Global Lit.

September 29th, 2010

The Waste Land

Posted by mea1234 in Uncategorized

Wow, that’s all I can say right now.  I’m a little overwhelmed at trying to find particular meaning in this poem.  I did take note of the many allusions within the story, some of which I think I know and others that I’m still trying to link or find out.  There is a lot of death and rebirth imagery present which I find both beautiful and jarring at the same time.  The images of old dried up, rattling bones is one I find wonderfully haunting! For me the most interesting part of the poem takes place in the II. A Game Of Chess section.  Here, at about line 110, a dialogue begins, seemingly between 3 people but I’m still not entirely sure if it is 2 or 3 people, the 3rd is perhaps some inner voice of one of the other 2 characters.   I found this link which has been helpful in trying to piece together the various allusions, images, and in translating the lines which are in a different language; please check it out if you feel the same way I do about this piece: Exploring The Waste Land

September 27th, 2010

The Love Song Of J. Alfred Prufrock

Posted by mea1234 in Uncategorized

Check out this link which has an animated depiction of the poem:    Prufrock

Or for those of you who are PortisHead Fans: elliot vv portishead

Blog: T.S. Eliot “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock”; consider the line “And would it have been worth it, after all”:

The character in this poem, Prufrock, fears being rejected by women who “come and go talking of Michelangelo” so much so that he questions whether or not it’s even worth it to approach them.  He’s not willing to take a leap of faith that perhaps something wonderful may come out of the situation.  He admits that in many ways he yearns for that kind of relationship, for the love and affection of a women, yet he also remarks  “I have known the eyes already…the eyes that fix you in a formulated phrase, and when I am formulated, sprawling on a pin, when I am pinned and wriggling on the wall…” He feels like a collected and preserved insect, he fears being pinned down by “the eyes” of women and so to protect himself he simply dismisses them all together. He thinks he already knows it all, has seen it all ( as he has imagines and describes throughout the poem).

Prufrock is suffering from a dichotomy within himself.  He wants what he fears yet fears what he wants, and in this endless cycle of self-sabotage, he time and time again,  paints a blanket of comfort and denial under which he can hide from reality.  The reality that he may die old and alone.

Prufrock is like the lonely men in shirtsleeves, who lean out of their windows, smoke pipes, and watch the world outside and below pass them by.  I imagined their pipe smoke producing this “yellow fog” which creates  this cat like haze over the city, rubs itself on objects throughout the empty streets, eventually curling up and falling asleep alone. This timid cat  also serves as a metaphor for Prufrock.

When I think about the line “and would it have been worth it, after all…” these words resonate with me and, I should think, for anyone who has ever taken a chance on love.  You may wonder to yourself will it all be worth it in the end, but the truth is, it’s always worth it.  If you are not open to experience, then you close yourself off to the possibility of achieving  success and happiness .

September 23rd, 2010

The Lake Isle Of Innisfree

Posted by mea1234 in Uncategorized

WB Yeats Reads \”The Lake Isle Of Innisfree\”

Please check out the above link which has audio of WB Yeats reading this poem!!!

The poem which I most enjoyed reading was “The Lake Isle  Of Innisfree”, not for any reason other than it sounds, and looks,  like a place I would like to go.  To just be there, live off the land by building my own cabin “of clay and wattles” with “a hive for the honey-bee, and live alone in the bee-loud glade.” The tranquil rhythmic structure of the poem feels much like the sound of soft waves breaking on the shoreline.  The lull of the speakers voice, which guarantees “some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow…”, reassures me that I will partake in a bond with nature that which will soothe me, that is of course until the last two lines of the poem which remind me that I cannot stay forever 🙁

September 14th, 2010

Achebe and Conrad

Posted by mea1234 in Uncategorized

While reading Achebe’s essay I found myself torn: while almost every “travel narrative” has racist undertones and involves a slue of prejudicial terms and names for those involved in the story, and while I don’t necessarily condone or agree with these types of classifications or divisions amongst people based on race, would the story(s) being presented have the same sort of genuine feel without them?

While, as Achebe discusses Conrad and “his inordinate love of that word (nigger)…and his fixation on blackness”, is at times jarring, enough so that the pages of my copy of  H.O.D. has it or something like it circled more than 30 times within the second chapter alone, these choice words, none-the-less, help to describe not only what this European is seeing before his eyes for  the first time, but also what this man is seeing within himself and his “civilized” fellow men, mainly Kurtz.

Achebe presents a strong argument  when he points out that using Africa as a setting has a particular effect; “Africa as a metaphysical battle field devoid of all recognizable humanity, into which the wandering European enters at his peril.” He further goes on to ask if “a novel which celebrates this dehumanization, which depersonalizes a portion of the human race, can be called a great work of art?”  He of course says no, however I feel differently.

While Conrad does drive home the image of these bronzed or blackened savages, he is also conscious to point out within the text that what is really black is the way in which “conquering nations” conduct themselves within these territories. Conrad, or more conceivably Marlow tells the story, most likely, as any European would upon seeing these things for the first time, a sort of ignorance is bliss if you will.  That is not to excuse some of the blatant racism, however this narrator is a product of his environment.  I think it is important for us as readers in a very different time to understand what was socially accepted then and what the opinion of the masses at this particular moment in time may have been.  For if we lose that, as the old saying goes, history may be doomed to repeat itself.  Much how I felt when Bill Cosby bought the rights to “The Little Rascals” and stowed them away insisting that they never be shown again because of the racist nature of the show.  To me that was doing society a great injustice, it was a moment in history that is now being left out.  If it was accepted by society at the time, enough so that families gathered to watch the show together, then we as a society today should have the ability to view it as such.  Racism is no doubt changing, not necessarily disappearing, in many ways.  We still however owe it to ourselves and for those who follow us to paint a realistic portrayal no matter how ugly that may be.

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