For this order I need two seemingly separate topics reconciled. The two topics are Literature
Theory and Gothic Literature
, and for each you have a choice of about 5 sub-topics. Just to be clear, one sub-topic must be from the Literature
Theory list, and the other from the Gothic Literature
list. Combining these two topics will of course require bending of them, maybe to the degree that they act only as suggestions or guidelines, but the closer to the original topics the better. _It is very important that priority be given to the literature
Finding how you will do this may be difficult, so please, it is important that you email as soon as convenient a short abstract or draft or anything -it can be very rough- so that I know what you are working on or intending to work on.
One last request, please remember to limit the paper to a roughly undergraduate level.
For this part, I want you to bring your chosen theoretical texts into dialogue with one another and in defense of a clearly positioned argument. If at all possible, refer to David H. Richter?s (editor) _Critical Tradition: Classic Texts and Contemporary Trends_, or limit your references (on the literature
theory side, not of course on the gothic literature
side) to the essays contained within it. This is not required, just prefered.
1. In the Republic, Plato condemns mimetic art on the grounds that it does not contribute to political virtue and to making people good citizens (in the ideal state). Summarize and discuss Plato''s argument in the context of the context of the Marxist critique of ''ideology,'' i.e., the notion that art and literature
have ''an ideological effect.''
2. In the Poetics, Aristotle states that things, which give pain in real life, are a source of pleasure when they are the product of representation. This therapeutic narrative has an analogue in formalist and psychoanalytical approaches to literature
, i.e., when Shklovsky asserts that, ''Art exists so that one may recover the sensation of life'' or when Freud says that ''the unreality of the writer''s imaginative world has very important consequences for the technique of his art; for many things which, if they were real, could give no enjoyment, can do so in the play of fantasy, and many excitements which, in themselves, are actually distressing, can become a source of pleasure for the hearers and spectators at the performance of a writer''s work." Discuss this therapeutic approach to literary texts as a feature of Benjamin''s analysis of art and ''mechanical reproduction."
3. In explaining his concept of authoritative and internally persuasive discourse Bakjtin states that ''its semantic structure is static and dead, for it is fully complete, it has but a single meaning, the letter is fully sufficient to the sense and calcifies it." Discuss this concept and its relationship to post-structuralist accounts of the literary work (i.e., Derrida( or to the Marxist critique of ideology.
4. Johnson''s essay on Shakespeare brings together universalist and nationalist arguments about the value of the literary artifact. Herrnstein-Smith argues that "all value is radically contingent." Discuss the distinction between these two views in at least two works and with attention paid to the formation of a literary canon as a hegemonic form.
5. Jameson argues that ''by definition the cultural monuments and masterworks that have survived tend necessarily to perpetuate only a single voice in [the] class dialogue, the voice of the hegemonic class." Discuss this idea in the context of notions of voice and dialogism (i.e. Bakhtin) and/or questions of cultural literacy and social formations (bourdieu, Guillory, Williams).
1. In Modern and post-modern texts, style carries the weight of meaning, suggesting the extent to which the writer has lost confidence in the power of language to represent ''reality.'' Discuss, focussing on The Heart of Darkness or the Maus books, or Beloved.
2. Discuss some of the ways in which the relations of imperialism described by Conrad in the Heart of Darkness anticipate and are extended by the relations of American militarism in Apocalypse Now ?or- by the relations of fascism described in the Maus books.
3. In the gothic
novel, the incompatibility of self and society is reflected in the break-down of the family. Discuss the ways in which the deformation of the family is related both to the fragility and disintegration of the self and to the historical circumstances represented in Maus I and II or Beloved.
4. In Dominated Man, Albert Memmi writes: "For the oppressed to be finally free, (they) must conceive of (themselves) and reconstruct (themselves) independently of (their) masters." Consider the ways in which this process works for Paul D. and Sethe in Beloved.
5. Art Spiegelman and Toni Morrison use a combination of fantastic (gothic
) and realistic narratives in order to locate the struggle for self-definition within a specific historical context. Discuss the interaction of these two narrative modes in the Maus books or Beloved.
6. Empathic connection (the projection of the self into the place of the other) heals the painful framentation of personal and social difference. Compare the often thwarted struggle for empathic connection in Maus I and II with its moments of achievement in Beloved, awttempting to explain the causes of its failure and success.
7. In Gothic
narratives, the past often haunts the present in forms of memory that can neither be excluded from nor assimilated into a smooth narrative of the self. Discuss in relation to one of the following texts: Maus I and II, or Beloved.
Please keep in touch! Thanks and regards, Brandon
[ Order Custom Essay ]
[ View Full Essay ]