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    k0g71330 wrote a new post, “Daily Life and Immediate Perspectives”, on the site Origins of the "Novel" 4 years, 5 months ago

    In “The novel and social/cultural history” (Chapter 2 of The Cambridge Companion to the Eighteenth-Century Novel), J. Paul Hunter discusses what he terms “the New Cultural History” of the eighteenth century […]

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    k0g71330 commented on the post, Evelina: The lowly, country, bumpkin comes to London., on the site Origins of the "Novel" 4 years, 7 months ago

    In reply to: Mo wrote a new post, Evelina: The lowly, country, bumpkin comes to London., on the site Origins of the "Novel" First off, I would like to say that Evelina has been the most interesting book I’ve encountered s […] View

    I seriously love this book. I’d never heard of Frances Burney before this class, but I’m a little bit obsessed with her now. I enjoyed reading your post; Evelina’s character growth is fascinating and so much fun to read through. I think it’s especially interesting because in many ways it is what the whole novel is about: a young girl’s developme…[Read more]

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    k0g71330 commented on the post, Dancing as a Common Custom, on the site Origins of the "Novel" 4 years, 7 months ago

    In reply to: Sana wrote a new post, Dancing as a Common Custom, on the site Origins of the "Novel" In London people apply the best costumes, wear wonderful clothes and attend the best social events. It was the heart of Europe. […] View

    I agree that Evelina’s struggles with assimilating to the culture in London make her a sympathetic character. I’m curious about what Burney’s intention was in writing a novel about a girl as unfamiliar with such customs as Evelina is. In my reading, I found that Evelina’s distance from such social norms gave Burney the freedom to explore their…[Read more]

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    k0g71330 wrote a new post, Social Norms in Evelina, on the site Origins of the "Novel" 4 years, 7 months ago

    Through various characters in Evelina, Frances Burney demonstrates the preoccupation with reputation and propriety that is often associated with England in the eighteenth century. This theme is made evident in the […]

    • Interesting conclusion. Maybe Burney questioned whether these conventions were suitable to all individuals, even in various geographical locations. I wonder what audiences Burney sought to appeal?

    • Considering how fastidious Mr. Villars is to the rules of social engagement, it makes me wonder why Evelina was so inclined to embarrass herself as she was raised by a man who adheres to the norms. While I subconsciously took note of their manners, I hadn’t truly thought of it until now: the only thing that separates the Branghton family from the Mirvan’s are manners. Their treatment of manners branches from their inability to perceive the world around them, which is a stark contrast to Evelina’s ability to pick up on queues around her. It seems that Evelina’s obsession with the rules says a lot about her intelligence; if you’re dumb, you can’t pick up on the small things.

    • I feel that the author is trying to express her opinions in an appropriate way as a female writer at 18-century, by leading us to take the view of Evelina, Villars, and Orville, they seemed to be “too perfect,” those characters are apparently very special comparing with the others. Perhaps, I would guess, the ideas of the author hides in those charactor’s words.

    • This novel is in the genre of what we’d call the “comedy of manners” or the “novel of manners”–that is, it looks satirically at manners and behaviors as tools for social, moral, and/or political commentary. So, it’s not coincidental that Evelina is being used in this way; she is described routinely as “natural” and “unaffected,” in contrast to many of those around her–the Branghtons, Madame Duval, the Captain, Lovel, and so on. This allows Burney to construct (drawing on Lennard Davis’s ideas from last week) a normative center that is, for all that, an illusion, a fantasy. What does our being aware of this help us understand about that idea of “the norm”? Especially for female behavior?

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    k0g71330 commented on the post, Visualizing knowledge in Frankenstein!, on the site Origins of the "Novel" 4 years, 7 months ago

    In reply to: k0g71330 wrote a new post, The Exchange of Sentiments, on the site Origins of the "Novel" In his introduction to the Penguin Classics edition of A Sentimental Journey, Paul Goring explains that the term […] View

    I’d like to add on to this post with a short discussion of the article I found in the MLA International Bibliography database that I had hoped to discuss in class last week: “Sterne among the Philosophes: Body and Soul in A Sentimental Journey”, written by Martin C. Battestin and published in Eighteenth-Century Fiction (1994). Battestin des…[Read more]

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    k0g71330 wrote a new post, The Exchange of Sentiments, on the site Origins of the "Novel" 4 years, 7 months ago

    In his introduction to the Penguin Classics edition of A Sentimental Journey, Paul Goring explains that the term “sentimental” was still fairly new during Sterne’s lifetime. While its definition was somewhat ambig […]

    • I’d like to add on to this post with a short discussion of the article I found in the MLA International Bibliography database that I had hoped to discuss in class last week: “Sterne among the Philosophes: Body and Soul in A Sentimental Journey”, written by Martin C. Battestin and published in Eighteenth-Century Fiction (1994). Battestin describes Sterne’s relationships with various proponents of materialist philosophy. He states:

      Sterne’s friendship with several of the most radical and influential of the philosophes began soon after he arrived in Paris for the first time in January 1762… He no sooner settled into his lodgings in the Faubour Saint-Germain than he was taken up by the beau monde, but most especially by the coterie holbachique—that bright circle of intellectuals and literary men who gathered two or three times a week to enjoy lavish dinners and witty conversation at the house of Baron d’Holbach. (Battestin 19)

      He goes on to explain that “D’Holbach and his circle were the heart of the philosophic radicalism that was propelling France towards the events of 1789” (Battestin 19). During his visits at D’Holbach’s house, Sterne developed meaningful friendships with such prominent philosophers as David Hume and Denis Diderot. In this essay, Battestin explores the interesting relationship between Sterne and these “notorious infidels” (being a priest himself, it seems unusual that Sterne would associate with such vocal atheists). He notes that Diderot (“a confirmed materialist who considered that the various states of the ‘soul’ were entirely dependent on changes in the body” [Battestin 21]), was someone whom Sterne admired and considered a friend throughout his life.
      Battestin suggests that A Sentimental Journey, written in the last year of Sterne’s life “in the intervals between attacks of consumption that were becoming ever more frequent and severe”, was an attempt to address those “weighty questions he and his friends had discussed over so many good dinners in Paris” (Battestin 27). Through the character of Yorick, Sterne appears to be wrestling between his religious beliefs and the existential anxiety that arises as one draws closer to death. One quote from Battestin that I appreciated states: “Yorick is not the butt of Sterne’s satire, but his spokesman and alter ego. Though he may abuse his conscience… he nevertheless has a conscience” (Battestin 30). I found Yorick to be an endearing and sympathetic character (in spite of, or perhaps because of, his numerous flaws), and I was glad to see Battestin present him in a positive light. I enjoyed Battestin’s essay, and found that Sterne’s novel (which I enjoyed before having read this essay) can be read on an even deeper level if one considers that it may be an insight into Sterne’s mind as he approached death.

      Works Cited:
      Battestin, Martin C. “Sterne among the Philosophes: Body and Soul in A Sentimental Journey.” Eighteenth-Century Fiction 7.1 (1994): 17-36. MLA International Bibliography [EBSCO]. Web. 14 Feb. 2016.

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    k0g71330 wrote a new post, What does Pamela deserve?, on the site Origins of the "Novel" 4 years, 7 months ago

    One interesting thing that I’ve noticed in the novels we have read so far this semester (Oroonoko, Roxana, and now Pamela) is the way in which the protagonists are presented. In class we noted that one major […]

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    k0g71330 wrote a new post, The Commodification of Sex in Roxana, on the site Origins of the "Novel" 4 years, 7 months ago

    This blog post is in response to the first half of Defoe’s Roxana and was posted nine days late (due 1/26, posted 2/4).

    In the past few years, the issue of protecting sex workers’ rights has garnered much att […]

    • So, do you think that the novel functions, in part, to shape how a patriarchal culture understands women’s sexual agency? I think this might lead us to some really interesting discussions about the audience of the book. Another thing we might consider is the relative weight we are meant to give, as readers, to the moments where she regrets/moralizes/condemns herself–I’m thinking particularly about the ending as a perfect example. We are told that she “fell into a dreadful Course of Calamity” (329), which she sees as remuneration for her various “Crime[s]” (330), but this statement occupies a miniscule fraction of the entirety of the novel–which is a very exciting, salacious tale. I am reminded of Defoe’s protestations in the preface… Ultimately, those two points aren’t unrelated, though, which we can talk about!

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    k0g71330 wrote a new post, Modes of Realism in Pirandello’s Six Characters in Search of an Author, on the site Social Upheaval in Dramatic Structure 4 years, 7 months ago

    Emerging as a subset of Postmodern literature, the tradition of “magical realism” re-imagines the Modernist subjects of identity and truth by depicting mundane details of life alongside fantastic or sup […]

    • Kaitlyn,
      I really like your focus on Worthen’s argument that these two perspectives are unresolved rather than oppositional. I think that’s a worthy angle of approach to several of the plays we will discuss, particularly ones that focus on more abstract stage sets, themes and messages versus the plays that try to convey concrete setting, time, and character. This approach could work well for discussion Beckett and Baraka next week as well, so keep it in mind.

    • P.S. Remember it’s hard for me to comment in a timely fashion if your post isn’t up by Sunday evening. It sort of limits the usefulness of your post. In other news, remind me to talk in class about my unconventional application of the term “magical realism,” which most critics would not apply nearly as liberally as I do. Pirandello is working in a time period before the movement of magical realism is invented or conceived. I find it useful as a term to help us interrogate realism, however.

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    k0g71330 wrote a new post, Response #1, on the site Social Upheaval in Dramatic Structure 4 years, 8 months ago

    In the PBS video clip posted on Blackboard, Anna Deavere Smith discusses her play Let Me Down Easy with host Tavis Smiley. First performed in 2009, this play is just one of Smith’s series of performance works w […]

    • Kaitlyn,

      To add onto your take of postmodernism on this play, I would say that Smith does a great job of aligning these personal identities into one of national importance, when race is a key factor in the conflict. I think that by portraying multiple voices she is also not putting importance on just one person or one side of the story, which supports what you are saying.
      You mention that she straddles on the line of the signified and the signifier. By using these individual voices, she seems to play into postmodern view by addressing that there are fragments and various sides to this debate.

      While Smith doesn’t like debate, she’s doing a good job at encapsulating the voices of others through one story. As the story progresses, the conflict is no longer just personal to the victim, but rather to the rioting that follows.

      Does she successfully project ‘universal realities’ in her play and how so?

    • Hi Kaitlin!

      Your essay made me think further about what I discussed in my reading response – that is, the Black Arts Movement’s focus on functional art. Many of the playwrights and artists interviewed in the “Not a Rhyme Time” PBS special talked about what makes art art, and what makes art “black art” (the difference being, as Amiri Bakara discusses, political function. August Wilson says that “if it didn’t contribute in any way then it wasn’t black art”). Perhaps some of the politics in the art examined in this documentary is more “preachy” (as you say) than Smith, but I think Smith is still working in that same tradition of art-as-political or functional. Fires, as well as her other works from this series, provoke conversation, which is just as much a function of art as a statement about black reality is a function of art (and one could argue that Fires has both). I highly recommend taking a look at this documentary if you haven’t already!

    • Kaitlyn,
      This is a well-argued response that weaves the sources and the play together masterfully. My only two comments would be that pulling in a couple of specific quotes from “Fires in the Mirror” could help ground your analysis, and that you’ll want to keep thinking about whether the plays in this course are ever really interested in showing the world “as it is,” or if they are all pushing the world to change in various ways. For example, Pirandello, whom we are reading this week, is working 2 generations prior to Deavere Smith, but is equally interested in deconstructing the expectations of the division between art and reality. Just in a really different way than she does it. I’ll be interested to hear your thoughts on that boundary in class this week. Great job of applying critical readings to the play itself. One final note–I can’t seem to see your classmates’ comments on your work. If you have the “moderate” function set, can you approve your classmates’ comments so I can read them? Thanks.

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    k0g71330 commented on the post, Research Topic Revised, on the site Origins of the "Novel" 4 years, 8 months ago

    In reply to: Sana wrote a new post, The Tragic Character, on the site Origins of the "Novel" Oroonoko a truly tragic novel, but who is the tragic hero? First, ‘tragic hero’ is the literal character who makes a choice that […] View

    You make an interesting argument about Oroonoko’s downfall being a result of Imoinda’s choices. I think that this is one way of reading the novel, but I personally had a different interpretation. I felt that both Oroonoko and Imoinda were victims of other characters’ greed and deceit, and that together they filled the role of the “tragic h…[Read more]

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    k0g71330 wrote a new post, Honorable Conquests, on the site Origins of the "Novel" 4 years, 8 months ago

    In class last week we discussed the significant social and cultural changes that occurred during the Restoration and the eighteenth century, both within Britain and on a global scale. Two critical factors in those […]

    • I agree Oroonoko and his mate reflect the times in which the piece was written.

    • Fully agree, the author seemed to hope for a slavery system under order, and she shows to believe that natives and slaves could live a rather happy life under the England colony system, as long as people gain and treat slaves in a proper way.

    • Very interesting reading of the language of romance in the novella! I think you’re quite right to see that in the text. I wonder if you could explore more the effect of this? How do we get from the romance portion of the plot into the later part set in Surinam? Is noble, sincere love–which sets Oroonoko and Imoinda apart from the other enslaved–an acceptable sign of empire? I also wonder how acknowledging Behn’s generic debts might impact this analysis–specifically, her use of the heroic romance tradition (which is complicated by her investment in the first-person “historically-accurate” account).

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    k0g71330 wrote a new post, Hi!, on the site Origins of the "Novel" 4 years, 8 months ago

    This is Kaitlyn. I’m in my second semester of the English and Humanities Graduate Program here at Marymount, and I’m focusing my studies on Literature and Language. My major interests are in Romantic and V […]

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    k0g71330 wrote a new post, Week 1, on the site Social Upheaval in Dramatic Structure 4 years, 8 months ago

    January 18th: No class

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    k0g71330 created the site Social Upheaval in Dramatic Structure 4 years, 8 months ago