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WORLD LITERATURE MAY 2, 2012 Period 1 and 3: Drop off your 10 bullet point notes on Modernism on the stool. No warm-up. Instead, get out a piece of paper.

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Presentation on theme: "WORLD LITERATURE MAY 2, 2012 Period 1 and 3: Drop off your 10 bullet point notes on Modernism on the stool. No warm-up. Instead, get out a piece of paper."— Presentation transcript:

1 WORLD LITERATURE MAY 2, 2012 Period 1 and 3: Drop off your 10 bullet point notes on Modernism on the stool. No warm-up. Instead, get out a piece of paper and take notes on the following slides. Title these notes: “Existentialism” Remember: Keep all your notes in your notebook in a safe/secure place. In just a few weeks, you will be turning in all your notes from this semester for points (real points– not extra credit points). Make sure they all have a title and date on them.

2 REMINDERS Research essay… –10% off for each day it is late! Turnitin.com Last day to turn in late work from March is Tuesday! 3 minutes before class is over, remind me to stop…

3 ANDREW WYETH Christina’s World (1948) A complex philosophy emphasizing the absurdity of reality and the human responsibility to make choices and accept consequences!

4 IDEAS BEHIND EXISTENTIALISM Existentialists assumes that… There is no specific meaning and purpose in life, which makes every human’s experience different and lonely. “Existence precedes essence” which suggests that the human being has no essence (i.e. no core self).

5 Existentialists believe that… Nothing can explain or rationalize human existence. There is no answer to, “Why am I here?” Humans exist in a meaningless, irrational universe and any search for meaning or order will bring them into conflict with this universe. IDEAS BEHIND EXISTENTIALISM

6 Existentialists believe that humans have Choice and Commitment Humans have freedom to choose. Each individual makes choices that create his or her own nature or experience. Because we choose, we must accept risk and responsibility for wherever our commitments take us. “A human being is absolutely free and absolutely responsible. Anguish is the result.” –Jean-Paul Sartre IDEAS BEHIND EXISTENTIALISM

7 Existentialists believe Dread and Anxiety are common human experiences.Existentialists believe Dread and Anxiety are common human experiences. Dread is a feeling of general apprehension. Kierkegaard interpreted it as God’s way of calling each individual to make a commitment to a personally valid way of life. Anxiety stems from our understanding and recognition of the total freedom of choice that confronts us every moment, and the individual’s confrontation with nothingness. MAN RAY “Les Larmes” (Tears)

8 Existentialists believe that Nothingness and Death are common to all. Death hangs over all of us. Our awareness of it can bring freedom or anguish. I am my own existence. Nothing structures my world. “Nothingness is our inherent lack of self. We are in constant pursuit of a self. Nothingness is the creative well-spring from which all human possibilities can be realized.” –Jean- Paul Sartre IDEAS BEHIND EXISTENTIALISM EDVARD MUNCH “Night in Saint Cloud” (1890)

9 EDGAR DEGAS “L’absinthe” (1876) All humans face Alienation or Estrangement… from all other humans from human institutions from the past from the future We only exist right now, right here. IDEAS BEHIND EXISTENTIALISM

10 Edward Hopper“New York Movie” (1939)

11 “I will be what I choose to be.” “There are no true connections between people.” “My emotions are a choice I make. I am responsible for them.”

12 An existentialist believes… A person’s life is nothing but the choices and consequences he has shaped for himself. Every decision must be weighed in light of all the consequences of that action. At every moment, an individual has his own free will in choosing how to act. He is responsible for his actions. Each man must create his or her own morality. There are no absolute values to help us create meaning or make choices. God has little/no importance in the lives of men; even if God does exist, He does not reveal to men the meaning of their lives. One should be honest with oneself Life is absurd, but we engage it! IDEAS BEHIND EXISTENTIALISM

13 GEORGIO DE CHIRICO Love Song It was during the Second World War, when Europe found itself in a crisis faced with death and destruction, that the existentialist movement began to flourish in France in the 1940s.

14 Some Famous Existentialists Søren Kierkegaard ( ) Friedrich Nietzsche ( ) Jean-Paul Sartre ( ) Albert Camus ( ) Albert Camus Man creates himself through the choices he makes. There are no guides for these choices, but he has to make them anyway, which renders life absurd.

15 Out, out, brief candle! Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player That struts and frets his hour upon the stage And then is heard no more; it is a tale Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, Signifying nothing. William Shakespeare, Macbeth

16 “You will never be happy if you continue to search for what happiness consists of. You will never live if you are looking for the meaning of life.” “It was previously a question of finding out whether or not life had to have a meaning to be lived. It now becomes clear, on the contrary, that it will be lived all the better if it has no meaning.”

17 Before we leave, let’s arrange ourselves into groups of four for Monday’s literary circles! Once you are in a group of four, raise your hand, I’ll move you to the front of the room.


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