Monthly Archives: September 2010


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la belle dame sans merci

1.  Identify all of the different voices in the poem; how many are there? how to they interact (i.e., do they echo one another? undermine one another? both?)?  What is the function/significance of these interacting voices? 2.  Does this poem … Continue reading

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Zizek: The Reality of the Virtual

Not required, but if you’re interested this video (broken into five parts) is a good discussion of reification in terms of “real abstraction” or real virtuality, and also of the interrelation of the symbolic, imaginary and real, with lots of … Continue reading

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notes & questions for Oct. 4

Zizek Does Hardy’s poem affirm or contest the truth of this claim of Zizek’s?  “all the effort to articulate the metaphorical meaning of the Titanic is nothing but an attempt to escape this terrifying impact of the Thing, an attempt … Continue reading

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coleridge and strangeness

The most obvious and unmistakable strangeness encountered in “the Rime…” are the “thousand slimy things,” the water snakes.  But there’s arguably something much freakier in the wedding guest’s repeated exclamations to the mariner, ‘i fear thy skinny hand.’  The creepiness … Continue reading

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with video: For a better recording without video CLICK HERE La Belle Dame Sans Merci and Ode to a Nightingale both dramatize poetic failure of some kind; they demonstrate the poetic imagination running amuk, becoming self-destructive.  Both poems are offered … Continue reading

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notes & questions for sept. 27

NB:  journals due either in class on the 27 or in the English Dept. office before noon on the 28th. Burke Burke suggests that the French revolution is illegitimate in part because it’s barbarity couldn’t be “commemorated with grateful thanksgiving” … Continue reading

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Austen, Free Indirect Discourse, Realism & Social Class

Two Ways of relating a story mimesis = imitation.  So actors in theater relate a story mimetically.  In fiction mimesis is when characters other than the narrator are quoted speaking or thinking in their own voice; often but not always … Continue reading

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what do you think of this video as an interpretation (or mimetic rehearsal cum interpretation) of blake’s poem?  which elements in the video seem especially significant to you in respect to the issue of reification?

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notes & questions for sept. 20

The basic question for this set of readings is:  how do they relate to one another?  they all discuss variations on the theme of reification, enlightenment and commodification, which is basically to say the normative establishment of an abstract and … Continue reading

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