Monthly Archives: October 2008

Hollywould this Saturday – Extra Seats Available

Just copied and pasted the e-mail from my inbox. If you want to go (I can’t promise if it will be good, but I’m going), shoot Claire Bridge a response at Sweet.

Dear Bus-Trip Participants –  

The L.A. Freewaves “Hollywould” bus trip is this Saturday, October
11.  REMINDER:  Be at 10th and Columbia (in front of Balch Auditorium)
at 11:45 a.m. – bus will leave at 12 noon.  The bus will return at
approximately 7:00 p.m.

WE HAVE A FEW EXTRA SEATS!  Please e-mail me a.s.a.p. if you’d like to
bring a friend.  Reservations for extra seats on a first-come,
first-served basis.

Claire Bridge

The Scripps Humanities Institute will sponsor a FREE bus tour to L.A.
Freewaves “Hollywould”
Saturday, October 11
Bus will leave at 10 am and return at approximately 5pm
Meeting spot: 10th & Columbia, next to Balch Auditorium
All are welcome; RSVP to Claire Bridge (

The 2008 Freewaves festival, entitled “HollyWould,” will fuse media
arts and Hollywood Boulevard from October 9-13, 2008. The festival will
transform the iconic boulevard into a massive, multi-faceted screening
room for experimental videos, films and media art from every continent.
Selected works will be projected onto buildings, displayed on LCD
screens inside stores and installed in storefront windows. The festival
will also feature screenings at American Cinematheque, sidewalk sound
installations, and a film and musical event at the Musicians Institute,
as well as portals connected to the festival’s unique web-based content.
“HollyWould,” the theme for this year’s festival, is a playful and
evocative turn on Hollywood, both as an international symbol of the
American entertainment industry and as a Los Angeles neighborhood very
much in flux.

fmi about the program:

fmi about the bus tour:  / x18326

Second Paper Assignment

Yes, it’s that time. I’ll be handing this out in class this morning, but I’m also posting it here for your convenience. Let me know if you have questions!


The Death of the Author

Barthes and Foucault debunk the notions that “the author” is a single point of origin for any text, and that (conversely) the identity of a writer can be deduced from or directly connected to the text the writer produces.

First, where does this leave our thinking about literary situations in which authorial identity is typically considered to have significant value in relation to the text–autobiography, for example, or plagiarism? In a post-authorial world, are these designations still relevant?

Second, how does the presence of multiple authors (or rather, since arguably no authors are “present,” per se, the attribution of a work to more than one named author) affect our understanding of a text? For example, our main text for this class is written by both Andrew Bennett and Nicholas Royle–to whom do we attribute a specific part of the text at any given point in our reading?

Writing vs. Speaking

I was really intrigued by the idea brought up on page 113 of Eagleton’s essay, which discussed the concept that writing allows meanings to escape from the author’s control by being “at one remove from [his] consciousness”.   Eagleton then goes on to argue that the same could be said of speech, because once it is released, speech, like writing, can be distorted and taken to mean things that were not the intention of the speaker.   I was wondering what everyone makes of this, and whether it means that speaking and writing can never be satisfactory forms of communication in that one is never fully able to express what he or she actually means.

palette cleanser

Since we’re talking about de Saussure, I thought I’d post a link to what is arguably the greatest song ever about linguistics, “The Death of Ferdinand de Saussure” by the Magnetic Fields. Here’s the Youtube version, complete with charming (unofficial) claymation music video:

I met Ferdinand de Saussure
On a night like this
On love he said “I’m not so sure
I even know what it is
No understanding, no closure
It is a nemesis
You can’t use a bulldozer
To study orchids”

He said…
So we don’t know anything
You don’t know anything
I don’t know anything
about love
But we are nothing
You are nothing
I am nothing
Without love

I’m just a great composer
And not a violent man
But I lost my composure
And I shot Ferdinand
Crying “it’s well and kosher
to say you don’t understand
but this is for Holland-Dozier-Holland

His last words were
We don’t know anything [etc]

His fading words were
We don’t know anything [etc]

Food for thought, no?