English Literature Has Left the Building

Final blog post for English Literature this spring 2016.  A lot of firsts in this class. First time ever creating a web page, wow, I might actually use that in the future, wow, who knew English Literature would lead to web page development, well remedial anyway. Here is a link is you like:  http://englishliteratureatuco.weebly.com/

There was a button that said Button Text and I placed a link but never could figure out how to change the words Button Text to what I wanted. Another first, completing an essay assignment using audacity.  Don’t you love that name audacity, how dare you have the audacity to assign an essay using audacity, the professor did. This conjures up so many personal, scholarly, and professional uses. Here is a tutorial to Audacity if you dare:

Another first and this is a biggie, this is huge, and no money was used to buy textbooks, none, nunca, not any.  All pieces of literature and links were, wait for it, and wait for it, on the internet. Technology you’re amazing!  Thank you Dr. Kurt Hochenauer

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Dalloway, Mrs. Dalloway

When I hear Virgina Woolf I think of Elizabeth Taylor in Who is Afraid of Virginia Woolf. I don’t think they had anything to do with each other but surely they did, I just don’t know. The author’s name and the title are the same weird spelling Woolf, so surely there is a connection.

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For this assignment I watched a video starring Vanessa Redgrave, actually watched it twice it was interesting. I even shared it with family members. While in my vehicle I listened to the audio book. And thirdly reading the book with the imagery of the video and the audio to make the words jump off the page.

Mrs_Dalloway video

Actually, here is a link to the You Tube video that has the entire movie online and free.

I actually have a Facebook friend, an English woman, who I could imagine as Mrs. Dalloway.

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Male or Female: T. S. Eliot

T. S. Eliot is one of those names that could be male or female. The name has such mystery to it. Well the mystery is solve, T. S. Eliot is a man and the T. S. stands for Thomas Stearns.

Wait a minute, his biography says he is an American, born and raised in Missouri. So how does. S. Eliot end up in a study of English Literature. Eliot went to Harvard, the same school as President Barack Obama.

London captured him in 1914, he married, became a citizen, and then was discovered by Ezra Pound. Ezra Pound described Eliot as a “poetic genius.” This was before Eliot was known for anything. Eliot died in 1965 when I was 2 years old.

The Waste Land written by Eliot is said, by those who have the authority to say so, that this was his best works.

What are Your Expectations?

Growing up in the America public school system we were required to read Great Expectations in high school. What I remember from my English literature days in high school and the exposure to this store was that it was in many ways was that any of us could be Pip, the main character, in Dickens’ Great Expectations.

The character I remember most from high school is Miss Havisham. Originally I thought, oh my God, I hope that won’t be me.  Now, I think get over it and move on. Here is an excerpt from a BBC presentation of Great Expectations where Miss Havisham is questioning Pip, no one does English Literature like the BBC:

A review of Great Expectations

Be My Valentine

As Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, it is a perfect time to discuss the Victorian period in English Literature and focus on the world and works of Elizabeth Barrett Browning.

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Doesn’t this picture of Elizabeth Barrett Browning look like Cher?

Barrett Browning was raised in rich family. She had a “nervous disorder” and was prescribed opium at the age of 15. Her mom died at 22.

Elizabeth Browning became famous for writing poems and got a letter one day from another famous writer, Robert Browning. They would become the most famous couple in literature history.

Look at the love birds:

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Barrett Browning was loved in England and the US for her love poems and her writing that highlighted social injustice.  Below is the poem Say Over Again read out loud, it is only about a minute, please take a listen.

Frankenstein

This week it is all about Frankenstein or Mary Shelley; however, you want to look at it. My first thought was how Frankenstein became such a Halloween iconic symbol. So I set out to do a little research.  On the website:  http://www.librarypoint.org/history_of_classic_monsters_frankensteins_creature it was pointed out that “People’s perceptions of the Creature have become so warped by time and decades of misleading film posters and article titles that most use the name “Frankenstein” to refer to the Creature itself.”  What a great point, in my mind also have I grown to associate the creation with the name Frankenstein. The website concludes us to believe that the creation of the creature as it relates to Halloween was an evolution in the movies from one picture to the next with its graphic portrayal.

 

Here is a sort of how to, how to make your own Frankenstein if so inclined:  http://phys.org/news/2010-10-halloween-special-science-frankenstein.html.  This article discusses the science that Dr. Frankenstein used. The electricity and how modern day scientists are doing some of their own research that looks freakishly similar to Dr. Frankenstein.

Here  is a link to the online book found on You Tube only a little over eight hours and thirty minutes.

What’s an Ode Got to do with It?

This week let’s talk about John Keats, not just the author, but specifically his poem Ode to a Nightingale. Did you know an ode is in the words of Professor Belinda Jack “in praise of or dedicated to a particular person or thing” that serves as that person’s inspiration? So this poem was inspired by and written for the nightingale.  Below I will post a link to the video of Professor Jack giving an academic speech regarding Keats and this lovely poem. In her speech she allows the audience to listen to a nightingale and perhaps here the voice that inspired Keats. A nightingale is a bird and that bird is known for its strong and beautiful sound.

 

One can read the poem; however, I think in English Literature, it amplifies the poem, if it is read with an English accent as did Benedit Cumberbach in the video below.

Even if you are not a scholar it is easily recognizable that it is a romantic poem.  You can begin to visualize as Keats begins the poem with, “My heart aches” that this poem will overtake our many senses deep within your soul. “Away Away I will fly to thee” you wouldn’t need flowers and chocolates with words like that.

William Blake

Whenever I read something, I like to read a little of his works and then check out the author. For me, knowing who the author is gives me insight to his works and helps me to understand his writings. The first reading assigned was William Blake’s Songs of Innocence.  A short poem, so I read a couple of times. What I first noticed on the original work were the squiggles and designs, usually you only see text.

Turns out Blake was an engraver and likely made the designs himself.  In this area, of designs and illustrations Blake was well ahead of his time.  He was quite the artistic character, drawing and writing, ultimately combing the two. Back in his time the designs were called illuminations. One could wonder did the drawing inspire the writing or vice versa. The two seem to go together in the mind of Blake. It seems to me in his mind he had these visions that perhaps he couldn’t get out in words so he assisted his writings with his drawings.

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My first impression from reading his short autobiography from the website, http://www.blakearchive.org, was that this man was crazy. Blake was seeing visions as a child, talking to people that weren’t there and he didn’t grow out of this either.  Not surprising as talented as he was with his drawings, engraving, and writing he wasn’t very successful publicly.

There was one significant sentence that makes me not a fan of Mr. Blake.  This information was regarding his wife. Apparently his wife and Blake’s brother got into an argument and yes this was in the 1700’s, well Blake made his wife kneel to his brother and apologize.  I am ok with the apology but kneeling.  No poem will make up for that.