A Room of One's Own

3:17 PM Edit This 4 Comments »
This piece interested me because despite the fact that it was a non-fictional type of essay by Virginia Woolf, it was also a perfect example of the style of writing she exhibits in her other work, such as her short stories.

One of this biggest similarities I noticed was in her tendency to ramble. She would start out with one point, and end up at some distant and in many cases non-related point. I tend to think that this is no accident, but instead that it was intended. I think that Woolf uses this as a way of communicating something to the reader that she can't quite put into words. Instead she simply implies it, or makes a point that she assumes will bring the reader to her own chain of thought. It's really an interesting technique if in fact that was her intention. And even if it wasn't, it's still interesting to see the possibility of such a pattern because it also puts her one step ahead of her readers.

The Kraken

3:13 PM Edit This 1 Comment »
The first thing that came to mind when reading this piece was how it seemed to point to a kind of end of times sort of theme. It wasn't openly mentioned, but definitely implied. This included mythological and biblical reference, or at least small implications to them. The image of the Kraken itself made me think of Leviathan, the mythical creature from the Bible that is thought to have swallowed Jonah and that appears several times in the end of times scenario in Revelation. Also, there were multiple references to an abyss, which courtesy of Dante's Inferno, bring to mind images of Hell.

The Rime of the Ancient Mariner

3:07 PM Edit This 0 Comments »
Now this was an interesting piece! First of all, I loved the absurd plot, and how it almost felt like some kind of skewed dream sequence because of how warped reality was. That made everything from the setting to all of the characters incredibly diverse and deep. It's one of those pieces I think different people will always find something new to pull out of it because it just leaves the opportunity for countless vantage points.

To me, one of the most interesting aspects was in the way that Coleridge capitalized random words throughout the poem. For one thing, I definitely don't think this was a random thing on his part. I think he knew exactly what he was doing. Also, I loved the inconsistency of it, and how it was impossible to predict. I think it was meant to draw the reader's attention to some certain word, and from that word gain some implied understanding or idea. Like a hidden meaning.

Songs of Innocence and of Experience

2:59 PM Edit This 0 Comments »
Okay, I'm going to start off by being completely honest about this one. I didn't like it at all. Until this point, I have never read anything by William Blake, and frankly I don't think I was missing anything.

I felt that all of the pieces by Blake that we discussed in class had a very juvenile feel to them, particularly the ones that featured an animal, like the lamb or the tiger. I liked the idea behind these poems, which was to emphasize the transition from an innocent childhood to a corrupt adult world, but as far as poetry goes, I have seen better. I also thought some of his poems, particularly the ones about lost children were a little bit disturbing. Also, the ones that had the narrator in the mind of a child. I don't know...I guess I just don't connect with William Blake...sorry...

Shakespeare's Sonnets

2:52 PM Edit This 0 Comments »
This post, and several following are meant to be "make-up" posts for the pieces I haven't posted on yet. I think they're in order, but I'm not sure. Hey, I tried...

Anyway, I really enjoyed reading the Sonnets. The one I found to be the most interesting was Sonnet 130, where the narrator talks about his mistress. There are countless pieces of poetry out there written about mistresses, but what sets this one apart is that instead of complimenting the woman with otherworldly descriptions of beauty and grace, Shakespeare talks about how she's just an average, run of the mill woman.

It also says something about the standards of beauty for the Elizabethan era versus what they are today. Back then, they valued pale, snowy white skin, big red lips and big breasted women. Today, I think the major difference is in skin tone. Women today spend a lot of money to get that golden tan, yet back then that would have made you look like a poor field worker, and therefore unattractive.

Heart of Darkness

8:53 AM Edit This 1 Comment »
Since I was sick last week and I have no idea where we're supposed to be in Heart of Darkness, I read the whole thing and this post will cover my thoughts...lol.

Anyway, I would like to start off by saying that I really enjoyed Marlow as a main character for several reasons. For one thing, he's a good main character because he makes all kinds of observations, so the reader is kept well informed. At the same time, he doesn't really interpret these observations well, because he has yet to really understand either himself or the true nature of humanity, hence the point of the book. Because of this, he can be analyzed to death, and I love that.

I found myself really interested in Marlow's obsession with Kurtz. Until he met the man, and for some time after that even, he looked at Kurtz like some sort of unreachable god and not like the flawed man he was. He relied on only what he had heard of him, rather than actual facts. Kind of like gossip or folk tales. He built up this unbeatable man in his mind, and really put him on a pedestal. To me, it seemed like Kurtz was the very symbol of everything that made Marlow want to come to Africa. It was the great unknown, exploring the unexplored and all of the mystery that surrounds it. Like Kurtz, Marlow built up the African experience to be something amazing in his mind and was really unprepared for the reality of it.

Elizabeth Browning

6:52 PM Edit This 2 Comments »
When I read this piece, I found myself thinking not so much about the work itself, but about who wrote it. Until now, I had never really read much from Elizabeth Browning, but instead I have read a lot from her husband, Robert Browning. First of all, it's amazing how similar their writing styles are. I also enjoyed the fact that particularly in this piece, they both tend to put a lot of their own personal lives into their poetry. It was a very refreshing piece to read and it has made me was to seek out other things by both Robert Browning and Elizabeth Browning as well as other Victorian era authors.