Tuesday, September 30, 2008


Read further, work harder! Papers due on Thursday/Friday.

Monday, September 29, 2008


Read and work! It's simple! Do this job well, dudes and dudettes.

Friday, September 26, 2008


All information you need is just below and to the right.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


Continue to read in Allende to page 141 for Tuesday/Wednesday. See schedule and deadlines at right.

I am reading senior commentaries, and let me reveal a few phrases that you should avoid like the bubonic plague in your papers:

The author uses style and imagery to MAKE HIS SENTENCES FLOW. (What the heck does that mean, anyway? Use text to prove points. Flowing sentences are not demonstrable nor even, in every case, desirable. Plus, I still do not know what it means for "sentences to flow" when we speak of professional writers. It is an empty term used when you don't know what you are talking about, so it is like a big red and white flag of Siam saying "I DON'T KNOW WHAT I'M TALKING ABOUT!")

The author uses a dark tone TO MAKE AN IMPACT ON THE READER. (Who is this imagined reader? It's NOBODY! It's a black hole of a concept into which can drip all manner of foolishness. Use text to prove points, not some assumption tagged THE READER. At this stage, and until further notice, totally ban THE READER from your critical work! THE READER is another red flag!)

The author uses a DARK TONE to make an impact on the reader. (This one is already dead in space because it has a black hole in it, but what is a DARK TONE? Tone describes the attitude of the writer, narrator, or speaker toward his subject or audience. Tone can only be demonstrated through diction and phrasing that reveal attitude, preferably examples with more than one possible meaning. It helps if you define "attitude toward WHAT" -- the subject, character, or audience? The context determining the meaning, and the meaning so determined, demonstrate tone. The author or narrator's tone will not be "dark." That's way too ill-defined. It will be bitter, callous, condescending, contemplative, contemptuous, critical, cynical, defensive, defiant, desperate, detached, determined, didactic, diplomatic, disdainful, dramatic, formal, friendly, enthusiastic, humorous, indignant, informal, intimate, ironic, judgmental, lighthearted, malicious, mocking, nostalgic, objective, persuasive, reflective, reverent, sarcastic, sardonic, satirical, sincere, sympathetic, tragic, urgent, or vindictive. Those adjectives describe a very specific attitude. And then you have to take individual words, sentences, and relationships within the text and convince me that you are right about it.)

Monday, September 22, 2008


Complete your mini-research as well as your close reading and commentary on One Hundred Years. Continue reading in The House of the Spirits.

Friday, September 19, 2008


Read pages 1-24 by Monday/Tuesday. Produce the proposal that day as well. Exactly.

Thursday, September 18, 2008


See you in the auditorium. Bring your novels and some paper.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


Work on your proposals and read your assigned passages (passages assigned to B-day only so far).

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


A-day should have proposal done by Monday, Sept. 22, and the essay completed by Tuesday, September 30.

Monday, September 15, 2008


Begin planning your essay on One Hundred Years. Find the instructions on the download page. The due date is September 19 for the proposal and September 30 for the essay.

Friday, September 12, 2008


I had left the blog open to comments from all people with a Google ID. I have now changed the permissions to allow comments for members of this blog only. That means some of you may have to go through a sign-in step before commenting in the future. It will still allow you to comment, though.

Thursday, September 11, 2008


See yesterday's entry. Finish the book for next class.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


As assigned, finish the book. After Wednesday/Thursday class, choose a topic to track in the novel so that you can write a clear, coherent piece making sense of it all.

Monday, September 8, 2008


See the document at Downloads called "BenjaminHistory." I wrote the first page, but the second consists of extracts from Benjamin. Read and respond to it at least once on the blog. Be sure to be specific in your references to the document and mentally engaged as you write. After reading once, you might look for key words: "spiral," "line," "image." What is meant by "progress" and "homogenous, empty time"? Marquez writes of the isolated rebels, history's big losers. He is investigating how to recover the flitting image of the past. Remember -- Colonel Aureliano Buendia lost every battle and then struggled to keep either image of himself or coherent language to express himself on pages 161-168. Think hard, get dirty, grasp an idea.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Friday -- See this everyone! A-day too!

Speed up a little!

Read through page 267 for Monday/Tuesday
Read through page 332 for Wednesday/Thursday
Finish for Friday/Monday

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

for Friday/Monday (reversed B-A)

Read through page 159 in Cien Anos de Soledad. Using notes from class on magical realism, find one passage from one paragraph to one page in length that best exemplifies the definitions of magical realism in your notes. Be prepared to point out exactly what makes your passage a great example of magical realism by applying AT LEAST FOUR of the descriptors in your notes to the passage in a highly convincing manner.

Those running behind may find the peer review questions on my downloads page linked below right.