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Eng 125 Literary Narrative lecture notes (weeks 1-3)

by: Konnor Damery

Eng 125 Literary Narrative lecture notes (weeks 1-3) Eng 125

Marketplace > Illinois State University > ENGLISH (ENG) > Eng 125 > Eng 125 Literary Narrative lecture notes weeks 1 3
Konnor Damery
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About this Document

These notes cover everything talked about in class since the beginning of the semester and will help with our upcoming exam and midterm. Topics range from eras of literature, to literary genres, to...
Literary Narrative
Michael Wollitz
Class Notes
Cultural, literary, Critisism, Genres, materialstudies, english




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This 5 page Class Notes was uploaded by Konnor Damery on Wednesday September 21, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to Eng 125 at Illinois State University taught by Michael Wollitz in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 59 views. For similar materials see Literary Narrative in ENGLISH (ENG) at Illinois State University.


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Date Created: 09/21/16
Cultural​: ideas customs behavior products and ways of life of a nation society people or period  of time    Material​: of or relating to physical substances [something you can touch]    Cultural​ ​Construct​: meaning, idea, characteristic not limited to a basis in reality, yet uphold  significance in society because of acceptance    Proposal: ​American lit can serve as a at to better understand the world as lit has not always  been informative or interventionist or purposeful in nature    ● Modernism [1900­1945]  ○ Movement developed as a reaction to urbanization, industrialization, and tech  advances of final decades of 19th century  ○ Artists felt the need to keep up with these advancements  ○ As a result they wanted to break with tradition  ○ Ezra Pound: “Make it New”  ○ Sigmund Freud: “the primacy of the unconscious mind in mental life”  ○ These two philosophies led to two new techniques  ■ Fragmented Narratives/ shifting POV’s  ■ Interior Monologues/ stream of consciousness   ○ “Art for art's sake”  ■ James Joyce­ (1882­1941)  ● “Non Serviam” attitude  ● Postmodernism [1945­?]  ○ Maybe art isn't so sacred or useful after all  ○ W.H. Auden­ “poetry makes nothing happen”  ○ “Anything=Art” or “Pop­Art”  ○ War hold= Marilyn Monroe/ Campbell's soup can  ○ Author becomes PRESENT in the text as characters themselves  ■ Books become aware they are books  ■ “Breaks the fourth wall”  ● The Office  ● Post­Post Modernism (today)  ○ Literature becomes a place for active critical critique on day­to­day issues and  societal concerns  ○ Once again about “real” people  ● NEW AMERICAN STORIES  ○ Canon  ■ Sanctioned group of related works that serve as a standard of comparison  i.e. Bible for christians    ● Love is a thing on sale for more money than there exists  ● Tao Lin  ○ Born 1983  ○ Author of four novels and one collection short stories  ​ Best known works include the novels​ aipei (2013) ad ​Shoplifting from American  Apparel  ○ Bed    ● Rhetoric­   ○ the art of using language to persuade or influence others esp. The exploitation of  figures of speech and other compositional techniques  ○ The language or discourse characteristically associated with a particular subject,  concept, or set of ideas  ○ We could argue that this Tory critiques political rhetoric on both sides of the  American political divide    ● Close Reading  ○ Thorough analysis of a literary text  ○ Emphasis on interrelationships among textual elements such as language,  imagery, allusion, style etc  ○ Provides meanings and interpretations of the text  ○ Imagery/ symbolism of​ oles or absences   ● Nihilism (Garret)  ○ Total rejection o f prevailing religious beliefs, moral principles, laws because of  despair and devoid of meaning  ○ Generally negative destructive and hostile attitudes  9­8­16    ● LITERARY GENRES  ○ French for “kind” or “type”, the classification of literary works on the basis of their  content, form, style, and or technique (family)  ○ Helpful descriptive organizational device… Though there are always grey areas  ○ What have we read so far?  ■ Realism  ■ Speculative Fiction  ■ Surrealism  ○ Realism​: a term that can be applied to the accurate depiction of the everyday life  at a certain place or period (Appeared in the latter half of the 19th century along  with Romanticism)  ■ Captures reality  ■ Character is more important than plot or action  ■ Ethics and morals are often the focus  ■ Events often plausible   ■ Speech is natural and vernacular   ● Ex. “Some Other, Better Otto” and “Another Manhattan  ○ Speculative Fiction​ grounded in scientific or pseudo­scientific concepts and  that, no matter the setting, employs both realistic and fantastic elements in  exploring questions of “What if…”   ​ ■ (came about in 19th century with Mary Shelley’​ rankenstein­ 1818)  ■ Sub genres include science fiction, utopian/ dystopian, fantasy  ■ Ex. Star Wars, Hunger Games  ● “Love is a Thing…” And “Standard Loneliness Package”  ○ Surrealism:​ Arts movement whose proponents view the unconscious mind as  the source of imaginative expression   ■ Rooted in the 1920s France scant­ grade movements… Attacked Realism  and its rational logic in favor of “imagination”  ■ Core goal: Transcend/ surpass reality  ■ A way to address real problems in a less direct way  ■ 99% realism with just one major thing “off”  ● Examples:  ○ “Slatland” and “The Toast”  ○ Salvador Dali Paintings (Melting clocks)  ​ ○ Life of Pi, Yann Martel  ○ David Lynch, ​ lue Velvet    ● SCHOOLS OF LITERARY CRITICISM  ○ Literary Criticism  ■ Takes many forms, is often practiced using a particular model, or  school… Meaning that things like vocabulary and themes are dictated by  the conventions of a particular school  ■ No on “right” type and many schools are heavily debated  ■ Diverse schools of criticism can offer different insights into the a text and  can be used for political/ social purposes (feminist)  ○ Reader­Response Criticism:​ Focuses on reading as an active process while  acknowledging diverse reader responses  ■ Ex. “Love is a Thing…”  ■ Is our response the same as the text’s meaning?  ■ How many different ways are there to see the text?  ■ Are some responses more valid than another?  ● “Interpretive communities”  ○ Reception Criticis​ examines how a work has been viewed by readers­­since its  publication (How it changes over time)  ■ Ex. “To Kill a Mockingbird”  ● “Standard Loneliness Package”  ● The Backstreet Boys ­­­> 1990s: popular­­­> now: Joke  ○ Mimetic Criticis​ Based on the “quality” of a text depends on how accurately the  texts portrays its subjects   ■ Ex. “Slatland” ­­­> not realistic way to view life (thumbs down)  ■ Plato  ■ Truth is truth (realism)  ○ Practical Criticism:​ emphasizes and responds to the characteristics of a text  (uses a set of principles, rules, standards going into critique)  ○ Pragmatic Criticism​ emphasizes the effect of a text on its audience  ■ Ex. “Some Other, Better Otto”  ■ Believe that there is a “certain” way in which the text should be viewed  and responded to   ■ Opposite of Reader­Response  ■ Are readers inspired to take action about problem in story?  ○ Psychoanalytic:​ analyzes relationship between authors and readers by  emphasizing the unconscious mind, and how repressed fears and desires appear  in a text (Sigmund Freud)  ■ Ex. “Another Manhattan”  9­20­16    ● Material Culture Studies  ○ And interdisciplinary field that studies the relationship between people and their  “things” or “objects”  ○ Aim #1: talk the production of things seriously  ○ Aim #2: consider how objects impact our lives  ● Jane Bennett  ○ Professor, John Hopkins  ○ Author of ​Vibrant Matter  ○ Examines the role of “things” as actors that have significance  ○ We can't do anything without things  ● Mark Blackwell  ○ Professor, University of Hartford  ○ Editor,​ he Secret Life of Things  ○ Examines the role of things in literature  ○ The History of things telling “their story” is long  ● Why Does MCS Matter?  ○ It gives us a new way to think of our relationships to “stuff”  ○ In an era when we cannot live without “things” (because they are so integral to  our lives)  ○ It is worthwhile to think more deeply about such matters  ○ With MCS, we can ask new questions of our surrounding world  ● The Life Cycle of an Object  ○ Where they come from  ○ Who has touched them/ made it  ○ What they do  ○ Where they go (recycled? Preserved? Destroyed?)  ● “THE DESIRES OF HOUSES”  ○ Brings objects to life  ○ Things having thoughts? May as well be provocative!  ○ Sex is not the focus  ○ Focus is, things have thoughts 


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