E-mail assignment #7 (Due by midnight of MONDAY 7 April):(200-300 words, and no padding, waffling, or b.s.ing) respond to any one of the topics listed below. Send to my own e-mail, email@example.com, with the subject line of your last name and Response #5. In your response, indicate to which topic you respond, by number.
1) U.S.-born students may find the attitudes toward the U.S. expressed by
various characters unusual. This strangeness often results from the particular
way in which "Cuba" has been presented to U.S. students in their history classes.
Yet any country's view of another country is the result of several factors: how
another country presents itself, or gets presented, through its media or its own
propaganda; how one's own country represents other countries through media and
internal propaganda. It's often too easy to say that some novels "show" the
countries they discuss, or that we "learn" about other countries through novels.
Such statements overlook that novels, no matter how "reality-based" they may be,
are nonetheless creative fictions. What kinds of "America" or "Cuba" do we
therefore get in Dreaming in Cuban? How much of "Cuba" do we see as the
creation of U.S. opinion? and how much of "America" do we see as the creation of
2) As in The Crying of Lot 49 and Ceremony, the characters in Dreaming in Cuban experience history very personally. We might say that the personal is the field on which history plays itself out. How would you describe or explain the ways in which U.S., Cuban, and Cuban-American histories play themselves out on the individual lives of Garcia's characters?
3) The narrative of Silko's Ceremony was interspersed with verse sections. Similarly, Dreaming in Cuban alternates between narrative sections and Celia's letters from 1935-1959. What is the effect of the insertion of these letters that are both remnants from the past and also very personal writings from Celia to Gustavo?
-- CREATIVE PROJECTS due in class. If you're performing something, please e-mail to remind me. Visit the creative project
site for reminders on this assignment.
-- we'll also fill out course evaluations today.