Thursday, January 31, 2008

Hamlet Strands & Characters & Criticism

Throughout the whole play, you are to keep a notebook (see Reader's Notebook Rubric) on two characters and one "strand" which runs through Hamlet.
Hamlet Strands 2008
  • eye / I
  • Fortune & Fate
  • words words words
  • Water & Liquid
  • prison
  • “strumpetness”
  • Ghosts
  • Light
  • Dark
  • Flora
  • Fauna
  • Dreams

Major Characters:

  • Hamlet
  • Ophelia

Other Characters:

  • Gertrude
  • Claudius
  • Horatio
  • Polonius
  • Laertes
  • Rosencrantz & Guildenstren

Please make a post documenting which strand you are investigating and which two characters you are focusing on and why (very brief). This is a very easy homework grade.

James Joyce Critical Essay

due: February, 6th 2008 in class. Come to school early and print in the computer lab if you have trouble with your printer at home.

Late papers will lose 10pts. a day.

Scoring Guide: Critical Essay

You will also pass in all your notes and outline and rough draft for homework credit.


  • Paper needs to be 12pt font, Times New Roman, left justified, no spaces between paragraphs.

  • Your last name and page number of paper in Upper Right Header.

  • Margins 6.5 inches wide. 1 inch margins on all sides.

  • Minimum of 8 pages in length.

  • Title page needs to be 12pt font, Times New Roman, centered, double-spaced. It should include title, your name, my name, the course, and the date.

  • For quotations longer than 4 lines: set the quotation off by starting it on a new line and indenting each line one inch, or ten spaces, from the left margin. Do not enclose the passage in quotation marks.

  • Internal Citation must be done properly.

Papers will not be considered on time if all requirements are not met.

Your goal is to produce an original thesis about Stephen and his evolution as a character throughout the novel A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. You will do this by explicating three passages and applying critical theory to your analysis.

Feel free to use this space for any discussions--maybe you want to run some idea by the class and get some feedback?

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Notes from the Psychoanalytic Groups

These are the notes you all came up with in your groups...thanks again for typing and emailing me the notes. Though other groups submitted, I think this is the best version of the notes.

Psychoanalytic Criticism

· Definition: A form of criticism in which writers use psychological ideas and beliefs in order to analyze a character’s mind set and behaviors.

· Sigmund Freud: The “baby daddy” of Psychology.
· Uses the conscious and subconscious to reveal a characters wants or needs, relating back to childhood and sexual desires.
· Oedipus Complex: Fear of the father (or males in general) and desires for the mother or inadequate mother substitutes. Fear of castration and homosexuality.

Parts of the Psyche

Id- passionate, irrational, unknown, unconscious
Ego- “It” the part of the psyche that experiences and reacts to the outside world and mediates between the primitive drives of the id and the demands of the social and physical environment.
Superego- the part of the personality representing the conscience, formed in early life by internalization of the standards of parents and other models of behavior.

Writers often hide ideas and have the reader to create the meaning of these ideas using the unconscious part of the psyche to analyze these ideas.

How do writers employ such techniques?

§ Dream Sequences: When Joyce writes about Stephen visiting the strumpet. Pg 96-99 in the maroon book.
§ Tone of writing: when the “father” starts talking about the retreat and what is going to happen during it. Beginning on pages 105.
§ Allusions, illusions and delusions – throughout the book

Psychoanalytic Criticism employs three approaches:

First: It investigates the creative process of the artists: what is the nature of literary genius and how does it relate to normal mental function?
Second: psychological criticism is the psychological study of a particular artist.
Third: the analysis of fictional characters.

Notes from the Feminist Criticism Groups

These are the notes you all came up with in your groups...thanks again for typing and emailing me the notes. Though other groups submitted, I think this is the best version of the notes:

French Feminism
French Feminism drew their ideas from psychoanalytic philosopher Jaques Lacan.

1. French Feminism focuses on language and how the author creates meaning through this language
o The structure of language is phallocentric.
o Images appear in pairs, also known as binary logic.
o Son/Daughter
o Reason/Emotion
o Masculine/Feminine
o Light/Dark

2. Language is associated with the separation from the mother.
o According to the philosopher Julia Kristeva, feminine language is derived from the preoedipal period of fusion between mother and child.
o It is a method by which women may be creative in new ways.
3. The male point of view dominates culture and society.
o Women risk becoming outcasts by these new ideas.
o Men have a need to fill the gap that is created when they are separated from their mothers.
4. Helene Cixous and Luce Irigaray emphasize feminine writing as an expression of the female body.
o Addressed the issue of masculine dominance.
o An emphasis on the body either reduces “the feminine” to a biological essence or elevates it in a way that shifts the valuation of masculine and feminine but retains the binary categories.

American Feminism
In A Literature of Their Own (1977), Elaine Showalter divides women’s writing into three phases:

1. Feminine (1840-1860)
* Woman imitated the male point of view
* They imagine as if they were men in order to write and speak, or else they would have to choose silence—“the unheard sex” (100)
2. Feminist (1880-1920)
* Kate Milleht, Carolyn Heilbrun, Judith Fetterly and others created the “feminist critique”
* They on analyzing literary texts and great works by male authors
* Their revisionist rereadings led to attacks on the masculine ideas
* American feminist critics examined the characteristics of the female characters
* American feminist critics seek to expose the patriarchal society portrayed by the men
a) Dominance of men in society
b) Dominance of husbands at home
3. Female (1920-present)
* Another group of feminist critics—Sandra Gilbert, Susan Gubar, Patricia Meyer Spacks, and Elaine Showalter—created a revised feminist critique that advocated the female perspective
* They hoped to understand the women writers’ emotions and perception through the history of women and their culture
* This group of feminist critics rediscovered the forgotten works of woman writers

Weakness of American feminist criticism (1970s-1980s)
* By emphasizing the “universal female attributes” (303), the American feminists were merely countering the male opposition with the same points

British Feminism

1. British Feminists objected to the tendency of some North American critics to find universal or "essential" feminine attributes.
o They argued that differences of race, class, and culture gave rise to crucial differences among women across space and time
2. British feminist critics regarded their own critical practice as more political than that of North American feminists, emphasizing an engagement with historical process in order to promote social change
3. Believed that Americans celebrated heroes falsely; Americans suggested that powerful individuals are immune to repressive conditions.

Also, these are some good quotations from the essay from another group:

French Feminists
  • Focus on language and how meaning is produced
  • Language is typically a male realm
  • Suggested “masculine desire dominates speech and posits woman as an idealized fantasy fulfillment for the incurable emotional look cause by separation from the mother” (Jones “Inscribing” 83)
  • Feminine language is “semiotic” not “symbolic” blends mother and child
  • Men focus on one thing in life and language and sex while women focus on many things, reflecting the males’ one sexual organ to the women’s many


  • “American feminists critics began by analyzing literary texts rather than philosophizing abstractly about language,” (302).
  • “examined the portrayals of women characters, exposing the patricarchal ideology implicit in such works and showing how clearly this tradition of systematic masculine dominance is inscribed in our literary tradition,” (302).
  • Also discussed female authors’ “gynocriticism” and how they created a literature of their own”
    “rediscover women’s history and culture” (302).
  • Their goal was to unite feminists and bring attention to female writing
  • Women all have their own style of writing and thinking while men typically have one


  • More political than North American feminists
  • Believed that “American opposition to male stereotypes that denigrate women often leads to counterstereotypes of feminine virtue that ignore real differences of race, class, and culture among women,” (303-304).
  • Also “argued that American celebrations of individual heroines falsely suggest that powerful individuals may be immune to repressive conditions and may even imply that any individual can go through life unconditioned by the culture and ideology in which she or he lives, (304).
  • “British feminist theory emphasized an engagement with historical process in order to promote social change,” (304).

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Non-traditional Thangka Paintings by Ryan Gallagher

The scans are kid of funky, but I don't have a camera good enough to get the detail.

Buddha with Tigse

White Tara


Monday, January 14, 2008


Q: Who am I interested in today?

A: TSANG Kin-Wah.
more youtube additions on scroll bar to enjoy at your leisure

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Naomi Klein

I just read the most amazing book. Though her other books are fabulous, this may be the smartest book I've ever read. I just had to share the news. I added her website to the blogroll on the right under the "worth a daily visit" section. I think I'm going to watch all her video clips on youtube now.

Naomi Klein's The Shock Doctrine

Painting by Ryan Gallagher

since you've all been kind enough to ask, here's one of my paintings:

It's oil and mixed media on canvas and called "Ted Berrigan, Red Shift and the Emperor Wu"