Class 9 (English 238 – Fall 2018)

Class Business

  • Let Alan know when and where your posts are up (for “Student Research Blogs” page on the course site)
    • You should have a link to your home page or an “about” on your blog if possible.
    • Include also any social media handles that you want to be visible in a scholarly context.
    • Include links to previous and next posts if your posts are a series.
    • Be sure your name and date of the post is visible in each post (to facilitate citation)
  • Mechanics of “starter kits” (see Assignments).
    • Pages started on the CIstudies.org site for students electing to have editing permissions (as WordPress “authors”)
    • Due date for the starter kits (not necessarily in online form): Monday Dec. 10th?
  • Presentations of “starter kits” in our next class — stay 15 minutes extra in next class for course evaluations?
    • Aim for 8 minutes.
    • Present from the actual starter kit or, alternatively, from slides or another representation of/sampling from your kit.
    • We’ll use Zoom to share screens in the “Interim Reports” class.

Plan for class:   :   Preface     Wasmuhtt  Rukeyser     Lu

Epigraphs (and Preface) for Class

Gaston Bachelard, The Poetics of Space (1958)

  1. The House. from Cellar to Garret. The Significance of the Hut.
  2. House and Universe
  3. Drawers, Chests and Wardrobes
  4. Nests
  5. Shells
  6. Corners
  7. Miniature
  8. Intimate Immensity
  9. The Dialectics of Outside and Inside
  10. The Phenomenology of Roundness

To inhabit oneirically the house we were born in means more than to inhabit it in memory; it means living in this house that is gone, the way we used to dream in it. (16)

To bring order into these images, I believe that we should consider two principal connecting themes: 1) A house is imagined as a vertical being. It rises upward. It differentiates itself in terms of its verticality. 2) A house is imagined as a concentrated being. It appeals to our consciousness of centrality. (15)

Yi-Fu Tuan, Space and Place: The Perspective of Experience (1977)

What sensory organs and experiences enable human beings to have their strong feeling for space and for spatial qualities? Answer: kinesthesia, sight, and touch. Movements such as the simple ability to kick one’s legs and stretch one’s arms are basic to the awareness of space. Space is experienced directly as having room in which to move. Moreover, by shifting from one place to another, a person acquires a sense of direction. Forward, backward, and sideways are experientially differentiated, that is, known subconsciously in the act of motion. (12)

Fig. 2 on "Upright Human Body, Space and Time" from Yi-Fu Tuan, Space and Place, p. 35
Yi-Fu Tuan, Space and Place, p. 35

Fernand Deligny, The Arachnean and Other Texts. Translated by Drew S. Burk and Catherine Porter. Minneapolis, MN: Univocal, 2015.

Drawing on p. 110 of Fernand Deligny's The Arachnean and Other Texts (translated by Drew S. Burk and Catherine Porter, 2015)
Drawing on p. 110 of Fernand Deligny’s The Arachnean and Other Texts

Drawings on p. 111 of Fernand Deligny's The Arachnean and Other Texts (translated by Drew S. Burk and Catherine Porter, 2015)
Drawings on p. 111 of Fernand Deligny’s The Arachnean and Other Texts (translated by Drew S. Burk and Catherine Porter, 2015)

Ovid. Metamorphoses: The New, Annotated Edition. Translated by Rolfe Humphries. Annotated by J. D. Reed. Indiana University Press, 2018.

—From “Apollo and Daphne” in Book I

So ran the god and girl, one swift in hope,
The other in terror, but he ran more swiftly,
Borne on the wings of love, gave her no rest,
Shadowed her shoulder, breathed on her streaming hair.
Her strength was gone, worn out by the long effort
Of the long flight; she was deathly pale, and seeing
The river of her father, cried “O help me,
If there is any power in the rivers,
Change and destroy the body which has given
Too much delight!” And hardly had she finished,
When her limbs grew numb and heavy, her soft breasts
Were closed with delicate bark, her hair was leaves,
Her arms were branches, and her speedy feet
Rooted and held, and her head became a tree top,
Everything gone except her grace, her shining.
Apollo loved her still. He placed his hand
Where he had hoped and felt the heart still beating
Under the bark; and he embraced the branches
As if they still were limbs, and kissed the wood,
And the wood shrank from his kisses, and the god
Exclaimed: “Since you can never be my bride,
My tree at least you shall be! Let the laurel
Adorn, henceforth, my hair, my lyre, my quiver:
Let Roman victors, in the long procession,
Wear laurel wreaths for triumph and ovation. (19-20)

Discussion 2 — Corinne Washmut

2012 Exhibit at the Petzel Gallery

Biblioteque/CDG-BSL

2011. Triptych: oil on wood mounted on aluminum; each panel (support): 83 x 95 inches (210.82 x 241.3 cm); overall: 83 x 285 inches (210.82 x 723.9 cm); Collection Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York

 

Review of Wasmuht by Andreas Schlaegel for the Frieze Academy (2014)

Discussion 3 — Muriel Rukeyser, A Book of the Dead

“Alloy”

“Absalom”

“The Book of the Dead”

Discussion 4 — Pamela Lu, Ambient Parking

That America coded in Inverarity’s testament, whose was that? She thought of other, immobilized freight cars, where the kids sat on the floor planking and sang back, happy as fat, whatever came over the mother’s pocket radio; of other squatters who stretched canvas for lean-tos behind smiling billboards along all the highways, or slept in junkyards in the stripped shells of wrecked Plymouths, or even, daring, spent the night up some pole in a lineman’s tent like caterpillars, swung among a web of telephone wires, living in the very copper rigging and secular miracle of communication, untroubled by the dumb voltages flickering their miles, the night long, in the thousands of unheard messages. (Thomas Pynchon, The Crying of Lot 49)

Commanding office hours there for the better part of the day, we plotted the emergence of a new cadence of parking—not just the parking lot but the hum of engines in idle, not just the cars in action but the action without the cars, the pure gestalt of parking itself. (Pamela Lu, 7)

Other passages in Lu’s novel for discussion:

Like synthetic geologists, we marveled at the diverse materials in our environment…. (9)

We became one with the bus garages, auto dealer lots, and slick consumer parkades…. We go intimately acquainted with city street corners…. (12)

They didn’t budge and they rarely compromised. They identified so closely with their source that they were totally willing to disappear into it, to become as pavement-faced as their materials, to relinquish their authorship to the asphalt. (147)

We should have refrained from anthropomorphizing the parking lot and allowed it to express its natural state . . . Egoism has no place in endeavors of this scope and magnitude. (19)

One dancer’s performance in particular gave rise to intolerable feelings…. As she punched in the numbers, the space between her fingers, the phone, and the wreckage was filled in with ambience…. the living performer become a thing. (22-24)

I gave in to the chill….  god help me, I lifted myself out of the wreck.  (174-175)

 

Divider line (wavy shape, blue color)

Related Methods, Fields, & Resources

Perspective Painting

 

T. S. Eliot, The Waste Land (1922)

  • DA: Datta, Dayadhvam, Damyata, (give, be compassionate, have self-control

 

Book of the Dead

Weighig (judgment) of the heart in the Egyptian Book of the Dead (Wikepedia)

Weighing (judgment) of the heart in the Egyptian Book of the Dead (Wikipedia)

 

Thomas Pynchon, The Crying of Lot 49   (1965)

That America coded in Inverarity’s testament, whose was that? She thought of other, immobilized freight cars, where the kids sat on the floor planking and sang back, happy as fat, whatever came over the mother’s pocket radio; of other squatters who stretched canvas for lean-tos behind smiling billboards along all the highways, or slept in junkyards in the stripped shells of wrecked Plymouths, or even, daring, spent the night up some pole in a lineman’s tent like caterpillars, swung among a web of telephone wires, living in the very copper rigging and secular miracle of communication, untroubled by the dumb voltages flickering their miles, the night long, in the thousands of unheard messages. (149)