History in All This? Poetry, Essay

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Speaking of the United States, for example, since 9/11, there has been an increased in intolerance regarding Muslims. This prejudice toward Muslims has also sparked increased intolerance for Christian people, as Christianity is the dominant religion in America and is the religion most often associated with American culture. 1492 is also the fabled year with the Spanish armada arrived on the shores of what we know now as the United States of America. Therefore this film is a strong choice as it is an intersection of the history of the country and the history of my family.

How we remember our world, national, and personal history is often closely related to the geography and nature of the spaces wherein we lived and migrated to. These are the connections that I see among the texts by Nabokov, Bishop, and "The Passion of Joshua the Jew." These issues from history continue to persist and manifest themselves in modern societies. The events of history directly shape and influence everyday experience of the modern day. These connections are essential to my rationale to propose this film in relation to these texts for the class to view and consider together. The texts from class are very challenging and very artistic. It is amazing that these authors are able to communicate such intangible feelings and experiences with words so poetically.

…critics have long described her as a writer who practices "restraint" (in the sense that her work is concerned almost as much with what it conceals as it is with what it reveals), and it certainly is the case that may of her poems feel distant, emotionally, from the reader's immediate presence…Bishop frequently features poetic subjects that do not or cannot fit in to their environments in some peculiar way. (McAlpine, 333, 2013)

Bishop, for example, is able to connect with emotion and experience without directly naming or speaking to it. Just as my ancestors, and Joshua from the film, Bishop's poetry implies a subject that does not fit in, or feels forced into exile from the majority.
As for Nabokov, Petit contends:

What makes this final title particularly interesting, though, is that the deliberate inscription of Nabokov's project into a specific literary tradition, that of "autobiography" ...also corresponds to the inclusion, for the very first time, of photographs in a text which, until then, was made up of words only. It thus seems that Nabokov, in this final version, is not just revisiting an earlier text, but revisiting a whole literary genre, so as to produce, through this combination of autobiography and photographs… (2012)

Nabokov, in his later years, began to bridge words, images, and many different types of text through Speak, Memory. I want to compare this film with these texts as a way to stretch our minds and to develop an appreciation or sophistication for cinema that is firmly grounded in history, culture, and literature. Many films in the present day have popular culture value, yet they lack the sophistication, subtlety, and depth of films that are as carefully crafted as poetry and literature.

The intended audience for this proposal and the film viewing are my classmates and peers. My professor will also be a part of the intended audience. On a broader scale, my audiences are those who analyze literature as well as those who may be media theorists. Connections among media forms are prevalent and the sites for vibrant analysis and discussion. Those who conduct see the connections across texts are additionally a part of my intended audience.


Bishop, Elizabeth. Geography III. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2008.

McAlpine, Erica Levy. "Elizabeth Bishop and the Aesthetic Uses of Defense." Literary Imagination, 14.3 (2012): 333-350.

Nabokov, Vladamir. Speak, Memoryu. New York: First Vintage International Edition,….....

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