Satire and The Importance of Being Earnest

Hi All!

I gave a presentation on how we can examine Earnest as political satire.  I argued that due to the social structure of the Victorian era, which did not allow for freedom to be anything other than is expected (no duality), the sexual repression, and the push towards high society and its manners and mannerisms led to the creation of this play.  It’s a fairly obvious argument, but you can tie the satire in with A Modest Proposal, Fun Home, Elliot’s Invisible Man.  The definition of satire and Earnest can also be linked to the idea of Du Bois’ idea of double counsciousness, and the rrepression of this dualism (He is both Earnest and Jack.  He must act as if he is high-born, when he believes himself to be an orphan.  If you want to read into the sexual connotations of this play, you can argue that both Jack and Earnest are repressing their sexual desires in order to marry Cacily and Gwendolyn, and fit in with social norms.  They had to be one thing, and that thing had to be what society dictated.)  All of my links are in the slides, or as presenter’s comments in the slides.  I used a source for definition of satire named Robert C. Elliott.  Here’s a link to his main article:  Here’s the link to the presentation:

Be well, and good luck!

Brennan’s Transmission of Affect Presentation: Links to other texts

Hi Guys!

I recently did a joint theory presentation with Brandon and Ikram.  Brandon highlighted the chapters of Parker on new historicism and psychoanalytic theories and their connections to Brennan’s theory about Affect.  Ikram gave a comprehensive presentation on the theory itself, and I tried to tie the theory in with as many sources as humanly possible.  I am attaching the information that I used in y presentation.  If you can use any of the links that I established, or can think of any others that might be useful to you, that’s wonderful!  Good luck, and see you all soon!

P.S. : Any page numbers I reference in the following list are from Brennan’s chapter.

  1. The Yellow Wallpaper: Page 1: The Transmission of Affect…is social or psychological in origin.  But the transmission is also responsible for bodily changes…alters the biochemistry and neurology of the subject.  It can be argued that the madness was due to both the room and the character.  Her interaction with the room change her is some way.  This same idea can be connected to Spot on the Wall by Virginia Woolf.  The women were changed in some way by the environment.
  2. Oscar Wao: Page 2: Notions of the transmission of affect are suspect as non-white and colonial cultures are usually suspect: Oscar is not emotionally contained.  He gets depressed.  We see his emotions overflow onto Yunior and others.  We see that Oscar’s decisions are reflected and mirrored in the actions and decisions of others.  The multigenerational story allows for us to view his interactions with others (even genetic and cyclical interactions that are indirect)
  3. Fun Home: PAge 2; This complicates the idea that Affect is transmitted, as the setting is often at odds with the affect.  Emotions are different, but her core reaction to being in close proximity to a funeral home and mourners was not mournful.
  4. Bhabha- places have an affect on us.  This ties in well with the theory presented by Teresa Brennan, as the surroundings influence people.  One has to do with place, and the other with people, but they are able to be connected very easily.
  5. Invisible Man: Page 1 and 8: Ellison’s narrator is a great orator.  Crowds are moved to action in several places in the novel.  Mob mentality can be connected to the theory of Affect.  We are unconscious of the vibes of others, but they influence our thinking and basic physiology.
  6. Page 8: The God of Small Things: The twins: Rahel and Estha were sometimes eerily of “one mind,”  where they understood intrinsically the thoughts of the other.  Also possibly due to shared environmental factors- which Roy talks about- as once the twins are separated, the strange connection ceases until they meet again in India.
  7. Page 7: Even if I am picking up on your affect,…the thoughts I attach…remain my own.  This is similar to Reader-response theory.  We attach meaning to texts and situations, not the other way around.
  8. Pages 1 and 8: The social nature of the group mentality of the Saxons and Britons and the group amnesia can be connected to the idea that people remember and forget together.  Memory and kinship  are Affects or something close, not emotions, I think.
  9. Shakespeare: Midsummer: Love potion changed how people and fairies perceived situations and one another, changing the natural transmission of Affect, hence the unnaturalness of it all.

My Tentative Exam Strategy Spreadsheet

Hi Guys!

I’ve been teaching a digitally-enhanced class, and just discovered Google Docs. I made a table of all of the books, and put in information on how I would plan on using each text, trying to relate each text to as many others as possible.  I would love to make a tree with all of the texts and theories.  I seem to be strangely visual in my studying.   I’ll elaborate on the ideas soon.  This is just very preliminary.  I’m printing this out right now, and will try to find additional connections (and substantiate on those I have already) over the next few days.  If any of my ideas spark anything for you guys, please run with them!  Good luck, and see you soon!  Be well.

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight: Presentation Summary and Sources

C SGGK handout presentation 399

C SGGK presentation

Last semester’s PowerPoint (extra stuff)


Hi All!

I did a presentation on SGGK and genre/historical context.  I concentrated on SGGK as a part of Arthurian tradition, in particular, Arthurian romance (those in the Wednesday section are fairly familiar with this.  Miss you guys!), and its comparison to the Western (Cowboys and sheriffs and such).  I did this to make a connection between SGGK and Buried Giant, as Ishiguro talks about his fascination with the very American story-tradition of the Western,and claims that Gawain is very much like a “lone ranger,” stuck outside of his time and place.

In comparing a piece of Arthurian romance to a Western romance, it is essential to first establish the boundaries and rules of each.  On the PowerPoints attached, I give a “checklist” for elements generally found in an Arthurian Romance.  This can be compared or contrasted with those of a Western (hint: they are almost identical).

If you want to do a cross-genre study of the two, you’ll need a secondary source on Westerns, or you might want to bring a Western novel/text (movie or TV show) in as a possible supplementary text (I don’t know how I’ll ever be able to choose ONE text, but we can bring multiple texts in, and decide which one to use then and there).  One Western that I suggest is Shane.  It’s a novella about a lone gunman with a troubled past, who makes his way into the lives and hearts of a farming family.  The plot thickens, he falls in love with the wife of his host, and (spoiler alert!) leaves the family suddenly to protect the honor of all involved.  Sound like a knight?  I’ve never seen it, but apparently, Shane was made into a pretty good film.

Good luck to all on connecting your texts, and realize that Gawain is versatile, and can be viewed as part of a larger tradition, compared with other traditions, and compared (of course) with Ishiguro’s Buried Giant.  Have fun!

Work in Progress

I got a lot out of my drafting process, but after getting reviews from my peers, and after meeting with Professor Tougaw, I realize that I think I need to:

1. Re-organize my essay to fit under the “umbrella” of anarchy in dreams.

2. Write a thesis to reflect this.

3. Relate my sources to my main idea more clearly, cutting out unnecessary tangents

4. Work on Gaipa’s and Harvey’s strategies and principles, especially stitching, and just making things flow more smoothly in general

So, I have a lot of work to do, but I think I know where it all goes now.


Feedback on the Feedback

Hi all!  I’m writing this post more conversationally, as I miss talking to you guys.  So, I learned a lot from the feedback I got from Kelly, James, Zahava, and Professor Tougaw.  As I had written more of a detailed outline than a draft, it was a bit difficult to give feedback to me, and I appreciate the advice I recieved.

Based on the advice of my group, I plan on actually going into Freud and other older psychological minds on consciousness.  I also plan on making my points connect in a more evident way.  Most of all, I need to just get a readable draft out there.  I also realize that my jumps from different sections of the conversation will seem disorganized, unless I am very careful to stick to my main idea.

I think that I’m pretty certain of my stance and the stances of my sources, and just have to weave my thesis from there.  I am currently working on a running draft, and look forward to workshopping a lot more with you guys after the break!

I feel as if it was way too much fun reading the papers of my classmates.  The ideas sucked me in, and I feel a lot better about my (really weird) ideas, after seeing how others are making their (truly awesome) ideas work.  I was grateful for this opportunity, and am so glad to have been a part this process and this class!


Finals Week and First Drafts

I’m going to be perfectly honest here.  I had to write 24 pages of educational babble (half of my paper got deleted by my computer, even after I obsessively pressed “save.”   Technology.  Argh!) for a deadline that got moved up a week (I found out this morning). I haven’t slept for three days, and really didn’t get too far in my actual drafting.  To give a short summary of what my life had been like today: I actually found out the literal meaning of submitting an assignment “last minute,” due to some technical difficulties.  This is beyond unlike me, and I’m hoping that the worst is now over!

I feel as if I got really into the conversations of my pieces this past weekend, and am in the process of putting together my skeleton draft.  It’s a lot of fun, truth be told, and just a tad nerve-wracking.  I am still mentally rearranging my archipelago ballroom.  None of my people seem to want to be near each other, and it’s sort of my challenge (albeit a really cool one.  I’m freaking myself out by how much I’m actually enjoying this!) to make these sources talk to each other.  I feel as if I’m missing a link, and I just have to leave it for now, and research it later.  I’m working on pulling my major points together.   The nuances will have to wait for draft 2, which will probably get written right after finals.  I want to apologize to my group in advance for what I’m sure is going to be a rather Spartan paper (though it means you’ll have to read less, I suppose.  Yay?).  I hope to have a breakthrough in the next day or so, which will help me tie all of these threads together.  For now, I’m just going to follow the threads, and see if I can detect some form of a tangle or an intersection.  Sorry for the terrible metaphors!

I think that Walk and Gaipa are my friends right about now.  Knowing who argues what is very useful, especially while sorting through a lot of (really interesting) research.  I feel so conflicted!  I love this work, am terrified of the deadline, and am simultaneously strangely sure that I can pull this thing off.  I’m curious to see where this all goes!

Good luck to all!  Be well!

Annotated Bibliography, Ballroom, and Motivating Moves

Ballroom (Archipelago Style)
Ballroom (Archipelago Style)

Cartwright, Rosalind. “What do dreams do? What goes on in dreams? Are they, as some theorists

believe, deep and symbolic, or are they simply a consequence of random firings of the

brain as it ‘cleans up’ neural connections which are not needed? Rosalind Cartwright takes

a closer look at one of the mysteries of human experience.” Psychology Review, Apr.

2005, p. 2+. General


%7CA131903835&it=r. Accessed 3 Dec. 2016


This source is a scientific view on sleeping.  It’s extremely solid, and I hope to find a few more like this one that talk about the multiple viewpoints of dreams, their functions, and their meanings for the “scienc-y” part of my argument.  I hope to use this as a sort of scientific foundation of sorts, along with a few more sources I hope to read more in depth on the subject of dreams and their necessity.  This article takes a humanities sort of approach to the science, which works well for my essay.  I plan on using Gaipa’s strategies 2: butt kissing, probably 4: leapfrogging, and hopefully strategy 5: the peacemaker.  I don’t quite know how his view of science is going to tie in with Le Guin’s philosophies, my own, or his contemporaries in the dream study field.


Chu, Seo-Young. Do Metaphors Dream of Literal Sleep? : A Science-Fictional Theory of

Representation. Cambridge: Harvard UP, 2011. Print.


Professor Chu’s book seems fascinating.  It’s about the intersection of science fiction and sleep.  I hope to use this as a good foundation for my arguments about the genre of science fiction and how sci-fi fits into dreams (and vice versa).  I need to read this thing thoroughly.  I hope to use Gaipa’s strategies 2, 3, 4, and 8.  I plan on disagreeing with Chu’s stance on genre, after establishing her expertise on the subject, and gaining some insight into dreams in sci-fi.  I hope to integrate this book into my argumentation against genre, along with Mendlesohn (an expert on fiction).


Dalgleish, David. (1997). The ambivalent paradise: Or, nature and the transcendent in British

  1. Extrapolation,38(4), 327.


I hope to use this source to talk about the blurry lines much sci-fi crosses.  This will help me to “take down” Mendlesohn and other genre-believers.  I hope to use this in conjunction with Le Guin’s interview on genre, and Douglas and Byrne’s article to speak against the genre-treatment.  I plan to utilize Gaipa’s 2: kissing butt to integrate this into my piece.


Douglas, Lynette, and Deirdre Byrne. “Womanspace: The Underground and the

Labyrinth in Ursula K. Le Guin’s Earthsea Narratives.” Literator, vol. 35, no. 1, 2014., pp. 1-8


This article was absolutely fascinating to me.  It’s a literary critique of Le Guin’s The Other Wind, as well as some of her other works of fantasy.  It described the male-female power struggle seen quite often in Le Guin’s works.  This struggle is even in the landscape, according to Douglas and Byrne; the archipelago of the Earthsea novels is seen to have a gendered role.  I think that this source is a bit extreme, but nonetheless, raises some interesting points about the politics of fantasy.  I don’t think that the feminine represents death, but this is a relatively small bone to pick.  This source might help me break down some of the barriers between sci-fi and fantasy, as both are politicized.  I plan to use Gaipa’s moves 3, piggy-backing, and 5, playing the peacemaker.  I will piggy-back on the idea that gender politics in fantasy complicate the definition of fantasy.  I hope to play the peacemaker by using this as part of a way to break down the barriers between sci-fi and fantasy in a way that makes a bit more sense to Le Guin’s definitions and Mendlesohn’s.  I am not quite sure if it’s possible, but I really hopt to investigate this more!


Erlich, Richard D. (1999). From Shakespeare to Le Guin: Authors as

Auteurs. Extrapolation, 40(4), 341.


I haven’t gotten a hold of this journal yet, but it looks promising, and I’m doing my best to get my hands on it.  I can’t find much more on this article at the moment, but it looks like it is cool literary criticism of Le Guin, which might actually mention dreams, according to the search-words I used.  I hope to use Gaipa’s strategy 2: butt-kissing.


“Le Guin, Ursula K.: CAT DREAMS.” Kirkus Reviews, 15 Aug. 2009. Literature Resource


%7CA208121653&it=r. Accessed 4 Dec. 2016.


This source is a book review that discusses Cat Dreams, a children’s book by Le Guin.  This will be useful in establishing Le Guin’s dream theory across the genre of children’s fiction.  By doing so, I will attempt to establish that Ursula Le Guin refuses to be defined by genres.  The book speaks of a cat who has nightmares, but knows that it will sleep well while on her human’s lap.  The cat’s knowledge that it can sleep nightmare-free on the lap of a human mirrors Alder, from The Other Wind, who only manages to escape dreaming himself to the land of the dead by lasting living touch, accomplished in this novel mainly by a cat, who goes by the name Tug.  The relationship between cats and humans and seep requires a bit further exploration, as cats are mentioned in both of the longer texts by Le Guin that I am using.  I plan to use Gaipa’s strategies 2, kissing butt, and 7, dropping out.  I agree with this article’s treatment of both cats and Cat Dreams, but plan on using this information to try to uncover something new about this side-issue of cats and humans and dreams.


Mendlesohn, Farah. Rhetorics of Fantasy. Middletown, US: Wesleyan, 2013. ProQuest ebrary.

Web. 5 December 2016.


This source will prove useful for analyzing the distinction between fiction and science fiction.  The author talks about liminal fiction, immersive fiction, and discusses the ways in which the genres differ.  Dreams are also mentioned quite a bit, as well as portals, which dreams act as in The Other Wind.  This will be useful as a way of beginning a discussion on the differences in genre, as well as a theory on dreams, portals, and science fiction in the framework of the genre of fiction.  I would use Gaipa’s 1 and 3.  I plan to piggyback on her ideas, as well as disagree with her clear-cut definitions of genre.


“Review: Fiction: Before the dream: A prequel to the Otori trilogy is a satisfying historical

fantasy, says Ursula K Le Guin: Heaven’s Net Is Wide by Lian Hearn 578pp, Macmillan,

pounds 12.99.” Guardian [London, England] 27 Oct. 2007: 16. Business Insights:

Essentials. Web. 3 Dec. 2016.


This source helps to establish Le Guin as a literary critic in the field of fiction.  Le Guin reviews a novel on that challenges the nature of a fantasy novel by Hearn.  Le Guin had some critiques on the novel, but was overall a fan.  This work is useful, as Le Guin has a complicated relationship with the idea of genres, which I am trying to get a clearer vision of.  I will be using Gaipa’s strategies 7: dropping out, and strategy 8: crossbreeding with something new.  I hope to use this source to help me bring Le Guin in as a literary critic on fiction not considered sci-fi or about dreams.


“Review: Fiction: Islands of the mind: Ursula K Le Guin takes a tour of Christopher Priest’s

Dream Archipelago: The Islanders by Christopher Priest 339pp, Gollancz, pounds

12.99.” Guardian [London, England] 1 Oct. 2011: 10. Business Insights: Essentials.

Web. 3 Dec. 2016.


This source is a review written by Le Guin of Priest’s novel about dream islands.  Le Guin speaks a lot about dreams in fiction and fiction in dreams.  While she gave this book a mostly negative review, that she reviews novels about dreams and her critiques give insight into Le Guin’s views on what dreams should look like. She also tackles dreaming in the form of an archipelago, which might be useful, as her Earthsea saga is set in an archipelago, which Le Guin and critics of Le Guin find an important aspect (and representation of possible sexual tension) in her Earthsea books, including The Other Wind.  This source establishes Le Guin as a literary critic as well as an author.  I would utilize Gaipa’s strategy 7: dropping out, as well as is strategy 8: crossbreeding with something new.  I want to use a new and unexplored aspect of this source to pull out new information about Le Guin.


Walks’s Motivating Moves, Gaipa, and My Argument


I believe I have been mostly trying to tie four distinct arguments together in my study on dreams, science fiction, genre, cats, and science.  I am mainly trying to marry my sources in ways that make sense to a single argument.  I’m still trying to figure out how I am planning on using my gathered sources.  I notice that I am using Gaipa’s 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, and 8.  I don’t want to dismiss any of my sources or argue directly with any of them.  I hope to use my sources, then either add to their arguments or disagree with their stances.  I also am hoping to create something interesting out of peripherals, so I see a lot of 7 and 8 in my future.  I see myself weaving these together with Walk’s Motivating Moves, primarily number 4: the conflict of published works.  This will be my primary tool while discussing the matter of genre theory.  5 and 6, about seemingly small things that are important come into play with dreams, portals, and cats.  7, the move that deals with tensions, will be used when I am discussing the nature of dreams across genres, as the juxtaposition of the two novels by Le Guin is offset by the divide between the genres, which needs some resolution.

Research Project Proposal: Analyzing Dreams Across Genres

For my research paper I plan on using Lathe of Heaven and The Other Wind, both by Ursula Le Guin.  Lathe of Heaven is a science fiction novel that explores the possibility of dreams which alter reality along with the moral issues which accompany this power.  One of Le Guin’s Earthsea novels, The Other Wind, is a fantasy novel in which one man’s dreams are used by mages to reach the realm of the dead and prevent an uprising of the dead.  These two novels, written by the same author, but in different genres suggest a parallel which can be used to explore the concept of dreams in fiction.  One question that immediately comes to mind is whether dreams are a heightening of fiction, or merely an alternate form of fiction?  Another question concerns Le Guin’s differing approaches to dreams in these separate genres.  It is interesting to note that she also addresses dreams in two other genres, which I will be referencing as secondary sources.  Another possible question is why do we need proof of the potency of dreams in a science fiction setting while it seems possible to suspend disbelief in a fantasy novel?   It is also notable that the dreamers in both novels have such negative perceptions of dreams that they try to prevent sleep.  Another question is what does a writer need to sacrifice about the non-linear nature of dreaming in order to write a coherent scene?

My secondary sources will be comprised of both literary criticism and Le Guin’s own works.  Le Guin has written an essay entitled “Dreams Must Explain Themselves” and a picture book entitled “Cat Dreams”.  It should be elucidating to read how Le Guin addresses dreams in these additional genres.  I plan on using the text of her essay as a lens through which to view her works of fiction.  I also plan to use works by literary critics on the nature of dreams in writing.  One author I plan to reference is Bert O. States.  I hope to find other pieces of literary analysis of dreams as well as any literary criticism of Le Guin.

I find the idea and process of writing about (or in) altered states to be problematic and fascinating.  I hope to bring light to what we are actually experiencing when reading about dreams.  I also hope to analyze the relationship between genre and the treatment of dreams.  Le Guin is a perfect author to investigate because she has successfully written about dreams in four different genres, which makes an analysis of her work a scientifically-sound study.

The Disappearing King: Bolen and Woods and Courtly Manners

I like legends.  They generally move at a fast pace, have lots of action, quick speech, and are sort of the equivalent of a Marvel film (I can’t wait to see Dr. Strange).  At the same time, just as a Marvel film can be seen as just an action movie, I feel that poems such SGGK are often shrugged off as superficial.  As I’ve noticed in my latest reading of SGGK and through the reading of Bolen (and LOTS of essays from the back of the Norton’s Critical Edition.  Got to love those supplemental readings!  I’m serious), the plot is anything but simplistic, and Gawain is a lot more complex than he originally appears.

Gawain is a creature of his trope.  He is a courtier who knows how to work a crowd.  His quick thinking saved both the life and the dignity of King Arthur, as outlined in Bolen’s reading of the five lines in which Gawain begs for the honor of combating the Green Knight.  Gawain is not just a warrior, he’s an expert politician.  By helping Arthur save face, the Pearl Poet paints a perspective that few Arthurian artists dare try: he shows flaws in the supposedly golden rule of Arthur.   Arthur is seen as flustered.  He doesn’t respond to a challenge, and gets angry.  Gawain’s treatment of Arthur suggests that he might not be very open to the opinions of others.  King Arthur of the Round Table sits at the seat of honor.  What happened to him?  I think that perhaps Gawain takes over for Arthur in more than just the contest.

Usually, Arthurian legends follow Arthur and his great deeds.  We hardly hear anything of Arthur throughout the poem.  Gawain is in the spotlight.  The action focuses strongly on Gawain and his moral, religious, and psychological  struggles.  The plot of Morgana didn’t even concern Arthur.  She was ultimately trying to bother Guinevere with her actions.  So what happened to Arthur?

In the article by Woods, the colors and nature motifs are explored in depth.  Gawain must battle the Green Knight, who very possibly represents nature or jealousy.  This power or force of green is arguably more powerful than Gawain.  It is only by his mercy that Gawain lived.  He initiated the combat, and is the visible challenger throughout the poem. Gawain, the finest Arthurian knight, is not even a match for Morgana or Nature’s challenger.  This seems like foreshadowing for Arthur’s kingdom’s fall.

I realize that I meant to discuss Sir Gawain’s diplomacy, and ended up talking about the downfall of the Arthurian age.  I don’t believe that the two are unrelated.  When a country stand on political correctness, it generally means that the society is about to collapse.  It’s a sign of a discontented people.  Arthur, in his little bubble at X-mas time, next to his grey-eyed Guinevere, is part of a dying world.  The intricacies of his castle are seen as colorless in comparison to the Green Knight’s castle.  Even Guinivere’s eyes are colorless.  As a symbol of her kingdom (as seen in the Bolen article), she reads as closed off, colorless, and possibly empty.  If Guinevere is representative of the people of Camelot, it’s no wonder that Arthur’s reign is coming to an end.