Chip and First Settlers

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Once upon a time there was a cat named Chip who loved to travel and go on adventures. Yet it had been a while since she went on one of her adventures to far away places, so she pulled out a map to play a game of darts. Chip would throw three darts, one paw over her eyes, at the map. Wherever the darts landed, she would then pick her favorite.

One, two, three thunks! later, she went to the map. One dart was in the middle of the Atlantic ocean; the second was in Georgia, her home state; and the third was lodged in the little island country of Ireland. Chip knew that there was only one choice from the three: She was going on an adventure to Ireland.

Chip had heard so much about the Green Isle, and wanted to see it for herself. Where there really leprechauns? What makes the celtic crosses so special? Is it really as green as people say it is? Chip knew that she would find out the answers to these questions and many more, but first she had to get there.

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The rumors were true. Everything was green, even in what was supposed to be the dead of winter. It was surprising that not many others lived in Ireland with a landscape as beautiful as a Monet painting. Seeing the green fields and winding brooks, Chip realized that her journey should be one like the people of Ireland, starting with the first settlers.

The first settlers came long before America was even though of, they arrived during the Neolithic Age, or New Stone Age. They were hunter-gathers, following the deer and other large animals that they lived off of. When they reached Ireland, it is possible they saw much of the same as Chip saw: the green plants equalling life — even in winter, abundance of water to drink and travel by, and animals to live on. It is believed that these first settlers to Ireland settled in the Brú na Bóìnne; and that was where Chip was going, too.

Chip was a special cat, she could travel through time and see things for her own eyes. All she had to do was think very hard about a topic and place and she would be transported back. And so, she thought about Ireland, about the first settlers, about the Neolithic Age.

 

***

There is a fire, warm and fresh, where everyone is gathered. Men and women in animal skin clothes hum tunes into the night. It is a cold night and cloudy. Huts made out of yew branches dot the area surrounding the fire. The River Boyne is beneath the tribe, it’s swirling waters can be heard in over the hums and mumbles. Children run back and forth playing a game with sticks. The people are waiting, they are worried. For weeks now the nights have become longer and longer, is their god displeased with them, they wonder. There is a small number of men in more elaborate furs, they are older than most of the others in the tribe, yet they are still strong enough to hold their own it seems. The older men, the elders, address the rest of the tribe; the tribe begins to disperse into their huts, gathering their children along the way.

Chip sees the elders turn around, towards her, and they advance. For half a second, she wonders if the elders can see her (no one has ever seen her when she has traveled) before she looks behind herself and is left in awe. In front of her now is a large mound, too large to see it all from where she stands with the tribe’s dwellings (Cochrane, pg. 163).It’s shell white wall, flickering orange in the firelight, towers above her. The top is made of large flat rocks, that beehive up to a single rock at the point. The front of the wall curves in to a semi circle and a closer look unveils boulders with swirls, diamonds, and other symbols carved into them. These symbols mean something, yet Chip doesn’t know what. She watches as the elders have made it to the boulders, they stop, mumbling a prayer though Chip cannot understand what is said. Then, one by one, the elders step over the most ornate boulder. Together, they slide open a large stone that severs as a door to the inside of the mound; and one by one enter into the blackness.

Blinking out of her daze, Chip runs to follow before the door is closed behind the elders. Inside, she can see nothing. She can sense that they are in a tunnel and that it is narrow. Only the sounds of bare feet shuffling on the floor and the elders’ animal skins brushing rocks reach her ears. Finally, the tunnel opens up, Chip can hear more echos on the stones. She hears one of the elders feel around for something, then the sounds of falling sand and small, hard objects onto a stone. Chip hears the elders mumble more prayers, and again their words are lost to her.

About the time that Chip wonders if they are never going to be let out of the mound, she sees a light on the floor. It is orange, like the fire that was outside, and creeping closer and closer to them, yet the elders are not surprised (Whitaker). They cease their prayers and watch intently. The light getting closer, and the small room itself coming into focus. There are three tiny chambers where stones have been carved to look like bowls. The basin across from the light has what looks like ashes in it, only Chip realizes that those ashes are human and a few small bone fragments. The light continues to come closer until it reaches the basin with the human remains, and the light begins to retreat. As slowly as it came, it goes, but it leaves a hint of light in its place.

The elders return to the tribe with the good news. A celebration is to take place, a gift to their god.

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Work Cited

Cochrane, Andrew James. “Chapter 4.” Irish Passage Tombs: Neolithic Images, Contexts and Beliefs. Cardiff: University of Wales, Cardiff, 2006. Pages 123-204. Print.

Whitaker, Alex. “Newgrange, Ireland.” Newgrange, Ireland. The Ancient Wisdom Foundation, Apr. 2012. Web. 12 Mar. 2014. <http://www.ancient-wisdom.co.uk/irelandnewgrange.htm>.

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Ode to Psyche, by: John Keats

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Many critics have regarded John Keats’s, Ode to Psyche as inferior to his other odes in his 1819 collection. It definitely has not received the critical attention that Ode on a Grecian Urn and Ode to a Nightingale has but I personally deem this particular ode as my favorite because of the strong emotion and sensual jargon in this particular piece. The way Keats laces each beautiful word together, gives me goose bumps as I read. I think this poem represents everything beautiful about the art of poetry. For a poet to create something so masterfully vivid through words on a page with layered metaphors that can be interpreted endlessly by whoever reads their work is so inspiring to me.

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Once I got past the bewitching vocabulary in Ode to Psyche, I started to look for metaphors and meaning behind the poem. I finally came to the conclusion that while it is possible that this poem is a metaphor of Keats’s love for Fanny Browne, it is more probable in my opinion, considering the Romanticist mindset, that this is an extended metaphor about the art of poetry.

 Keats has created a temple to worship Psyche, a place to immortalize her beauty and metaphorically created a temple to worship and immortalize poetry. To worship Psyche, he gives her a portion of his brain that will forever create the naturalist of beauties, in this case poetry.

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My favorite lines from Ode to Psyche:

7-14: “I wandered in a forest thoughtlessly,/ And, on the sudden, fainting with surprise,/ Saw two fair creatures, couched side by side/ In deepest grass, beneath the whisp’ring roof/ Of leaves and trembled blossoms, where there ran/ A brooklet, scarce espied.”

17-20: “Their lips touched not, but had not bade adieu,/ As if disjoined by soft-handed slumber,/ And ready still past kisses to outnumber/ At tender eye-dawn or aurorean love.”

 32-25: “No voice, no lute, no pipe, no incense sweet/ From chain-swung censer teeming;/No shrine, no grove, no oracle, no heat/Of pale-mouthed prophet dreaming.”

55-57: “Fledge the wild-ridged mountains steep by steep;/And there by zephyrs, streams, and birds, and bees,/ The moss-lain dryads shall be lulled to sleep.”

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Articles of Faith 3

  1. I’ve changed this one to: It’s still hard deciding if the author is an important aspect when deciding the value of a literary work, but for comprehension to the work it adds a lot. Maybe in particular for historical narratives, understanding the time period and author’s intentions can help the reader understand the depth of the piece, therefore making it more valuable.
  2. Time period is an invaluable factor for context, which I believe can’t be removed from the work to correctly and deeply analyze the work.
  3.  However, the brilliance of the work should be evident within the piece or self-evident (I’m adding to this that the brilliance in the writing itself has to be self-evident. For example, diction, tone, syntax, these things can be well executed even if the reader doesn’t understand the context, but for meaning the reader can look outside the work for depth of meaning).
  4. Success of a literary piece is determined by an audience’s reception of it and is limited to that audience’s perception and understanding of the work.

I agree with this even more now at the end of the semester and the research I have done on Benito Cereno. In the beginning, the work was subject to my narrow understanding, and because of that I could have, in theory, given it a bad review, but doing research added depth and clarity to the work.

5. Literary works that are successful are believable, convey some concrete meaning, have good form, and evokes some sort of reaction from the reader.

I still agree with this and haven’t yet found a better way to say it.

6. All critiques are relative to the experiences/personality of the critic. This also includes the amount of reading/writing they have done (their activity in the system), and their ability to comprehend different literary works.

I added the part about the critics literary background and ability to comprehend. All critics are subject to draw on past things they have read or worked on because that’s how we get/perceive language. And this also relates to the Purloined Letter. The game described in the story can be messed up if the measurement of the intelligence is incorrect and the same can be said of literature. – I still completely agree with this and don’t want to change it.

7.  The purpose of literature, whether creating or absorbing it, is to elevate the mind and the system.

I added the part about the system because we are learning how small the work of literature is and the individual mind in comparison to the overall, eternal system, which is changing through time. Also, the system is always changing and growing, and with all of us constantly participating in creating part of the language, we are contributing to its growth and versatility.

8.  Literary criticism is needed for the work itself to be meaningful or significant.

I still agree with this and don’t have anything to add yet. This can be true of fiction, it has to generate opinions or some kind of thought – all language does.

9. All we really know about literature is what we’ve learned from others.

What we’ve learned has solidified this in the context that no work from a specific author is really great since he is just drawing from the system that all of us use. Still true.

10. A literary work may or may not have a main point or significant meaning, but a point could be found in it anyway.

At the end of this one, I added that a point could still be found to relate it to article number one and the formalists’ idea of literature. This is especially true in literary criticism. For example, in Benito Cereno, Melville may not have actually wanted to have the forecastle bell predict the death of the union, but Sterling saw that argument anyway, deriving it from history and the context of the story.

 

Articles of Faith. Final Revision.

I think I agree with Sarah because I also still find the statements I made at the beginning of the semester truthful and necessary. I also find my attitudes regarding them however gradually evolve over time. I can now explain more clearly the grounds on which I made those statements and clarify my assertions further.

I’m also going to include what I wrote for the First Revision in this entry to better emphasize the changes that I made. The new changes will be non-italic and after the hyphens.

  1. Literature is any written material that stands the test of time, works of imagination constituted by mastery of style and expression and themes that uncover the beauty or complexity of the human soul.

The phrase “stands the test of time” calls for the idea of coherence in discourse, which I’m still undecided whether necessary or even possible. Hence, I do not wholly perfectly agree to this article anymore. I will either change it into that Literature is any written material with qualities that can stand the test of time or try to find a solid way to define what “standing the test of time” means.

I guess there’s a distinction between the definition of literature for myself and one about what literature should be. But for now if I was to assert for others what literature should be, I’d feel really selfish.

For myself, literature is any textual material that allows space for re-envisioning of myself and new conception of knowledge. And by anything I mean anything. The reason why I assert that anything is literature is because I’ve realized recently that it is the method of how we interpret and regard things that allows or stifles the development of knowledge, not what we read or are instructed to read.

But since we as human seek to reconciliate our lacks, our incompleteness through language, I do particularly value texts that exhibit the qualities I specified at the beginning:

works imagination constituted by mastery of style and expression and themes that uncover the beauty or complexity of the human soul.”

Those texts allow me to feel as if I could exist in a a more complete form, and at the same time tolerate my ugliness, my lack of complexity.    

 

  1. Literature is a narrative, a story, a history. It is the most vivid and fundamental proof that humanity, with all due complexities, ever exists.

I have not figured out a way to challenge this thought yet. For the moment I still feel that literature paints a more complete picture of the humanity than historical writings and records.

The above statement mentions “literature” and “history” out of which I seemed to prefer “literature”. I feel that my point still holds true for me, though I think I”ll need to clarify further: If history is regarded as the bound of wisdom that helps us define who we are, then literature is also history, “the most vivid and fundamental proof” (better than “history”) that we ever exist.

The reverse is also true thus blurring the boundary between the two for me. I especially have a problem when people over-assert the distinction between literature and history in terms of “truthfulness” (such as, “History is records, data, solid artefacts”)

  1. Reading literature is a way of exploring dimensions other than the lonely one we’re living in.

I would add to this article that reading literature is not only to explore dimensions but also to construct worlds and reconstruct the reality.

I particularly value those texts that help me see more of myself and of other people. They encourage me to understand, love and tolerate.

 

  1. To read literature is to study thoughts through the study of language.

This article is still necessary, I suppose but it sounds so much vaguer now than it originally did to me.

I’ve read recently something quite old that says (not exact wording), that the pecularity in the enjoyment of the fictional works is that one finds themselves in a  realm of language so distinct from the daily speeches; yet we read with a constant vigil to identify those patterns from our daily speechs.

I think what I meant was that, “it is through the study of those gaps between writing and speeches, we can learn more from what the lines are conveying to us”. I’m not going to change this statement because I felt like I don’t have substantial ground yet to challenge it.

  1. Any metaphor, imagery, symbol is the author’s attempt to connect to reality.

There is no change intended for this article. I agree to Deconstructionists in provoking the idea of language being incapable to communicate a metaphysical object. At first, I wrote “Any metaphor, imagery, symbol is the author’s communication with reality”. Then I thought I should “reduced” the word “communication” to “attempt” since because of the nature of language, the meanings signified through written words and expressions are not necessarily ones intended by the author.

Any metaphor, imagery, symbol is also the reader’s ground to explore the reality and to expand our knowledge on the topic evoked through those communicative devices.

  1. Works of literature should be valued for ideas and engagement with the world as well as for aesthetic qualities.

I agree to the Formalist’s view about the role of literature being “making the stone stonier”, or the employment of literary techniques in portrayal of the reality. Hence aesthetic qualities of a literary work should still be considered in its evaluation. In addition, it should be appreciated also through how much and how deep it can relate to the world’s living experience.

I have had trouble defining the “aesthetic” aspects I mentioned above and I feel a strong need to destroy that word (from the sentence). For this statement, I still don’t feel like I could be assertive. As for myself, I still hold that “aesthetic qualities” include basic traditional literary devices like metaphors, images, etc. Sometimes, I feel that an aesthetic quality should have the effect of elevating the reality, while I’m aware that for some others, an aesthetic quality is what should be found in reality. The two definitions are maybe even the same for the rest.

For Articles 7,8 and 9, directly below were my thoughts for the Februrary revision; I’ll state the changes after each initial statements.

Recognizing the fact that language is inadequate in reflecting a concept and that all interpretations are continuously deferred from their intended destination, I still think the above articles are necessary. As for the moment, I’m still undecided whether any literary work should be evaluated with a universal quality. However, here are a few thoughts:

Although the idea of a universal quality or something that “stands the test of time” immediately implies homogeneity- a state made inherently impossible by the fact that evaluating literature is purely “subjective and personal”, it does not have to. I think of this universal quality as an aspect that would enable a literary work to be translated through multiple systems of standard with its value being kept the same. A “universal quality” does not imply that there should be a unified standard for interpretation but that interpretations through different systems bear the same values for the elements pertaining to each system. Also, different interpretations do not necessarily resist among one another but can improve and deepen understanding.

  1. The value of a written piece of literature is purely subjective and contextual. So are the theories developed revolving judgment of literary value.

I think I’m glad that I get to learn how litterary theories have been established and evolving over time. During each time period, a dominant premise is challenged, and the establishment of a new approach comes continue to shape and to be shaped by social, cultural currents. The theories are contextual and they change to reflect the previous era’s flaws and misconceptions. This really makes me feel hopeful for some reason.

  1. Although interpreting and evaluating literature are purely personal matters, it’s always useful and important to acknowledge and understand others’ ways of interpretation (or evaluation) and the values or systems they’ve based their judgments on.

I’ve found that even though it’s important to acknowledge and understand other’s ways of interpretation, some time it’s also important to assert, to be a little more aggressive in presenting my own values and judgments. I feel like I should contribute to conversations more since how we read and regards things does have a strong impact on one another and the society.

  1. The most important question to ask is whether literature should be ascribed a “universal” quality.

And the most important answer is no.

  1. Although one type of literature or one particular work of literature tends to prevail over the others in any time period or geographical location, its attention shouldn’t be motivated by external forces other than its own quality i.e. there shouldn’t be any man-made system or scale that privileges one over the others.

I wrote this article commenting specifically the political role of literature in society. I thought that literature prizes, awards or even popularity of some works alone set standards for what literature and reading literature ought to be. Since literature has a vast impact on the way we think and live, the article above still holds true to me.

This statement was motivated by the fact that I was annoyed by the recent Nobel Prize in Literature and by my constant discomfort that certain books get published only in certain places. Since my assertion of how over what at the beginning I don’t find this way of thinking necessary anymore.

 

Articles of Faith 3

1. Criticism of a work should not be completely straightforward. It should be accepted that a work of literature is not a puzzle that can be solved in only one way.
2. Literature cannot be evaluated by a single, definite set of rules, but some works are undeniably generally valued more highly than others.
3. A work of literature should evoke a unique set of ideas, thoughts, or feelings in the reader, or must evoke them in a way that would be unreplicable by another text.
4. A work of literature must be able to evoke imagery in the mind of the reader.
5. A work of literature must be engaging enough that it lingers with the reader; to stop thinking about the piece as soon as its pages are closed should be impossible.
6. A work of literature can be problematic or have traits that are widely perceived as faults and still have a great deal of merit and worth. This worth, however, is more important in a historical or cultural context than an artistic one.
7. Literature can be read in infinite different ways, and the relationship of a specific reader to a specific work is worth exploring and analyzing.
8. A work of literature does not have to be widely liked to be of value to society and the greater body of literature.
9. Authorial intent, where it is known, can be valuable to literary criticism and should be considered in literary interpretations.
10. Literature as a whole can be analyzed, but it must be done differently from analysis of specific works. For example, “the novel” can be criticized, but a specific novel must be analyzed more closely, and more as a work of art than a movement.
Most of my ideas here have remained the same, but I have realized that this is mainly because my Articles were very generalized opinions about literature. The reason that I think they still apply is that there was not much room for finding contradictions in them in the first place. Most of the opinions on literature and critical analysis I have developed over this semester are more specific, and cannot really be applied on a large scale as “Articles of Faith”. That said, I have edited my articles slightly so that they’re not quite so all-encompassing, and added some thoughts more specific to literary criticism.

Articles of Faith, my final analysis.

A great piece if literature is as refreshing as sip of southern sweet tea with a sprig of fresh mint on a hot, sultry summer’s day. To develop a love of literature is not difficult, the available options are endless, and there are so many genres to explore.  Like a timeless vehicle, a great book can take you on journeys to the past, future, and across the universe. I have discovered that Literature is not just another pretty face; she possesses depth, character, and substance. I have perused some of the opinions and theories of great minds such as Michel Foucault, Brooks, and new criticism, Saussure’ theories on structuralism, Derrida’s deconstruction, and  gained knowledge and insight.

Articles of Faith – Conclusion.

In my final analysis I think that although I have learned so much but realize there is so much more to learn regarding the elements of literature.

  1. Literature is vast.  It covers a vast number of topics, languages, cultures, and is interpreted in various ways based on the perception of the reader. It is an experience that all can access and the decision to explore literature is invaluable.
  2. Reading literature can be rewarding. With an inquisitive mind, and the reader is enthusiastic, curious and receptive they will find literature informative, enlightening and enjoyable.
  3. Literature is thought provoking. Developing the skill of close reading and analysis is one way to look beyond the obvious gain a greater appreciation and knowledge.
  4. Literature can be abstract and theoretical. It could be informative or descriptive abstract. Seeming not totally clear or to the point, yet a summary of the pieces structure and main points, while the descriptive aspect of what the paper covers without plunging into its essence. Theoretical would involve exploring critical theories in literature.
  5. Literary analysis is subjective and affected by ones perception. In my opinion analyzing literature will get varied responses based on the reader’s culture, knowledge of the subject matter and opinion.
  6. Figurative language and symbolism challenges the reader to approach ideas from different angles. It helps one visualize better, has greater appeal to the senses. It is thought provoking, rather than to accept one school thought, others are investigated.
  7. The love of literature is cultivated. If one is enthusiastic about literature it can be contagious. Others will want to find out what the excitement is about.
  8. Comprehension is affected by levels of cognizance. If the reader is unable to grasp concepts they may not be willing to challenge themselves to read what they view as unfamiliar or difficult material.
  9. Judicious examination is essential.  Be open to different interpretations. Look past the superficial. Simply put, you get out what you put in.
  10. Literary critique probes the mind and challenges ones philosophies. With practice you will be thinking objectively on a larger scale, and challenge the obvious.

My Articles of Faith have not completely changed, however my outlook has changed so I had to tweak them to reflect the growth that I have experienced.

Articles of Faith— Part three

1. I think the very basic purpose of literature is to not only inspire, but inform.

I’ve come to find this article contradicts my article number 5 that states, “Literature can be interpreted in many different ways depending on whose reading it.” While I think that one of literature’s main purposes is to inspire and inform, it may not inspire everyone because everyone interprets things differently. While the works of William Blake, bell hooks, and Bob Dylan inspire me they may not inspire other people even if the authors sole purpose was to inspire. For example, two people may read the same exact verse in the Bible and interpret it completely differently. One may be inspired, one may not be. And what exactly is the definition of inspire? Inspire a reader to do what? Believe the same bias (direct of indirect) the writer is conveying? This article is very broad and is more of a contradiction to me now than a valid statement or belief. 

2. Literature is meant to be stolen. Not in a plagiaristic sense, but in a sense that all of us gain inspiration like I mentioned before, for our own work from other writer’s work.

I still stand behind this article 100% probably even more so than before. I have found, not only in Perspectives but in my other classes that this is inherently true in every aspect of art, literature, social and political movements, et cetera. We are all inspired by one another. There is not a sole trailblazer in any type belief or movement. As artists and human beings we all feed off of each other’s ideas and creativity to create our own. William Wordsworth was not the sole person responsible for the Romanticist movement. Hundreds of writers and artists participated in the movement making a grand statement against industrialism and a capitalistic society all while simultaneously and ironically colonializing the East. There were so many different beliefs at the time that its almost impossible to conceptualize the core beliefs of this movement or any movement for that matter.  Martin Luther King Jr was not the only person responsible for the Civil Rights movement. Malcolm X, Medgar Evers, and John Lewis were trailblazers as well but each of these men had different views of how to go about social and political change. Claude Monet was not Renoir and Renoir was not Monet but they were a part of the same artistic revolution. All of these people fed off of the same revolutionary ideas and literature. When I am writing my own personal creative writing pieces, I look to writers like Junot Diaz, Aimee Bender and Rebecca Wells for inspiration for my own characters. Whether that inspiration is through the format of the story, setting, character development etc. I crafted my favorite creative writing piece after Junot Diaz’s “Aurora”. Where else would I have gotten my inspiration from? “Even in literature and art, no man who bothers about originality will ever be original. Whereas, if you simply try to tell the truth, without caring twopence how often it has been told before, you will, nine times out of ten, become original without ever having noticed it.” -C.S. Lewis

3. Literature consists of any types of writing: non-fiction, fiction, poetry, scholarly articles, newspaper articles

I would agree with this 3rd article if I change the wording a bit. Maybe: Literature consists of any type of art form: writing in all forms, music, paintings, drawings, photography, films, documentaries, plays. I think that rings truer to me than my original statement. Literature is anything that educates people. Not everyone looks to writing as a form of educating, because not everyone’s brain comprehends in the same way. 

4. Literature represents a culture, language, people and tradition.

I disagree with this article after studying the concept of orientalism during the French and English romantic movement. Countless writers romanticized the Eastern nations during colonialism and post-colonialism. They portrayed a culture, language, race and tradition in a way that was completely untrue. So to make the statement that literature (all art forms according the my article 3) represents a culture, language, people and tradition was uninformed on my part because these Romantic writers did not represent a culture, language, people, and tradition accurately. They represented their own idea of what they thought Eastern culture was. I would say though, that the only way that I might agree with this is through non-fiction writing and even then although it may be considered “non-fiction” there is always a bias no matter how direct or indirect that bias may be (as my article 10 states).

5. It can be interpreted in many different ways depending on whose reading it.

I believe that this article is still true. Literature has always been interpreted in many different ways no matter what the writer or artist intended to say. Once writing is published or a piece of art is put on display or a documentary has debuted, it no longer belongs to that writer, artist or documentarian because no matter what their original purpose was, everyone who comes into contact with their work will develop their own opinions and conclusions. 

6. Specific punctuation can change the tone and tempo of the entire piece.

I found this to be true to a certain extent in the poem, “Love Arm’d” that we analyzed and broke down in class. Every comma in the piece helped set the tone. However, on the contrary, we never came to a consensus that certain capitalized words meant anything at all and I think that if the piece didn’t have the commas, the strong language sets the tone more so than the actual punctuation. This is a tricky one, I’m slowly changing my mind on this Article. I read a short story the other day with no punctuation and the metaphors and descriptions served the tone just as well with no punctuation other than periods. Not even quotations and I could still tell when the characters were speaking. 

7. There must be emotion in literature. The author must always have some kind of feelings associated with what they are writing, what they are conveying to the reader.

I still agree with this article. For an artist (I use this term loosely. An artist can be writer, sculptor, painter, etc) to do anything of meaning they must have emotion invested into their work. An artist would not even think of creating something that has meaning to them if there was no emotion because then it wouldn’t have any meaning. This can be applied to the business world (to a certain extent) as well. When I worked for a music management firm, I was asked to take on a band and manage their publicity for their southeastern summer tour. Ultimately, I had to decline because I had no feelings or emotions towards their music because I thought their music sucked. My boss willingly gave me another band to manage because he felt that if the person who was in charge of the band’s public image wasn’t attached or invested, the project would end in failure. Emotions are what make people get off their couch and buy a product. Emotions are what reduces people to tears when they hear a song or read a poem. Emotions are what give people goosebumps when standing in front of a sculpture, painting, or beautiful landscape. Emotions are everything. They are the driving force of the creative and practical (for the most part) world.

8. Literature is always thought provoking.

I think this is still true to a certain extent. I’ve found that no matter what I read or listen to or look at it makes me think, “what do they mean by that?” or “What the hell?” or “Why?” I cannot speak generally about this because it would be uneducated for me to say that every person thinks critically and asks questions like I do, but personally, I have found this to be true.  

9. Literature must always “show not tell” (I know it’s an overused phrase).

I don’t agree with this article at all anymore. Who am I to say that because a piece of writing or a song or a painting “tells” instead of “shows” that it’s not considered literature? And what does show not tell mean anyway? Is everything suppose to be shown to us to understand that it is art or literature? I get that concept with creative writing but creative writing is not the end all, be all, only-form-of-literature there is in this world. If it was then every philosophical idea or theory can just go out the window. This concept doesn’t make room for critical thinking or abstract thought. I don’t know what I was thinking when I wrote this. 

10. No matter how basic the literature is, there is always some type of bias implemented into works of writing, direct or indirect.

I definitely still believe this article to be true as I mentioned in article 4. I think we unconsciously or sometimes consciously put our own bias and beliefs into our literature. 

Looking Back on my Articles of Faith

  1. There is such a thing as reading too far into literature. Sometimes the author really meant for that cigar to just be a cigar.

I still hold true to this fact; sometimes I think people read so far into literature that a major point or theme is overlooked and/or the piece just becomes less enjoyable. However, I do acknowledge that the context the cigar is in might have significance pertaining to a character or an event. This can add a certain dimension to the critique of the work.

  1.  Each take on a piece of work is as unique as the individual reading it.
  1. An extensive vocabulary makes for a better work of literature.

However sometimes the lack of vocabulary or having the narration in simple sentences can say a lot about the character speaking or can be used to make a larger, overarching point.

  1. With repetition there is a fine line between getting your point across and just being annoying.
  1. Read and interpret everything with an open mind.

However one should also read others interpretations with open minds. Even if you don’t agree with the perspective of a school of thought or an individual it is still too good to see how others interpreted the same work.  It is good to compare your own interpretation to see if there are similarities; you might also find a good idea in the interpretation even if you don’t agree with it as a whole.

  1. To read perspicaciously takes work, but it is necessary for both the enjoyment and examination of literature.
  1. Literary critics should not be afraid to admit that their interpretation is open for discussion and dispute.
  1. There is always influence of the author’s real life within the story that they have composed.

If one is interested in how the author’s life may have influenced their writing it would be a good idea to look into psychoanalysis and historical criticism. The fact that it may have been influenced by his or her life could add a certain meaning to the story to help the reader understand the themes of the work more clearly.

  1. Punctuation can change the whole attitude of a passage, but there is such a thing as an overabundance of commas and semicolons.
  1. Details and imagery are the best part of literature, but a two page description on one rose bush is really not needed.

Articles of Faith Part III

1.) There are three types of literature: those for enjoyment, those for studying purposes, and those that teach morals.

In my last post, I said that I don’t want to make any rigid rules for literature and that still holds true. I feel that I don’t have the authority to say what the three types of literature are. But, I can say that I feel literature encompasses every mode of expression, whether it be music or a script. When you write down the lyrics of music, they are poetry and when you act out a script, you are creating a story. This definition of literature may seem too broad to some people, but that’s just the way I view literature.

2.) Works are influenced by the author’s history and experiences.

In my second post, I said that some authors have the ability to separate themselves from their work. I agree on my original point because a lot of times, the unconscious plays a role in writing. My major is English creative-writing and I’ve noticed that when I read back on my work, things about my life have slipped into the story, either through my character’s thoughts or the scenery. Seeing this makes me believe that most often than not, an author’s work is influenced by their experiences.

3.) Literature is subjective and prone to be read in different ways.

Before, I said that the author of the work most likely wrote it to be read in one way even though others read it in other ways. I disagree with that. Just like the audience, the author can read different meanings in their work.

4.) There doesn’t have to be unity in a work. Some parts can relate to another and not go hand in hand with the rest of the story.

I still agree with this.

5.) The term literature is associated more with long prose.

I definitely disagree! And this time I’m more adamant about it. To me, literature was associated more with long prose, but that didn’t mean other people thought this way too.

6.) Evaluating literature means finding the soul of the work.

Last time, I said other aspects need to be looked at as well, but now I want to scrap the thought altogether and say evaluating literature doesn’t mean finding the soul of the work. I believe evaluating the work is looking at the politics of it. Writers may write works to serve their agendas. For instance, I saw this in the flawed feminist perspective of “The Yellow Wallpaper”.

7.) Reading literature involves noting the character’s actions and how they contribute to the story.

Once again, I disagree. There is so much to it. Like I said in the previous paragraph, politics are involved and one must read past the superficial (characters, plots, action) and into the layers (history, politics).

8.) Literature should flow so you understand how the author got from one point to another.

I disagree with this. We readers don’t have to know why the author chose to go from one point to another or why it’s disconnected. To me this is the art of literature: it’s complexity.

9.) Literary criticism obstructs the reader’s ability to read a work without being influenced and seeing the work in a different light.

I still agree with this because from personal experience, I have read works in a different light after reading a scholarly essay on
it.

10.) No one can truly say what a successful work is because not everyone appreciates the same elements in a story.

This still holds true for me because everybody has a different point of view and take on stories.

I”m astounded as to how much my views have changed during the course of this class!

Articles of Faith Three

Being that my Articles of Faith were very general, they have not changed significantly. I have changed number 6 because I no longer believe an author’s purpose is relevant. Also, I have altered several others.

  1. Literature is a tale. It is meant to be retold and passed along.
  2. Literature is meant to inform, fiction or nonfiction. It is a report that informs the audience of events, emotions, occurrences, etc.
  3. Literature is one, that may contain many. When a piece is complete it is a whole, comprised of words and literary elements.
  4. A piece is meant to be critiqued. Once a piece is published it is no longer the author’s, the audience has full control of how it is read and interpreted.
  5. Point of view is a critical part of evaluation. It is the most power the author has on the the reader by specifying what eyes they must look through.
  6. The text should be interpreted by the audience. Author’s purpose becomes irrelevant after the text is published because audience reads in their own context.
  7. Literature is an explanation. It is writing that shares an argument and its points.
  8. An author’s must show to promote their own or the audience’s views. The audience should not question what the author is trying to convey. An author should make their images clear to the audience to provide the best evidence for their piece.
  9. Punctuation serves as the author’s control over the reader. How sentences are written, and in turn read, is the author’s choice. 
  10. Literature develops from context. The author’s surroundings shape a piece’s language and the story on a whole.