Category Archives: blogging

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).”

The Laugh of Medusa

First off I would like to apologize because I was unable to get the link to Infection in the Sentence to work, so I was only able to read The Laugh of Medusa. So if anyone was able to make the link for Infection in the Sentence work please post about it.

That being said, The Laugh of Medusa brought up a few issues for me. It starts off by claiming thatg women have been driven out of writing. This led me to the question: how are women driven out of writing? If women are absent from writing, then is every representation of women in writing an inaccurate masculine portrayal?

The author also claims that there is no typical woman, so as a result they have “inexhaustible” imaginations. This made me wonder if there is a typical man? Is there a typical woman in writing?

She goes on to say that “woman must write woman. And man, man.” This is similar to a previous question that I posed, but is this statement true? Can men only accurately portray men in writing? Are women only capable of portraying women?

A prevelant theme of this essay is that through writing, women can become actualized as individuals. The author claims that women must write in order to reclaim power that has been denied from them. She goes as far as to say that women don’t own their body if they do not write without censorship. What do you make of this? Can writing help one understand themselves? Does writing give someone conrol over their identity?

Finally, I found it a bit odd the way that the author compared writing to sexuality. I was wondering what you all thought about that.

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!

How do y’all feel about the online format of the Golden Notebook?

So, I’ve read most of the first two sections of the Golden Notebook, and am now going back and trying to comment intelligently. Usually I’m the type to jot down whatever I think as I go, but the idea that my comments would not be kept “confidential” exactly, really weirded me out and made me hesitant to comment at all. I feel like in this format my thoughts have to be much more “polished” and insightful, since they’re not just for me. Honestly, I don’t like that at all. I’m trying to ignore my inhibitions and comment more naturally, but it’s difficult. Is anyone else reacting to this new style of reading similarly? Or does anyone like it a lot more? I guess I’m just the type who likes to mark up an actual book without worrying about what I’m thinking, just jotting it down… Are you guys able to tap into that more easily than I am in this new online format??

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)


Hey all, I meant to write this a few days ago and it must have slipped my mind. On Monday we talked about ideologies and threw out a number of theories and definitions for “ideology.” One that was brought up said that ideology is what causes humans to tell stories that give rational explanations to things (the stories themselves, however, aren’t as important as the desire to create these rational explanations). About a month ago, we briefly discussed the motivation to write versus the motivation to publish a text and make it public, especially in light of the theory that published texts no longer belong to the author. Does this definition of ideology help explain the desire to publish at all? What about fictional texts, which in some sense are less about “rationally explaining” certain elements of life and are more about the story itself?

The modern author?

Hey people,

I stumbled across an interesting little article today while searching around the web for Barthes and figured, in the spirit of collaboration and a personal love for media articles, to share it with you all. It’s titled “Blogs and the Crisis of Authorship” and examines, surprisingly enough, the concept of the author within the new media genre of blogs.

I realize that this article will most likely have little to no impact the paper of anyone writing about Barthes, but I thought it was interesting to see the literary concepts we have been studying examined within the field of a recently developed form of media.

For whoever is interested, here’s the link:

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?