Hello, it’s me.
We had a strong presence of ten students in class today, so this blog post goes out to all of you who left us all alone. May you find all the info you missed in here.
Syllabus changes —
For next week (Week 11):
Still read Pale Fire. Alex says we need to read EVERYTHING, do not skim the usual commentary that you would….turns out all the things we usually avoid are actually important this time.
*However, the secondary readings have been changed to a section on Pale Fire in “Nabokov and His Books” by Duncan White who will be skyping in with us next class. It is under ‘Reading Schedule” on WIKI.
For Week 12:
Still meet at JFK Library but the readings have changed to Hemingway’s “A Very Short Story” and “Hills Like White Elephants”.
For Week 13:
It’s still Patriots Day, so just watch Netflix.
Digital Exhibition Project: (additional info on WIKI)
Just when you thought you were completely exhausted and can’t take anymore, don’t forget our final project is coming up! 🙂 Here are some brief details from what we discussed in class but check the WIKI for more, I can’t do everything for you guys.
Select one rare book or manuscript (letter, newspaper, etc…) to be exhibited on course blog. It can be in the archives we visit or another library or your own collection.
Pick one you think we can all learn something from and that merits further study.
Workshop 5 will help us catalog a biographical description of your book. So you have to have PICKED your book by Workshop 5.
By April 10th email Alex a rational behind your specific choice. Which copy? Where is it?
Present the book to other students sharing photographs
* On May 8th you share your notes, pictures, reasonings, and your plan on how to exhibit on the blog in a 5 minute presentation.
Compile list of materials and sources relevant for understanding.
* By May 1st you should have done an investigation on your chosen item. Try looking it up in a library catalogue or online research. You must submit a bibliography in MLA format with at least 5 secondary sources.
Publish selected pages.
On May 12th the whole project is due.
For grad students: On May 19th the formal paper is due.
— Should make a larger argument, on top of your specific item, on how that item plays a role INSIDE of a scholarly question. By April 24th, 500 words of a research statement is due identifying the target of your paper.
—- You may work in partners for the exhibition, but despite our best efforts we could not convince Alex to let us write the final paper as a group of 10, 1 page per grad student. My most sincere apologies on that one. He was pretty close to saying yes though so I mean, not a bad effort on our part.
Class Discussion Surrounding Workshop 3:
— Authorship and validity of a text may come from the author’s name. 1818 doesn’t have Shelley’s name and still people criticized it, maybe more because of a lack of the name. 1831 has her name so maybe times have changed more in those 13 years that it was more acceptable for her to add her name without facing scrutiny because of her gender.
—- Who is more important, the reader or the author?
….We haven’t really answered this question, might take a few more classes/years.
—- Foucault, it makes us more uncomfortable to see no author, how can we read into the conventions of the novel if we don’t know who wrote it? Does this fall under their usual work? Personally what I can add is that my critical reading, Knights Quarterly, even questioned if Mary Shelley really wrote both Valpega and Frankenstein because her style was so different.
— Interpretations of the monsters image in the 1831, he does not look like a brutish monster but more like a greek god, with his abs (thanks Halla), and more feminine appearance. this could come from the initial negative reception of the novel of being too concerned with empathizing with a monster and now the 1831 version is making him seem less frightening and emphasizing more on romance, especially with the image of Elizabeth who is not referenced in the 1818 version.
– Darisse brought up verticality of the 1818 (scroll reading) vs horizontal movement (codex reading) = old vs new.
– Seriality of the volumes, in the past volumes and chapters would come out one at a time for a novel in magazines or papers and the novel would evolve based on reception but currently, novels are published all at once and the notion of changing it during the writing process based on reviews is no longer used. The other side of this is now we have more avenues of critiquing novels because of the internet.
– Alex spoke to the idea that we don’t emphasize enough these elements of material context of the book and how that affects the way we read it. How do things appear on the page? What are they juxtaposed with – a facebook ad? We need to pay more attention to these things.
Class Discussion Surrounding Intellectual Property and Printers (Venetian Monopoly 1469 & 1666 The Case of the Booksellers and Printers handout)
— Both articles on the rights of printing refer to printing as an art and give precedence and authority to the printers.
—- The 1666 is worried about the effect of a monopoly, so very opposite from the 1469 article. The booksellers are worried about the crown creating a monopoly and asserting their power in a negative way. It is a statement against the crown whereas the Venice degree was a statement of law.
— Consider the type of language that is used to describe books, printers, authors, publishing:
*In 1666 it mentions the author’s rights and property: this is the first example of any notion of literary property. The book as an intellectual property.
*The book as a body: “the spine”, made from animal skin (vellum), corporal features of the book that go away as we begin to call it a property.
Poe & Longfellow
Example of how can you take one object and relate it to a larger question.
Similarities we noticed as a class: references to rivers, both seem to be referencing an older tale, an implied spectator
Well, Longfellow noticed these similarities too and accused Poe of plagiarism! Poe responds in good ‘ol Poe fashion and basically shuts him down. “The whole tournure [[clothing of the poem —> i.e: a BODY]] is based upon mine…its allegorical conduct, the style of its versification and expression — all are mine.”
But can expression and style really be so specific to only being credited to one writer?