4420 Day 4
For next time, read and write many workshop comments
Lee's Lecture Notes Day 4: Plot, Exhaustion, the Fantastic, and Postmodern strategies

  1. Realism—a reaction to the Romantics
    1. does Jane Austen fit both?  Is her prose transparent?  Not so much
    2. The romantics focused on the power of humanity, but Austen also looked at absurdity in people and cultural mores (a pomo concern?)
  2. Modernism—a reaction to Realism; the text focuses perversely on abstract style vs. linear content
  3. Absurdist Theater
    1. based on Nietzsche’s idea that “God is dead” and existential separation
  4. Postmodernism—a reaction to Modernism; a "new way(s) of seeing" especially in terms of paranoia of power systems (see the postmodern strategy list from last time)
    1. Fragmentation and political paranoia—the questioning of culture and power structures
    2. metafiction
    3. critiques of middle class, American world views?
    4. short circuit of plots, characters, sentences?  More visible in hard core pomos from the 60’s, 70’s (when young people chanted “Don’t trust anyone over 30”)
    5. questions fixed identity
    6. Roland Barthes and Pomo
      1. Intro: Bliss is juisance or orgasm, a metaphor for what a text does to us (and what we do to it)
      2. Babel—illogic and contradiction? the Prattle text?
      3. James had us look at p. 11: (some readers and) some texts require the reader to skip ahead because of heavy narrative pull (as if we have to pull the clothes off a stripper who seems to go too slowly)
      4. the blissy text that makes us confront X
        1. notions of identity?
        2. notions of narrative—linearity?  Or rising action…
  5. Day 4 Pomo vs. Day 5 Modernism—see the literature of replenishment
    1. Romanticism
    2. Realism—transparent
      1. Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is a mystery, but it tries for the atypical protagonist
      2. yet the prose actually is transparent, clean
    3. modernism has a stylistic focus rather than a political…
    4. modernism is often based on Freud’s idea of the fragmented self (ego, id, superego)
    5. What’s fragmented about the start of Mrs. Dalloway?
    6. pomo is stylistically interesting/short circuity, but is often also political in some way (often dealing with paranoia and power that’s grown out of control)
  6. Winterson
    1. Her book draws us forward—what will happen next to Henri?  When will his innocence be shaken? 
      1. the brothel
      2. villanelle
    2. Some postmodern concerns with power that’s run amuck (Napoleon, Villanelle’s lover; the insane asylum)
    3. fragmented character—Henri ends up being mad, but he also has a young idealist self
    4. The Marvelous?  Or Magical Realism (Remedios the Beauty in One Hundred Years of Solitude p.255)?
    5. Maximalism (not minimalism)
    6. Literature of exhaustion?  No
      1. ironies, yes, parody, not so much
      2. but Winterson isn’t doing a story about middle class people doing realistic middle class things
    7. POV and two voices
      1. Henri
      2. Villanelle
    8. structure—4 act restorative?
  7. Gardner's anger at the postmodern (but what can he teach us about structure?)


Old Notes:
Close Reading with Affective Stylistics: look at the connotations/expectations of each loaded word...
Elements of Fiction in Winterson p. 3, 5, 10--today's notes
Narrative in Architectures: reimagining the ideological aspects of Freytag's triangle, or even the narrativization of "reality" like we see even on news shows like 20/20--"Caught in a Bad Romance"
Discuss writerly aspects of the readings--Winterson; Butler; Barthes
Excess erotica in Milk's slug story...reminds me of David Lynch's Eraserhead
Architechtures ch. 7--Freytag's pyramid, vs Tristam Shandy
Hassan's Pomo Laundry List...
Harroway's Cyborg Laundry List (see Pomo Am. Fiction p. 609
Lee's Larger Pomo lecture...
art and anti-art (dada)
Freytag's Triangle Template for ex. 5
--Inciting moment
--Complications/Rising Conflict
--Epiphany/Crisis/Turning Point/Point of no Return (we found that many turning points can also be inciting moments)
--Unraveling/Resolution (though many narratives don't tie things up any more)