Feed on
Posts
Comments

Monthly Archive for February, 2012

“Picasso wasn’t at Guernica…”

Click the image to se a larger version of Picasso’s Guernica.

Read Full Post »

Toward the end of class today, I mentioned the process of naturalization for citizenship, and how the term in itself is paradoxical, as there is nothing particularly “natural” about it. I was curious to find out how the word, then, came to be used, and my quick online search yielded the following. From the Online […]

Read Full Post »

Executions on the 3rd of May Francisco Goya  

Read Full Post »

Don DeLillo has stated that his object as a writer is to pay attention to cultural trends in the United States, New York City specifically, and to represent these trends in his writing. This has led critics to characterize him as paranoid, since many of the trends he has followed are pessimistic. For example, DeLillo […]

Read Full Post »

Eric Fischl’s “Tumbling Woman”

Although our primary focus in this class is the literature of 9/11, one of the particularly interesting and complex issues that arose in the wake of the tragedy was the public’s response to visual art, particularly “public art.” Such works — those that are situated in a public place where the work might be encountered […]

Read Full Post »

As discussed in class, The Reluctant Fundamentalist is a lot more engaging than Falling Man. Is this simply because The Reluctant Fundamentalist is a better narrative? Is it the style of writing? Is it the subject? I personally think that the reason we consider The Reluctant Fundamentalist better is not necessarily because Hamid is a […]

Read Full Post »

“But surely it is the gist that matters; I am, after all, telling you a history, and in history, as I suspect you–an American–will agree, it is the thrust of one’s narrative that counts, not the accuracy of one’s details. Still I can assure you that everything I have told you thus far happened, for […]

Read Full Post »

“Excuse me, sir, but may I be of assistance? Ah, I see I have alarmed you. Do no be frightened by my beard: I am a lover of America.” – Mohsin Hamid, The Reluctant Fundamentalist (Page 1) In The Reluctant Fundamentalist by Mohsin Hamid, the American in the story is portrayed as the typical judgmental character. […]

Read Full Post »

…that Changez and Erica both end their tales in much of the same position? Changez falls deeply into a form of love with Erica. Though throughout the novel it becomes clearer and clearer that Erica herself has fallen deeply in love with someone else; someone dead, Chris. In Erica’s mind Chris is very much so […]

Read Full Post »

In many ways, Mohsin Hamid’s The Reluctant Fundamentalist is a much easier read than Don DeLillo’s Falling Man. Hamid’s narrative goes down smoother; it is more engaging, more tantalizing, and more open.  The book is not long, nor is it mechanically complex.  The Reluctant Fundamentalist is an easy read. … Except that it isn’t.  I […]

Read Full Post »

Friend or enemy?

Friend or enemy? One of the aspects of the novel that we discussed in class the other day was the importance of the tension between Changez the narrator and his interlocutor the American that creates a great suspense and a sense of insecurity. Are they just two random guys having tea in the Old Anarkali? […]

Read Full Post »

In Mohsin Hamid’s The Reluctant Fundamentalist the main character Changez’s monologue felt like he was having a conversation with you. Rather than feeling like the story was being told to you. By writing the book this way the reader feels like an insider rather than an outsider. The conversational manner by which Changez expresses his […]

Read Full Post »

One of the reviews, by Philip Pullman, at the beginning of The Reluctant Fundamentalist, calls the novel a thriller. I found the comment interesting, because it probably  would have been the last thing I would have called the novel. Throughout the novel, Changez frequently calls attention to his guest’s gun holster, and at the end of […]

Read Full Post »

It is interesting that Mohsin Hamid chose The Reluctant Fundamentalist as the title of his book. Changez’s identity crisis was brought up a few times in our discussion. I think the title really plays on the fact that Changez struggles to clearly define who he believes he truly is. Whether his love for America extends […]

Read Full Post »

Is Changez an American?

One of the ideas that we talked about in class was that the narrator of The Reluctant Fundamentalist is difficult to characterize as either American or outsider because throughout the novel he accepts or rejects different aspects of what it means to be an American. He presents himself to the stranger as an outsider – a […]

Read Full Post »

I have some thoughts with regard to what we discussed earlier in class today about the characters in The Reluctant Fundamentalist being stereotypical, especially the “American”. I believe that authors may use stereotypical characters for at least two reasons. 1) Using a stereotypical character to represent something. Perhaps the person whom Changez is addressing is […]

Read Full Post »

9/11: Video Killed the Radio Star

From Harper’s Magazine, December 2001: A song list compiled by Clear Channel Communications executives and distributed to their affiliates in the wake of the September 11 attacks. Clear Channel, with 1,200 stations the largest radio conglomerate in the country, suggested that DJs refrain from playing the songs due to their “questionable lyrics.” “99 Luft Baloons/99 […]

Read Full Post »

Below is an excerpt from an essay that Don Delillo published a few months after the 9/11 attacks. Click here to read the entire essay. Eleven years ago, during the engagement in the Persian Gulf, people had trouble separating the war from coverage of the war. After the first euphoric days, coverage became limited. The […]

Read Full Post »

Here is an excerpt from philosopher Edmund Burke‘s On the Sublime and Beautiful. It is taken from Section XV, which contains the heading “Of the effects of tragedy”: In imitated distresses the only difference is the pleasure resulting from the effects of imitation; for it is never so perfect, but we can perceive it is imitation, […]

Read Full Post »

Falling

That’s why you built the towers, isn’t it? Weren’t the towers built as fantasies of wealth and power that would one day become fantasies of destruction? You build a thing like that so you can see it come down. The provocation is obvious. What other reason would there be to go so high and then […]

Read Full Post »

War on Terror

Forget God. These are matters of history. This is politics and economic. All the things that shape lives, millions of people, dispossessed, their lives, their consciousness. This quote highlights one of the first mentions of the war on terror. I think it’s important to note how Don Delillo incorporates the different arguments that speak for […]

Read Full Post »

The Passing of Time

“These are the days after. Everything now is measured by after.” –Falling Man, page 138 This short passage comes about halfway through the book and briefly states one of the novel’s main themes, the passage of time. Throughout the entire novel, everything is compared to how it was before. 9/11 changes some aspects of the characters’ lives, […]

Read Full Post »

Poker Face

“He wasn’t playing for the money. He was playing for the chips. The value of each chip had only hazy meaning. It was the disk itself that mattered, the color itself.”~ Falling Man by Don DeLillo page 228 It is strange that in light of the struggle and grief survivors of 9/11 went through that […]

Read Full Post »

Hung Up

It’s a little bit funny that half of the title of Don DeLillo’s novel is the word “Man,” considering that the reader is not given any incredibly deep insight into the life of any man depicted in the book.  What’s more, the character whose relationship with the Falling Man is the most thorough and valid […]

Read Full Post »

It’s Connected to Everything Now

9/11 was a huge event for the entire world, regardless of whether it was a happy one or sad one. As with most big events, the repercussions seem to be endless because that event becomes a part of who we are. Whether it is something we think about constantly or simply something that is at the […]

Read Full Post »

Lost and Alone

“Kieth Used to want more of the world than there was time and means to acquire. He didn’t want this anymore, whatever it was he’d wanted, in real terms, real things, because he’d never truly known. Now he wondered whether he was born to be old, meant to be old and alone, content in lonely […]

Read Full Post »

Excerpt from Falling Man

    In his novel Falling Man, Don Dellilo tries to give us more than a realistic account of 9/11 and its aftermath.     A movie or a documentary would be much more efficient in recreating the external violence of the event.  Even if the beginning and the end are conveying the terror of […]

Read Full Post »

Arrogance?

Has anyone else ever heard about something terrible happening to a person and wondered why she reacted the way she did, and even thought that maybe you would have handled the situation better? Earlier this year, I heard about a young woman who was forced at gunpoint into the trunk of her car and kidnapped. […]

Read Full Post »

Follow the Arc

Every day is different and every day presents its own challenges and worries. Sometimes these worries follow us from day to day. We find ourselves losing ourselves in these worries. Our minds wander off on tangents of worry. Lianne’s mind is doing this constantly. She jumps from worry to worry–always something to think about. She […]

Read Full Post »

Peter Balakian’s Ziggurat

Peter Balakian is a poet and nonfiction writer who was born and raised in New Jersey, the son of Armenian parents. His works of nonfiction includes the memoir Black Dog of Fate as well as The Burning Tigris: The Armenian Genocide and America’s Response. His poetry collections include June-tree: New and Selected Poems 1974-2000 and, most recently, Ziggurat. […]

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »