-- We will begin our discussion of Faulkner's As I Lay Dying. We will begin discussing the novel in general terms, and set its elements into context of both Faulkner as well as the time of the novel's publication (1930).
E-mail assignment #3 (Due by WEDNESDAY midnight):(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, firstname.lastname@example.org, with the subject line of your last name and Response #3. In your response, indicate to which topic you respond, by number.
1) What do Darl and Vardaman's sections of the novel give us that the others'
sections don't? Or, to put it another way, given Darl's insanity and Vardaman's
youth, what do we learn from their sections that we simply cannot learn from the
others' sections? I'm not looking for overly simplistic responses like "Well, we get a
madman's view from Darl" or "Little Vardaman gives us the view of an innocent
child." Blah! Rather, I'd like you to consider, for example, what we learn
through Darl or Vardaman specifically because one's insane and the other's
a child -- what do these sections give us that the other sections simply cannot?
(Whichever character you pick, indicate the passages to which you refer, and
quote where you can.)
2) In William Faulkner: The Yoknapatawpha Country, critic and Faulkner scholar Cleanth Brooks comments on the concern for practicality that the women in the novel exhibit -- except for Addie. Is such actually the case; do Cora and Dewey Dell (and any other female characters) evince a particular concern for practical matters? If so, do these characters seem to "just be that way," or do they instead react to others' impracticality? What view of women does the novel indicate about "men's concerns" and "women's concerns"? How do Addie's concerns fit into either schema?
3) Addie's section focuses, in part on words -- often on the emptiness or meaninglessness of words (especially pp.172-73). How would you compare (or would you even compare?) Addie's attitude toward words to that we saw in Dos Passos' 1919 (especially in the biographical sections "Playboy," "Randolphe Bourne," and "Meester Veelson," but throughout the novel as well)? In both novels, what circumstances result in this perceived failure of words?
Send to my own e-mail, email@example.com, with the subject line of your last name and Response #3 (Ex: Melczarek Response #3).
-- we will not meet for class today, sorry. In lieu of this, as they say in
Monty Python, "now for something completely different": to help develop some
ideas for discussion about Faulkner's novel for next week, I ask that you use
today's class time to go to Library West to look up a recent article on As I Lay
Dying. Photocopy it, take it home, read it, and write a brief (200-300 word)
summary/synopsis of it to send to the list. To help you with this
assignment, some steps:
1) use this link for the MLA online listings for recent articles on As I Lay Dying. This site gives the titles of about 59 recent articles on the novel, and in what journals they can be found. [This first page lists the first 20. Click on the little forward-arrow next to the words "Citations 1-20 (of 59)" for 21-59.]
2) pick two or three articles whose topics sounds interesting to you. (You'll read and write on only one of these, but I'll explain why I have you pick 2 or 3 in the next step.)
3) from either a WebLUIS terminal at Library West on campus, or from your own computer at Smathers WebLUIS site, check whether UF carries the journal for the articles you chose. UF libraries might not carry the journal for one or more of your articles -- that's why I asked you to choose more than one. Also, someone else may already have the article you wanted.
4) go to the third floor of library west and find that journal; you may need to ask the reference desk on the ground floor for help with this. Photocopy the article and return the journal. (This way, you have the article itself and can take it home, mark it up, doodle on it -- whatever.)
5) read the article, boil its ideas down, and write up a 200-300 word summary. (Warning: do not just copy someone else's summary of the article and think I won't notice. That's plagiarism, and you'll be failed for it. Read it yourself; do your own work.)
6) in the subject lineof your e-mail, put your *first* name, then a slash, then the words "Faulkner Article summary" (Ex: Nick/Faulkner article summary). Send it to the e-ddress for the course list.
7) be sure you send the email from the account that I registered with the listserv, otherwise the listserver won't accept your e-mail.
8) read others' summaries as they come in, to see what variant interpretations of the novel are out there. If something in one of the summaries piques your interest, e-mail whoever wote the summary and ask her a few questions. Bask in the collective brilliance of you and your classmates.
DUE SUNDAY NIGHT (going from Sunday night into Monday morning). Don't wait until the last minute to do this. I'll know.