All posts by Accurate and Blind

The Bazaar

“‘Dirty Dog! Son of a bitch! The offspring of a pig!’ he shouted, his temper spluttering on his speech, and the sense behind it, in its mad rush outwards.  ‘I…I’ll have to go-o-o… and get washed-d-d…I…I was going to business and now… now on acount of you, I’ll be late” (46.)

notes: alliteration and repetition of sounds, illness, grime, literally untouchable, causes virulent scene, bazaar, striking

Mulk Raj Anand, Untouchable, Penguin Twentieth-Century Classics Editions, 1935

The Horse’s eyes

“He will do on through the barn into the pasture.  The horse will not be in sight: he is up there among the pine seedlings, in the cool, Jewel whistles , once and shrill.  The horse snorts , then Jewel sees him…”Come here, sir,” Jewel says.  He moves.  Moving that quick his coat, bunching, tongues swirling like so many flames.  With tossing mane and tail and rolling eye the horse makes another short curvetting rush.”

Although the chapters in Darl’s point of view, as per the title, is it?  The story seems to jump into a story solely about Jewel and his horse, made more ambiguous by the diction of the sentence after Jewel says to come here, “his coat, bunching, tongues of swirling like so many flames” almost sounds like the point of view has shifted to the horse.

notes: point of view, lie, shift?

William Faulkner, As I Lay Dying, The Modern Library Editions, 2000

The Shattered Mind of a Roman

“I am alone; I am alone! she cried, by the fountain in Regent’s Park (staring at the Indian and his cross), as perhaps at midnight, when all boundaries are lost, the country reverts to its ancient shape, as the Romans saw it, lying cloudy, when they landed, and the hills had no names and rivers wound they knew not where —- such was her darkness;”

Woolf, Virginia.  Mrs. Dalloway.  New York: Harcourt, 1981.

Septimus’ thoughts hark back to Conrad’s line “This too, was one of the dark places of the earth.”  However, the paragraph is littered with allusionary diction like Indian, cross, Romans, and darkness. Where in Conrad there is the implicit assumption the dark place is not dark any more because it “was” and is not “is,”  Woolf seems to suggest the darkness is constantly encroaching itself upon people. The ease with which Septimus jumps from the words of his wife to an allusion to Conrad’s Heart of Darkness is unsettling to readers, because it is not an easy leap at all; it is almost insane.  However, perhaps Septimus is not insane, but the only sane one?

Fragmented Chapter

“Nick sat against the wall of the church where they had dragged him to be clear of machine gun fire in the street. Both legs stuck out awk­wardly. He had been hit in the spine. His face was sweaty and dirty. The sun shone on his face. The day was very hot. Rinaldi, big backed, his equipment sprawling, lay face downward against the wall. Nick looked straight ahead brilliantly. The pink wall of the house opposite had fallen out from the roof, and an iron bedstead hung twisted toward the street. Two Austrian dead lay in the rubble in the shade of the house. Up the street were other dead. Things were getting forward in the town. It was going well. Stretcher bearers would be along any time now. Nick turned his head and looked down at Rinaldi. “Senta Rinaldo; Senta. You and me we’ve made a separate peace.” Rinaldi lay still in the sun, breathing with difficulty. “We’re not patriots.” Nick turned his head away, smiling sweatily. Rinaldi was a disappointing audience.”

Hemingway, Ernest. In Our Time. New York, NY: Scribner, 2003.

notes: fragmentation, feeling meaningless, meaninglessness in meaning, acceptance, defeat, triumph?

Building Discussion, Then Turn

“‘-the hair has been cut so recently that there are quite a number of little short hairs stuck on his neck and the sides of the bath- and he has shaved so recently that there is a line of dried soap on his cheek-‘

‘Wimsey!’

‘Wait a minute- and dried soap in his mouth.’…

‘Wimsey,’ said Parker ‘you are making me feel cold all over…Look here Wimsey- you’ve been reading detective stories; you’re talking nonsense…Do you mean to tell me, Wimsey, that any man alive would…shave off his beard with his mouth open, and then go and get killed with his mouth full of hairs?  You’re mad.’

‘I don’t tell you so,’ said Wimsey…’he was shaved after he was dead'” (20).

Sayers’ continuous use of dialogue is alarmingly unfamiliar in context with the other material in this course, whose authors detest the ostracizing effect dialogue has between the words on a page.  However, Sayer utilizes such a tension, giving very little detail outside of the words spoken, and therefore noticed, by characters in the novel.  In this respect, many details are being omitted to readers because of the intimate perspective that Sayer crafts.  As readers follow the trail of thought of Wimsey on page 20, they simultaneously follow Parker’s thoughts, creating moments of ambiguity that lead to an expectation, followed by the thwarting of that expectation.  It seems Parker is following Wimsey’s thought process, as he passionately yells out “Wimsey!’ as Wimsey argues his case, and so reader’s begin to feel the same feelings of apprehension Parker is feeling, concocting stories to explain this body.  Just as the stories are to be confirmed when Parker announces his fear of self suffocation, Wimsey, sounding almost perplexed that such a conclusion was reached, says no, “he was shaved after he was dead” very matter of factly.  The limits of dialogue are identified and manipulated constantly.

Cyclical Train

“Then he heard the noise of the refectory every time he opened the flaps of his ears.  It made a roar like a train at night.  And when he closed the flaps the roar was shut off like a train going into a tunnel.  That night at Dalkey the train had roared like that and then, when it went into the tunnel, the roar stopped.  He closed his eyes and the train went on, roaring and then stopping, roaring again, stopping.  It was nice to hear it roar and stop and then roar out of the tunnel again and then stop” (10).

“First came the vacation and then the next term and then vacation again and then again another term and then again the vacation.  It was like a train going in and out of tunnels and that was like the noise of the boys eating in the refectory when you opened and closed the flaps of the ears” (13).

The reappearance of the train image on page 13 in terms of term and vacation helps Joyce capture Stephen’s personal fascination with cyclicality, but also the pleasure that can be taken from it.  Cyclical events have a negative connotation, as though the act of repeating is wasteful.  However, Joyce goes against the connotation by noting how Stephen “opens” the flaps of his ears, suggesting they were closed. Stephen was attempting to escape from the busy but unending clamor of the refectory, however, by having the slight moments of reprieve, Stephen can return to the noise gladly and enjoyably. The similar attitude towards vacation and term reinforces Joyce’s concern with how cyclicality is present in everyday life, and it will be interesting to see how he expands on the idea throughout the rest of the novel.

Joyce, James. A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. New York: Oxford University Press In., 2000. Print.

As the Beast We Speak

What we are especially concerned with is the turn it happened to take from her one afternoon when he had come to see her in honour of her birthday.

James, Henry. “The Beast In the Jungle,” Henry James Major Stories & Essays, New York: Library of America, 1999

notes: Perspective shift?  Who’s we?  There’s a layer of distance that shifts the reader away from the story, why?

Fictitious Human Nature

The more one analyses people, the more all reasons for analysis disappear. Sooner or later one comes to that dreadful universal thing called human nature.

Wilde, Oscar. “The Decay of Lying” in Intentions (Volume 7 of The Complete Writings of Oscar Wilde). New York: The Nottingham Society, 1909. 3-57.

Human nature is flawed and so all art by humans is flawed.  However, can it also be true art is perfect, possesses an ability to speak truth, and so makes human nature too, truthful and perfect. Which acts upon which?

[Fiction] must take itself seriously for the public to take it so. The old superstition about fiction being “wicked” has doubtless died out in England; but the spirit of it lingers in a certain oblique regard directed toward any story which does not more or less admit that is only a joke.

James, Henry. “The Art of Fiction,” Henry James Major Stories & Essays, New York: Library of America, 1999

Does James argue the opposite of Wilde?  Wilde desires lies in stories, James speaks of truth.  Can fiction be more than “just a story.”  Can it be discussed as real, when it is lies.