English 346 notes (9/5-9/17)

1 Leave a comment on paragraph 1 0 ENGLISH 346- NOTES

2 Leave a comment on paragraph 2 0 Levine:

3 Leave a comment on paragraph 3 0 – Realism of correspondence: world as it is – portraying things as they are

4 Leave a comment on paragraph 4 0 – Realism of coherence: trying to make sense of the world. Something to make it all come together and make sense

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6 Leave a comment on paragraph 6 0 How novels approach the problem of bring these two together:

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  • – Eliot: did it in terms of style- Free indirect style narration
  • – Dickens:
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    • Form: in terms of the shape of a novel
    • Bildungsroman: starting low and working way up to respectable individuals. Person fits into the world by laying out a whole life
    • First time we say this style in 19th century
    • Includes linear/teleological form- when you have something that has a definite end point- moving towards an end. Climatic, satisfying, cathartic. No need for anything beyond that. These don’t wander much
  • – These are the dominant trends and then everything develops in response to these
  • – 19th century: rapidly changing world- economic and imperial domination
  • – British life changed- rubber boots, economic middle class developed
  • – 19th century also had growing science as an institution. They used hypothesizes and tried different things out until they come to a conclusion
  • Literary naturalism: idea that you can turn literary (mostly novels and poetry into or treat literature as science)
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    • Different then general naturalism
    • If an actor or something is naturalistic: seem like normal people with no added beauty or fluff
    • Literary or artistic nationalism is different
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      • Emile Zola- experimental novel (1880)
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        • Connection to scientific experiment
        • Must collect data and create different scenarios to characters and show how they would react to different circumstances
        • Many texts using this had political reason behind it à texts that affect people in the real world (example- yellow wallpaper was written to help and educate people)
      • – Main facts about human existence according to Zola:
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        • Determinism: your acts of free will don’t matter, but your destiny has been determined ahead of time
        • Begins with evolutionary theory- all our actions are determined not by choice or rational ideas but by things like natural instincts
        • This includes hysteria, neurasthenia- something you cant control, compulsions
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          • This is opposite of Smiles- he said everything depends on you and your actions
          • This has a cause on racism and sexism because it is easy to blame negative things as natural
        • Zola page 7-8:
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          • There is no room for deviation against nature. Naturalism author has to write exactly as seen
          • Therefore might as well just take a picture which is most accurate, and novels might as well take on things that cant be observed
        • – Realism is about getting you to feel things for characters- the subjective (brings own personal feelings into something)
        • – Nationalism is unsympathetic- attempt to make literature objective (unbiased- impersonal, not about feelings) and scientific
        • Nana by Zola (1880): about a low prostitute who gets discover and rises in prominence in French society
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          • Very enchanting adjectives, very sexual and magical
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            • Nothing magical is happening but the narrator is describing it as the power of magic- à we can’t control our desires or sexual impulses
            • Naturalism is often associated with the grimy
            • The small details are very important to the nationalist writers à literature about compulsive people
          • – Gilman: –
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            • Major early feminist and socialist
            • Story is sort of autobiographical- author was suffering something similar to hysteria
            • Mitchell Silas Weir: famous for the “rest cure”
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              • Any woman suffering from basically any mental condition, the best solution is to keep them home at bed and not let them do anything, including read or write
            • Gilman herself was treated by Dr Mitchell
          • – The Yellow Wallpaper-
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            • Last two words- “every time” – creeping in a circle around the room- repeating. Emphasis on activity
            • Colonial mansion:
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              • Representing hierarchy and isolation
              • Colonial house contain separate floors
              • Colonialism in America
              • Mansion: associate with related with creepy, dark, gothic vibes (haunted mansion)
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                • Bluebeard tale- young naïve girl marries rich older man with a bluebeard and moves into his mansion. All he says is don’t go into the closet- she goes in and finds skeletons of ex-wives
              • Donkin

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18 Leave a comment on paragraph 18 0Literary Naturalism (19th century)

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  • Key term in this is determinism: idea that ones actions aren’t really his/hers own. Determined by biological, social, behavioral, psychological factors
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    • Scientific observation: they’re job is to uncover these factors
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      • Done through description– if you explain a character in enough detail, ones determined factors will be clear
      • Examples: Compulsion, hysteria, neurasthenia (Yellow Wallpaper)
      • Through a novel, readers can see how characters cant always escape a certain fate
    • Another type of determinism: Racialism
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      • Racialism: side effect of evolutionary theory: idea that certain animals are descended from another. Different nations and races came from different types of species.
      • Racialism: scientific underlining of where racism could develop from
      • Haeckel wrestled with these questions of naturalism and racialism
      • Social Darwinism:
      • Type of determinism: degeneracy/ physiognomy:
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        • Before middle class, people would stay in their own station, and dressed and acted based on that station- predictable society
        • 19th century brings middle class: people trying to move up.
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          • Class can no longer be determined just by looking at someone (by dress…) – gives rise to modern criminology (how to be able to tell by someone’s face if they are/will be a criminal)
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            • Lombroso- studied people’s faces and determined if you can tell if someone is a criminal. Said a criminal is atavistic: fixation on the return of something ancestral within yourself – this would give someone criminal impulses. Comes along with lack of civilized manners (primitive)
            • Physiognomy: study of ones faces and being able to tell characteristics based on physical appearance (shape of skull)

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25 Leave a comment on paragraph 25 0 Symptoms of modernity

26 Leave a comment on paragraph 26 0 – With modernity things felt new and fake (superficial) so that brought new styles regarding authenticity and realness

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  • “Urbane sublime” (style, an aesthetic, idea)
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    • Sublime: natural, raw, uncontained, hard to grasp, a beauty that’s terrifying yet fascinating
    • Beautiful versus the sublime (Edmund Burke): the sublime is raw and untouched while beautiful is well kept, trimmed. Main difference is beautiful is easily measures while sublime cant be measured
    • Grimness, less civilized parts of a city. Fascination of this side of a city- contradictory. Includes immigrants of a city
  • “Naturalist gothic” (genre)
  • Culture: Authentic vs inauthentic

30 Leave a comment on paragraph 30 0 – Fu Manchu stories: expresses the urban sublime regarding immigrants

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  • Chinese were exploited but in many stories were turned into the criminals when I fact they were discriminated against/kicked out/put into jail for providing cheap labor

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  • – The Yellow wallpaper- Gilman
  • – The Third Circle – Frank Norris
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    • Descriptive detail: regarding how the place looked and its setting. Not very descriptive of the two main characters appeared
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      • Exotic details of the surroundings
      • White characters were never really described. Very anonymous besides the tiny weird morbid details that identify the white body
      • Interested in racist stereotypes- scared of settings, loses themselves and identities (literally
      • Pays attentions to morbid details
      • How the Chinese criminals look
    • Agency: racialism (not exactly racism- but more about the pseudo science differences and pre-dispositions between races)
    • History/memory: the white woman who looses her memory (domesticated into enslavement)
    • Legacy genres:
    • – Sui Sin Far

45 Leave a comment on paragraph 45 0 – Legacy of naturalism

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  • Individual becomes omniscient and see everything but also become dethatched from the world
  • Gilman- she describes the wallpaper in detail but in doing so, becomes isolated from the world and even imagined herself in the wallpaper
  • Norris: describes everything that the narrator becomes detached and not really having any effect on the world

48 Leave a comment on paragraph 48 0Sherlock Holmes- The Adventure of the Speckled Band

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  • – Sherlock Holmes as a Naturalist story
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    • Descriptions by Watson—obsession with details
    • Urban sublime- The grimness of the city, atmosphere of degeneracy
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      • Royle’s hint to hereditary illness
      • Split between the narrators
      • – Irony that as a naturalistic story and writer, Watson tells readers so many pointless details regarding the mansion and bedroom but misses the points that are important and help solve the story
      • – Naturalism is set up to show that the details are not enough- there is a Sherlock Holmes that is required- the hero
      • – At the moment of revelation, Watson is blinded by the light and misses the whole point
      • Nietzschean – “Superman/overman” (Ubermensch- racial superiority) – how to overcome shortcomings of being human
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        • Philosopher and writer in 19th century, had impacts on 20th century
        • Zarathustra- a Persian philosopher
        • Thus Spoke Zarathustra- The superman is the next stage in evolution
        • About how man in their pettiness, become their own animal
        • Idea of humans living beyond the limitations of religion
        • Walter Pater
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          • Aestheticism-
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            • Enjoying art not because it teaches people about the world, not about lessons and deeper meaning,
            • Not about relating to other things. About ability to enjoy it dethatched from everything else
          • “Art for art’s sake”
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            • Art versus reality- art does not have to be able to connect with our reality
            • Experience versus meaning/interpretation
            • Individual versus social
          • How does Pater come to this conclusion-
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            • Includes science- as science gets better, its harder to explain the other things that make up humans like feelings, emotions, experiences
            • Science takes away the opportunity to be subjective
          • – Horse in Motion
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            • Develops rapid fire technology
            • Has a bet with Stanford that when a horse runs, all its four feet are either all off the ground or all on the ground
            • Idea that science is getting more precise, which makes emotions and experiences harder to pin down
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Source: https://english346.qwriting.qc.cuny.edu/2018/09/26/english-346-notes-9-5-9-17/

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