Tuesday, September 16, 2003

John Lye, of St. Catharine's, Ontario's Brock University (known to most undergrads as 'if you can walk and talk, you can go to Brock') has a neat breakdown of theoretical perspectives with relation to reader reponse criticism and theory:

Phenomenological view:
The text functions as a set of instructions for its own processing, but is as well indeterminate, needs to be completed, to be concretized. The 'reality' of the text lies between the reader and the text: it is the result of the dialectic between work and reader.

Reader Online also has a lot of information, including essays and articles. Extra neat because it is not limited to just literature.
So. Back in school at last. What I'm actually doing this year is a little different from what's on the list below, specifically regards to my Gender class, which I've swapped for one on trauma theory instead. That's not til next term, however.

This term is Intro to Lit Theory and Criticism, currently focusing on Reader-Response Criticism, Post-Colonial Lit: Southern Africa, Studies in Genre: Detective Fiction, Honours Seminar: Timothy Findley and good old Canadian Social History.

I'm also working as a research assistant for one of the new profs, and will be researching how universities in Ontario approach literacy and ensure that their students are capable of writing at a university level.

Friday, April 11, 2003

Okay. So I'm lame. A lot. I'm hoping that next year, things will go more smoothly as I tackle my final year of my degree and get to take some pretty neat English courses, and also have more of a sense of what I want to be doing with this blog.

So. Next year:
+Literary Theory and Criticism: Mary Shelley's Frankenstein
+Literary Theory and Criticism: Gender **
+Post-Colonial Literature I: South Africa
+Post-Colonial Literature II: the Carribean
+Studies In Genre I: Detective Fiction
+Texts and Intertexts II: Images of the Underworld
+Honours Seminar III: Timothy Findley
+Honours Seminar IV: Paris and Modernism
+Themes in Canadian Social History

**Because I haven't studied gender enough already. (Gender is one of the primary foci of our English department)

I have the same prof for both Post-Colonials, the Paris Honours seminar and Detective Fiction. She's gonna love me.

W. W. Norton's 18th century site

Monday, February 24, 2003

Woo! Back at school, post-reading week break and ready to sink my teeth into the last six weeks of my third year here at Nipissing. Or, conversely, be sunk by missing the better part of the two weeks prior to my break as a result of producing a play and catching 'the wrath of' virus.

So. yeah. Sixteen days until my 20th century essay is due, and I decided to change my topic today. This actually isn't that bad as I have not reallly even started to work on it yet, aside from some cursory forays into postmodernism, and I have to do a presentation on that anyway, so it's a total waste.

Except now I have to write about the commentary that the 'text within a text' makes on 'art' and 'the artist' in Woolf's "Between the Acts" and Stoppard's "Travesties". That should be fun.

Monday, February 17, 2003

Blogging from a Graphic Design computer lab at my boyfriend's college, where I am hanging out for the day and thinking about postmodernism. And Macintosh computers. And why I don't really like Macs.

So. Trying to ascertain where exactly postmodernism diverges from modernism is not exactly the most simple task, but there is a certain amount of fun in the challenge. Professor Mary Klages has a pretty neat article here (snaps to Steve for that one). Unfortunately, thus far most of the articles I've accessed through Nipissing's online resources have been somewhat less than helpful, and I left my Abrams' Glossary of Literary Terms in North Bay. It's Reading Week, at long last.

Anyhow, I'm trying to put together both a presentation on post-modernism as well as a comparative research essay using Krapp's Last Tape and Tom Stoppard's Travesties to explain the break between modernism and postmodernism.

Does anyone else want to hyphenate 'postmodernism'? Perhaps that's a postmodernist tendency in and of itself.

Wednesday, February 05, 2003

We're doing Samuel Beckett in 20th Century literature; specifically "Krapp's Last Tape". While I didn't really care for it, even after watching a video taped performance of it, it did spawn an interesting discussion about memory, posterity and why we save things.

Why do we write? (Or tape record, or whatever). A sense of posterity, of immortality, perhaps? That certainly comes into play for me, I think. It's also useful as an organizational system; a way of tracking notes and thoughts and impressions. For some, like Tinka, it isn't about what is written, but about the physical act of writing. I think it helps me to contextualize my life; to place things in perspective: looking back, it is interesting to see what I once considered important and to evaluate if it still is.

More later, and a new poem of the month.

Tuesday, January 21, 2003

Gah. I've been really lazy with this this term. Probably because I'm naturally a very lazy person. It's almost time to start picking classes for next year--what fun!

Friday, January 17, 2003

Updating from the school, which is kind of a neat change from being in the natural disaster that is my room. On the Canadian history front, we did treaties and Canada's aboriginal people this week, which was extremely interesting. Duncan Campbell Scott, who was also a poet that I studied earlier this year in Canadian Literature, was the deputy minister of Indian Affairs at the time, and he was responsible for the majority of policy concerning Canada's aboriginal people. The effects of these policies are still felt today. They resulted in residential schools where children were taken from their families and forced to learn 'white' ways. At these schools, tuberculosis ran rampant and killed more than half the children that came through that system. DC Scott was aware of the problem but unwilling to spend the money to fix it.

Ironically, his poetry shows a more sympathetic view of the native people in Canada, and contrasts quite sharply with his political record.

Native peoples did not have the right to vote in Canadian elections until 1960.

Wednesday, January 15, 2003

I have been slacking lately on the blogfront, no? Well, today I think I may be back in the saddle, so to speak. We're currently studying Virginia Woolf in 20th century, and more specifically Between the Acts and our prof showed us the film version today, and it was fascinating. I don't think of myself as much of a "feminist" (as a friend put it today, "I'm a small-f feminist") but the movie was quite well done--Eileen Atkins was quite neat, and did a good job of conveying the fire and wit of her character--and it really made me think. It is definitely a work that still manages to retain meaning today, and it makes me sad because I will never be that good of a writer.

So instead of wasting your time with more prose, here are some links: a response to / critique of the essay and a Canadian literature magazine for women named after the piece.

Monday, January 06, 2003

Going back to school is always strangely exciting for me. New paper, new pens...what's not to like? I mean, aside from expensive school books, lengthy line-ups to pay tuition, the administration's decision to hold back scholarship and bursary cheques until next Monday, and of course, the English department's decision to revamp all of the degree requirements 3/4 of the way through my university career.

In all seriousness, I like school again, which is a good sign. I'm thinking of taking out a subscription to one of the journals on Canadian lit that the University of Toronto Press publishes (special student discount) because I have a feeling that grad school for me will end up dealing with post-colonial literature, particularly Canadian.

I got some of my marks back today, and they're about what I expected: 78 on my "tarot in Eliot's The Wasteland" essay (which apparently is good for that prof, and she wants a copy of it for her files); 81 on my Canadian lit midterm; and 82 final mark in my pre-Confederation Canadian history class (post-confederation starts tomorrow). There's room for improvement, but I think I did alright for myself.

Sunday, January 05, 2003

New comments system has been implemented as Haloscan appears to have crapped out on me, damn them. Let me know if it's okay.
The second term of my third year of post-secondary education starts at 10 a.m. tomorrow. As I handed in a number of assignments and midterms and such prior to the break, I am hopeful that at least some of these will be returned to me tomorrow. Since everything was due at the end of the term, I don't have any 'real' idea of how well (or poorly, as the case may be) I'm doing in any of my classes except the 3-credit Canadian history I took last term (the second half is this term). My mark for the should be available tomorrow, come to think of it. I also get to go pick up my scholarship money, which is going to be about $500 more than I expected--the school sent me a letter announcing that they're giving me a bursary, which is welcome news. And then, of course, I get to go pay my tuition, which will not be fun.

All in all, I think it will be good to get back to school.