Friday, November 30, 2012

The Freedoms of the Absent I

The following excerpt is from a paper that was submitted for a MA of English Literature seminar in Spring 2006 at the University of Colorado by Amanda Perez (BA, MA, PhD). If you wish to use any portion of it as a source for your own exploration of Alain Robbe-Grillet's  Jealousy please feel free to contact me at amanda@amandasweeklyzen.com for a full manuscript.

Alain Robbe-Grillet a prominent member of the nouveau roman movement declared in his collection of theories For a New Novel, that "the author must cease intervening in his works" (Morrissette 260). In order for an author to write a text with as little interference as possible one must escape the traditions and conventions of literature and learn to just let their literature exist. One of the approaches to writing a novel which allows little authorial intervention is to rework the old conventions of character. Issues surrounding character stand prominent within Robbe-Grillet's theories. Traditionally, a character must have a name, a profession, and a history that will dictate what situations he is placed in and how he reacts to them (Robbe-Grillet 27). For Robbe-Grillet, a "character must be unique and at the same time must rise to the level of a category. He must have enough individuality to remain irreplaceable, and enough generality to become universal" (Robbe-Grillet 28). One of the main issues standing in the way of that individual generality is the labeling of a character with a name or pronoun.

Questions of which type of narration can be used to best express the "true self" of the text are not unique to Robbe-Grillet. Other authors have been struggling with what the "I" in a text means and how to explain the relationship between the textual "I" and the outside world. Through a close reading of Jorge Luis Borges' "Borges and I" and Alain Robbe-Grillet's Jealousy, I will explore the problems with pronouns and how an absence of the conventional pronouns and proper nouns can make a individual character irreplaceable in the text while at the same time leaving a space for generality.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Mickey's Jingle Jungle 5k Volunteer 40/365

Mickey's Jingle Jungle 5k Volunteer 40/365
This morning I got up bright and early (4am) to head out for my volunteer shift at Mickey's Jingle Jungle 5k which is part of the Wine and Dine Half Marathon weekend. It was the first experience as a volunteer both for a 5k and the Jingle Jungle 5k.

The 5k went through Animal Kingdom. Up until today my experience in Animal Kingdom has always been in the middle of the day or at night. Never have I experienced Animal Kingdom at day break like I did this morning. It was absolutely amazing. Although it was cold this morning I felt like I was in a different world inside the park. The wooded areas are even more mysterious when the day is just peeking out. The birds were all saying good morning, along with the elephants. Perhaps my favorite part of the morning happened just as the sky began light... the lions as if welcoming the sun, roared and roared. For a moment I truly did feel as if I was standing in the middle of Africa listening to the music of the nature around me.

So the sun rose and gradually the lions went on with their day. The Christmas music was playing, Rafiki was out and warming up for his interaction with the runners. And then it began.  The participants were a jolly bunch. I saw Santas, Figment, Princes, Princesses and strollers... lots and lots of strollers. And before I knew it, a mere 37 minutes later, the last runner passed me and my experience as a Jingle Jungle volunteer came to an end. It was a lot of fun and I look forward to my next volunteer shift at a runDisney event. Congrats to all those that participated.

Day 40/365 for Project 365

Friday, November 09, 2012

The Wasteland of the Diseased Mind

The following excerpt is from a paper that was submitted for a MA of English Literature seminar in Spring 2007 at the University of Colorado by Amanda Perez (BA, MA, PhD). If you wish to use any portion of it as a source for your own exploration of George Eliot's The Lifted Veil please feel free to contact me at amanda@amandasweeklyzen.com for a full manuscript.

The majority of George Eliot novels are often read as a psychological profile of diseased mind, the short story "The Lifted Veil" is no exception. Although the novella is often overlooked by critics because, it appears on the surface to be drastically different from Eliot's other works it does in fact encompass many of the qualities of an Eliot novel that critics so often explore. It is interesting that an author so often labeled a "psychological realist" should have her best work illustrating the psychology of the mind ignored. The few critics who have taken the time to write on "The Lifted Veil" cannot help drawing comparisons between Latimer and Eliot. Both seem to suffer from similar "diseases" that are caused by their "gifts of insight." "The Lifted Veil" appears at times, to be the autobiography of Eliot's own feelings of emotional inferiority, and at others, a comment on the power of knowledge and the ways in which it effects the mind. Taking the two elements together Eliot shows the reader that the power fiction can have on the reader and the writer, becomes a source of paranoia and disease of the mind. 
To live in the world of Eliot is to be trapped in a natural isolation where understanding of others is a fiction that can only poison the mind of the most sensitive subjects. Eliot's "The Lifted Veil" is an exploration into the sensitive mind poisoned by the curse of insight into the minds of others. As the reader begins their journey into the diseased mind of frustrated poet without a voice, Latimer, we are quickly given the facts of his childhood that has played a part in his mental downfall. The psychological case study begins with the a mention of the early loss of his dearly loved mother, 
"I had a tender mother: even now, after the dreary lapse of long years, a slight trace of sensation accompanies the remembrance of her caress as she held me on her knee- her arms round my little body, her cheek pressed to mine. I had a complaint of the eyes that made me blind for a little while, and she kept me on her knee from morning till night. That unequalled love soon vanished out of my life, and even to my childish consciousness it was as if that life had become more chill. [. . .] Perhaps I missed my mother's love more than most children of seven or eight would have done, to whom the pleasures of life remained as before; for I was certainly a sensitive child (4)."

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Thursday, November 08, 2012

The Mythical Embodiment of Women

The following excerpt is from a paper that was submitted for a MA of English Literature seminar in Spring 2006 at the University of Colorado by Amanda Perez (BA, MA, PhD). If you wish to use any portion of it as a source for your own exploration of Maria Amparo Ruiz de Burton's Who Would Have Thought It?  and Cisneros' Never Marry a Mexican from the short story collection Woman Hollering Creek please feel free to contact me at amanda@amandasweeklyzen.com for a full manuscript.

Whether intentional or not it hard not to place women Mexican American fictional characters into a mythical role. One of the most influential and often seen mythical women is La Malinche. La Malinche ( 1505-1529/1551)1 also known as Malintzin and Dona Marina was the Native American woman from the Mexican Gulf coast who was said to have played an important role in the Spanish conquest of Mexico. She was the first born child of the lord of Paynala. Her father died and her mother remarried and birthed a son. After the birth of her stepbrother Dona Marina become unwanted and was given or sold to Mayan slave traders. Traded many times Dona Marina eventually was given to the Spanish who gifted her to Hernan Cortes. Cortes was taken with Dona Marina and decided that she must constantly be in his care. Malinche became Cortes’s translator, advisor and lover. She acted as a mediator between the Spanish and the natives, translating for both. In the tales of Malinche she is said to have bore Cortes a son and then she disappeared from the records. In modern day Mexico to be called “Malinchista” is to be called a traitor and a lover of foreigners.2 Such mythical women as La Malinche are so embodied in the character of Mexican American women that a century before it become popular to write into the fiction the obligatory mythical woman there are illusions to her.
Through a cultural historical reading of three characters, Clemencia from the short story “Never Marry a Mexican” by Sandra Cisneros and Dona Theresa and Lola from the novel “Who Would Have Thought It?’ by Maria Amparo Ruiz de Burton, one can see how a mythical figure can become a prototype for a woman.
1 Among many details of Malinche’s life the year of death is unknown and fiercely debated.  
2 The history of La Malinche was taken from various sources all of which are listed in the works cited accompanying this essay.

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Days 33 thru 38 Project 365


1. "You are a dork..." 33/365, 2. Behind on NaNoWriMo 34/365, 3. Peanut Butter Lovers Month 35/365, 4. Trail Mix 36/365, 5. Wool Socks 37/365, 6. Working on NaNoWriMo 38/365

All of Project 365 photos

Friday, November 02, 2012

Santa Goofy coming to Hollywood Studios

Santa Goofy will be making his list and checking it twice at Hollywood Studios starting this month. In the streets of America people can find not only the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights but also Santa Goofy who will make nightly appearances in Winter Wonderland, a special area in Tri-City Square.

The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights opens Nov. 9 and runs through Jan. 6, 2013.

Magic Kingdom Gates 2012 32/365

A little trip to the Kingdom today. Last Halloween Party of the year today. It looks like the gate has a new look. Not sure when it happened but I like the new look much better than the old look.

Day 32/365 for Project 365

Thursday, November 01, 2012

Let the Writing Begin 31/365


Let the Writing Begin... 31/365
Day 1 of 2012 NaNoWriMo





It is that time of year again... NaNoWriMo! I am participating this year and the word count for day one is 2190! If you are a NaNoWriMo participant... happy writing!

Day 31/365 for Project 365