Thursday, October 19, 2006

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Thursday, October 12, 2006

Week One: Opposite of Rotten

This week 's reading was How to mark a book by Mortimer Alder. A short piece about using a book to it's full potential, marking pages or writing notes in the margin, something Alder's piece wasn't worth doing but if you haven't ever seen that in a book you haven't read enough books either that or you read only textbooks. Finding an underlined part in an old book is like walking the same path someone has has been down but you're attention is drawn to the same scenery as they were.This may not agree to any of you anti-mainstreamers that don't want to see the same thing as everyone else but when you read something that someone else read or saw fifty years before you it may mean something completely different when you read it.
When my Grandmother passed away in January, I inherited her copy of Jack London's Call of Wild. She had every line underlined and noted. The strange thing about it was that I had bought the book used about a month before her death and lent it to my Dad. It's those little serendipities that make life the opposite of rotten and get me on a long tangent like this. I can relate to Alder's piece, that story was brought to mind from it, although I can't underline the Mercury Reader in fear of the marks ruining its resale value.
Exporations: Soul Food Cafe
This is a captivating site made from the same style of template as our blogs. I hope that we learn to create our blogs into one like this. There were some helpful exercises and facilities to connect with blog teams.
Two Classmate Blogs: guppy1950: Thanks for the blueprint, I was concerned with how to lay my page out but you inspired me to copy. Good luck finding your topic!
keeks5: LiveJournal looks so bland but your comments are easily understood. Your observations about these stories and how 9/11 affected you give me the impression that you are a compassionate person.

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Sunday, October 01, 2006

Week Three: Loving My Enemy

This week's reading, On Keeping a Notebook by Joan Didion, was fair. I don't want to be overly negative or critical but this piece was arbitrary blabber about characters that the author notes and actions or sayings that she wants to remember. The meaning of this piece is evident especially after the Alder piece, How to Mark A Book, that had the same semi-instructional from with insights into writing or reading in the Alder piece. It may be that I am jaded after my summer readings but to have to read these pieces, with so little insight or depth, is almost punishing. Ingmar Bergman wrote in the intro to one of his screenplay that what you are about to read are abitrary and to read on if you want but there is no real purpose or meaning to his work. Why couldn't there be a disclaimer before pieces of fluff that don't affect my life in any significant manner? I guess I should approach all writing this way and not be so snobby, as I sound right now. Words can mean so much, when used properly, like when Charlie Chaplin spoke at the end of the film The Great Dictator.
The infamous "Look Up, Hannah!" speech's meaning was amplified by the fact that a mime said it and it was the only time Chaplin spoke in any of his films. In relation to the Didion piece, the Chaplin speech shows how much impact words can have when used selectively and is something that Didion could learn from. The idea that stood out, in On Keeping a Notebook, was that when one writes the diagesis they create is skewed by one's own reality making all writing fiction due to the difference in one's perspective from reality. The message I have to refute is that nonfiction is not solely based on reality, one can take creative license with facts and the story will remain true to life. Exaggeration is part of writing, from added drama or enphasis of past events, making it vital to create interesting stories no matter if it biased from one's perspective.
Stories that are based around actual events are arguably the most significant. They provide historical insight. In the great dictator, if it wasn't an imitation of Hitler's image delivering a speech opposite to his views the effect wouldn't have be as meaningful, even though such an event actually occured. This may not have anything to do with the reading but it is my perspective and that's as real as it gets... right?
Explorations: Inkspell: This website is for aiding in the memoir paper that I have already finished. It helped as I proofread my essay to make sure I had covered everything. I am really stoked on that essay, it was great to go through Walden again with a fine toothed comb trying to extract the main messages and make them more concise. Thoreau is known for being overly wordy.
Classmate Comments:
diver01: Sorry to hear that you are drained… We have just started. But don’t fret, I have felt behind since the first day of class. I feel the same way about the memory archive, it is hard to read and not particularly helpful.
Mmcpherson1: Your coverage of the text is great but are you not commenting on other classmates’ blogs? I reviewed the outline and it says for us to comment on two people’s blogs but it unclear whether it means to leave comments on their blogs or comment on our blogs… I hope one of us is doing it right!

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