directly described what he had done, but the words chosen set the scene so well it was obvious what he had just done to himself.
Lastly, during the interrogation, the subtle descriptions of actions of charachters, before and during the interrogation and following firefight, made it so it was obvious they acted differently toward women. Rather then putting a bullet in her head or hitting her over the head with a guiness bottle, they chose to debate religous beliefs. Or when bicker about whether or not it was proper to find the woman's handbag, whom they had earlier spanked and kicked in the ass. They're such brutes the rest of the time I found their confusion in these moments, especially the confusion propogated by the one soldiers illiteracy rather comical. The sophistcated way it was written added to that.
I apologize for any spelling or grammatical errors. Writing this between layovers on a phone wasn't ideal lol
Sunday, June 6, 2010
I have decided to comment on everybody's posts so far. If you want to add something please feel free to comment!
You are essentially correct in your interpretation of this essay, except that I don't think Foucault views scientific authorship as static or unchanging at all. Foucault indeed mentions that,
"Superficially, then, the initiation of discursive practices appears similar to the founding of any scientific endeavor.
Still, there is a difference, and a notable one . In the case of a science, the act that founds it is on an equal footing with its future transformations; this act becomes in some respects part of the set of modifications that it makes possible ."
What he is saying is that modern science is no longer a set of observations and rules that is blindly followed because a famous thinker proclaims them to be true. As you undoubtedly know, one of the reasons that the scientific method is such a good tool for discovering truth is that it is open to revision and change. A theory can be constantly modified to fit observations and this is the entire basis behind scientific writing. As Foucault puts it "In the case of a science, the act that founds it is on an equal footing with its future transformations; this act becomes in some respects part of the set of modifications that it makes possible." So in this case the author does not really influence how the work is received. However, I would have to say that this is not always true because certain scientists can bring on their own stereotypes and prejudices. Take, for example, Charles Darwin. Anything he has written will be assumed to have to do with the theory of evolution and therefore anyone who has strong opinions of him would get a slightly different meaning out of his work. He cannot escape this. This is where there is some overlap between scientific and discursive writers.
I just re-read this and I believe Foucault is just saying that, for the purpose of this argument, authors such as Freud and Marx can be considered to be a different type of author because they founded certain styles of thought/writing by establishing "an endless possibility of discourse."
As for the idea of who is speaking not being important I think this is a bit of a misinterpretation of Foucault's essay. He is saying that who is speaking is in many cases overemphasized and that in an ideal world the necessary evil of pegging authors into various categories would not exist.
You are absolutely right that Foucault seems to think that repetition is something that has an almost negative connotation in literary work. This is in stark contrast to the idea that Kierkegaard brought up in Fear and Trembling, where he sees repetition as being the stuff of life and absolutely necessary.
I believe both authors have valid and complementary, though opposing points. On the one hand, repetition of literary ideas is something that is quite necessary. It provides a platform which we can use to develop new ideas, after all most new ideas were inspired from old ones. On the other, repetition of ideas often leads to stagnation and mental sloth. Its a "catch-22," much like the idea brought up by Foucault that the overemphasis on the author is a necessary evil, bringing about organization and a context in which to examine works, as well as type-casting authors into certain roles and making it harder for lesser known authors to be read.
My understanding of this essay was that the author was actually both a flesh and blood person as well as a "voice" or as you put it "revealer" and it was the relationship between this flesh and blood person with his work that was problematic.
I was just wondering if Queaneau was the first author to use this "create your own story" style of writing.
I like the idea you brought up that "Without the reader, there is no story, no book, for there is no one to interpret it; it merely remains a tome, the writings of a madman who no one will take the time to read." This is somewhat akin to the age old question of whether a tree that falls in the woods with nobody around to hear it still makes a sound. In my opinion the answer is yes and no, and this illustrates the importance of context. The story still contains the information, so it is still a story, but in the context of having around nobody to process it, so it has no significance alone - it is just words on a page. This is similar to Foucault's idea that different writings in different contexts will have a different significance depending on the state of the writer. The example brought up in What is an Author would be that seemingly insignificant work by somebody who is not considered "an author" would remain insignificant but that this is not the case with somebody who is an author – most of of the minute scribblings of an author would be considered to be works or literature.
One other point I wanted to bring up was that this idea of too much emphasis being placed on who wrote something carries over to many other arts and humanities such as music, preforming arts, and visual arts, and that the relationship with death is especially strong in music, so much so that the quote "If he was willing to die young, it was so that his life, consecrated and magnified by death, might pass into immortality; the narrative then redeemed this accepted death. Consecrated and magnified by death, might pass into immortality; the narrative then redeemed this " carries over to the musicians themselves.
It is not enough to repeat empty slogans in ‘What is An Author’. Everyone like God or man and women dies equal. We should know and aware to the empty space left by the M Foucault's disappearance. And we should take a look at gaps and fault lines. It is made new lines and own places, and the allocation of this void. We should await the fluid functions released by this disappearance.
I just look to his own words in What is an Author?
Foucault shows that himself to be sensitive to the many problems of the self as writer. Later on he made a question of this literary sense of subjectivity against the more general question.
The writing ‘What Is an Author’ was something telling us about the meaning of the author. That was like a formula that readers can understand who is an author, and what we need to be an author. He shows us how to write if I want to be called an Author.
I am not an writer, but I could little bit understand the function of an author. This reading would help me a lot when I write anything in my life.
Saturday, June 5, 2010
The choose your own adventure feel of Queneau's piece is definitely something unique; however, while the piece does act to represent this in a basal nature, there is far more at play here than first meets the eyes. Queneau deconstructs this idea, and in doing so, puts the reader at the foreground of the story. In essence, he provides an opportunity for one to see that the reader always stands paramount. Without the reader, there is no story, no book, for there is no one to interpret it; it merely remains a tome, the writings of a madman who no one will take the time to read.
I know this is probably dangerous to say, considering Professor's specialty is Foucault. I'm hoping I get points for being brave and honest. I'm not a Foucault person. I don't like his theory on writing. I'm an Emerson junkie. The whole 'author is the epitome of the world' and all that jazz. I can agree that being an author is more than writing. It's about making a point, telling a truth (a real truth or created truth). I do not agree that Marx and Freud and Foucault were the first real authors. In terms of what? Were there no other good writers before? Writers with purpose? Someone please clarify, because this bothers me. I wonder about his question, which asked what difference does it make who is speaking? Really? there is NO DIFFERENCE? I cannot believe that. We all have a bias. we all view the world differently. To NOT consider the author is reckless. It's like looking at art without appreciating the time period, the context, and looking at it objectively and assuming it stands for a whole society or a culture. You MUST consider the author! of course, you need not credit nor discredit, but one cannot look blindly.
I can appreciate his breaking down of a paper/work philosophically. It makes sense. I'll give him credit (I'm not saying he isn't a smart and learned man, I just Have an issue with his idea of being an author). I disagree with his last paragraph in it's entirety. perhaps our bigger questions are 'What is the point, what happens' etc, however, today we still consider the author! The first thing we do when we read something new in a class is learn about the author's life, so that we are able to understand more. Would we have understood the Communist Manifesto if we had not known about Marx, or Utopia if we had not understood what brought on the book? How can he say it 'What difference does it make who is speaking?' I really did not like that line. I feel as though it does make a difference. I understand a work must be objective, in that we should read it and take the work at face value. We are human, we over think clearly. It would be nice to just think of a work objectively however, we are not all equal. We do not all think the same, act the same, or are exposed to the same thing. Therefore, I feel to understand the work, one must understand the person. therefore, it is imperative to ask "Who is the author" and "Who is the speaker?"
Thursday, June 3, 2010
Recently taking an introductory graph theory class, the figure shown on the last page of the reading, which represents the story as a graph, intrigued me. Breaking down possible paths, starting from the first branch statement and following the flows of decisions, and eventually ending, a reader has the potential to create a number of unique stories from such a small amount of written material. The story is simple, and boring to be blunt, but the idea of being able to branch off and develop stories unique to reader’s decisions the spot is mathematically fascinating.
Tuesday, June 1, 2010
This was indeed an odd article. I must say, a problem in my writing is I often repeat myself. I think this article helped me to understand why. When I repeat an idea over and over, it's usually because I am trying to convey the same feeling I have about it. However, it is difficult-near impossible- to dictate an emotion being felt. As this feeling of not being able to describe something makes us pause, we are forced to repeat it. However, the idea of the writing was interesting, that life is all about repetition. However, I will say there was a great deal of repetition in the essay. It reminds me of my writing; lengthy, but usually a repetition of the same idea over and over. His style reminded me of Virginia Wolf, and the whole 'Stream of Consciousness' type of writing. As you are reading the account of the opera, the narrator interjects with his own side-thoughts, which makes you very aware that it's a story being told. However, you can often sense his frustration at not being able to describe a specific feeling or thought. It is at these moments I fall into a dilemma. Is it good that I am able to sense the narrator's frustration as he struggles to describe feelings and emotions, or is it bad that I am unable to feel these emotions he does? Is it good writing or not? I like the writing, he gives great descriptions. However, it reminds me of another story I read which annoyed me a great deal (I know I shouldn't say this.) Anna Karenina seemed the same way; a great deal of descriptions of locations, metaphors and lots of other 'fillers'. I feel as if both authors are using lengthy metaphors and descriptions as a means of compensation for not being able to adequately describe a feeling. It's hard to describe a feeling. I know that. But Don't try to fool me and make me think you are actually describing it when you aren't. It's impossible, I can't feel what you felt an hour or so ago. It's interesting when he tries, but perhaps it's my frustration at going around in circles. Again, I write this way as well. Pot calling kettle black I suppose J