So....the semester has come to an end. It is finally here. My first semester of college...ever...done!!! You have no idea how exciting that is to me!! Ok...so first I have to apologize to my fellow classmates and to my professor for not being as great a student as I could of been this semester. This is mainly in my lack of blog posts. I have had a very tough semester, physically, emotionally, and mentally, as some of you may already know. That is one of the main reasons I am excited that the semester is almost over.
This class has actually been a weird one. Not only has it introduced me to new works of literature and art, and many things I didn't know about regarding metaphors and terms, but it has taught me alot about myself. I have never had a class comment on my life more than this class. And the more I look at it, alot of the work we did follows the exact timeline of me being here.
For example, when I first came here I was a little scared and curious...see the parallel already? Yeah...I won't go much more into that one. But it fits up pretty well.
Then it was all about learning new things and this is the time I got into my first play here and I was excited about everything...and I was excited as I read poetry and...dum..dum...dum...actually enjoyed it! What? I also enjoyed The Importance of Being Earnest, which is now one of the best plays I have ever read.
And then I entered a really depressed stage, which, for the most part, is where I am now. And Mrs. Dalloway and The Hours (both the film and the novel) relate to so much that is going on in my life right now, it is just freaky. I finding myself relating to those characters, and the more I look at it, I find the class relating to my life alot.
And here I come with the big thing that ties it all together...this has not just been a class on criticizing literature...but for me it became about critisizing my life. I don't mean this in a bad way...I just mean having to examine why I feel the way I feel and what everything means to me. Thank you Professor, for a good semester. Funny how life and art always seem to imitate each other, isn't it?
Ok...so I often feel like I don't have anything substantive to put in here so what I will try to do with this blogpost is simply sum up my thoughts on what we have just done in class and hope an issue rises out of that that I can explore further.
So...Mrs. Dalloway...that was rough. I must admit, thought it doens't seem to be a new idea, that this was a hard book to get through for me. However, as I wrote in my last blog post, I related to Septimus very well, and I have to say, I could read his sections very easily and in areas where the narration jumped around, I could always seem to tell when Septimus was talking or people were talking about him. I think that speaks to the power of how much I related to him, or to the power of how when anyone relates to a character so much. Anyway....getting back to the book. In the end...I liked it. It was not my favorite book but I appreciate it and would defienitley try to read it again...after a break from it of course. Woolf seems to be presenting so many issues here without presenting any at all. Like it is stated in The Hours, the whole concept of Mrs. Dalloway is a single woman's life in a day. And by making that so simple, she makes it so complex. I like that what the book speaks most of all to is the complexity of life, without specifically saying "boy, life is complex". That is one thing I really enjoyed about the book.
So onto The Hours...I enjoyed this one very much. I didn't think I was going to at first...because I found the stuff about the modern day Clarissa Dalloway and the woman with the cake a little boring. However, I got caught up in it so fast, by the end I was completely shocked when Richard killed himself and I literally gasped out loud reading. My roomate thought something was wrong. And then at the end when it was revealed that it was the same Richard in both stories...I gasped again. (I know...I should have seen it coming but I didn't) I thought this was a brillant way to tie all the stories together and to show that life, again, is so complex that it can connect women over three different generations.
The film I thought was beautifully done. I think Nicole Kidman is amazing and I am in love with her. If she is reading this I wish she would divorce that country singer and come off with me. Ah well...worth a shot. The story remained very faithful to the book, however, I did not like the ending, which is what they changed the most. The extended scenes with Laura and all the new dialogue they added in because (it seemed to me at least) that the director didn't think the audience would be smart enough to figure out how everything happend, so he had to add in her explaining it all...I didn't like that. I also didn't like when they showed her picture with him and gave away that it was the same person earlier in the film. I thought it lost a little shock power to the end of the film. However, what's done is done.
I loved this unit. I have always found Virginia Woolf's life fascinating and I am thankful to have read these books and seen this film. It has come at an interesting time for me as alot of what they talk about with death and all I understand in a way that I could never have before. Thank you for doing this unit with us.
I would like to take this opportunity here to talk about why I haven't posted in over a month. I was going to email this to you Professor but it kinda connects with some of the things we talked about in class.
For about the last six weeks, I have been suffering from clinical depression relating to a bunch of stuff that I will not get into here. I have gone home alot. I have rested alot. I have cried alot. It has been a struggle to go to my classes let alone remember to blog...and that is why I haven't kept up. This is not an excuse. I'm just providing a reason.
Anyway...the reason it relates to class. I have had thoughts of suicide. And I find it ironic that we now come across Virginia Woolf, who, at the age of 59, committed suicide by drowning herself. Also, in her novel Mrs. Dalloway, we are confronted by the character of Septimus, who talks through much of the novel about suicide and then does actually kill himself.
I have felt this way...I have felt like Septimus. Alone and deserted, even in the presence of company. I have been there when it feels like the whole world is just going to fall on you...and I am currently trying to get out. I think this is more substance than could be achieved than by analyzing something. To relate to a character is one of the strongest effects any work can have on you...even if you are relating to something that isn't always good. I relate to Septimus. I wish my name was as cool though.
This post is from this past week and it is a continuation of my post from last week. In my other post, I talked about how one of the things I liked about poetry was that in some poems you can get a sense of time, locaiton or a specific even through specific details of a poem. For example, I talked about Donne and how he represents sex and really the entire metaphysical ideal through a flea. The more I thought about it, you can look at the Phil Razutto poems the same way. Now, I do not like baseball really, but the poems do convey what this atmosphere was like for Phil without him telling you exactly what it was like. For example, the poem My Secret doesn't convey anything specific, but you get an image. You picture this man driving home from an exciting game, surrounded by the city lights, thinking about each play of the game. He doesn't tell you that he is thinking about this and then thinking about that, but you get a picture of him in your head, and that is what I like about poetry. And even though, these poems do not really appeal to me, I get specific pictures in my head, and I like that is he able to communicate them to me without telling me everything specific.
This was going to be my second post, which would have been for the week of September 15th through the 19th.
This post is on poetry. Now, I am an English person. I love mostly everything I do in an English class, except poetry. Now, I do not mean to say that I hate poetry, but it is my least favorite thing to do. However, in this post I will try to talk about what I do like about poetry and what I think it does well. I love when poetry tries to express everything about a certain time, location and even to you, by talking about something specific. For example, in high school, we read alot of John Donne, who is actually one of my favorite poets. I love how he is able to sum up the basic ideals of the metaphysical time periods (sex, death and salvation) using specific antedotes and stories. For examples, below is a poem called The Flea. In it, he recalls the story of a flea and he tells this woman how since the flea has already bitten her and the flea has already bitten him, and their fluids have already been mixed, they should hold no reservations and have sex with each other. The woman is going to step on the flea and the man tells her not to because that flea not only represents its' own life, but his and hers.
MARK but this flea, and mark in this,
How little that which thou deniest me is ;
It suck'd me first, and now sucks thee,
And in this flea our two bloods mingled be.
Thou know'st that this cannot be said
A sin, nor shame, nor loss of maidenhead ;
Yet this enjoys before it woo,
And pamper'd swells with one blood made of two ;
And this, alas ! is more than we would do.
O stay, three lives in one flea spare,
Where we almost, yea, more than married are.
This flea is you and I, and this
Our marriage bed, and marriage temple is.
Though parents grudge, and you, we're met,
And cloister'd in these living walls of jet.
Though use make you apt to kill me,
Let not to that self-murder added be,
And sacrilege, three sins in killing three.
Cruel and sudden, hast thou since
Purpled thy nail in blood of innocence?
Wherein could this flea guilty be,
Except in that drop which it suck'd from thee?
Yet thou triumph'st, and say'st that thou
Find'st not thyself nor me the weaker now.
'Tis true ; then learn how false fears be ;
Just so much honour, when thou yield'st to me,
Will waste, as this flea's death took life from thee.
Now, some may find this gross and I can understand that, but I love how Donne can connect major themes using specific things. You can get a basic idea of what this entire time period is like simply from this poem. This is one of the things I do like about poetry.
I apologize for these all coming at once but my computer has not been letting me access the blogs for quite some time. Only recently have I acquired the ability to access the Geneseo wiki and post actual blogs. I have been writing them down anyway and are not posting them.
This should have been for the first week: the week of September 8th - 12th.
When I first saw that we had to read the Alice books, I thought, how silly. I had never read these books because I considered them children's books and I thought they had nothing to offer me. All I could think off was that animated film that I had seen when I was younger, and how there was a fun tea party and a talking cat and lots of other fun and colorful things. Even as I was reading, I kept referencing the film. In my head, I would speak the catepillar's lines like he does in the film.
Then I got to class and we started to discuss the book and things were mentioned that I had never even thought off. We talked about the garden being the Garden of Eden perhaps, and the book including numerous references to drug use...or even space travel. I started to realize that the book were not as innocent as I thought they were. Then I realized that I was viewing them through a specific filter and that was modifying the way I was reading the books. I thought they were children's books so I read them that way, and I didn't see things I would have seen had I not had that filter on it. I quite enjoyed the books, especially seeing them through the different filters that I have. I also have to thank you Professor because I probably never would have read these if it weren't for your class and I would have missed out.
This is my first bit of news that I am putting in. Isn't it exciting?