Collaborative Article. Boom.

Hello Scansion Experts,

There is new/reiterated information about your collaborative project in Canvas and above under the Assignments tab.

Some Gatsby Afterthoughts

Special thank yous to Adrienne for planning (and silverware), to Rachel for the best potluck contribution, to Ashton for bringing the DVD, and to Tedward for valiantly taking home all leftover food so no one else had to carry it.

Confession: I did not expect to like the DiCaprio/Mulligan version at all.  But I did.  A lot.  It’s  gorgeous, of course.  And both Gatsby and Daisy were significantly more human in this version–reinforced even in simple ways like the fact that Nick repeatedly called Gatsby “Jay,” which is not true of the novel or Redford/Farrow movie.  As a result, Leo-Gatsby seemed more vulnerable, his carefully constructed world on a much shakier foundation.  I had loved Redford-Gatsby, but he is a cardboard man, and Leo-Gatsby showed the work it took to be Gatsby.  And Mulligan-Daisy was both much more likeable and more awful, since her guilt for Myrtle’s death is more profound if she isn’t simply a twit.

Still struggling with how I feel about the Nick-in-a-sanitorium invention.  And with the combination of explicit information about the 20s for an ignorant American viewing public being carefully woven into the film, only to be juxtaposed with radically anachronistic elements (not the music– I liked that much more than I anticipated).

Both Toms stink.  Bruce Dern-Tom is not nearly enough of a “brute,” to use Daisy’s word.  And Joel Edgerton-Tom is not believable as old money– would Tom Buchanan ever wear dirty polo clothes to a dinner with guests?  No way.  Very interesting difference in George Wilsons, one of whom is so beaten down and lost and the other of whom is a man ready to kill.

It has already been well established that I can find a phallic symbol anywhere.  But please, people: Nick and Gatsby on the porch with a huge white column between them (Redford version)??  The sharing of one cigarette??  Etc. etc.  Don’t even get me started psychoanalyzing Gatsby’s wombish swimming pools, in which he meets his death.

Lastly (maybe): why did Leo-Gatsby say “old sport” to rhyme with “Colbert Report”?  That was awkward.

“Clamorous” Creativity

The BG entry on psychoanalytic criticism provided a somewhat startling comment of Freud’s.  According to the article, “[Freud] defined the artist as ‘one urged on by instinctive needs that are too clamorous'” (412-13).  Later, it reads that he characterized the “creative mind as ‘clamorous’ if not ill” (413).  Whoa!  How do you feel about that description?  Is the creative mind clamorous?  Is it ill?

Choose Bridge to the Blog Date!

You can now select the date on which you will complete your Bridge to the Blog at the Doodle poll which is here for the 9:30 section or here for the 11:00 section.

Note that you will choose only one date.  The poll has dates only, so if you want to coordinate it with topics, consult your syllabus.  As soon as the poll is complete I will post a schedule of names/dates for each section under the Bridge Dates page here on the blog.

This assignment is also now in Canvas, which is where you will submit the url for your post when it is complete; there is also a rubric for assessment in Canvas, or a sample of the rubric categories above on the page Rubrics under Assignments.

DATES FOR WEEK 2 ON GATSBY AND NEW CRITICISM ARE AVAILABLE!  PLEASE CHOOSE ONE OF THOSE IF YOU’D LIKE TO GET ONE ASSIGNMENT DONE EARLY!

What Do You Mean You Haven’t Posted Yet?

muppets read posterThis post initiates discussion on our course blog, which is shared by the two sections of 295 that I am teaching this fall.  This is a rich collaborative space, on which we may continue threads of conversation from class, publish assignments, respond personally to the literature or theory, ask questions, link pertinent outside materials, and more.  Words I might use to characterize my expectations of the blog are active; dialogic; fluid; capacious; self-motivated; collective.  Get going.