He had had glimpses, during his sojourn there, of the life the Tommies lived, sleeping on strange, low canvas beds covered tightly with blankets, eating eggs, drinking tea and wine in tin mugs, going to parade and then walking down to the bazaar with cigarettes in their mouths and small silvermounted canes in their hands.
Mulk Raj Anand, “Untouchable,” (New York: Penguin Books, 1930), 11.
Notes: It’s very clear that this is being written in a time in India where Western imperialism had a strong influence on Asia. This sentence is describing the results of crossbreeding between these two cultures to create the hybrid that is these assimilated, natural-born Indian citizens.
I can remember how when I was young I believed death to be a phenomenon of the body; now I know it to be merely a function of the mind – and that of the minds of the ones who suffer the bereavement. The nihilists say it is the end; the fundamentalists, the beginning; when in reality it is no more than a single tenant or family moving out of a tenement or a town.
William Faulkner, “As I Lay Dying,” in As I Lay Dying (New York: Vintage Books, 1930), 43-44.
Notes: It’s really interesting for a doctor to take such a stance on death. He completely discredits it in any medical sense. I think there’s some slight foreshadowing here, since the Bundren family does uproot for Addie’s burial.
Lady Bruton stood by Miss Parry’s chair, a spectral grenadier, draped in black, inviting Peter Walsh to lunch; cordial; but without small talk, remembering nothing whatever about the flora or fauna of India. She had been there, of course; had stayed with three Viceroys; thought some of the Indian civilians uncommonly fine fellows; but what a tragedy it was – the state of India!
Virginia Woolf, “Mrs. Dalloway,” http://www.mrs-dalloway.com/
Notes: This really speaks to me as a period piece. The names, the references to imperialism and the Gothic descriptions of Lady Bruton.
They whack-whacked the white horse on the legs and he kneed himself up. The picador twisted the stirrups straight and pulled and hauled up into the saddle. The horse’s entrails hung down in a blue bunch and swung backward and forward as he began to canter the monos whacking him on the back of his legs with the rods. He entered jerkily along the barrera.
Ernest Hemingway, “In Our Time” (New York, 2003), 89.
Notes; This is very similar to the passage we discussed in class. It is equally disturbing and ambiguous.
“Very curious, dear. But so sad about poor Sir Reuben. I must write a few lines to Lady Levy; I used to know her quite well, you know, dear, down in Hampshire, when she was a girl. Christine Ford, she was then, and I remember so well the dreadful trouble there was about her marrying a Jew.”
Dorothy Sayers, “Whose Body?” in Whose Body? (New York: Boni & Liveright, 1923), 27.
Notes: There seems to be an obsession with Jews throughout the novel. Some of the language in regards to Jewish people has slightly degrading implications. I’m not quite sure if this is a theme pertaining to the novel or if this was a common way to talk about Jews during this time.
Uncle Charles smoked such black twist that at last his nephew suggested to him to enjoy his morning smoke in a little outhouse at the end of the garden.
James Joyce, “A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man,” (New York: Random House Inc., 1996) 78
Much like the opening of the first chapter, the opening of the second chapter uses the title “his nephew” when speaking of Stephen instead of just saying his name. It’s a similar style of narration to that which we encountered in Melanchta.
Girls who are brought up with care and watching can always find moments to escape into the world, where they may learn the ways that lead to wisdom. For a girl raised like Melanctha Herbert, such escape was always very simple.
Gertrude Stein, “Melanctha,” in Three Lives (New York: The Grafton Press, 1994), 54
Jane had many ways in which to do this teaching. She told Melanctha many things. She loved Melanctha hard and made Melanctha feel it very deeply. She would be with other people and with men and with Melanctha, and she would make Melanctha understand what everybody wanted, and what one did with power when one had it.
Gertrude Stein, “Melanctha,” in Three Lives (New York: The Grafton Press, 1994), 60
Throughout Stein’s novella Melanctha is alluded to having a thirst for knowledge, and yet she is constantly misunderstood for her pursuit by her friends and family. There are multiple references to the wisdom she gains from talking with men, but as to the nature of the knowledge, that is kept misleading. Her closest friend in her youth is Jane Harden, who also passes knowledge to Melanctha. Jane wants Melanctha to know how to please people, but Melanctha seems to constantly anger the people she comes into contact with.
She again shook her head. “What I mean isn’t what I’ve always meant. It’s different.”
“It’s something new?”
She hesitated. “Something new. It’s not what you think. I see what you think.”
His divination drew breath then; only her correction might be wrong. “It isn’t that I am a donkey?” he asked between faintness and grimness. “It isn’t that it’s all a mistake?”
“A mistake?” she pityingly echoed. That possibility, for her, he saw, would be monstrous; and if she guaranteed him the immunity from pain it would accordingly not be what she had in mind. “Oh, no,” she declared; “it’s nothing of that sort. You’ve been right.”
Henry James, “The Beast in the Jungle,” in Major Stories & Essays (New York: Library of America, 1999), 475.
Notes: Am I just stupid or does this story make no sense whatsoever. Seriously, this guy is worse than Samuel Beckett.
It was in the way the autumn day looked into the high windows as it waned; in the way the red light, breaking at the close from under a low, sombre sky, reached out in a long shaft and played over old wainscots, old tapestry, old gold, old colour. It was most of all perhaps in the way she came to him as if, since she had been turned on to deal with the simpler sort, he might, should he choose to keep the whole thing down, just take her mild attention for a part of her general business.
Henry James, “The Beast in the Jungle, ” in Major Stories & Essays (New York: Library of America, 1999), 447.
Notes: I just love the way these two characters are introduced to each other. The way he is immediately transfixed by her and the attitude that she gives back in return; like he’s just a part of her daily routine. And the imagery that’s conjured when her glance is described as fading autumn sunlight is absolutely beautiful.