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Monthly Archive for March, 2012

I’ve noticed a trend in the literature we’ve been evaluating in this class. Children hold it together pretty damn well. In fact, I believe it could be argued that they do better at remaining functional in the face of disaster than many of the adults in their lives and in these stories. Sure, Oskar’s quest […]

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Stalked by Young Werther

Over the weekend, I was innocently reading my book of William Carlos Williams poems and their translations when I found an allusion to The Sorrows of Young Werther. I don’t particularly feel like commenting on the allusion right now, but I will include the poem, which is actually by José Asunción Silva. THE DISEASE OF THE […]

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Don Dellilo – more prophecy

I found this book on a bookshelf at home over spring break and was surprised at the cover, given that the only publication/copywrite date for this edition I could find was 1997. I think that might be a bird, but it might also be a plane…  

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Saint Sebastian at the National Gallery

While I was at the National Gallery of Art in D.C. taking photos for my second oral report, I stumbled across this small bronze of Saint Sebastian next to some very realistic sculptures of frogs and a crab.

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9/11 report and Aaron and Ahmed

Both Aaron and Ahmed and the 9/11 Report felt like something completely new and surprising to me. I had never thought of comics as a medium to explore real historical events and even less tragic events such as terrorist attacks. I suppose that the use of a comic book format seeks to reach a broader […]

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One of the things we discussed in class was the possibility of looking at this book as an authority in some sphere such as the social, political, psychological, or scientific. I hadn’t even considered this as an option for interpretation until then, but doing so helped me recognize that the first time I was able […]

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Procrastination Fascination

My finest skill is procrastination. I’ve had years of practice to work on perfecting the art of not doing what I’m supposed to. So today I’m scrolling through one of my most frequented procrastination websites, Iwastesomuchtime.com and found this: http://iwastesomuchtime.com/on/?i=28552. I think it’s odd to go back through the media of early 2000 and 2001 […]

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Why All the Love?

Continuing off of the momentum of my previous post, I want to mention something from Aaron and Ahmed by which I’m incredibly intrigued. That something is, of course, the relationship between Aaron and Ahmed. And when I say “relationship,” I don’t just mean the fact that they’re together for virtually the entire book. The attention […]

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… how many times I said the word “sex” during my presentation.  Also, the words “vulnerable” and “um.” I’ve seldom in my life felt as preachy as I did during my presentation yesterday. I realized later that this is because I feel very strongly about what I was evaluating. Now, instead of continuing to talk […]

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Detached? Or Way Too Close?

The 9/11 Report reads very similarly to a novel. This was obviously a very thoroughly  thought-out decision, but what was its importance? I live and breathe books, but unfortunately not ‘intellectual books.’ I live for fictional stories that take me to another world and another time, somewhere so I can forget about my hectic life, at […]

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I really enjoyed the discussion we had on the similarities between the two books and it is interesting to me to see how The Reluctant Fundamentalist and The Fall are representative of the notion of  “INTERTEXUALITY.” What is “INTERTEXTUALITY?” INTERTEXTUALITY is a notion introduced by the linguist Julia Kristeva in the late sixties: In essays such […]

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When I first read the opening paragraph to the 9/11 Report, I thought it sounded like a children’s book. Now, after rereading it a few times, I think it is better classified as a dramatic, documentary opener. I can just hear the narrator from “Law and Order” reading the paragraph while scenes of New York, D.C, […]

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Telling your own story

Hopefully by hearing others’ stories our eyes have been opened, and we can now better understand the effects of September 11th. Despite the focus of my presentation being mainly on the collection of people’s initial emotional reactions to the events of September 11th, the art pieces submitted can also be seen as a coping mechanism. […]

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New York Firefighters

In response to the brief discussion on firefighters today, I was reminded of an oral archive I came across when working on my oral report. In Memoriam, Firefighters is a recording from 1992 in which Fire Chief William Feehan discusses the culture and traditions of New York Firefighters. The Chief was killed on September 11th when the tower […]

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I hate this book

I don’t hate this book because of the format. Although I am not particularly familiar with graphic novels, I enjoy the irony of a tale presented in such a medium in which the characters are afraid to look at images because those images might spark a hidden memory or impulse. I hate this book because […]

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“A Graphic Adaptation”

Since we’re now beginning discussions of the graphic novel Aaron and Ahmed, I’ve shared with you on Google Docs a couple of excerpts from the “graphic adaptation” of the 9/11 report. Here, as well, is the link to the actual 9/11 Commission’s Final Report.  

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Jasmin Darznik reading today

Today at 4:30 p.m. Iranian-born writer Jasmin Darznik will read from her book The Good Daughter: A Memoir of my Mother’s Hidden Life in the Browsing Room at Cochran Library. The reading is free and open to the public. Jasmin Darznik lives in Charlottesville and teaches English and creative writing at Washington and Lee University. She received her Ph.D. in […]

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Allegory, symbolism, and hidden meaning can sometimes leave a reader frustrated. We are curious as to why authors seemingly make their books difficult to understand. My oral report attempted to uncover some of the symbolism in the names of characters in The Reluctant Fundamentalist and reveal the possible allegory within the story. To recount, we […]

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Throughout The Reluctant Fundamentalist by Mohsin Hamid, the main character Changez is often confronted with his own identity. Is he American because he lives in America, or does he just live there as a Pakistani man? After I finished the book, I was ulitimately frustrated along with him, but although my frustration was connected to […]

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