Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Fiction Workshop

Tuesday & Wednesday 03/30 & 31 In-class writing.

Thursday & Friday 04/08 & 09 Independent Study. More details forthcoming.

The following week we distribute stories for the new rounds. STORIES MUST BE TURNED IN ON THE DAY THAT THEY ARE DUE WITH SUFFICIENT COPIES. THIS TIME I WILL ACCEPT NONE LATE AND NO EXCUSES. We will fall too far off track and cost the more conscientous students some time and attention if we slip off the schedule again. No story this round will amount to a zero and no ability to make it up. If there is a foreseeable issue, talk to me IN ADVANCE. I have to be able to adhere to this so please don't ask for exceptions. We have a lot to do in this wind-up month.

Contemporary Lit.

03/30 Tuesday Hayden & Roethke discussion

04/02 Thursday Presentation of Modernist pieces

Homework: Read Sonny's Blues by James Baldwin (your anthology) and Michael Cunningham's White Angel. (hand-out) Compare, take copious notes, plan to lead a discussion about the way p.o.v., class, time, theme, tone, etc. compare.

04/06 Tuesday Discussion of Sonny's Blues and White Angel.

04/08 Thursday Independent Study. Specifics coming.

Thursday, March 18, 2010


1. Use one image that is surreal but borrows from the real world
2. One invented word or phrase, neologism, spoonerisms, etc. all good.
3. one object given as a gift.

Friday class: please watch the blog for particulars on where your class is meeting. I'll post more by 5:00 p.m. today or sooner.

Also, the Group One stories for Wed. Fri. will not be workshopped until Friday AFTER break. That means that any remaining group one members must distribute on Wed. of our return. Group Two on Friday and so on.

Tuesday-Thursday, your next round begins on Tuesday of the following week. (After break.)

Have a lovely break and be safe.

Contemporary Lit

Gertrude Stein







Contemporary Literature Syllabus Update

Homework over Spring Break

From your anthologies, read the following selections.
Theodore Roethke: My Papa's Waltz
Robert Hayden: Those Winter Sundays
All of the Elizabeth Bishop selections
Gwendolyn Brooks: We Real Cool and A Bronzeville Mother Loiters in Miss...

Story: Sonny's Blues by James Baldwin.

After Break we will be reading some of Robert Lowell Skunk Hour, For the Union Dead and For Roethke. All of the Ginsberg, Ferlinghetti and Kerouac. After that, Plath, Sexton, Forche, Nye, Raymond Carver, Sandra Cisneros. I'll assign more specific dates but if you're worried about reading-ahead, those will be the authors and selections from our books.

Have a fun (and very safe!) break. See you soon.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Contemporary Literature

Your next big assignment will be due on the Thursday of the week after Spring Break.

The assignment, as we've been discussing in class, will deal in some way with one of our literary figures and tackle it through ekphrasis (which, for our purposes, will be the idea that art inspires art or literature inspires art.)

Consider Auden's Musee de Beaux Arts and how it began with a myth (Icarus) which set off a painting that was written about by Auden in the poem.

Fiction Assignment

Go outside. Note three new things that are revealed by the sunlight or that you notice anew. One thing should be found on the ground.

Include one character who is confused about the time of day or place he or she is occupying.

Have something happen in a public place that creates tension.
(Ex: at the thrift store on Sunday a man was poking a little girl in the forehead and telling her "I am gonna f(*k you up!" The girl was not older than eight.) The exchange was loud and people from several aisles away were watching.

Include one beverage.

Thursday, March 4, 2010


* A strong and intentional break with tradition. This break includes a strong reaction against established religious, political, and social views.
* Modernists believe the world is created in the act of perceiving it; that is, the world is what we say it is.
* Modernists do not subscribe to absolute truth. All things are relative.
* Modernists feel no connection with history or institutions. Their experience is that of alienation, loss, and despair.
* Modernists champion the individual and celebrate inner strength."Mirrors instead of windows."
* Modernists believe life is unordered.(The fragmented, broken, pieced-together.)

* Modernists concern themselves with the sub-conscious.

Read more: http://www.brighthub.com/education/k-12/articles/29453.aspx#ixzz0hE3cCn0n

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Contemporary Literature

Tuesday 02/02 Ezra Pound video
Homework: Consider Modernism, Pound, Stevens and Gertrude Stein for Thursday and next Tuesday's discussion. Be ready to discuss and contribute.

This week and next will finish up Modernism. Reading assignments to be posted on Thursday for next readings.

Thursday 02/04: Discussion Modernism, Stevens, Pound, Stein.

Tuesday 02/09 No Class.
Homework: Stein's biographical information.

Thursday 02/11 Modernism discussion final notes.