Class Notes, 22 June 2011

In-class writing warm-up:

Writing about hand writing: describe your hand as it writes across the page

Surrealists: elements of magic, and/or chance, or the unconscious (dreams) and Dali and Bunuel:

Magic: magical realism—Europe discovers the “primitive” cultures of Africa and the Americas

Who has magic in the novel:

Women; Nuyorican; Brujas

Buckley grandma—Puritan witch–magic in the New England colonies, but not necessarily mixed with indigenous magic, as throughout the Americas, and also through the southern colonies and states. The Caribbean basin especially had huge mixes of peoples from three different continents.

1966: Garcia Marquez writes One Hundred Years of Solitude, puts Latin American Literature on the World Literature stage . . .

Magical realism: starts to become a fad

Pg. 98: When I was . . . joke on one of Vega’s first novels. The “Nuyorican” novel he makes fun of.

     “Mean-Street ghetto novel”

Down These Mean Streets, Piri Thomas: kid gets in trouble; “show heart”; East Harlem/Spanish Harlem;

“Meta”: higher, but a self-reflective turn,

Characters move in and out of speaking slang and standard English

Intention: the effect: of strange language in the voice of “Pooh” after seeing Omaha’s bohango:

Pg. 116: “WASPs” voice, discourse, quoting different styles within the voices of his characters, quoting different accents

–Making realistic characters: identification

–breaking down the wall between characters and audience

–intelligent language with low subject matter

–narrator becomes intrusive: maybe too intrusive: character of the author takes over the story . . .

–possibly bring the audience into the text: possibly push audience away, offending the audience

–something fake about a book: being aware of itself, and being aware of what it is: treating audience as implicit in the creation of a fiction

artifice: lying; deception; trickery; artificial; artifact; art; façade; artificer; fiction;

Fine art: authentic, original . . . subject to institutional definitions

Pop art: Harry Potter

Formula novel

Certain structure to follow, an equation, recipe, ingredients; selling-out:

Harry Potter: it’s fun; easy to read; plots not too complicated but interesting; entertaining; original; well-written, ageless; goes across genres religions;


“romance” novel: love; lust; sex; escape from relationships . . .

“mystery” novel: steps to retrace events; murder; deception; false leads; dead ends;



: society deems it: mindset of looking at something as literary; institutions classifying:

 Canon: required reading: institutionalized (and some interpretive strategies for reading cultural dominance:

                                 Gender         Social Class              Race/ethnicity

Jane Eyre                woman

Canterbury Tales     dude

Beowulf                   dude

Telltale Heart         dude

Paradise Lost           dude

“Ode to a Grecian Urn”  dude

 (left some blanks for you to fill in)

 1. Samperio, “She Lived in a Story”

Free-write about this story

 –Similarities to Borges:

 –Similarities to Cervantes

 –Similarities to Vega

 2. Borges, “Pierre Menard”

Free-write about this story, begin with “I remember” and keep going for five minutes.

 –Similarities to Sampiero

–Similarities to Cervantes

–Similarities to Vega

  3. Cervantes, Don Quixote

 Free-write an “I remember” about the novel, go for ten minutes.

–similarities to Sampiero

–similarities to Borges

–similarities to Vega

  4. Vega, Omaha Bigelow

Free-write I remember to Omaha Bigelow

–similarities to Sampiero

–similarities to Borges

–similarities to Cervantes.

Note: Cervantes’s name gets dropped in both Vega and Borges.


For your essay you will need to analyze TWO aesthetic texts, or artistic texts. Of all the structured brainstorms, see where you can apply some Jahn narratology.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

About salvarez

Gentleman. Scholar.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.