Author Archives: Rachel

sentence of the day

First, mistakes were made:

-I slightly misquoted the sentence

-The author is Guatemalan, not Spanish, and

-I think I may have said the essay was by Umberto Eco instead of Italo Calvino, which was totally my bad (can’t keep my high-concept Italian authors straight), but at any rate: the sentence was quoted in Six Memos for the Next Millennium by Italo Calvino, in the essay called “Quickness”:

“Borges and Bioy Casares put together an anthology of short extraordinary tales (Cuentos breves y extraordinarios, 1955). I would like to edit a collection of tales consisting of one sentence only, or even a single line. But so far I haven’t found any to match the one by the Guatemalan writer Augusto Monterroso: ‘Cuando desperto, el dinosauro todavia estaba alli’ (When I woke up, the dinosaur was still there).”

students! eyes tired? feel like ROCKING OUT?

Put down yr books and come check out NJ indie rockers Titus Andronicus and Pitzer’s Rainbow Destroyer collective, live in concert! Note that they are named after a Shakespeare play, and thus totally relevant to English class.

KSPC 88.7fm and CCLA Live Arts present:

Titus Andronicus and Rainbow Destroyer

Wednesday, Oct. 29, 7-9 PM

at Dom’s Lounge. Halloween costumes encouraged!

vocab time

Here’s a useful word for anyone working on the Gallagher reading (I had to look it up, so I figured I may as well share):

autochthonic, a.

Native to the soil, aboriginal, indigenous.

(from the Oxford English Dictionary)

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?

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?