Saturday, December 12, 2009
I don't know when I'll get tired of cheesy rhyming and alliterative titles. Given the uninspired, smug disgustingness of some current titles in academia, I hope never!
I haven't been on here a bloggin' in a long while. I graduate next week, and damn if that kinda thing doesn't take up a lot of time.
Speaking of titles, here's some things I'm working on, some of which I'll merrily post here when the craziness is finally over:
"The Resurrection of the Author: Writer, Reader, and Biography in The Hours"
Now that's an ambitious title! Hopefully I can do it a shred of justice. I'm still torn between fawning over and railing at Kristeva, hence the first title-chunk. The second title-chunk explains. Notice I didn't say "Michael Cunningham's The Hours," because "The Hours" encompasses both his work and Woolf's Mrs. Dalloway (it was her working title). Ha! The paper's about both, of course. I'm writing about how Cunningham is dancing pretty close to the edge (well, sometimes plunging right in) when it comes to authorial intent, reader's interpretations, and pulling biography into the "conversation." These things Kristeva would mostly poo-poo, even though pairs of works like these have a lot of generic (rather than brand-name Kristevan) intertextuality to talk about.
On a much siller note, here is a direct-to-blog release I've been working on intermittently:
"Gidget and the Gypsy Learn Voodoo" or something like that. It's a little postcolonial analysis of an episode of Gidget I caught on one of those classic TV channels while I was trying to write a paper. (Sometimes the background noise helps.) A gypsy steals her surfboard and all kinds of hoodoo about Voodoo (what's Voodoo got to do with gypsies?) comes up, along with "superstition" bashing, gypsy orientalizing, and Gidget's usual Malibu hijinks. I couldn't help myself. The funny part is the title of the episode is "Like Voodoo." I don't know if this means, in sixties language, "It's, like, Voodoo man!" or if the writers wrote it that way because they knew deep down that gypsies are not Vodouisants. There is so much more to say about this thing... I might finish it up tonight.
Next, heres a paper I haven't titled yet because I don't even know where to start with it:
My final paper for my final english class of my final semester (whew!) is a reflection paper. An extremely long reflection paper, but a reflection paper nonetheless. We are to state our theoretical position (!) -- or at least our theoretical leanings anyway -- and discuss what led us down our particular theory paths. Now I know when I get to grad school there may or may not be students who claim "I am a Marxist! or "I am a Narratologist!" or whatever have you, (I hope first that they wouldn't jump to such a conclusion so early in their studies, and second, that they wouldn't ever come to such a hard and fast conclusion!) So while this won't turn out to be a critical writing sample, it will definitely be a good way to work on a paper from which I can extract a good statement of academic purpose.
Finally, in philosophy land (since I'm also in the last class to complete my philosophy minor):
I'm glad to be working on a paper that combines literature and philosophy -- I'm writing on Kafka's The Trial and "the incomprehensible" in Existentialist literature. Quite a way to go on this one. It'll be a tough week. I'm hoping time become a little uncompressed in grad school, at least as far as paper-writing goes. Two-week papers don't seem like the thing to do there.
I just got home from an excellent little party at the cozy house of my senior seminar professor. It was kind of funny because he used it as a practice party for all of us, sort of an etiquette lesson for future professorial dinner parties. Some of the students who sometimes annoy me in a classroom setting ended up being great at a party, and some of the smarter students were actually very quiet. I dropped some good one-liners. It was nice to see everyone in a new context, and I hope next fall I can begin a new chapter where social interaction with like-minded English nerds who tell literary jokes is not just an end-of-year treat, but a regular ongoing sort of thing.
Now to the papers.