English 363: Experimental Hispanic Literatures

Queens College, City University of New York

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Class Notes, 31 Oct. 2011

October 31st, 2011 · Uncategorized

Ye Old Medievel Help Deske


Salvador Plascencia’s The People of Paper

How many stars, and why?

Rita: 3.5: liked the layout, but not entertaining: it didn’t seem real; wasn’t realistic; Magical Realism

Andrea: 4: can be confusing, so many aspects where readers get blown away: too much to take in; fun to read; Plascencia continued to surprise . . .

Daria: 3: unique layout, but also throws reader off; there’s a lot going on

Aparna: 3.5: liked a lot of it . . . but once Saturn became a character, his parts, were hard to get through, gets more difficult to get through when author/character plays a bigger role

Robert: X: layout and story interesting but about characters fighting author; surprises throughout the book; characters do things we don’t expect, like come back to life, strange smells

Casey: 3: confused with time and where we were in narrative (causes confusion); style of writing, a new kind of style


Q. The Mechanic’s quatrain: prophecy: “mechanical kind”: “the mechanic” also a persona of Saturn, the mechanic of the book, or the mechanic constructing the novel (think of the Samperio architect as well).

Notice all the male characters in Saturn’s novel are his “alter-egos” or they experience parts of his psyche: note when narratives of characters have similarities to Saturn’s character’s narrative: love plot lines, for example . . .


Questions posed by N. Katherine Hayles about digitality and print (the experiences of reading and writing in digital and print forms) and the connections to the “modern” novel, like The People of Paper:

Q. In what senses is electronic literature in dynamic interplay with computational media, and what are the effects of these interplays?

Trans: How do they both affect one another? “dynamic interplay”: opposite would be “passive”: “interactivity”: for readers/writers: could add components, multiple media: readers also become writers:

Internet changes literature . . . the computer changes literature . . . literature changes as technology changes.


Q. Do these effects differ systematically from print as a medium, and if so, in what ways?

Do these effects of reading digital forms change the experience of “traditional” ways of reading? In what ways?

A. digital texts more mobile, more storage in a smaller device; can do quicker searches, can connect with audiences online, more interactive than print . . .  different media embedded . . .

Q. How are the user’s embodied interactions brought into play when the textual performance is enacted by an intelligent machine?

[what’s our reaction when we look at a screen vs. a page of paper?; user: reader; machine gives more than what a book can give . . . “enact” . . . “performance” . . . . machine also shares in the interactivity, more so then the “book machine” or print machine; more interactivity . . .


Q. Would this hold up for Cobra as well?

What’s going on this book? What do you think happens?

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Class Notes, 26 Oct. 2011

October 26th, 2011 · Uncategorized

Sabrina’s Response 3:

Deviating from the Clock: Analepsis as Flashback in Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s “Nabo: The Black Man Who Made The Angels Wait”


advice: write the response first, then take pieces of it for the title, see what you write first, don’t get writers block with the title, just write . . .


In Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s “Nabo: The Black Man Who Made The Angels Wait” we are struggling to find out what is reality and what is not because of the issue of time. Nabo our main character has been kicked in the forehead by a horse and goes back and fourth recollecting his thoughts on how the incident happend . He does not realize that a significant amount of time has past since then and he continues to talk about the same events which led to the incident of the horse kicking him .


“anachrony A deviation from strict chronology in a story. The two main types of anachrony are flashbacks and flashforwards. If the anachronically presented event is factual, it is an objective anachrony; a character’s visions of future or memory of past events are subjective anachronies. Repetitive anachronies recall already narrated events; completive anachronies present events which are omitted in the primary story line.”(Jahn N5.2)


As we see there are two main types of anachronies, the one that occurs in this story is flashbacks “analepsis”. Throughout the story from the minute it starts off with Nabo laying face down on the floor until the end, Nabo has flasbacks of what has led him to be where he is. He looses track of time and does not understand that two years has passed since this event with the horse. The main character wakes up and falls back asleep many times throughout the story which is another thing that makes him lose track of reality.He recalls events from his past that have happened which is an example of repetitive anachronies. His flashbacks cause the reader to question themselves what time are the events occurring and when are things reality or when are we still stuck in Nabo’s dreams and past cycle of events before the accident.







FLASHBACKS: MEMORY OF THE EXPERIENCE AT THE MOMENT; back to another narrative, which may tie in to the present narrative or foreshadow things to come in the future of the narrative.


An example of a flashback, slightly revised:

B. went to a wedding on Saturday. The wedding of his ex-wife. He didn’t want to see her, but he could always see her even when he didn’t want to see her.

He stepped into the chapel. Light fell through windows. Shapes of light tinting pews.

He heard a car horn honk.

He remembered his accident, and how the car crushed his leg.

“Amen,” said someone next to him.

His wife entered a side door.

“I’ll love you forever,” she said touching his face.

He moved to a pew.

(there are some gaps between those last two lines for a reader to guess if it’s a memory or not).


Works Cited


Jahn, Manfred. 2005. Narratology: A Guide to the Theory of Narrative. English

Department,UniversityofCologne. 28 May 2005. Web.18 Oct. 2011.


Garcia Marquez, Gabriel. “Nabo: The Black Man Who Made the Angels Wait.” Collected Stories. Trans. Gregory Rabassa and J. S. Bernstein.New York: Harper, 1999. 73-82.




Caitlin’s analysis of genre:


Super hero genre: films, comic books, video games, cartoons

Genres are forms:

Narrative form: is narratology: the study of narrative structures: literary form


Parody: commentary or critique on the form or genre

Evil hero, calls attention to the fictitious nature of heroes: hence the comedy in this clip:



(sorry about the link)

“Evil” Superman.

. . .genres can comment on other genres, think of the forms also as communicated across media, that is, for example, the “mystery” genre in movies, books, video games, and on.


Robert’s letters to imaginary audience: genre of academic discourse, criticism: playing with audience expectations and experimentation.

See also the work Jorge Luis Borges:



Notice how Robert still comments on the texts. He’s not avoiding criticism, and in fact, he’s making critiques of the genre of academia, or the “academic voice” (or even academic discourse).

Imagine if Jahn taught all his narratology ideas in a fiction story . . . maybe that’s what Plascencia does . . .

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Megamind Trailer

October 26th, 2011 · Uncategorized


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Class Notes, 24 Oct. 2011

October 24th, 2011 · Uncategorized

Free-write: five questions about The People of Paper



Who is Saturn?

Who are the glue sniffers?

Who are the people who burn themselves?

Who are those saints?

Who are the weird groups of people? (lots of them)

Who’s Julieta?



What’s with Saturn?

What about those quatrains from the mechanic?


What are the effects of reading a novel like this for

–columns, and standard narratives

–blacked out parts

–binary code for turtles


–unconventional: not cliché, not ordinary, you don’t know
what to expect next;

–pretty weird: different, not like books in other classes

Everything is
, author as character; non-fiction history and villages;
alternative timelines; characters brought together for common purposes


–inventive: literary language defamiliarizes regular


defamiliarize . . .
distortion / violence against language / transforming language to make it
familiar again


–we use language all the time, surrounds it;


–deliberate choice in distorting narrative: putting
extensive thought into the production



–lay-out of page: everyone has their own section:


events told from different perspectives




Where did Baby Nostradamus come from?



When do the characters become aware of Saturn’s presence?



Why is everyone obsessed with fighting Saturn?

Why is there so much reference to Rita Hayworth?

Why can we accept such magical things so easily?



How accurate are the facts about Rita Hayworth and Napoleon?




Elote: Mexican-style corn on the cob: buy one!


Robot turtles (lead shell): speak in binary code



Saturn: narrates Federico de la Fe; he knows everything (he
can see what groups are doing); he can hear what characters think; moves from heterodiegetic to homodiegetic narrator


Federico experiences similar things as Saturn: Plascencia’s contex affects the telling of the story, and war waged against his characters


Saturn: the author putting himself into the story, (pg.
102): S.P. as a character in his story



EMF: El Monte Flores: cholo flower gang fighting war against Saturn.


“A Found Poem” (defamiliarizing language, or the familiar–frm desensitized to REsensitized):


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 poem 2:


May 15,

2009 – Ben

Baeder compiled

a brief look


at                       El



a gang

comprised of 400


its origins



a neighborhood near a











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Class Notes, 19 Oct. 2011

October 19th, 2011 · Uncategorized

Reading classmates’ prose




Verbs: actions words: describe things doing, done, will do, or did

Adverbs: end with –ly; modify the verb

Nouns: person, place, thing, idea

Adjectives: describe nouns, modify nouns



Spanish: Ser: “to be”

Soy                  somos


Es                    son


English: to be (uninflected)


Present-tense inflections of “to be”

am                    are       being


is                      are


past-tense inflections of “to be”

was                              been



to be verbs: am, are, is, was, were, be, been, being


commonly used VERBS from students in class:

to seem;

to reveal;

to kick;

to feel;


to seek;

to pat;

to dream;

to think



With partner’s paper:

–Locate the section/paragraph with the most “to be” verbs

–count how many lines compose that particular section

–write a fraction, with the number of lines in that section as the denominator

–count the “to be” verbs in those lines and write that number on top


Yesterday two suspects were interrogated. (PASSIVE VOICE–interrogated by whom?)

REVISED: The interrogation occurred yesterday. (change the verb)


REVISED ACTIVE VOICE: The police interrogated the two suspects yesterday.

“The Police”: not mentioned in the passive voice, but active agents in the active voice.


To interrogate: an strong action verb


To be: more abstract, difficult to pinpoint the action: they serve more for tense and position (first-person, second-person, third-person)


Bibi’s post (slightly modified): 

All stories include a time, a place, one or many characters, a point of view, etcetera. What makes a story more interesting is when the author plays with one or more of these elements. Gabriel García Marquez’s short story “A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings” includes many time markers and also contains a play on time. García Marquez writes:

[…] she recounted the details of her misfortune. While still practically a child she had sneaked out of her parents’ house to go to a dance, and while she was coming back through the woods after having danced all night without permission, a fearful thunderclap rent the sky in the two and through the crack came the lightning bolt of brimstone that changed her into a spider. (García Marquez 222)

The first instance of time in this story is in the very first line, “on the third day of rain” (García Marquez 217). Throughout the story, García Marquez uses many time markers to show the reader the sequence of events, such as “at noon” (García Marquez 217), “on the following day” (García Marquez 218), “before seven  o’clock” (García Marquez 219), “after a few hours” (García  Marquez 220), “during the first few days” (García Marquez 221), and “during those days” (García Marquez 222). Most of the story stays in chronological order, the natural sequence of events (Jahn N5.2.1). However, like the latter example, the above quote dives into an anachrony. An anachrony is a “deviation from strict chronology in a story” (Jahn N5.2.1). The specific anachrony being used is called analepsis, “the presentation of events that have occurred before the current story-NOW” (Jahn N5.2.1). García Marquez introduces a new character of the “woman who had been changed into a spider for having disobeyed her parents” (García  Marquez 222) in the middle of
the short story, so in order for us readers to really comprehend the purpose of this character, he adds a flashback of her story and deviates from the story line. The play on time not only makes a story more interesting but it also helps readers to completely understand the story as a whole.


Purpose of Flashbacks: give back story; internal to the characters (memory)

Is time realistic: time in the story is like “real time”; time in the story is realistic, the events, however, are not.


Daniel’s response: (one PIE paragraph, revised and broken into several smaller paragraphs, but each with evidence)


If emphasis on the intrapersonal dynamic of the unconscious and conscious can reflect inner anxiety, defenses and processes in the human mind, does the same relationship apply to the “urges” of fiction on reality? Fiction is very similar to dreams in that they are both fantasy and therefore potentially harbor unconscious material composed of urges and inadequacies that are constantly pushed out of reality (materializing the ego). In Gabriel Garcia Márquez’s “A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings”, there is a persistent tension existing between reality and fiction. In fact, the story seems to be aware of its unrealistic qualities; the townspeople who swarm Pelayo’s house just to get a glimpse of the old man with the wings are baffled by his peculiar appearance. This alone suggests that the world inhabited by Pelayo and the townspeople is almost identical to the reader’s world;

the hens pecked at him, searching for stellar parasites that proliferated in his wings, and the cripples pulled out feathers to touch their defective parts with, and even the most merciful threw stones at him, trying to get him to rise so they could see him standing. The only time they succeeded in arousing him was when they burned his side with an iron for branding steers, for he had been motionless for so many hours that they thought he was dead. He awoke with a start, ranting in his hermetic language and with tears in his eyes […] (Garcia Márquez 221)

In this case, it would be expected that the reader would express a similar reaction as if the story itself posed to the reader the question, “what would you do?” Nevertheless, the collective desire of the townspeople to classify the winged old man exposes an unconscious “nightmarish” fear of the unknown; if classification is a way of seeking compromises for the repressing of their anxiety, what is the benefit of denying the old man’s humanity? The inhumanity of the townspeople is projected onto the old man as he involuntarily fuels their imagination. This narrative emits an atmosphere in which reality constantly clashes with fiction and respectively, the conscious with the unconscious.

At first glance, reality is understandably dominant; the unrealistic old man is locked up in a wire chicken coop and incomprehensible “ranting in his hermetic language” (Márquez 221). There is a continual sense of fiction being imprisoned in the constraints of a more dominant, yet unrealistically archaic-thinking reality to be dissected (by maybe even the heterodiegetic narrator who in turn leaves it to the reader). Though curious, the townspeople give no sign that they necessarily want an explanation from the old man, they are all too preoccupied making “all kinds of conjectures concerning the captive’s future” (Márquez 219). Though inaccessibly stowed away, the repressed material of the man’s purpose and origin gains expression almost compulsively through the imaginations of the townspeople; this gives the impression that maybe fiction is not dominated by reality, as collective imagination seems to hold authority over the captive’s identity and future. Their captivation with the unknown seems to be solely “pleasure-seeking” in the sense that the old man’s inability to be correctly classified propels some of their religious thoughts and account for their inhumane urges such as “pulling out feathers to touch their defective parts” (Márquez 221).

On the other hand, the spider woman shown later, has the ability to communicate in a language shared by the townspeople; though almost as ridiculous as the winged old man, her ability to speak to the townspeople immediately makes her human as she now not only can communicate her unfortunate disposition, she can impart a relative emotion that allows her to demand compassion and understanding from the townspeople. She imparts “so much human truth and with such a fearful lesson, was bound to defeat without trying that of a haughty angel who scarcely deigned to look at mortals” (Márquez 222). On the flip-side, there is a strong correlation between hypocrisy and the religious views of the townspeople. The town gives off the appearance of a collective ego split between “pleasure-seeking” urges and repression; while the town people give in to their urges, they also retain a rigid sense of “decency” in the pious guise of Father Gonzaga (superego) who “held back the crowd’s frivolity” (Márquez 221).

The irrational fear of discovering the same humanity displayed in the spider woman in the old man is dangerous and can be the suggestion of a defense mechanism, a means to keep their own humanity secure, completely blotting out any unresolved conflict between their unconscious and conscious. The incomprehensible mystery of the old man serves as an imaginary foil reflecting the humanity of the townspeople simply because they project their inhumanity on him. The fiction of the old man is attributed more to the imagination of the townspeople than the strangeness of his wings; in reality, he is trapped in their fiction and dehumanized, literally positioned among chicken to ironically justify inhumanity. Aside from its unusual presentation, (if reality is relevant) does the fiction act to mask and repress reality (like the imagination of the townspeople did the old man) or like a foil, brightly reflect it?


Finally, in case you are interested, an interview with Salvador Plascencia with some of his notebooks from writing The People of Paper http://www.hobartpulp.com/website/march/sal.html


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Class Notes, 17 Oct. 2011

October 17th, 2011 · Uncategorized

“Nabo: The Black Man Who Made the Angels Wait” (cont’d)


Related to Magical Realism (and The Family Guy): this article: “Family Guy as Magical Realism?”

a critical read of the popular television show–nothing’s safe from a critical perspective, alas.


Quick read of “time” in “Nabo”

Initial observations before close reading:

–Nabo’s asleep for two years . . .

–singing boy

–Saturday he goes places

–he gets kicked by a horse in the head

–he sings when taking care of horses

–there’s a girl: she’s sick and she’s dependent on Nabo,
who turns the crank on the old record player

–after Nabo gets kicked by the horse, he thinks he’s still
in the stable, he loses track of time

–Nabo talks to some man who has been waiting for him from
years to eternity



Closer reading: number all paragraphs (14).

pg. 73

Para 1: Nabo was sleeping in the hay; he hears a voice that
tells him to wake up; the “voice” is someone, so not specified; “sleeping for
three days”; Nabo’s dreaming or imagining the voice, he’s unconscious or in a


Pg. 74

Para2: Nabo’s awake, and he’s
remembering about another time; analepsis to the Saturdays in town watching “the
Negro” play saxophone: notice the use of parentheses


Para3: doesn’t see the Negro, and his
memories come to the present; the Black man might be a ghost: Nabo thinks he might come back, Negro mysteriously disappears


Pg. 75:

Para4: man speaks to Nabo; Nabo’s in
the stable, having a conversation about a choir (analepsis?); male voice
speaking to Nabo; the mute girl first mentioned:


Para5: Analepsis back to Nabo’s
Saturday nights on the square: and Nabo at the end “woke” from his sleep


Pg. 76: little mute girl: she’s disabled, “we” could be
parents, or relatives; they seem to feel sorry for her, and maybe even give up
hope for her living a “regular” life


Pg. 77:

Para 7: notice the difference in time between Nabo’s time

and the “we”s time:


Pg. 77:

Para8: time speeds up “on the following day”

“awake all night”

“the night before”: hallucination: Don Quixote in the windmills scene

hallucination: the character’s reality vs. the external reality

“no longer delirious”: should we take what the narrator narrates at face-value.

First time in story that times progresses forward since paragraph 1

–introduction of different timeline, conversations with “the man” are happening in his head, and not in the stable.



Pg. 78

Para9: Nabo recognizes the man who asks him to join the choir is the Negro. Nabo’s been asleep for a long time.

–“someone had stopped watching me” the Negro to Nabo: the feeling of being watched (gaze): focalization . . .



para 10: “four weeks after the Negro had stopped coming”

background how the entire event happened

Nabo and the comb (four weeks after the Negro stopped playing music)

“we”: bad group,

10-15 years passed, Nabo locked up


pg. 79

para 11: Nabo repeats a horse kicked him; dreaming and waking and the vertigo of the mind

The Negro says to Nabo “centuries” long time passed

“they” know Nabo’s alive because he keeps eating

The Girl is still waiting for Nabo:


the girl had aged: over 30, a woman

They remembered someone told them the Girl turned the gramophone–> and that was Nabo who turned it



pg 80

para 12: The day before: check to see if Nabo is still alive;


pg 81

para 13: Nabo already broke free? looking for the comb in the room, but thinks he’s in the barn.


para 14: Nabo looking for stable door: imagined stable: long sentence-paragraph, full of turns and parentheses and fragments. “Faulknerian” sentence, captures the entirety of the story: notice how time speeds up.



analepsis to the kicking incident

dialogue with The Negro



prolepsis fifteen years ahead

the Man is telling Nabo to come the choir: to death, or heaven, heavenly choir

Nabo says he’s not going anywhere until he gets the comb


distorted timelines







Time: DQ in theCaveofMontesinos: duration

Nabo: sequences disrupted; past and present disjointed; durations extended and slowed

Time on different levels: Nabo’s time; there’s two narrator times: one time is “human” time, and other “divine” time


Man with sax is an angel? He keeps appearing to Nabo when locked up . . .



QUESTION: How does written fiction create the illusion of reality?



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Class Notes, 12 Oct. 2011

October 12th, 2011 · Uncategorized

Gabriel Garcia Marquez:

Question from Rehana:

–why was this written?

Purposes of literature (possibly)

— to pass on information

–to entertain

What is Literature/literature?

–all texts are Literature or literary

Literature: Literature with cap L and then there’s


Literature: the canon, the “classics”: debated by scholars,
has a literary meaning: worldwide themes


CANON list

Literature: the “required” reading, “high class” novelists:

–Cervantes, Fitzgerald, Henry James, Eliot, Twain, Chaucer,
Shakespeare, Conrad, Joyce, Dostoyevski, Milton, Dante, Poe, Orwell,
Bronte, Tolstoi, Faulkner, Whitman, Fern

Not “high class” but part of the Canon:  Dr. Seuss

Out of our list of 20:

male:  18

female: 2

What is Literature?

–themes that carry across different generations, and the
literary terms each text has.

–literature is a sign: how we read things, how language is
arbitrary symbols; power to the symbols: authors can vary the symbols, and
their readers pull meanings from this

–depends on who publishes it, or being published in general:
so a math book could be a poem; Literature is instructional

–it expresses an idea:

–if it has meaning a reader (who understands literature, or
has a competency)

–literary meaning: for example, a math textbook can’t be
literature as opposed poetry.


Quick read of “time” in “Nabo”

–Nabo’s asleep for two years . . .

–singing boy

–Saturday he goes places

–he gets kicked by a horse in the head

–he sings when taking care of horses

–there’s a girl: she’s sick and she’s dependent on Nabo,
who turns the crank on the old record player

–after Nabo gets kicked by the horse, he thinks he’s still
in the stable, he loses track of time

–Nabo talks to some man who has been waiting for him from
years to eternity



pg. 72

Para 1: Nabo was sleeping in the hay; he hears a voice that
tells him to wake up; the “voice” is someone, so not specified; “sleeping for
three days”; Nabo’s dreaming or imagining the voice, he’s unconscious or in a


Pg. 73

Para2: Nabo’s awake, and he’s
remembering about another time; analepsis to the Saturdays in town watching “the
Negro” play saxophone: notice the use of parentheses


Para3: doesn’t see the Nego, and his
memories come to the present; the Black man might be a ghost.


Pg. 74:

Para4: man speaks to Nabo; Nabo’s in
the stable, having a conversation about a choir (analepsis?); male voice
speaking to Nabo; the mute girl first mentioned:


Para5: Analepsis back to Nabo’s
Saturday nights on the square: and Nabo at the end “woke” from his sleep


Pg. 76: little mute girl: she’s disabled, “we” could be
parents, or relatives; they seem to feel sorry for her, and maybe even give up
hope for her living a “regular” life


Pg. 77: notice the difference in time between Nabo’s time
and the “we”s time.

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Class Notes, 5 Oct. 2011

October 5th, 2011 · Uncategorized

 “Dialogue with the Mirror” (pg. 42)

Incipit: first paragraph

–setting: room

–character is male, he woke up, heterodiegetic narration

–time in action: past tense

–internal/external focalizer . . .

–transition between what narrator assumes and what the narrator takes for fact

–“oblivious to the worries and unrest of the recent early morning”: emerging out of the unconscious into the conscious world; interior/exterior

–begins: time order begins recounting previous events

–free-indirect discourse: between two different types of narrator discourses: homodiegetic and heterodiegetic

(notice the abrupt changes in focalization, as well as the mirror functioning as a place of meeting between “interior” and “exterior” worlds)

magical realism: think of the differences in “narrative magic” between fairy tales and complicated, maze-like narratives (Samperio for instance, or “Eyes of a Blue Dog”)


Responding to John’s Response 2 

–“Eyes of a Blue Dog”: happening in the unconscious, dreams and fiction, as in Samperio;

–this story takes place in the unconscious world: dream logic; story time/discourse time: The Cave of Montesinos in DQ

–unreliable narrator: everything told from his perspective, we don’t hear her: she’s a projection of his unconscious

–they are both dreaming: they are dreaming one another, like Samperio, characters in someone else’s fantasy (phantasy)

–what’s the motive?: a dream that no one remembers . . .

–“The Deep End” Scary Kids: “she only comes to me in my dreams”


–Surrealism (representing the unconscious in art); paintings by Salvador Dali (Spain)


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Class Notes, 3 Oct. 2011

October 3rd, 2011 · Uncategorized

Class response to Casey’s second response:


The quote from Jahn she decided to work with:

Even though we cannot actually see or hear the narrator, the text contains a
number of elements that project the narrator’s voice. Clearly, it is not
very hard to read out the passage and give it an appropriate intonation. The
voice projected from the text seems to be voice of a teenage boy, for instance.
(If you are familiar with the text you will know that the narrator, Holden
Caulfield, is actually seventeen.) Much the same happens when you read an email from a friend and her voice projects from some typical expressions — so that you can practically “hear her speak”). A reader can hear a textual
voice with his or her “mind’s ear” — just as s/he will be able to see the story’s action with his or her mind’s eye. We will say that all novels project a narrative voice, some more distinct, some less, some to a greater, some
to a lesser degree. Because a text can project a narrative voice we will also
refer to the text as a narrative discourse. One of the narratological key texts is Genette (1980 [1972]), a study entitled Narrative Discourse;
another is Chatman (1978), Story and Discourse. So, we are evidently
right on target. We focus our attention on a novel’s narrative voice by asking Who speaks? Obviously, the more information we have on a narrator, the more
concrete will be our sense of the quality and distinctness of his or her voice.


Class brainstorming:

(some initial keywords to deciphering the above: “project the narrator’s voice” [think of “to project” as a verb, but also the product as noun, the project or “construction” of a textual voice]; “We will say that all novels project a narrative voice, some more distinct, some less” [Jahn’s law for all novels, ALL novels]; “Who speaks” [tied to focalization] . . .)


–how to represent intonation in texts: how to represent
changes of pitches in narrators’ or characters’ voices without actually hearing

–mind’s ear: everyone’s going to have a different voice in
their heads;

–you bring a set of voices to each text you read (the
author projects your expectations as a reader): BUT

–think of adults writing in the voices of children . . . is
the voice believable?

–difficult to put the “I” as myself: I could be the
character, narrator, or the reader.

–“Obviously, the more information we have on a narrator,
the more concrete will be our sense of the quality and distinctness of his or
her voice”; the more we know the character, the more we can hear her voice

–the more description we have contributes to narrators’/characters’

–when you know someone, you understand their intonations

–Q. If the narrator has an emotional investment (or is
all-knowing), will the voice be more or less distinct than a detached one?

–homodiegetic narrator could be detached (could lie),
heterodiegetic narrator could reveal something beyond the character’s

–DQ: complicated, because sometimes when given glimpses of
the narrator; Cide is the author, but can we say he’s the narrator? Glimpses of
his voice but through translation . . –tones: ways of speech; “pidgin” English
vs. formalized English (standard English, non-standard English)


Some more Quixote videos:

The animated version: (notice the “southern” accent of the video’s narrator):


Orson Welles’ version: 


The samurai version:



Complete film, 1933:



& the Wishbone version (rated G):

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Class Notes, 26 Sep. 2011

September 26th, 2011 · Uncategorized

Thoughts on Austin Powers (and genre):

–Iconography of the music: parody of spy movies or 60s or 70s music; parody: making a joke of the genre:


genre: category, type of something; distinguishing forms: a set of conventions which change through the course of history; the codes governing conduct; “codes” as “rules”


music: pop, hip hop, rock,–rhythms, words, melody, the way the artists dress, style of singing voice,


movies: comedies, horror, drama, romance: mood—how feelings are communicated to the audience:



Partial Magic: The Novel as a Self-Conscious Genre



“Defeated Proverbs: The Battlefor Knowledge Between Characters in Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra’s The Ingenious Hidalgo Don Quixote de la Mancha



Phrase after is an extension of what came before, connects the two different sides; partial references the “novel”






Para1: PIE paragraph: Austin Powers and genre


Para2: thesis, and connecting Sancho to Scott and awareness of genre conventions


Para3. Thesis: telling what essay’s going to be about; opinion, argument: 2-3 sentences; happens in the beginning of the intro


Last sentence of first paragraphs?


Can’t it just go anywhere?

Or the conclusion?

Of the title?


THESIS: that “would” ought to go:


I would argue that throughout Don Quixote it is not the knight or the Canon but rather Sancho who makes plain the important distinctions between the two. Indeed, it is the squire’s bafflement when faced with literary convention that leads to the reader’s fascination with the very nature of literature as it is explored in the novel. Though unable to read and unschooled in literary traditions, the squire has much to tell us about the fundamental differences between literature and life. If, as Ortega y Gasset points out in the epigraph to this study, the imaginary is poetic while reality is antipoetic, it is Sancho Panza, the unlikeliest of literary critics, who reveals the fundamental differences between the two.








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