Presentation on theme: "English Final Bring a BLUE BOOK Format: – PRIMARY TEXTS: 3 (out of 5) passage identifications Give title, author, and 2-3 sentences on significance Avoid."— Presentation transcript:
English Final Bring a BLUE BOOK Format: – PRIMARY TEXTS: 3 (out of 5) passage identifications Give title, author, and 2-3 sentences on significance Avoid plot summary – connect the passage to class conversations and larger lines of inquiry – SECONDARY TEXTS: 3 (out of 5) passage identification Give title, author, 2-3 sentences on significance Explain the quote and connect it to a primary text
English Final – ESSAY QUESTIONS 2 (out of 3) question prompts These questions will ask you to make connections, comparisons and modest arguments across texts Think in terms of themes and methods that have organized our course or made several reappearances 5 paragraph essays are a good exam strategy General Advice: – Whereas the papers are about mounting an argument on your own – the exam is about adequately reproducing the class conversations – Micro – reproduce class conversations, reference examples (close reading not necessary), and be sure to answer the question that is posed – Macro – show your proficiency with the class material by taking up different texts/examples in each
English Final “You taught me your language, and my benefit on’t I know how to curse. The red plague rid me for learning me your language.”
English Final What are some of the main “threads” of the class conversation? What can you anticipate as potentially coming back as an essay question?
The Writeable Text What do we do with Turn of the Screw?
Readable/Writable Texts In our investigation of Jane Eyre we investigated the dynamics of what Belsey calls the “Classic Realist Text” This text is characterized by: – Illusionism (imitation/mimesis) – Hierarchy of Voices – Closure The Classic Realist Text participates in ideology by limiting the available positions from which the meaning of the text can be made intelligible and by seeming to resolve all contradictions around a set of stable subject positions
Readable/Writable Texts Classic Realist Texts are the dominant mode of storytelling mode – There is a difference between “realism” and “realistic” - many types of realism Many “unrealistic” genres like science fiction and fantasy operate on CR principles – They present characters whose worlds are ultimately relatable because they operate on similar systems of difference.
Readable/Writable Texts Belsey: “Classic Realism, then, is what Barthes in S/Z defines as the readable… the accomplice of ideology in its attempt to arrest the productivity of literary practice” (67). “Classic Realism cannot foreground contradiction” (75). But not all text are readable texts.
Readable/Writable Texts Belsey: “In the writable (scriptible), wholly plural text all statements are of indeterminate origin, no single voice is privileged, and no consistent and coherent plot constrains the free play of the voices” (97). – The writable text Foregrounds indeterminacy, inconsistency Often operates against illusionism, the hierarchy of voices and especially against closure
Readable/Writable Texts Readable Text: – Classic Realism – Offers a transparent, coherent experience or moral – We have no doubt about what we have read - recognizable Writable Text: ◦ Plural and Indeterminate ◦ Often calls attention to its status as a construction ◦ Mysterious, strange or ambivalent texts (All texts fall into this scale – there is no perfectly readable or writable text)
Criticism: Readable to Writable Jane Eyre as Readable – Story of the development of a young girl and the struggles that she overcomes – Offers a moral about love and “being true to oneself” Jane Eyre as Writable ◦ We can trace the origin of its meaning to a variety of socially constructed systems of difference ◦ The text is constructed by multiple, contradictory ideological discourses – which we can see as limited and incomplete Belsey: “Reading in order to produce the text as a newly intelligible, plural object is the work of criticism” (97).
Turn of the Screw James’s novel falls much closer to the “writable text” on Barthes’s scale. What do we do with a text that, like TotS, refuses closure and settles on indeterminacy? Critical history: Expressive Realist and New Critical approaches to this novel have famously attempted to “close” the novel or fix its meaning
Criticism: Writable to Readable? TotS as Readable – Edmund Wilson: “a study in morbid psychology” – Katherine Porter: “I decided that the ghosts were a projection of the governess’s imagination…” – Van Doren: “The statement ‘the governess sees the ghosts’ is a true statement” TotS as Writable ◦ The ghost narrative is never explained. ◦ The narrative itself is filled with unclear referents and unspoken objects These readings look for “clues” to solve the “mystery” left by the indeterminate ending – it is only from this position of closure that the text can have meaning