Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Robert Henri's Figure in Motion, reminiscent of the new technological innovation of photography, could be seen as a copy of the traditional nude, in the same way Elliot is copying and borrowing from traditional literature in his Wasteland. While the figure itself is realistic, that it is colorless against a lifeless background brings to mind the fragmentation of the modern age and its concomitant alienation, which as theme is found in both Elliot and Hemingway. In terms of its relation to its viewers, while not as radical and challenging as other works in the Armory show, its simplicity and lifelike appearance bears a close resemblance to the frankness of Hemingway's prose.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Revolt in "Yellow Wallpaper" and "The Revolt of 'Mother'"

A similarity between the revolt of the two women is that both women come to embrace their surroundings, which they themselves are confined in by men, by way of making them their own; one by obsessing about the wallpaper and finally tearing it off, the other by taking the initiative and moving into the barn.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Tell all the Truth but tell it slant -- 

To tell all the Truth can mean complete honesty. But to tell it slant can mean that truth is unreachable in itself or that in itself it is too much to handle. So that it must be told only from particular viewpoints or indirectly.
Success in Circuit lies

Circuit can be taken to be a social circuit. So Truth only matters if it becomes known within a group.

Too bright for our infirm Delight

The Truth is too much in itself for such a group's weak and sensitive sensibility.

The Truth's superb surprise 

The meaning or value of Truth has this surprising or shocking effect on people.

As Lighting to the Children eased

As the phenomenon of lighting is eased for children.

With explanation kind

And explained in baby-talk.

The Truth must dazzle gradually 

Truth must be seen gradually, perhaps as something accumulative.

Or every man be blind --  

Otherwise, no one will know the Truth.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012


In considering the influence of nature on the scholar, Emerson relates his view, in the first pages of his Oration, that nature and the scholar proceed from one root in a way that nature becomes the limit for the scholar's fulfillment. So "Know thyself" and "Study nature" are taken to be one maxim.
In the following section, where he considers the influence of books, he explains that even though the "first" scholar first experienced and then produced his work, no artist, including scholars, can avoid the conventional entirely. Thus every age needs to write or produce its own works. In other words, to become Man Thinking we need to begin from our values, principles, or point of view. The book, quite the opposite, deals exclusively with some genius of the past and thus kills creativity. For creativity he reminds us, in the form of manners, actions and words, is indicative to no authority or custom. Nevertheless, he is not willing to burn all books in the name of creativity. But at the same time he reveals that creative reading is to gather from each book those few "authentic utterances of the oracle". What he means by this, is that since the scholar can only learn from nature, by action as we'll see, there is only one truth. A truth which we can see with the active soul.
In what follows Emerson goes on to praise action since for him, the attractions of the world, nature, unlock his thoughts and reveal himself to him. Experience's product is nothing but thought. It is as simple as "The more you put into it the more you get out of it". Thus Emerson sees the value of action a resource.
Therefore, what Emerson is saying in the assigned passage, is that in the case where an artist has captured a truth, that truth is not his exclusively. To learn this truth from the artist instead of experiencing and producing this truth is thus to learn from a delegate what one can do, that is, to know, on his own.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

My journey narrative is Maurice Sendak's "Where The Wild Things Are". In this particular story, the geographical journey can be seen as a temporal journey Max goes to, meaning the time he spent in his room fantasizing. Within the A-B-A' structure, point A in the story is Max's house where he's being wild and where he returns after his "journey". Point B, the space of transformation, is Max's room which gradually turns into a forest and then into the the world all around.
A conflict in this story is, I think, between fantasy and reality in a way that represents the first steps coming out of childhood. In his house, at the beginning of the story, Max is not allowed to be as wild as he pleases and so he gets sent to his room. In the room, in the fantasy world he creates for himself, he gets to do as he pleases and go completely wild with the wild things. However, in this world Max still feels lonely despite the wild things. He wants to be somewhere where he is loved best, not somewhere where he is pretending, even if he is the king there. So he returns to his room to find his hot supper waiting for him.
Although Max could do whatever he desired in the space of transformation, in his fantasy world, he got bored and started missing his mom, and all the good things moms usually come with. Thus, within that space, he comes to the realization that there are some things that he shouldn't do, that is, be wild and impolite.
So he decides to return to his room, leaving the fantasy world behind him, perhaps even willing to be more careful when wild again.