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Monthly Archive for April, 2012

Stagnancy

This might sound like an overly harsh snap judgment, but I feel that The Submission displays an extraordinary lack of what I would describe as intellectual and emotional progress in the lives of its characters.  What’s more, this cannot be accidental on the part of Waldman. In fact, I believe that it is a vital […]

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Allegorically Gardening

It is surprising to me the number of times allegory is directly mentioned in Amy Waldman’s The Submission. Typically, in other novels the reader has to find the allegorical meaning hidden within the text. For example, when one reads The Reluctant Fundamentalist one can eventually see that the name Erica has an allegorical significance as […]

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The Inside Job

When I first started my presentation on 9/11 conspiracy theories, I was a little uncomfortable. While it was a subject I was interested in learning more about – admittedly I’m kind of weird and love learning about things like this – I also felt horribly un-American. Maybe I’m too quick to place trust in authority, […]

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9/11 Elegies

Warning: This post will be long. To start, I began my project with the crazy notion that I could speak for twenty minutes on what an elegy was and why it had anything to do with 9/11 specifically. I ended up google-ing “9/11 elegies” and finding a wide variety of mediums. A lot of people […]

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Didn’t This Actually Happen?

Well, I know this exact scenario didn’t actually happen, but doesn’t The Submission sound like a souped up version of what could have happened during that whole “mosque at ground zero” thing?  I remember there were those two distinct sides: one side believed it was disrespectful to have an islamic worship center in the vicinity […]

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Something of an angry rant

People like Sean Gallagher are the reason I am disillusioned with the world. Granted, he is the last child of a tired mother. Granted, he is damaged. Still, in The Submission, he is the voice of the ignorant mob. This comes across most clearly on page 129 when he challenges Paul Rubin over Mohammad Khan’s right […]

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Thanks again to Yahoo! news, I’ve come across something that I think relates quite strongly not only to the entire semester we’ve spent in this class, but also quite specifically to The Submission, as well as Verena’s presentation on her visit to New York. The link I clicked on reads “See new World Trade Center […]

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Ratings Are What It’s All About

The TV show “All-American Muslim” was a reality show on TLC that showcased five Muslim families living in Dearborn, Michigan, one of the largest Muslim communities in the country. It aimed to show how Muslims were normal Americans and dispel some of the “Islamophobia.” This seems especially apparent in one of the show’s taglines, “One […]

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This post is in response to Sarah’s oral report, so clearly I’ve been sitting on it for a while and I apologize for that. Miguel de Unamuno, a Spanish/Basque writer, presented an analysis of human motivation regarding living and dying that I show below in chart form. As it relates to this class, each character […]

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…and a very fast three years they’ll be. Keeping that in mind, this post is meant to contain some advice for you all on how best to take advantage of the time you have left here at Sweet Briar. I’ve learned a lot from observing and (occasionally) teaching this class, not only about how to […]

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While listening to “You’re Missing” in class on Tuesday, I didn’t really think it was addressed to a specific person. I felt like he was addressing everybody who had lost somebody in the attacks. The lyrics, “Shirts in the closet, shoes in the hall, Mama’s in the kitchen, baby and all…” and some of the […]

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Spoiler Alert

Bruce Springsteen “You’re Missing” with lyrics : As I stated in class after we listened to Bruce Springsteen’s “You’re Missing,” I was reminded of something from The Submission. Although most of you have not read it yet, the connection I made is pretty simple. Basically one of the main characters in book, Claire Burwell, lost […]

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We’re All Mad Here

It’s a mad world.  Jess Walter, author of The Zero, seems to have been thoroughly aware of that when he wrote this novel.  Not only that, but aware of the fact that readers themselves are heavily conscious of madness in terms of popular culture.  Walter, in his decision to convey the narrative of The Zero […]

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9/11 Memorial

We briefly talked in class about what the 9/11 memorial means to us now and what it will symbolize in the future, and why people visit memorials. I have a few thoughts on these points and I hope others will chime in. I believe that for those of us who are old enough to have […]

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I’ll admit, I couldn’t help myself from doing a bit of research! Here is an interesting article discussing Sex and the City‘s response to 9/11. The article mostly repeats a lot of what we heard yesterday, but it also mentions that the producers decided that an episode with military members in it counted as a tribute. (I’ve […]

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Allegorically Confusing

Jess Walter’s The Zero is a well-crafted book that explores the devastation of 9/11. Upon waking up days after 9/11 and discovering that he has shot himself in the head, Remy proceeds in an altered state of mind. He then takes an upsetting walk through the city’s own devastation, while at the same time the […]

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While watching Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, I was struck by how independent Oskar is.  He travels throughout New York City – not just within Manhattan but to other boroughs – with nothing but a backpack and his ideas.  I just couldn’t get past the idea that someone so young, not to mention with so […]

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So the title for this post is actually from The Submission, however the focus is on The Zero. I just wanted to write a short post, basically to see if anyone else felt the same way I did. While reading The Zero I couldn’t help but feel like it was making fun of the tragedy of […]

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This Book should be a Movie

Does anyone else think Jess Walter’s novel The Zero should be a movie? The entire time I was reading all I could think of was how it would make a great movie, and dare I say, a better movie than a book. I know, I know, it seems terrible and I’m pretty sure JGB would disagree with […]

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To follow up the presentation I made in class last Tuesday, I’d like to talk a bit about communication in the novel. It’s funny how I will talk to you now through writing on a blog in the interwebs about the communication errors made by a few fictional people in 300 pages. In my presentation […]

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My Yahoo! News This Morning

On the front page of Yahoo! News this morning I was given an array of information. A child was found alive in a morgue, there are 25 iPhone user tips that as an iPhone user I absolutely must know, a dog saved a puppy from drowning, and, in a tiny yellow banner at the top […]

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Max von Sydow

For those of you who might be interested, here’s an interview in which the great Swedish actor Max von Sydow discusses his role in the film adaptation of Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. Click here or on the image below to watch the interview.

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Divided We Fall

I wanted to follow up on my chat about Sikhism with this video. This documentary takes a look at the aftermath of 9/11. Divided We Fall

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I think Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close is an anti-war novel, subtly. Oskar doesn’t talk that much about the war or terrorists throughout the novel, but I think Foer argues against the novel by describing the horror and people’s reactions to it. One of the more prominent ones is when Oskar’s grandfather is in the bombing of […]

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 “A lot of the time I’d get that feeling like I was in the middle of a huge black ocean, or in deep space, but not in the fascinating way. It’s just that everything was incredibly far away from me.” – Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close It can be extremely hard to figure things out. […]

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I came to care very deeply for Oskar while reading this book. I didn’t always completely agree with his all of his decisions throughout the book, but what really matters are the intentions behind his actions. What caused me to like and feel connected to this nine-year-old boy was his heart. Oskar embarks on his […]

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Perhaps one of the most interesting topics in this book is ‘The Renter.’ As we all later find out, this is Oskar’s grandpa, his dad’s dad. Throughout the book we were exposed to clips inside the grandfather’s mind, mostly concerning the act of leaving his wife and his unborn child. We basically get to know a […]

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I hate to break it to you, but I judge books by their covers. I picked this book to do my project on based on the cover alone because I thought the look of it was incredible. Obviously, the color is one of the first things to catch a reader’s eye. Because the color is […]

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Diagnosing Oskar

Kasey got me thinking about Oskar and the way he thinks. She, and others agreed, that he has some disturbing and sad thoughts. I found his thoughts to be normal considering his circumstances (father’s death, 9/11, new unknown male in his life), but I definitely do see that they may be absent in a happy […]

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title

We have not talked about the title of this book yet. I would like to do so in the context of the two manifestations of the phrase “extremely loud and incredibly close” that I found in the text. The first is on page 165 – “then, out of nowhere, a flock of birds flew by […]

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