Class Notes, 28 June 2011

Writing at QC: the piece of writing you are most proud of . . . and why

–Briana: creative writing class: a story called “A Homeless Hero”: a homeless man who was once a superhero; a hit with the class; everybody liked it, read it out loud

–Evan: writing in business: pick two laws and change them: be specific and explain law; gave me the power to do what I wanted, I could write whatever I wanted; three hours of writing; had research, argument, and other writing aspects

–Toni: write on anything we wanted: an undistinguished American story: wrote about my aunt’s migration story: interviewed her; true story; learned about family history (though writing).

–Kimberly: in Lit class, create out own dialogue for a section of the novel (between characters); creative writing, also a creative approach to reading literature

–Betty: magazine editing; writing a profile—of family friend and the crisis she experienced; wrote about her life, and did research into the history around the events; takes a lot of time to get the story from someone; she liked it

–Sabrina: non-fiction prose: story about how I met my mother at age 11; write about a personal experience; written about before; looking back to how I thought at eleven, interviewed people; writing about painful things helps to get it out, or not to keep things inside

–Michael: play I wrote: playwriting workshop: earned me some money; trying to write the story in different forms; dialogue; the topic meant much to me; it was read aloud in class;

–Helen: literary studies: paper on Keats; learned a lot about his life, and also about his poetry: able to use for another class; used some of the info from my paper for an oral presentation; as a result, I developed a passion for Keats’s poetry and Victorian Lit.

Eternal: forever, or not constrained by time

Temporary, fleeting would be the opposite

“the infinite is an invention”: nothing can last forever, has to be made or preserved; the infinite is an idea that humans created, can’t be proved or disproved; the opposite of natural: the eternal has to be invented (culturally)

“finale of Academic Death”: an event, a milestone; the last page, it the book has to end, it has to die

–all the other novels aren’t good, because this is the first/last good novel

Academic: audience, learned, scholars of Literature;

Presentation of absence: to give, gift, “showing”; displaying

Represent: stand for something, symbol stands for an idea; media, forms and their constraints

–pg. 3: dedicated to Eterna, the character

–plurality: a state of many ____
relative truth absolute truth

“discourtesy to readers”: confusion, not easy to understand (8). Unique, not a lot of books are written like this, if not used to this style, it will cause confusion;

“all art is labor”: art is hard work, to better the craft, it takes time and effort; energy expended;
–art is work: inspiration is work (revision):

Allegory: when a whole narrative is symbolic of reality
Story as parable: fable
Commentary on the content of the allegory
Characters serve a function:

Parable: story that wants to tell a message; teaches a lesson;
“pairs”: of stories
“parody”: pair of narratives as well


Examples of allegory
Animal Farm: structure of the farm represented Communism

Fahrenheit 451: allegory of free-speech or thought control

Dante’s Inferno: version of Christian hell

Benito Cereno: allegory of slavery

Fairie Queen: Protestantism versus Catholicism, partial to Protestantism

Vanity Fair: path of religion and temptation, path of life

Paradise Lost: allegory of commonwealth versus monarchy

It’s curious about the story it’s going to tell, a reading of itself, or better a narrative of itself, since self-love is inherent in Art (for Art, and to Art). Art is that which is written without knowing what will happen, and thus has to be written while docilely discovering and then resolving each situation, each problem of action or expression” (23)

“a narrative of itself”: a narrative of telling a narrative, narrating a narrative, narrating the telling of a story: self-reflective, and also a preoccupation with form, less than content.

Treating art not as art, but as a person, as human, or that has elements of consciousness
–acting: that which is written without knowing what will happen
–being in the moment: as character, being focused on the character, and not stepping outside the “play.”


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Gentleman. Scholar.
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