two bird's blog

wrap up

So we're wrapping up in class tomorrow, and I'm trying to anticipate how we might pull all the books together. I think that the whole idea of World War II as a focal point for post modern novels is a cool one to discuss, but what I really want to know is what is POST post modern? Is Cryptonomicon post post modern in its linearity? And why are the critical texts of post modernism all so long?

Where's my pollz, yo??


When you click on "my blog," it only shows you the entries you put in, not the polls! I know the polls are kind of silly, but 1. I used one to hopefully get comments on something useful, and 2. What if they don't get counted as part of your blogging quota because they don't show up?
So 2 is self explanatory, but 1....I don't really want to sift all the way back through the annals of the main page to see what you guys said as the comments attached to the poll. Is there a way to get them to be part of your personal page?

In the Beginning, There was the Command Line


Has anyone downloaded the rest of the article on the Cryptonomicon website called "In the beginning (there was the command line)"? The first part is pretty interesting, but my stupid new Vista system won't let me see the rest of it. I apparently don't have enough internet administrator privileges for the ensuing coolness.



I'm having the least fun time ever finding sources to supplement my paper with. It makes me wish desperately that I had chosen Gravity's Rainbow to write about just because it's older and has more written on it. Then I remember reading Gravity's Rainbow, and think better of it. It's just so frustrating to search and search but know deep down that a book that's 10 years old will not have much of a wealth of information on it. Amusingly, the best book I found on Underworld includes the essay Professor Fitzpatrick wrote, which we already read for, still not as much info as I need.

Concepts of annihilation


Ever since we brought it up today in class, I've been thinking about the part on page 399 where the concept of holocaust was discussed. Here are a couple points that have bubbled up as important in my mind:
1. Is it a rude stereotype to automatically assume that a Jew would think the worst thing that ever happened was the Holocaust, capital H? Or is it legitimate to say, if you know someone? Or is it just that someone would be most likely to believe that the tragedy most personal to them is "the worst"?
2. If the Aztecs killed their neighboring tribes, which they did, does that make them less sympathizable (not a word...) in the face of their own wiping out? Traditionally it has been seen as the West being the perpetrator, so it's good to have a dissenting opinion on the party most at fault here, but I don't know that that necessarily precludes acknowledgement of their own personal tragedy.

Postmodern postmodern books


I'm sure you all have noticed that the books in this class are what one might call "postmodern." Postmodernism looks at what a traditional text is, and then tries to mess around with the structure and content, right? Well, check out these "postmodern books": Don't try this at home



In looking up what to expect when encountering Cryptonomicon, I discovered the Cryptonomicon ecard. Pretty awesome, guys.

E-Cards, yay!

The Great Concavity/Convexity?


So this blog is about to come in a great deal of handy (...?) right now for me. Here's the deal:
I'm writing for my portfolio for the English major right now, and that includes a dystopian future type story. Basically, in the story, Africa has become similar to what the Great Concavity/Convexity is in IJ. I actually had the idea for the story and the landscape before reading IJ, but this is so perfect it will only help inform my writing.
I would love to reread the sections describing it and its formation to further inspire my description of the landscape in my story, but I'm having the hardest time finding all the parts. I KNOW there are more.

Random Tidbits


Things I discovered while poking about on the internet:

There might be a movie of IJ; Sam Jones, who directed a documentary on Wilco, is supposed to direct. Is it possible to make a movie of this massive book? And how funny is it that the possible director is a band documentarian, after all that DFW talked about in regards to the Rolling Stones documentary?

DFW's experience with AA was as a voyeur. From an interview with Newsweek:
I went with friends to an open AA meeting and got addicted to them. It was completely riveting. I was never a member -- I was a voyeur. When I ended up really liking it was when I let people there know this and they didn't care.

too much material to work with!


Is anyone else having a ton of trouble narrowing down what exactly they would like to write about for the term paper? It's not that I don't know what to write about; in fact, it's the exact opposite. I don't know what NOT to write about. So far, we're working with about 3000 pages of exceedingly rich material, and I, for some sick reason, have a real urge to talk about at least 2 of the books. Is this hard for anyone else to winnow down to a feasibly short topic?

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