Ficción Contemporánea de los EE.UU (2016)Apunte Inglés
Apuntes completos de la asignatura optativa ' Ficción Contemporánea de los EE.UU ' con la profesora Carmen Méndez Garcia .
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FICCIÓN CONTEMPORÁNEA DE LOS EE.UU
FICCIÓN CONTEMPORÁNEA DE LOS EE.UU
UNIT 0. A PANORAMA OF US HISTORY FROM WWII.
- - - - - - Truman Doctrine: The policy of President Truman, as advocated in his address to Congress on March 12, 1947, to provide military and economic aid to Greece and Turkey, and, by extension, to any country threatened by Communism or any totalitarian ideology.
My Lai: A mass killing of helpless inhabitants of village in South Vietnam during the Vietnam War, carried out in 1968 by United States troops under the command of Calley. The massacre became a symbol for those opposed to the war in Vietnam.
Kennedy assassination: Lee Harvey Oswald: It is said that he was crazy but later on he was murdered too.
Some conclusions are that CIA killed him Martin Luther King and Malcolm X: They were both connected to the Civil Right Movement.
Vietnam War: Armed conflict between the communist regime of North Vietnam and its southern allies against South Vietnam and its principal ally, United States. The war began in 1954 after the rise of communist party in North Vietnam and continued against the backdrop of an intense Cold War between two global superpowers: United States and the Soviet Union. Growing opposition to the War in the United States led to divisions among Americans, both before and after President Nixon ordered the withdrawal of U.S forces in 1973. Communist Vietnam vs Capitalist Vietnam. USA supported the South of Vietnam but they finished loosing.
Reagan: 40th president of the U.S. 1981–89. He reactivated the tension between U.S and the Soviet Union.
Dresden: The bombing of Dresden was a UK/US aerial bombing on the city of Dresden that took place during the Second World War in the European Theatre.
European Theatre: It was a huge area of heavy fighting across Europe from Germany and the Soviet Union’s joint invasion of Poland in September 1939 until the end of the war with the Soviet Union conquering much of Europe along with the German unconditional surrender on May 8, 1945.
Segregation Montgomery Bus Boycott: Political and social protest campaign against the policy of racial segregation on the public transit system of Montgomery, Alabama. The campaign lasted from December, 1955 when Rosa Parks, an African American woman was arrested for refusing to surrender her seat to a white person, to December 20, 1956 when the United States Supreme Court declared the Alabama and Montgomery Laws requiring segregating buses to be unconstitutional.
- Segregation: Separation of humans into racial groups in daily life.
- Iraq/ Afghanistan - - Cold War: 50 years of tension between the communist party and the capitalist part.
Red Scare: Promotion of fear of a potential rise of communism or radical leftism.
Martin Luther King: Martin Luther King Jr. was one of the 20s’s best known advocates for nonviolent social change. ( Afro-American ) Moon Landing: Arrival of a spacecraft on the surface of the Moon. The 1 st human-made object to reach the surface of the Moon was the Soviet Union’s Luna2 mission, on September 1959. The U.S’s Apollo11 was the 1st manned mission to land the Moon, on July 1969. To date, U.S is the only country to have successfully conducted manned missions to the Moon.
War of Terror (11S): Also known as Global War on Terrorism (GWOT) refers to the international military campaign that started after the September 11 attacks on the U.S. United States led a coalition of other countries in a long but unsuccessful campaign to destroy Al-Qaeda and other militant Islamist organizations.
- Draft-Card Burning: It was a symbol of protest performed by thousands of young American men as part of - Draft-Card: It is the notice sent by the U.S government to tell a military draftee (recluta) that he must the opposition to the involvement of the United Stated in the Vietnam War.
report for duty.
MARÍA MORENO - - - - - - - FICCIÓN CONTEMPORÁNEA DE LOS EE.UU Cuban Crisis: 1962. A dangerous situation which developed in 1962 when the Soviet Union began to build bases for nuclear missiles in Cuba. US President John F. Kennedy complained to the Soviet government, stopped all ships from going to Cuba, and threatened to take military action. This caused a lot of international anxiety, but after a few days the Soviet Union agreed to remove the missile base Bay of Pigs: An area on the south coast of Cuba, which is famous for a military attack that took place in 1961. A group of Cubans living in the US tried to enter Cuba with the aim of ending the government of Fidel Castro. They were trained and supported by the US, but the attack failed.
Lyndon B. Johnson: US politician in the Democratic Party who was the President of the US from 1963 to 1969. He started his plan for a ‘Great Society’ by introducing laws that helped poor people , improved medical care and education and gave civil rights to all US citizens whatever their race . However, the US became more involved in the Vietnam War and he became unpopular.
Iron Curtain: The name that was used for the border between the Communist countries of Eastern Europe and the rest of Europe.
Korea Pearl Harbor: An important US naval base in Hawaii, which was suddenly attacked by Japanese planes in December 1941. Many warships were destroyed or damaged, and this caused great shock and anger in the US, and made the US start fighting in World War II.
New Deal: A programme of economic and social changes that was introduced in the US by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1933, in order to help people who had lost their jobs or their property as a result of the Great Depression.
Watergate Scandal: A famous political scandal in the US in the early 1970s .It was discovered that Nixon had agreed to an attempt to obtain information about the Democratic Party's plans for the next election, by secretly going into their offices in the Watergate hotel in Washington D.C. Nixon later tried to prevent this information from being discovered. Nixon resigned his post due to this scandal.
Hiroshima/Nagasaki : Hiroshima : A city in Japan which was destroyed in 1945 during World War II, when a US Nuclear bomb was dropped on it. // Nagasaki : A city and port in the west of the island of Kyushu, Japan, which was badly damaged in 1945 when a US Nuclear bomb was dropped on it.
Brown vs Board of Education: A US legal case which resulted in a famous decision by the US Supreme Court in 1954. It was decided that black students should be allowed to attend the same schools and universities as white students, and this officially ended segregation in the US education system.
Black Panthers: A group of black people in the US in the 1960s and 1970s, who supported the use of violence to get better treatment for black people.
Black Power: A political slogan and a name for various associated ideologies aimed at achieving selfdetermination for people of African/Black descent. It is used by African Americans in the United States. It was prominent in the late 1960s and early 1970s, emphasizing racial pride and the creation of black political and cultural institutions to nurture and promote black collective interests and advance black values.
50s CONSERVATIVE (Consumerism Society); they want an easy life (White men) due to the communism and the Cold War they have suffered before. Women and African American want changes.
60s Rebellious Youth. Kent State (Demonstration against Vietnam). March on the Pentagon.
‘I have a dream’ Martin Luther King.
70s Progressive thinking. Woodstock (Huge music festival / Peace, music, universal love).
Altamont (Totally the opposite / Rock Festival).
80s Ronald Reagan. Republican-Conservative.
90sClinton (Democratic). Bush (Republican). George W. Bush (Republican).
1969-StoneWall Riots Series of spontaneous, violent demonstrations by members of the gay (LGBT) community against a police raid that took place in the early morning hours of June 28, 1969, at the Stonewall Inn. Gay Americans in the 1950s and 1960s faced an anti –gay legal system.
Police raids on gay bars were frequent- occurring on average once a month for each bar.
MARÍA MORENO FICCIÓN CONTEMPORÁNEA DE LOS EE.UU Harvey Milk American politician who became the first openly gay person to be elected to public office in California, when he won a seat on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors.
UNIT 1. INCONFORMISM AND LITERATURE IN THE 50s: THE BEAT WRITERS AS A CASE EXAMPLE.
BEAT GENERATION –‘LOST GENERATION’ Bigger names: Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, William Burroughs, Lucien Carr, Amiri Baraka (African American), Joyce Johnson (Woman), Anne Waldman (Woman), Elise Cowen (Woman).
Why Beat? 1. BEATEN ( Beaten up by the system) 2. BEAT ( Jazz – Rhythm) 3. BEATIFIC Idea of exoticism. Norman Mailer: ‘The White Negro’. Black people ( Not domesticated , they are the real thing ) .
BLACK MOUNTAIN POETS Bigger names: Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Patti Smith (Not so much considered to be into the Beat generation).
BEATNIK-Become the stereotype for young people who didn’t want to do anything in their lives.
60s Hippies (Same description as Beatniks).
‘On the Road’ and ‘Howl’ are the most representative books of the Beat Generation.
CENSORSHIP The Beat Generation embraced the idea of self-expression and liberating oneself from societal norms in a multitude of ways, even though some of them were questionable. Its most profound impact was in its rebellion against censorship and its goal to ensure that any and all texts could be publicized.
Jazz Bebop Jazz at that time was associated with bad life. Best Jazz musicians were AfricanAmerican.
KEROUAC’S MOST REPRESENTATIVE TEXTS: 1. ‘ On the Road ’ (1957) 2. ‘The Subterraneans ’ (1958) 3. Dharma Bums ( 1958) ROMAN-À-CLEF ‘Tale in Key’. It is a novel about real life, overlaid with a façade of fiction. The fictitious names in the novel represent real people and the key is the relationship between the nonfiction and the fiction.
ON THE ROAD. ( 1957) Jack Kerouac FREEDOM SEX IMMEDIACY MOVING ALL THE TIME MADNESS( Kerouac thinks madness is good CONSUMMERISM ( For them is bad but they consume) MARÍA MORENO PASSION DRUGS TRAVELS AMERICAN LANDSCAPES CARS FICCIÓN CONTEMPORÁNEA DE LOS EE.UU SPEED ( Very American Ideas) MUSIC HITCHHIKING MEXICO (Wild , free people) WOMEN Domestic Sphere – Women Outside World- Outside World represents danger.
50s and 60s Women were sexually free because they had their body control. BIRTH CONTROL – PILL.
MOVEMENT TO THE WEST Symbolic 1. Cowboys ( Control of nature / Control of their life) 2. Nature / Surviving/ Adventure 3. Terra Ignota ( Unknown Land) ADMIRATION – Almost idolization.
MINOR CHARACTERS Joyce Johnson Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac – Jack Kerouac feels that Allen Ginsberg ‘stole him the being the 1st writer of the Beat Generation’.
Jack Kerouac is deeply insecure.
Jack Kerouac doesn’t recognize himself in On the Road.
Jack Kerouac is looking for something to be the meaning of his life (Family, love...).
P-17 PEARL: He wants something in his life but he doesn’t know what.
THEY HAVE TO KEEP MOVING.
They create art in order to: 1. Get money // 2. Express something, being a genius.
UNIT 2: THE RESOURGENCE OF THE SHORT STORY.
Short story is not considered so important; if you are a really good writer you write novels.
Short story is considered a practice.
LITERARY GENRES: In the 40s it was not considered a genre.
SHORT STORY: You can sell almost immediately; with a novel the process is much longer, so if you write for money, short story would give you an immediate amount of money (faster than novels).
THE GREAT AMERICAN NOVEL: Great would be the best; the best novel as a representation of America.
JONATHAN FRANZEN: He writes about a specific social class (Middle class). He wants to present the panorama. He is supposed to have written the Great American Novel but it is not true because he doesn’t include so much (His scope is very limited).
Short story was considered a minor genre.
MAGAZINES: 1. The New Yorker 5.Atlantic Monthly 2. The Paris Review 6.Rolling Stone 3. Squire 7.Time 4. Harper’s 8.Playboy They sold million of short stories.
Most of short stories were first published in ‘The New Yorker ’.
‘‘RESOURGENCE’’ Wider Readership MARÍA MORENO FICCIÓN CONTEMPORÁNEA DE LOS EE.UU NOVELLA Work of written, fictional, narrative prose normally longer than a short story but shorter than a novel.
NOVEL SHORT STORY Length : Long Better opportunity to develop characters Space : Develop characters ; Content; Description; Plot Freytag Pyramid: Introduction; Climax; Resolution.
Length : Short In Media Res ( Often) Clear resolution not found ( Often) Unity of effect : ( Read in one sitting) Condensation FILM (NOVEL) vs. STILL PHOTOGRAPH (Short Story; Fill the information you are not given).
SHORT STORY: 1.Look for what is NOT being told; 2. Try to find things that may be symbolic.
‘‘A GOOD MAN IS HARD TO FIND ’’(1955) Flannery O`Connor She is of the South (Southern writers are different of northern).
Southern gothic (Faulkner, Dorothy Allyson) Southern Gothic: 1. Kind of horror that could only take place in the South; Things that produce horror).
Catholic writer: Combination of catholic, gothic and grotesque aspects.
WHAT CAN BE EXPECTED BY THE TITLE? 1. Finding a good husband / boyfriend.
5. Southern (Gentleman) 2. Religion 6. A Good Man is Hard to Find (These days) 3. Woman 7. Nostalgia 4. Tradition WHAT IS THE BOOK ABOUT? Southern ideas of what SHOULD be and what USED TO BE.
The grandmother cares a lot about people knowing she is a lady.
Foreshadowing: Anticipating what would happen next.
P.18: A good man is hard to find: Nostalgia.
Grandmother is judging people.
Nostalgia idealizes the past. When you are nostalgic, nothing is going to be good for her.
Grandmother is human but she thinks she is lofty (noble).
PICANINI: Most racist representation.
MARÍA MORENO FICCIÓN CONTEMPORÁNEA DE LOS EE.UU She knows how to manipulate people (Go to visit the house she wanted). She is not a good woman.
FORESHADOWING: 1. Accident (Lady); the misfit (Inadaptado social); tombs (Same number of tombs as members of the family).
Good woman –Grandmother.
P.28- Jesus! (Religion).
P.29-You are one of my children – (I can see in you the evil I cannot see on myself (Not so good woman)).
The grandmother recognizes not being a good woman at the end.
‘‘THE LOTTERY ’’. (1949) Shirley Jackson .
WHAT CAN BE EXPECTED BY THE TITLE? Game chance: Always for winning.
Lottery is always based on luck.
When we think about lottery, we think about good things.
WHAT IS THE BOOK ABOUT? At first sight, we have an atmosphere of normality.
Foreshadowing: Stones at the first page and then at the end of the story.
Society: Traditional, patriarchal, hierarchy in the family.
Lottery: Origins, props: It has been going on for so long; they don’t even know the origins. If they give up the lottery they won’t be civilized. Lottery means civilization and prosperity.
Black box – It’s in a really bad state. SYMBOLIC: Black =Death.
NAMES: Mr. Summer / Mr. Graves / Delacroix / Hutchinson/ Dunbar.
-Common names to state that it is a normal American town, with normal American people. Idea of normalcy.
Boys see the lottery as a game.
Kids are been taught to see this things normal. They have grown up seeing this lottery.
Hutchinson is not against the lottery.
For them is much easier to keep on celebrating the lottery than to change it.
MARÍA MORENO FICCIÓN CONTEMPORÁNEA DE LOS EE.UU The Lottery is a ritual Part of the community. Being part of the community implies being part of the society and vice versa.
Tradition gives sense of security, creating sense of community.
Small town Traditional, people know each other = Safe / American people in the 50s saw small towns as something positive.
Unquestioned The town is not given a name because she wanted to generalize. (This town could be anywhere).
They don’t leave the town because they feel safe within the community.
Ambivalent about the lottery.
‘Lottery’ vs. ‘A good man is hard to find’: Tradition and Nostalgia: They don’t want things to change.
Clyde Dunbar broke his leg and his wife has to represent him: Throwing stones makes you part of the community. If you don’t want to, you are not part of the community. He must be there although he is not face – to face there.
‘‘ WHERE ARE YOU GOING, WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN ’’ (1974) Joyce Carol Oates.
WHAT CAN BE EXPECTED BY THE TITLE? Mother would ask the daughter.
Could be a short story about a teenager.
Pay attention to visual clues, what it is not said but it is implied.
CHARACTERS: Connie: Pretty, vain, she pretends to be an adult, seducer. Likes: Pop music, friends, she does not get along with her family, grown-up world is boring.
Arnold friend: Interesting boy that wants to be her friend. Arnold Friend constructed – Much older than her but he pretends to be younger.
P.8: She asks him his age and he says he is eighteen (A bit older than her).
1. Suburban home as a symbol.
4. Seduction scene 2. Car as a symbol.
5. Look / Appearance.
3. Music / Radio Connie’s sister is what she doesn’t want to be (Model).
Connie is secure because she is pretty, because she thinks she has the control when she flirts and because she is part of a group based on things she likes, such as music, clothes, looks... (Friends).
Arnold Friend could be inside the group because he looks like a young boy, he likes the same music, he knows the lingo code, and he models his voice similar to young boys. He looks like part MARÍA MORENO FICCIÓN CONTEMPORÁNEA DE LOS EE.UU of the group. He sometimes slips and he and he says old-fashioned words. He is not really into the group. He is a fake.
CAR Having a car means independence, music, being cool and freedom.
Ellie: He is not one of the group; he doesn’t look like a teenager.
Arnold Friend: He looks like a young Bob Dylan (Strong neck, dark hair, sunglasses (cool, mystery), grotesque (something that looks like something else but it is badly imitated)).
SEDUCTION First visual contact (‘gate’). I’m gonna get you, baby (First words he tells her), He makes the intention clear from the beginning but she doesn’t catch the idea. ‘I know my Connie’ – I know who you are. He has been observing her and her family. (She is not in control now).
SEXUALITY We can assume that she has not done so much. Numbers in Arnold Friend’s car together are 69. Arnold gives her two choices; 1. Come with him and her family won’t suffer any danger. 2. Go to her house and her family would have problems.
She has been outsmarted.
*Talking about 50s, young generation, female sexuality, evil in general, people manipulating other people, money and capitalism.
‘Pied piper of Tucson’ His power is music. Arnold Friend is also using music.
SUBURBAN HOME: UK: Nice places. / SPAIN: Not so nice places. Suburban area offers security because you are surrounded by people similar to you, part of the community. It is easier to know each other. Connie as a teenager thinks that it is boring. She finishes going to the outside world with Arnold Friend.
‘‘THE SCHOOL’’ (1974) Donald Barthelme.
Narrator: Teacher First words: ‘Well, we had all these children planting trees’. He is talking to us .The story starts in media res. Well = Informal (In that time, not serious fiction). UNUSUAL WAY TO START A STORY.
Seriousness: Difference between serious things and their treatment.
Death: The way he talks about death is not so serious.
Grown up ________ Children Teachable moment (Something happen in a classroom that you can use it to explain something) .
There are lots of opportunities to talk about death and they are not used.
When children ask him where death people or things go, teacher says he doesn’t know (Not the right answer).
SEX/DEATH = Beginning / End. //// Sex = Physical sensation / Death = End of physical sensation.
SEX/ DEATH = EROS / THANATOS.
MARÍA MORENO FICCIÓN CONTEMPORÁNEA DE LOS EE.UU UNIT 3: MINORITIES AND WOMEN WRITE BACK: THE 70s & 80s.
Writing: Males wrote serious things. Women were considered to be sentimental.
Males received education and women couldn’t. Many women didn’t write because they didn’t have writing and reading skills.
First women writers Virginia Woolf (UK) ‘A room of one’s own’- Women with same possibilities.
/ Charlotte Perkins Gilman – ‘The Yellow Wallpaper ’. / Emily Dickinson / Gertrude Stein/ Edith Wharton / Kate Chopin.
There were still more male writers than female ones from 1900 to 1950. Women didn’t need to have a job.
Black people (African American people) Jews Latino/ Chicano LGBTA Native Americans (Indians) Chinese Americans Japanese Americans ETHNICITY Different from white Americans of a certain European race, that is German, British, Scottish, Irish … The idea of minorities is not connected to numbers but to power.
Some minor characters.
Amiri Baraka (African American) Percival Everett (African American) ‘Erasure’ / ‘Fuck’ Reynaldo Arenas (Cuban and homosexual) Arundhati Roy (Indian and woman) Karen Tei Yamashita (Japanese-American) ‘I-Hotel’ ‘‘ NO NAME WOMAN ’’ FROM THE WOMAN WARRIOR (1976) Maxine Hong Kingston FIRST PART.
She considers herself an American but her appearance is Chinese and her family has different traditions and expectations. Her mother has very specific cultural ideas.
First thing she says: You must not tell anyone.
The story that the mother tells is about her aunt, in China, in a small village. The family tries to pretend that the aunt never existed. The aunt did something that a woman should not have done.
The mother tells the story in order to give her daughter a lesson.
MARÍA MORENO FICCIÓN CONTEMPORÁNEA DE LOS EE.UU Cautionary tale She is told the story and the moral you have to extract from the text is something like I won’t do that. The same as fairy tales (They are there to learn from them).
The aunt had sex with a man who wasn’t her husband and got pregnant (Being pregnant was the shame of the family -). She committed suicide and in most of the world is shameful. She not only kills herself but she also kills the baby.
The man who made sex with her isn’t known. There is no shame in the man but the entire shame is for her.
Between the pages 6 and 8, there are speculations of what could have happened.
1. Forced to have sex 2. She just liked it.
There are gaps in the story- she has to fill them in. That’s why there are two different versions.
The narrator is writing to understand reality.
She writes it for the world.
When the mum tells her don’t tell anyone, she could have meant go and tell everyone. (INTERGENERATIONAL).
‘My aunt, my forerunner’ Her aunt is like a model for her because she has done something that women were not supposed to do.
THE HOUSE ON MANGO STREET (1984) Sandra Cisneros Novel Novella Short Story.
Canon – Things ‘well done’/ ‘as they should be’.
The canon of American literature- Selection (Who sets to select).
The word ‘canon’ in English is derived from the Greek ‘kanon’ meaning a measuring rod and then a rule in law. In an educational context the concept usually refers to the specification of the literature texts that should be included in a syllabus in school or university. In literature, the books that are considered better than others. A further complication is that the official canon itself may be conceived in different ways – in terms of specification of titles of texts, authors, historical period or genres.
Early 80s- ‘Canon Wars’ 50s-60s – African American; American Women. Dead white men writers won’t be representative for them and when they become teachers they will change the ‘canon’.
The way African American and American Women have power is creating departments (Women Dept, African-American Dept).
HAROLD BLOOM- The Western Canon.
LATINO – Mexico, Cuba, Colombia, Puerto Rico (Central American, South American, Caribbean).
CHICANO – Pejorative term / Insult // Later on it is used to describe themselves.
MARÍA MORENO FICCIÓN CONTEMPORÁNEA DE LOS EE.UU RICHARD RODRIGUEZ: He was a Mexican –American that does not want to be called Chicano. He wrote Hunger of Memory. (1981).
-RELATION US and MEXICO -Mexican Hand workers -Guadalupe Hidalgo Treaty brought an official end to the Mexican-American War (1846-1848) Nuyoricans- New York and Puerto Rico mix.
ABOUT THE BOOK It takes place in Chicago (Mid-West).
Esperanza doesn’t get the idea of her parents because she is naïve and innocent (Parents want a better life for the family).
As she doesn’t catch their message, she is an unreliable narrator because she is too young.
The chapters of the books are called vignettes. The vignette ‘Hips in which they are singing songs about women. Hips are good for dancing, holding babies, walking with heels. They get things for men that they didn’t notice. Esperanza does not know what sexuality is.
When the single man receives the visit of a prostitute, she doesn’t realize she is a prostitute but she thinks she is a girlfriend.
STRUCTURE What things tied the book vignettes together? Same main characters- Esperanza, Sally , Nenny , Rachel+Lucy , mother ( All women).
Bildungsroman novel -A novel about the moral and psychological growth of the main character .
Connection between content and form.
Vignettes are so short to create ‘flashbacks’. General idea and no so detailed.
Violence, Sex, Home, Writing, Gender, Family, Community, Social class, Religion, Language(s).
Style / Tone It looks like it is written by a child.
Religion/ SuperstitionR= She goes to a catholic school (Nuns). Religious symbols // S=Future fortunes (She goes to a witch). 3 sisters who offer a look into her future (The fates = Parcas).
Community, Neighborhood ‘El Barrio’ ‘‘Those who don't know any better come into our neighborhood scared. They think we're dangerous. They think we will attack them with shiny knives. They are stupid people who are lost and got here by mistake. But we aren't afraid.’’ (P.28). They know each other. ‘‘Al! Brown all around, we are safe. But watch us drive into a neighborhood of another color and our knees go shakity-shake and our car windows get rolled up tight and our eyes look straight. Yeah. T hat is how it goes and goes.’’(P.28) . We think that people from outside are stupid because they feel afraid but we do the same when we go to another neighborhood.
MARÍA MORENO FICCIÓN CONTEMPORÁNEA DE LOS EE.UU Violence Is the neighborhood so dangerous? No, although females are abused in their houses.
‘El barrio’ is the place in where Latinos live and they are similar and feel safe.
SexShe doesn’t know so much of sex, as we can see in the vignette in which the prostitute goes to visit his neighbor. She has a romantic way of thinking. Sally is much into sex.
In ‘The Monkey Garden and Red Clowns’, Sally leaves her alone and Esperanza was abused. She doesn’t tell what happened exactly but she tells that she had another viewpoint about sex. She blames Sally and she realizes that she is not prepared for sexuality and she comes back to ‘being a little girl’. Sally refuses to be with her father and she gets married, so she has a worst life with her husband. (Using your sexuality to escape is not the right way to escape).
MODELS FOR ESPERANZA .
Mother – ‘Free woman’. She was a free and strong woman. Even this type of women end up being submissive to men. ‘Smart Cookie’ – She thought she was smarter than she actually is. Good and bad model for Esperanza.
Alicia – She goes to colleague and works. She is a good model for Esperanza.
Sally – Bad Model.
Nenny – She is very young and she does what she wants. She is free and she does not care about what people think about her. Good model.
Rachel and Lucy – They don’t pretend to be older than they are. Good model.
Aunt – She encourages her to continue writing. Good model.
Minerva – She writes but she is married. She learns something for her. Good and bad model.
Rafaela- Always looking out by the window.
Mamacita – She doesn’t want to be there and she refuses to speak English. She pretends that no speaking English she’d come back to Mexico.
THE BOOK IS ABOUT A GIRL WHO SEARCHS FOR HER IDENTITY.
At some point she pretends to be a man. It is a very powerful act from her. ‘‘I am one who leaves the table like a man, without putting back the chair or picking up the plate’’. (P.89).
Being pretty would let you get what you want but it can be dangerous. Being pretty doesn’t allow you to leave Mango Street .What allows you to leave Mango Street is being smart, but no smart cookies. (Smart- Writing).
Esperanza’s father was eating eggs lot of time because he didn’t know more about language.
Esperanza doesn’t like her name because it is not an English name. She is known as no English person.
When does Esperanza use Spanish words? In her family, words related to family. She has a lot of Mexican infer but she was born in the US.
Hyphenated identities person, group, or organization of mixed origin or identity MARÍA MORENO FICCIÓN CONTEMPORÁNEA DE LOS EE.UU THE BLUEST EYE (1970) Tony Morrison.
Great MigrationThe Great Migration was the movement of 6 million African Americans out of the rural Southern United States to the urban North, Midwest and West between 1910 and 1960.
Second Great Migration Totally the contrary. African American people going back to the south.
This has to be with the type of literature. African American people are going to write in this period. For instance, Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison shows that on the one hand , African American people are hyper visible ( they are guarded by police , for instance) and on the other hand people treat them as if they didn’t exist.
BLACK ARTS MOVEMENT. It establishes what black arts are.
Black power is connected to black arts movement. Black arts movement is going to be connected to certain journals, university departments… ‘‘POST BLACK’’ WRITERS.
-Toni Morrison -Ntozake Shangé -August Wilson -Walter Mosley Detective stories within an African American Panorama.
-Chester Himes -Samuel R. Delany -Octavia Butler -Colson Whitehead (The Intuitionist) -Oprah – African American woman. She has a show. Own magazine. Oprah book.
Toni Morrison always writes about African American experiences (Own experience) CHARACTERISTICS OF HIS BOOKS.
African American people in different periods of life.
Indentured Servants: People who came to America and was placed under contract to work for another over a period of time.
‘Magical Realism’ : There is fantasy in common life.
Aural quality : The way people talk define who they are.
Music : African American people are related to certain music ( Jazz).
A quality of hunger and disturbance that never ends.
MARÍA MORENO FICCIÓN CONTEMPORÁNEA DE LOS EE.UU High Yellow – Different gradation of colors. High yellow refers to people who are not so obvious they are African American by seen them. (Whiter-Blacks) Passing – Try to pass as if you were white . Pretend to be white.
ABOUT THE BOOK.
Pecola wants blue eyes because it is the most distinctive characteristic of extremely white people.
She wants the bluest eyes. She finally becomes insane.
1st page: Short, simple and repetitive words.
(Children’s book) Stereotypical American family. Dick and Jane 2nd page: No punctuation.
Book structured in four seasons: Autumn, winter, spring and summer.
Several Narrators: In order to express different points of view. (Claudia, Pecola and a 3 rd omniscient narrator in some cases) .
Claudia and Frieda : Happy children. Nice parents. Limited narrator (Very young). Claudia is a very strong girl. Why? Because she has very supportive people around her.
In Shirley Temple film , Claudia prefers to be a bojangle ( black man in the film ) rather than Shirley Temple ( White and blond girl) In society, people change their attitude if they know they are observed.
Frieda and Claudia have love and that’s why they are able to feel comfortable in a ‘white society’.
Pecola has not so and she becomes obsessed with ‘beauty white patterns’. And finally she becomes insane.
Claudia externalizes and Pecola internalizes.
Nigger = Offensive word. Bad African American People.
Lacan+ the gaze =When a baby realizes that the mother is a different person , he looks at the mother and the mother looks at him (?) The message Pecola gets when she is looked at is that she is ugly and invisible.
The look = Someone is recognizing me but sometimes it can be dangerous.
Couch = When the narrator describes the house there is a broken (ugly) couch. Good metaphor for the way Pecola is (or feels). She has the potential of being beautiful (common girl) but she is broken by society and by herself.
Double Discrimination: 1. SOCIETY (African-American) 2. FAMILY (Women, sexism).
‘‘It takes a village to raise a child’ – Relatives are not the only one responsible for raising good human beings but the community also responds to .
‘‘Quiet as it kept’’- Claudia refers to things that are known but they must be quiet. You know that the book would be a book of secrets. Those characters are going to do things that cannot be told.
UNIT 4: REALIST TENSIONS.
MARÍA MORENO FICCIÓN CONTEMPORÁNEA DE LOS EE.UU Why realist tensions? -Connection between realism and fiction events.
-Combination of experimentalism and realism -Realism means: 1. Description of details (Allows us to know the social class, economy … of that time) 2. Dialect in dialogues.
3. Verisimilitude (Something that could happen in the world) 4. Plausible: Possibly true, believable or realistic The opposite of realism is fantasy.
On the contrary, postmodernism is experimentation, abstraction, avant-garde.
DIRTY REALISM means writing life without deleting ugliness, poor people, domesticity, and regionalism.
NEW DIRTY REALISM means to write the ugly side of reality DIRTY REALISM WRITERS.
NEW DIRTY REALISM WRITERS.
Richard Ford Bret Easton Ellis Raymond Carver James Ellroy Tobias Wolff Chuck Palahniuk Jayne Anne Phillips POLITICAL FICTION –Michael Gold ‘TENSION OF BEING A GOOD JEW’ WRITERS Saul Bellow Grace Paley Bernard Malamud Cynthia Ozick (The Shawl) ‘‘DEFENDER OF THE FAITH’’ Philip Roth What about the title? RELIGION – Religious Observation Grossbart (?) does not take care of his faith but he uses faith as an excuse.
Faith as an excuse not to do what he doesn’t want .
MARÍA MORENO FICCIÓN CONTEMPORÁNEA DE LOS EE.UU 1 letter – Change the food , Kosher food ( Food you are not allowed to eat). The real problem with food is that it was awful .
What do we know about his father? He cannot write.
He manipulates everyone.
Marx has become the defender of the faith.
Last Sentence : Related to moral. Morality .
Gelfite fish – Not Kosher food.
HE USES RELIGION TO GET WHAT HE WANTS.
He uses everybody MORAL: Stand for people who use faith in a correct way, not only the ones who use it for their own purposes.
‘HOW TO WRITE A TRUE WAR STORY’.
Tim O’Brien Social Background.
VIETNAM WAR: He was drafted to serve in the Vietnam War. His work was heavily influenced by his service in War.
VIETNAM WAR: ‘‘Domino Effect ’’.War about contaminating communism to countries that surround communism. (Point of view of US.) Fight not to contaminate communism.
‘‘Guerrilla War The use of surprise raids, sabotage … by small, mobile groups of irregular forces operating in enemy territory.
MY LAY (1968) American assumed that soldiers from Vietnam (communists) were hidden there.
MARCH ON THE PENTAGON (1967) Demonstrators including radicals, liberals, black nationalists, hippies, professors, women’s groups, and war veterans march on the Pentagon.
DRAFT CARD Young working class (Especially black, Chicanos). When they come back people will be very suspicious of those who had come back. They won’t receive thanks. They are rejected by society and they are also not going to be able to verbalize certain things they have suffered there.
PTSD Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. ( Shell shock during WW1 and WW2).
Shell Shock Reaction of some soldiers in World War I to the trauma of battle. It was a reaction to the intensity of the bombardment and fighting that produced a helplessness appearing variously as panic and being scared, or flight, an inability to reason, sleep, walk or talk.
ABOUT THE BOOK.
-Explanation of how to tell a war story.
MARÍA MORENO FICCIÓN CONTEMPORÁNEA DE LOS EE.UU DOES IT TELL US? -It tries and he keeps giving different ideas and versions for the same event and finally the conclusion is that it cannot be told how to tell a true war story because: 1. Different Perspective.
2. Cannot be told 3. Listeners (Ideal War story (what they want to listen) is not true.
FIRST SENTENCE: ‘THIS IS TRUE’ Structure as if it was instructions 1.
This is true.
A true war story is never moral It is difficult to separate what happened from what seemed to happen In some cases, a true war story cannot be believed.
In other cases you can’t even tell the story You can tell a true war story by the way it never seems to end In a true war story, if there’s a moral at all, it’s like the thread that makes the cloth.
True war stories do not generalize.
To generalize about war is like to generalize about peace.
Every first sentence of the ‘sections’ of the book is presenting the way of how to tell a true war story.
We cannot know what the true one is – Even the narrator cannot tell it.
Depending on the person who tells the story, it changes.
IDEA OF ABSOLUTE TRUTH-Truth is a working process.
Anyone would not be able to tell the truth because there are things you cannot tell because before you have to think and understand them.
Rat: He writes a letter to his sister trying to tell what happened truly.
WHAT THINGS WOULD BE CONNECTED TO WAR? Masculinity Duty Courage Patriotism Honor Moral Heroism HOW MANY DO WE FIND IN THE BOOK? Duty –Ideally, in war people are volunteer.
Masculinity Why do we like stories? - To learn, for entertainment.
MARÍA MORENO FICCIÓN CONTEMPORÁNEA DE LOS EE.UU Story –Fairytales (Used for teaching morals). In this book, there is no moral. It fails as a it has not moral.
genre, as UNIT 5. EXPERIMENTATION AND POSTMODERNISM. THE LITERATURE OF THE ‘‘AGE OF THEORY’’.
Realism and Postmodernism coexist.
No one knows when it exactly started. 60s-70s and specially 80s.
Many people think it is the continuation of modernism but the real thing is that modernism and postmodernism contain different ideas.
There is a mistake between relativism and complexity.
Relativism:Theory of knowledge, truth, morality, etc., holding that criteria of judgment may vary with individuals and their environments.
Complexity: the quality of being intricate and compounded.
WRITERS, THEORIES ASSOCIATED WITH POSTMODERNISM (Lots of French names) Baudrillard – Simulacra and simulation.
Simulacra are copies that depict things that either had no original to begin with, or that no longer have an original. Simulation is the imitation of the operation of a real-world process or system over time.
Deleuze &Guattari Jameson – Analysis of literature in the idea of architecture.
People tend to assume that postmodernism is a game between the reader (writing) and the writer but it has a deep meaning.
Stream of consciousness – Interior monologue.
Technique – Innovating, Experimenting.
Open ending Chronological order is not followed (Flashbacks, Flash forwards, different versions of the same event) High and low art High art is really good and artistic art (Money, social consideration) Low art is artistic but not so good.
Academics, teachers… would decide what type of art is (Elitist people).
It does not talk about high and low art.
MARÍA MORENO FICCIÓN CONTEMPORÁNEA DE LOS EE.UU Genre fiction –Patterns/ Conventions Ambiguity- Experiences that we don’t exactly know what they are.
Discontinuity- Ways in which things / characters make or not make sense.
Pastiche/Bricolage- a piece of writing, music, etc., that is made up of selections from different Works.
Irony – Different things of what you say. It has to do with the way you have the readers know things that character doesn’t know.
Meta-fiction- It occurs in fictional stories when the story examines the elements of fiction itself.
For example, a story that explores how stories are made by commenting on character types, how plots are formed or other aspects of storytelling is engaged in an example of metafiction.
In Meta fiction you get to know not only the fiction but the process is involved. Shows what is behind the scenes. Author talking to you directly. Characters becoming aware of being characters.
Character realizes that there is a voice over who is talking about him.
Fragmentation- Modernism: Author=God. / Post-modernism: Author is dead. The author is no longer the only one who is in charge of creating the book, the reader must contribute to create the meaning.
Paranoia: Obsessed about being controlled.
Paranoia can be connected to mistrust: Watergate scandal. They cannot trust anyone if they cannot trust the government.
(EXTRA INFORMATION; Thomas B. Byers’ master class.) THE CRYING OF LOT 49.( 1966) Thomas Pynchon.
People were paranoiac about him because he is not a public character. People though he was not only one.
Secret of the author. Impossible to read his novel taking into account his biography. He might have wanted that.
Main one is a detective story. (Detective fiction) What do we need in detective fiction? A mystery, Analyze clues, Get solutions. A detective.
Twist in the plot (often but not always) – Go back to the start and reorganize things again. It is what makes the book interesting.
Red herrings: Clue that makes you think that the solution will be at some point but it isn’t (Misleading).
A master detective is a master on interpreting – Good detective = Good interpreter.
MYSTERY IN THE NOVEL MARÍA MORENO FICCIÓN CONTEMPORÁNEA DE LOS EE.UU Why has she been chosen? Big mystery of the book.
Trystero/ Tristero is a symbol.
We , as readers, are becoming detectives.
WHAT ABOUT THE TITLE? -Spanish : La subasta del lote 49 What is supposed to be in Lot 49? Something that would give the final clue. But there is an open ending. We don’t know what happen.
You expect an answer ( In this case the book does not fulfill the contract) Oedipa is not an usual name. It might have been chosen because of Oedipus = Oracle. (Someone who wants to know but she / he better doesn’t).
Different clues – W.A.S.T.E (Over reading) .She interprets clues that are not even clues.
HOW MANY TWISTS WE CAN FIND IN THE BOOK? 1. Toth – Egyptian God of wisdom. We assume he would tell something interesting but he doesn’t 2. Dr.Hylarius – He is insane. He is paranoiac .He should organize your mind but he was the craziest one. He is psychologist.
WHERE WE CAN FIND PARANOIA? 1. Seeing things that do not exist.
2. Seeing things and interpret them in a wrong way ( Over interpretation) Oedipa is paranoiac all over the book.
Mike Fallopian – Red scare ( paranoiac ) Oedipa’s husband Mucho Maas Over interpret signs and meanings.
Readers can become paranoiac too .
Suspense – When you are watching a video and someone is doing something because they don’t know what would happen. Reader knows but characters don’t know what would happen .
What we, as readers, think is that we have to make sense of the entire symbols we encounter in the book / film.
Oedipa is moving around (travelling). She encounters people and clues.
She has to go out , meet people she has never met , go to the places she has never been .
WHY DID SHE GO TO A TRIP? 1. To solve the mystery 2. To discover new things and people, even herself.
MARÍA MORENO FICCIÓN CONTEMPORÁNEA DE LOS EE.UU One thing she sees that she has never seen is the sadness and needs of people who were not from her social status.
Strip Botticelli – Layer (Clothes mean meaning).
Maxwell demon –Nefastis machine: It applies to the readers as regards we organize information because we are overwhelmed of it. (Things that we think are relevant to our discovery and things that we think are not relevant for out discovery) SIGNAL Noise –Things that are no essential to communication and they have to be blocked.
People sending letters to no one and with unknown content. Broken system.
KEEP IT BOUNCING – Keep it going ( Connect to Maxwell demon ).
‘Differance’ – Differ on meaning and interpretation.
Once you have read the book, the book is dead; Pynchon tries to keep the book bouncing.
MAXWELL’S DEMON: An imaginary creature that controls a small hole in a partition that divides a chamber filled with gas into two parts and allows fast molecules to move in one direction and slow molecules to move in the other direction through the hole. This would result in one part of the container becoming warmer and the other cooler, thus decreasing entropy and violating the second law of thermodynamics.
The novel shows the reader the group he/she ignored.
1962: The other American poverty in the US (Michael Harrington).
‘ War on poverty program’- Kennedy , Lyndon B. Jonson .
1963: The Feminine Mystique. Betty Friedan. Housewife was the other.
Oedipa Sophocles Freud (Investigations about unconsciousness) Oedipa tries to solve a mystery that is trystero.
What is trystero? 1st possibility – Real conspiracy. Real underground mail system 2nd possibility – Hallucination of a conspiracy. Hallucination of something real.
3rd possibility –Hoax planned by Pierce to make her think 4th possibility – Fantasy of a hoax by Pierce Pierce might have created a plot to keep bouncing (defeat death).
DIRECTOR’S NAME Dribblet (Keep it bouncing) There are readerly / writerly texts.
Rousseauean readers / Nietschean reader.
Rousseau stands for reason. Key philosopher of Romanticism (according to Tom).
MARÍA MORENO FICCIÓN CONTEMPORÁNEA DE LOS EE.UU Nostalgia.
For Rousseauean readers there is a center.
For Nietzschean readers there is NO center.
Rousseauean readers are sad readers whereas Nietzschean readers are happy readers.
‘‘WE WANT YOU’’ – Dr. Hillarious says. He wants Oedipa to be one of us. ‘Us’ is the other Americans.
Pynchon calls the attention to the other Americans. Readers are forced to think about ‘the others’.
Woman escaping from the exile.
Oedipa meets the abject. An abject is somebody or something you don’t want to touch, Nasty.
At the end, she recognizes and tries to help ‘the others’ of the society.
Death is the loss of information.
‘‘WAVES AND RADIATION’’ ( FROM WHITE NOISE ) Don Delillo ABOUT THE WRITER -Postmodern experimentation to talk about contemporary issues.
Another works: Libra (1988)-Conspiracy paranoia Mao II (1991)-‘The cult of personality’. Political leaders with strong personality who people admired.
Underworld (1997)-American Society from 1950 Falling man (2007)-11 September Point omega (2010)-Weird book with interesting philosophical things The angel Esmeralda (2011) He is one of the most important literary writers still alive.
He has conservative ideas of literature.
WHITE NOISE Genre: ‘Academic novel’. ‘Campus novel ’ American Society: Intellectuals Consumerism University professor whose specialty is ‘Hitler studies’.
The other professor wants to create ‘Elvis studies’ MARÍA MORENO FICCIÓN CONTEMPORÁNEA DE LOS EE.UU WHAT’S THE FAMILY LIKE? -Car: Station wagon. Car expresses social class. (They are middle class) BEGIN CHAPTER 10 ‘‘Tuition at the College on the Hill is fourteen thousand dollars. Sunday brunch included ’’ (P.21) -Student’s tuition is 14.000 dollars. Students have money. They behave as they have money.
Students have unnecessary things .They behave as their social class. The protagonist’s family does not behave as the others mentioned above, but they also buy things.
In the book, buying is the solution of someone’s problems.
TV is always present. People are obsessed with it.
TV: -Always on ( though people sometimes ignore it) -Friday night ( the family watch it together). Night –de –glamour -Movies TV associated to popular culture. TV is an easy entertainment. That’s why students want TV to watch movies.
CHAPTER 11 .
Students are ashamed of heir TV past; they want to talk about movies.
What students consider ‘cool’ are films.
In the same chapter, there is one boy who goes up without TV.
FINAL SCENE. CHAPTER 20 - All the family is on the house but Babette Babette is on TV. They think that she is on TV because she is dead, but she is being filmed because of her job. They get extremely excited because she is on TV though she is just there; she is not the protagonist of the program.
- There is a crash-landing and media does not appear If it is not media on TV, it’s like if it had happened nothing Media keeps authority to our experiences.
Students want to watch death and disasters on Friday night.
WHY DO THEY LIKE TO WATCH DISASTERS? p.66 -Gladys is talking to other professors and asks why they are so excited about watching disasters They answer that if it is on TV, it is interesting.
Comparison between disasters and buying MARÍA MORENO FICCIÓN CONTEMPORÁNEA DE LOS EE.UU WHAT’S THE PROBLEM WITH DISASTERS? We like watching disasters but we don’t like to live them. There is a fascination when we are far from them. Idea of preparedness. We look at the disasters on TV and there we feel safe.
We feel comforted seeing natural disasters.
-The 1st thing we think is ‘poor people’ -The 2nd thing we think is ‘at least I’m not there’ / ‘people I know are not there’ Death is seen from distance P.90 ‘‘The plane had lost power in all three engines, dropped from thirty four thousand feet to twelve thousand feet. Something like four miles. When the steep glide began, people rose, collided, swam in their seats. Then the serious screaming and moaning began. Almost immediately a voice from the flight deck was heard on the intercom: ‘We’re falling out of the sky! We’re going down! We’re a silver gleaming death machine!’’ -They are flying and the people who are supposed to be prepared and don’ panic (pilot, flight attendants), panic when the accident happens.
Chapter 15. Page. 70 -A guy is talking about Elvis and Hitler’s mothers.
-Anecdotal information. There’s no link between Hitler and Elvis because of their mothers.
Gladney – Identity as a professor.
-He has authority -He has to look professional (Certain look associated to professors). Look like you have authority.
He always has a gun. Having a gun is part of ‘looking like’ professors. Being fatter is another part of the look.
-He has constructed his identity in order to be successful.
What things would you consider to be part of your identity? -Name He changes it. Jack Gladney –J.A.K Gladney?? -External Signs (Clothes) - Marie is the only one who buys white packaging and she is to some extent weird.
DEATH IS NOT IMPORTANT IN THE NOVEL BUT THEY ARE OBSESSED WITH IT.
‘‘Here we don’t die’’- Buying things prevents us to think about death Supermarket is described as clean … a good place to buy.
CONSUMERISM- Being consumerist and buying things define your identity. There is a celebration of consumerism in the text. Jack has a bad day and he buys without limit, as a way of feeling completed. He feels useful and complete.
MARÍA MORENO FICCIÓN CONTEMPORÁNEA DE LOS EE.UU End chapter 10. PAGE 47: When he walks to the bank. If your identity is defined by how many money you have, there is a problem. Money defines you.
Chapter 11. Society of kids. 18, 19, 20 years old students start to lose importance. They are not the target of advertisement. Lose of group identity. The kind of group identity is consumerists, the way we buy things. CONSUMERISM=IDENTITY Attitude of people about death- Jack and Babette are obsessed with death. Children are a guaranty of life . If you have children, you don’t die. Shopping also comforts us about death.
SIGNS- Signaled. There’s not correspondence between signs and what they signal.
End chapter 2: Smoke alarm.
Chapter 16: Baby crying for hours. They don’t know what happens with the baby. When babies cry, we don’t know why he is crying. (You can think that baby is ill and could die). The baby stops crying. Sometimes signs don’t signal what they think.
FAMILY: They take care of each other. Teach you how to understand certain things, how to behave… In the book, we are told that family is the origin of misinformation. A role that family should not play. Family is not working as a unit. It is dysfunctional but is not as in The Bluest Eye because parents love each other.
MOST PHOTOGRAPHED BAN IN AMERICA – They take photos because it is the most photographed ban in America, not because of anything special.
Kurt Vonnegut It is not an autobiography; it is a type of science fiction book.
Autobiography ≠ Biographical facts of the author’s life.
He went to war He suffered Dresden bombing He was rescued by Germans He went back home OTHER VONNEGUT’S WORKS Player Piano (1952) - Technology destroying society Breakfast of Champions (1973) Sirens of Titan (1959) Cat’s Cradle (1963) HE IS A FUNNY WRITER. GOOD USE OF SATIRE.
What is the book about? -War/Experiences -Death vs life MARÍA MORENO -War trauma FICCIÓN CONTEMPORÁNEA DE LOS EE.UU -Aftermath (Consecuencia) It is an optimistic book (book about going on living) Science (Aliens/Abduction) Not science fiction (Bombing of Dresden /War / Specific moments in the war/ WWII in this book is working as an equivalent to Vietnam.
Billy jumps from science fiction to reality.
There is a combination of different genres.
Author ≠ Narrator. We have a narrator and we have a character that is Vonnegut. Metafiction, the author puts him in fiction but not as a narrator.
If we think about Billy’s life, there are traumatic moments on it. For instance, we can focus in the following quotation: ‘‘Little Billy was terrified, because his father had said Billy was going to learn to swim by the method of sink-or-swim.’’ This moment was really traumatic for him.
Another important thing that happens in Billy’s life is when he was sent to war very young. The next traumatic event is when his war partner dies.
When the bombing happens in Dresden, they are safer than the soldiers.
At the end of the war, he comes home and gets married. And then, there is a plane accident in which he is the only who survives.
The boy near to her bed in hospital is the one who introduces him to science fiction. Those science fiction books that the boys reads are about aliens, so this fact is what introduces Billy to the Tralfamadorian world. ‘‘It was Rosewater who introduced Billy to science fiction, and in particular to the writings of Kilgore Trout’’. (Maniacs in the 4 th dimension) .
His wife and his mother died so another traumatic event.
Then, he becomes a little bit famous with his tralfamadorians stories.
At the end of the book: We realize that Billy suffers some posttraumatic disorder.
About Tralfamadorian philosophy: -War is not the way to solve things.
-There is no organized religion.
-Life is an eternal extension of the present.
-They have a 4th dimension for time.
-They believe things cannot be changed because everything is written down. You cannot do anything to change it .
Death ‘so it goes’ You do not need to be sad about death because this death is a change. That person is alive so you will see him/her again.
MARÍA MORENO FICCIÓN CONTEMPORÁNEA DE LOS EE.UU Why does Billy create this fantasy? -He feels comfortable. He likes this philosophy due to his experiences with war and death. He has seen so many deaths. The Tralfamadorian philosophy gets Billy mentally well. He needs a new exit (change) in life to continue living. Tralfamadorian beliefs give him comfort.
Billy Pilgrim Billy" is a common name, one of the most common male names in the English language. By naming his protagonist Billy, Vonnegut is identifying him as an everyman, a character with whom readers can identify. He is the time-travelling pilgrim, seeking truth and peace, like so many pilgrims who have come before him. It is a spiritual and intellectual journey he is on throughout the novel, coming to a sad truth of helplessness in the end.
Poo-tee-weet is onomatopoeia. Vonnegut's purpose with this phrase is directly outlined in Chapter One. As a way of continuing his return into the book's forefront, Vonnegut ended the book just how he said he would at the beginning. Nothing to say about the horrific bombing themselves, the survivors can only remain silent, but birds are never silenced. To birds, the firebombing was just another event in their lives, so they should just go on tweeting like they knew it would happen anyway.
‘‘NIGHT-SEA JOURNEY ’’ John Barth It is at the same time collections of short stories and no collections of short stories.
‘‘Lost in the fun house’’ contained the collection of short stories that were different from each other but with the same protagonist.
Some critics said about John Barth that that his works were as pyrotechnics: Flashy and entertainment but not much substance. The real thing is that under John’s ‘‘Night-Sea Journey’’, there is a philosophical view of life. ‘‘Night-Sea Journey’’ is a funny story but also philosophical and about love.
WHAT ABOUT THE TITLE? In a night-sea journey you don’t see very much.
Connotation of danger and obscurity . This journey in real life is dangerous and anybody tries not to go with it.
Night-Sea = An archetypical motif in mythology, psychologically associated with depression and the loss of energy.
Carl Jung – Psychoanalyst, Freud’s disciple. He is related to myths. As Jung describes, Nigh-Sea Journey is a hero descending to hell. Archetypes.
-Idea of a hero who goes on a dangerous journey and then (mostly men) he becomes a hero (Beowulf) -We like this type of literature because we feel identified; we can fight against circumstances and become heroes.
WHAT DO WE EXPECT? The story of a hero MARÍA MORENO FICCIÓN CONTEMPORÁNEA DE LOS EE.UU WHAT IS IN THE REAL CONTENT? This kind of self-representational narration is one of the prevailing characteristics of metafiction.
They are sperm. (Heroes are swimmers). The narrator is sperm. Even nowadays, we refer to sperm as ‘little soldiers’. Heroes. Very philosophical text. Answers to almost all philosophical questions .Why are we there? Speaks about Love and in less quantity sex .
Philosophical ideas about the meaning of life.
Second paragraph. 1st page: ‘‘Do I myself exist, or is this a dream? Sometimes I wonder. And If I am, who am I? ’’ Descartes, ‘‘I think therefore I exist ’’.
Third paragraph : ‘‘ I have supposed that we have after all come a common Maker, whose nature and motives we may not know, but who engendered us in some mysterious wise and launched us forth toward some end known but to Him.’’Creator and Maker are important to understand our existence. God as an open answer.
The maker of the narrator is a man.
Page 4: ‘‘Victims of their unremitting joie de nager .I have seen the best swimmers of my generation go under .Numberless the number of the dead! ’’ Joy of swimming / Joie of vivre-Joy of living (Optimistic view, enjoying life).
Page 4: ‘‘That our night-sea journey is without meaning ’’ Reason why we are alive (?) Page 4: ‘‘Transmitting the Heritage (whose Heritage, I’d like to know? And to whom?)is worth the staggering cost ’’ . Teleological idea; Teleology is a reason or explanation for something in function of its end, purpose, or goal. End to life. Transmit Heritage.
Page 4 and 5: Arguments from function and design don’t impress me: granted that we can and do swim, than in a manner of speaking our long tails and streamlined heads are ‘meant for swimming ’’. Design. Intelligent design. We are made for swimming. Intelligent design. Creator. Evolution is wrong. Idea that we are so well designed that this cannot be chance. Evolution vs. intelligent design.
Page 5: ‘‘Which is to say , Someone Else’s destiny ,since ours , so far as I can see is merely to perish , one way or another , soon or late .’’ What’s the meaning of life? Born to die. Pessimistic way of thinking.
Idea that God moves in mysterious ways. God may have a plan but we are humans and limited and we cannot understand it.
‘‘Night-Sea Journey’’ contains philosophical ideas about the existence of life.
Page 4: ‘‘Love, Love! We sang them a quarter-billion strong, and churned the warm sea white with joy of swimming! ’’ Word Love appears for the first time. Love in capital letters. Love as the meaning and origin of live.
Page 5: " 'Ours not to stop and think; ours but to swim and sink....' Because a moment's thought reveals the pointlessness of swimming. 'No matter,' I've heard some say, even as they gulped their last: 'The night-sea journey may be absurd, but here we swim, will-we nill-we, against the flood, onward and upward, toward a Shore that may not exist and couldn't be reached if it did.' Ours not to stop and think; ours but to swim and sink is a reference of another poem from Alfred, Lord Tennyson called on ‘‘The Charge of the large Brigade’’. The poem says ‘‘theirs but to do and die ’’.
MARÍA MORENO FICCIÓN CONTEMPORÁNEA DE LOS EE.UU Moreover, it is a parable about human and religion told from the point of view of sperm who questions the purpose of swimming, particularly when its ultimate goal, the Shore (Heaven), may not even exist.
Page 6: "A poor irony: that I, who find abhorrent and tautological the doctrine of survival of the fittest (fitness meaning, in my experience, nothing more than survival-ability, a talent whose only demonstration is the fact of survival, but whose chief ingredients seem to be strength, guile, callousness)’’. Neither Charles Darwin nor Friedrich Nietzsche is mentioned by name, but both come to mind in the swimmer’s accounts of the Superman’s philosophy and the creed of the survival of the fittest. IDEA OF SUPERMAN. SOMEONE SUPERIOR .Darwin didn’t accept the superiority of certain species but the capacity they have to survive.
Page 6: ‘‘‘You only swim once.' Why bother, then’’I want to live at the fullest because I only have one life. You only swim once reminds us of you only live once.
Page 7: ‘‘A favorite theory of his was that the Father does exist, and did indeed make us and the sea we swim- but not a purpose or even consciously; He made us, as it were, despite Himself, as we make waves with every tail-thrash, and may be unaware of our existence’’Religious theme.
God is described as not caring so much about his creation. If we take father as the ‘creator’, He creates and he does not care anymore. Man ejaculates not to create life but to have fun.
Page 7: ‘‘He created and launched us forth, and which we flagellate ourselves to fathom, was perhaps immoral, even obscene’’ Immoral thing: Sex. An interesting thing about the text is that sex does not appear in the text; LOVE ≠SEX.
Page 8: ‘‘Why need believers hold that all the drowned rise to be judged at journey's end, and non-believers that drowning is final without exception?’’ Reference to final judgment. Religious theme again. At the end, people are judged.
Page 8: ‘‘"I could go on (he surely did) with his elaboration of these mad notions- such as that swimmers in other night-seas needn't be of our kind; that Makers themselves might belong to different species, so to speak; that our particular Maker mightn't Himself be immortal, or that we might be not only His emissaries but His 'immortality,' continuing His life and our own, transmogrified, beyond our individual deaths’’. Different sperms have different personalities.
Page 8: ‘‘Continuing His life and our own, transmogrified, beyond our individual deaths’’ Who is continuing his life? Sperm continues his life with certain modifications. Immortality is acquired by the creator. People have kids to continue the family and not end. Creator immortalizes himself by creating a new life.
Page 10: ‘‘I've begun to believe, not only that She exists, but that She lies not far ahead, and stills the sea, and draws me Herward!’’ // ‘‘[…] that one of us will survive the night-sea journey and reach...Her! Her, he called it, or She, which is to say, Other-than-a-he’’They have not seen her.
‘Her’ is something that only one of them is going to be able to see.
Page 11: ‘‘The 'purpose' of the night-sea journey- but not necessarily of the journeyer or of either Maker! -my friend could describe only in abstractions: consummation, transfiguration, union of contraries, transcension of categories.’’ Someone talks in abstraction. Italics to deeper meanings. Abstract world =Things we don’t understand.
-Baby is the result of the sperm. HE/SHE would not remember what we have philosophically said and thought. Sperm memory would not pass to another generation).
MARÍA MORENO FICCIÓN CONTEMPORÁNEA DE LOS EE.UU Page 11: ‘‘This being the case- he was persuaded it was- the merciful thing to do was refuse to participate; the genuine heroes, in his opinion, were the suicides, and the hero of heroes would be the swimmer who, in the very presence of the Other, refused Her proffered 'immortality' and thus put an end to at least one cycle of catastrophes’’ Refuse to immortality (hero sperm).Not want to have children (?).
Page 12: ‘‘You who I may be about to become, whatever You are: with the last twitch of my real self I beg You to listen. It is not love that sustains me!’’You, it is not common that the narrator addresses to the reader, in this specific quote he is. You address to the reader to as we are part of the story.
HERITAGE History, cultural tradition, cultural heritage. Genetics helps us to understand why we have certain characteristics. Heritage is genetic information. Surname, physical appearance, ideas, morals.
Last word in text: Love. It is not only about love but it has great references to it in the text. We have mention for love but not sex.
Important that Love is with capital L. Sex is the beginning of life. Shore ( with capital S) is he beginning of something new.
-Idea that the story reminds us: Freud’s idea that there are two impulses that move us: Death (Thanatos) and Sex (Eros).
*To give examples, the lament that “I have seen the best swimmers of my generation go under” is a clear allusion to Allen Ginsberg’s sensational Beat manifesto, the poem “Howl.” ‘‘I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked…’’.
CITY OF GLASS Paul Auster -Noir fiction (Very American). Private Eye.
-The American character of the novels turns into private eye (?) -An example of typical American private eye is Humphrey Bogart.
-There is also an idea of femme fatale.
-Noir means that a detective is investigating a crime. Maybe the client does not want to be involved with police. Detective knows a lot of people and thinks outside the law. Private eye’s antagonists may be police.
CRIME Good ---------------------- Bad Police ----Private Eye-----criminals. (Private eye has his own ethical code) NOVEL ITSELF Detective =Quinn Femme fatale =Virginia Stillman (?) We don’t have a crime and we don’t have a criminal NOVELS MENTIONED IN THE NOVEL -Don Quixote -Alice in Wonderland through the looking glass -Paradise Lost -Poe’s William Wilson (Doppelganger) LANGUAGE Language part of humanity. Genie (Grown with no language). Peter Stillman =Genie References to Babel Thousand of languages. People condemned to not understanding each other.
MARÍA MORENO FICCIÓN CONTEMPORÁNEA DE LOS EE.UU Stillman’s father is obsessed with the existence of original language.
Private detective (Quinn) might over read things.( As understanding as letters the walk Stillman father takes) .
PARANOIA: Detective Signs that are not relevant, Reader Looking for clues everywhere in the story. Think that you have solved the mystery but so far to solve it) -Paranoia is often present in detective stories.
-Examples of paranoia in the text When Quinn follows Stillman father.
-In detective stories, reader becomes detective.
-Outsmarted in certain time you think you know what is happening. Smarter than narrator (?) -In pages 66 & 67& 68& 69 we encounter the map where he draws the route and letters appear.
-Quinn imposes meaning to Stillman’s walks (Paranoia). They may be really there or they may be created by Quinn’s mind.
-DOPPELGANGER – It means double. (As in Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde) -‘‘William Wilson’’ is mentioned in the text.
-Paul Auster creates new names. Constant reference to doubles.
-Stillman Jr & Stillman Sr Doppelganger -Paul Auster (inside the novel) (writer and character) would be the double of Quinn: Writers, same number of family, Daniel is the name of their son. ‘‘Auster saw the yoyo in his hand and said, “I see you’ve already met. Daniel,” he said to the boy, “this is Daniel.” And then to Quinn, with that same ironic smile, “Daniel, this is Daniel.” The boy burst out laughing and said, “Everybody’s Daniel!” “That’s right,” said Quinn. “I’m you, and you’re me.’’ -Paul Auster (author) very often makes his protagonists be like him. He describes himself into his characters. WHY? It is what you know the most but Paul Auster would do it to play with you.
WHAT DOES IT SAY ABOUT FICTION? Alice in Wonderland about identity.
Don Quixote with the idea of Chinese boxes (One inside the other) ?? Game of who is the narrator. Sancho Panza did D.Quixote change their roles. (Don Quixote wanted to stop and Sancho Panza didn’t at the end of the novel) At the end, Quixote ends sad and so does Paul Auster.
WHAT IS IN THE TITLE? -City = New York (the city) associated with urban. People always moving around...
-Noir genre associated to the city in which it is an urban city (crime in the city …) -In a town, there is like a big secret. Everybody knows it but it is a community. It is easier in a city to solve something because of the sense of anonymity.
-Glass = ‘City made of glass’. You can see everything. In the text, everything is opaque. Glass as a mirror (double). Glass = Fragile, weak… Fragility of characters.
‘‘THE BRIEF WONDROUS LIFE OF OSCAR WAO’’.
Junot Diaz -References to genre fiction (Harry Potter (fantasy), Detective fiction, historical fiction, sciencefiction, Western. Chick Lit is pretty formulaic (chick lit is a genre inside romantic novel).
WHY DO WE LIKE A BOOK WHEN IT FOLLOWS A FORMULA? Identification, best seller as Da Vinci code Cliffhanger A suspenseful situation occurring at the end of a chapter, scene, or episode.
This gives the audience a desire to read more and more. Serialized like Game of Thrones.
MARÍA MORENO FICCIÓN CONTEMPORÁNEA DE LOS EE.UU Junot Diaz is the author of this novel.
WHAT ABOUT THE TITLE? -The title is like a summary of what is going to happen -‘‘The short happy life of Francis Macomber ’’. CONEXION WITH ‘‘The Brief Wondrous life of Oscar Wao’’. The first novel is about a coward man that ends as a hero. (Macomber kills the buffalo at the last second. At the same time, Margot fires a shot from the car, which instead hits Macomber in the skull and kills him).
-The short story is about a man who is a nerd. When he was going to get killed, he does not cry… heroic act before his death.
END OF THE STORY -Last sentence ‘‘the beauty, the beauty....’’. Remind us of Heart of Darkness ‘‘the horror, the horror’’ that Marlowe says before he dies. Marlowe reveals something but we don’t know what.
-The beauty, the beauty means that his life has been beautiful at the end. He has found beauty in his life (Moments of intimacy, from not having a life to have a beautiful life).
ABOUT THE STORY - Magical realism (not fantasy genre), magical and supernatural things inside reality. Those elements are present in the novel but not in the short story.
In the book, there are references of genre –fiction (Lord of the Rings, Fantastic four, Star Trek, Star Wars… WHY ARE OSCAR AND JUNOT USING THESE REFERENCES? -This is their life and those are the things they like. Readings that a very specific kind of person would read (maybe nerds). Oscar Wao is a nerd. He has problems socializing; these novels and films are their refuges.
-Oscar is a very young boy who likes to dance very sexy dances. (Dominicans) -He starts to grow up and be an ugly person. Expectation with his ethnic background is not followed. He has to be a Dominican man (dance, not feeling, not cry, look good…). ‘‘Look at the mariconcito, somebody snickered. Somebody else kicked his beloved lunchbox.’’ This is said because he is crying.
IDENTITIES WE FIND -Dominicans living in the US You are an immigrant. Your life can change radically. (New life, new friends…). The identity of the island where they come back again, everything is weird; you are like an outsider in your own country. Wao’s identity at the end of the text is being a hero. He dies doing something he had not done before.
-We encounter three types of identities: Immigrant, outsider, hero.
-Wao is always thinking and reading about heroes.
EXAMPLES OF RACISM IN THE TEXT.
‘‘You were thirteen and your mother let you date some old-ass nigger?’’ REFERENCES OF RACISM OF DOMINICANS TOWARDS HAITI MARÍA MORENO FICCIÓN CONTEMPORÁNEA DE LOS EE.UU ‘‘Every year, the family spent the better part of June, July, and August in Santo Domingo; Oscar hadn’t accompanied them since Abuela had screamed out Haitians! Once and died.’’ ‘‘[…] after he’d seen his first Haitians kicked off a guagua because niggers claimed they “smelled,”[…]’’.
‘‘(Of course things like this don’t happen in Santo Domingo no more. We have enlightened, uncorrupt politicians and a kind benevolent President and a people who are clearheaded and loving. The country is kind, no Haitian or dark-skinned person is hated, the élites fuck nobody, and the police measure their probity by the mile.)’’.
Spanglish ‘‘gua-gua’’, ‘‘mariconcito’’ … They still retain some words. Makes the reader realize that they are people who use two languages.
‘‘He used a lot of huge-sounding nerd words like “indefatigable” and “ubiquitous” when talking to niggers who would barely graduate from high school.’’ Oscar Wao speaks huge-sounding words. Are these words associated with nerds? In his content, using these words indicate that you are a nerd. They are not used in a common conversation but as he does not socialize, he does not know it.
-Friend-Zone: Feeling from someone but this someone only wants to be your friend. (Close friend).
This happens to Oscar very often. At the end, he gets what he wanted. Have sex with Ivonne. But he did not only want to have sex with her but he is amazed with details and intimacy, not necessarily connected to sex).
‘‘I know what niggers are going to say. Look, he’s writing Suburban Tropical now.’’As a literary genre, some kind of genre where you go to the Caribbean... Moreover , there is an awareness of how you , as readers , read the book. Awareness that you read the book.
‘‘“What if?”—this ain’t about stupid speculation, and time, as they say, is growing short.’’ Time is growing short. Narrator tells that it could have been a different genre. There is a time limit because Wao is going to die. Narrator is aware that he is writing.
WHAT IS THE NARRATOR’S PROFESSION? - He is a professor and a writer. Aware of the idea of being responsible to create a story.
We know he is a professor because of references of terms related to his job, such as ‘‘A.M.M.L.A panels’’.
END OF THE STORY ‘‘This is your chance. If yes, continue. If no, return to the Matrix.’’ Choice of the reader. Narrator reminds us that we are part of the process.
MAUS Art Spiegelman -Graphic novels and comics now are seen better than in the past. However, some people nowadays think that they are not serious.
MARÍA MORENO FICCIÓN CONTEMPORÁNEA DE LOS EE.UU -Thanks to Maus, this notion of ‘non serious graphic novels’ has changed. Maus deals with a serious theme. First graphic novel with serious themes.
-The only difference between graphic novel and comic is that comic books are serialized stories; most are relatively short, and tell the story of the book’s heroes and heroines over a long period of time. Graphic novels are longer works that tell a single story from the beginning to the end.
-There are people who think that comics deal with funny topic only but the real thing is that there are serious things in Batman, Superman … WHY WOULD ANYONE CHOOSE TO WRITE ABOUT THE HOLOCAUST WITH A GRAPHIC NOVEL? -To make it more available to the public -Because he is a graphic novel writer.
-To create distance (mice). Defamiliarization. Not being told the holocaust in a common way. Not evil people doing evil things but common people doing their job.
-Engage the reader but not giving difficult instances to read. Not creating an emotion that forces us to give up the reading.
-Difficult moments are defamiliarized and we continue reading because it does not wake up so strong feelings.
NOVELS AND BOOKS WITH ANIMALS -Animals looking as humans to talk about people.
MICE= JEWS / CATS= GERMANS /PIGS=POLISH / DOG=AMERICANS.
Cats catch mice and mice are caught by dogs.
COMBINING WORDS AND IMAGES OFFER US SOME POSSIBILITIES SUCH AS: -Not having to describe so much -Use irony. Words saying one thing and illustrations saying other -Sequential arts = Graphic novel WHAT ARE THE SERIOUS THINGS? -Suicide of mother -How people were not at their best. They were focused on surviving -Neurotic narrator. Always over thinking things.
-Relation with his father (not getting along with him) -Father often making him feel guilty. (As his brother died, his father has idealized him and always compares him with his brother).
-Brother dies (survivor guilt).
-Traumatic experiences (PTSD) MARÍA MORENO FICCIÓN CONTEMPORÁNEA DE LOS EE.UU PTSD: Mental illness that can develop after a person is exposed to one or more traumatic events (War).
Traumatic experiences War and the traumatic historical experiences by excellence: Holocaust).
Holocaust is a traumatic experience for groups but also for individuals (what people were being done and what people were doing for themselves (in order to survive)).Suicides, murder... People who experienced these things, sometimes they want to talk but often they do not want. For instance, Vladek, even people who want to talk about it, at some point they have to stop.
Limitation of the genre: They can deal with things that are really serious.
‘‘So it is ’’ Vonnegut ‘Slaughterhouse five’’. It is the way it is.
‘‘Stock’’ characterVladek. Stereotypical Jew. Obsessed with money. ‘Miser’ (avaro). The way he is is influenced by the life we has lived .This is the reason why he behaves in that way.
Processes Every narrative text is a process of telling. The process told here is Vladek’s life (one story line), interviews. Why do we tell stories? In order to other people know what we’re telling.
He interviews his father because he wants to know how to write a graphic novel but he also gets other information. (He interviews his father and he understands his father’s life). He didn’t know much about his father before the interview. So, in the way he writes a biography (father) but also an autobiography (Art writing about Art).
Metafiction We are reminded that he is taking notes for the novel.
We also realize that he uses animals to refer to people, especially in the graphic where they are wearing masks.
Limitations of the genre Why should not a graphic novel tell about the holocaust? Because you might make it trivial (not important).
We also find metafiction at the end, when he is driving and thinking about graphic novel and holocaust.
Speaking about a type of bomb (?). There are different versions of what happened to him. He does not know what the reality is. Reminds us about how to tell a true war story.
Something about a fly or a mosquito Trigger. Remind of the gas showers. Art is fumigating a fly or a mosquito and Vladek thinks about gas showers. This image reminds us about Slaughterhouse –five, in which some things and events remind the character of the traumatic things he had suffered.