Nov 22 2011

What is Hispanic Literature?

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This is a very difficult and controversial idea to define. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion but one thing I would not agree with is a system like the Canon to determine eligibility, in this case, of what is Hispanic Literature. Can Hispanic Literature be only written by an Spanish speaking person? Does the author have to be a native born? What countries are even considered true Hispaic? What is the difference between Spanish and Hispanic? Many questions can be disputed but I believe any person, who is raised with Spanish traditions and has experience of the culture, race and national identity of the country, can be considered a writer for it.

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Oct 25 2011

Time

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N5.2.Time Analysis

Time analysis is concerned with three questions: When? How long? and How often? Order refers to the handling of the chronology of the story; duration covers the proportioning of story time and discourse time; and frequency refers to possible ways of presenting single or repetitive action units. Genette (1980 [1972]: 33-85, 87-112, 113-160); Toolan (1988: 48-67); Rimmon-Kenan (1983: 43-58). For a more general account see Ricoeur (1983; 1988).

N5.2.1.Order (When?). The basic question here is whether the presentation of the story follows the natural sequence of events. If it does, we have a chronological order. If not, we are facing a form of ‘anachrony’:

  • anachrony A deviation from strict chronology in a story. The two main types of anachrony are flashbacks and flashforwards. If the anachronically presented event is factual, it is an objective anachrony; a character’s visions of future or memory of past events are subjective anachronies. Repetitive anachronies recall already narrated events; completive anachronies present events which are omitted in the primary story line. External anachronies present events which take place before the beginning or after the end of the primary story line; anachronies that fall within the range of the primary story line are internal anachronies. See Genette (1980 [1972]: 35-85); Rimmon-Kenan (1983: 46-51); Toolan (1988: 49-50); Ci (1988) [a critical account].

Nabos Story in Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s collection, in my view this narrative seems to be a Repetitive anarchy. Nabo is constantly reliving his moment where he is kicked in the head and we learn new details everytime. This is a great technique to show the narrator might be insane or ill that they keep remembering this.

 

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Oct 25 2011

What’s a cholo

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I couldn’t help but remember this video when reading People of Paper by Salvador Plascencia. This comical music video is a representation of the cholo culture.

I don’t do a whole lot just enough
Least i decide to keep my elbows up
Like this and like that
All the girls know where the real g’s at

Repeatedly throughout the song he claims he leans like a cholo in order for people to recognize he is a gangster. Body language and image  is very important to them as we see in Plascencia’s novel.

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Oct 25 2011

What is magic realism?

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Magic realism or magical realism is an aesthetic style or genre of fiction[1] in which magical elements blend with the real world. The story explains these magical elements as real occurrences, presented in a straightforward manner that places the “real” and the “fantastic” in the same stream of thought. It is a film, literary and visual art genre.

One example of magic realism is when a character in the story continues to be alive beyond the normal length of life and this is subtly depicted by the character being present throughout many generations. On the surface the story has no clear magical attributes and everything is conveyed in a real setting, but such a character breaks the rules of our real world. The author may give precise details of the real world such as the date of birth of a reference character and the army recruitment age, but such facts help to define an age for the fantastic character of the story that would turn out to be an abnormal occurrence like someone living for two hundred years.

This oxymoron is heavily used to describe Garcia Marquez’s work. His stories like Eyes of a Blue Dog and Nabo are clearly fictional but theres just something about it that leaves the reader pondering the physics of the real world.

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Oct 25 2011

Weird text

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What are the effects of reading a novel like this for
readers?

–columns, and standard narratives

–blacked out parts

–binary code for turtles

In my opinion, It makes the text more enjoyable to read. Not only that but it might be easier to understand.

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Oct 25 2011

Post 14:What is Literature?

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I remember from our class discussion we argued what is literature. Well throughout history, Literature has undergone numerous of transformations over centuries of different generations of writers, readers and thinkers. Due to this reason, there has been countless of different definitions, opinions and ideas about the notion: What is Literature? Each response has its strengths and weaknesses, but I suppose a better question to ask is can Literature be defined?

According to the Princeton dictionary definition, Literature is creative writing of recognized artistic value. I would say that I mostly agree with this meaning. I believe that literature should be creative and artistic but what my quandary with this would be is that the same stated in book, Literary Criticism: An Introduction to Theory and Practice; who declares whether a written document is a work of art? Like the saying goes, beauty is in the eye of the beholder and I believe if the reader considers the work in front of him/her to be meaningful and imaginative, than it is in fact a work of Literature.

Literature is a language. It is the voices, ideas and artistry of people throughout history as well as a form of expression. Literature can be used in many different ways. It can be the text one reads to educate or to communicate a message. However I would not go as far as saying a simple menu or advertisement is literature unlike other tangibles such as a novel or newspaper. Literature has the ability to inspire and change lives. Different people interpret different things while reading concluding that there never is only one correct answer, so to speak.

This inquiry was brought to the attention to Russian formalists, a group of highly influential Russian and Soviet scholars involved with the practice of literary criticism. Russian formalists believe that literature is most powerful when the intentions of the author are easily recognized. I definitely agree with this statement for the simple reason that in order to appreciate something in full detail, one must completely understand what is being presented to you. Russian formalists view Literature as an aesthetic object, which is something beautiful. They also go on to say literature is fiction. If this is true then all bibliographical, historical, interpretable and many other accounts are not considered “worthy”? I think all works and prose can have artistic and creative attributes and it is up to the audience to discover them.

What was literature then might not be literature today and vice versa. Many attempts in defining literature come very close but taken as a whole, no definition is perfect. I am a strong believer in that readers bring outside knowledge to text, shaping it to something personal and intense. Any work can be viewed as literature depending on the level of importance and thought put into it by the reader.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Works Cited

Bressler, Charles E. Literary Criticism: An Introduction to Theory and Practice. New Jersey: Pearson Education, Inc., 2007.

 

 

 

 

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Sep 28 2011

Post 13: Imagery

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We shall wander through the mountains, woods, and meadows, singing here, lamenting there, drinking of the liquid crystals of the spring, or the limpid brooks, or the swelling rivers. The oaks shall give us of their sweetest fruit with bountiful hand; the trunk of the hard cork trees shall offer us seats; the willows, shade; the roses, perfume; the spacious meadows, carpets embellished with a thousand colors; the air, clear and pure, shall supply us breath; the moon and the stars, light, in spite of the darkness of night; song shall give us delight, and tears, gladness; Apollo, verses and love conceits whereby we shall be able to win eternal fame, not only in the present age but also in those to come. (Don Quixote)

 

This passage occurs near the end of the novel when Quixote, resolving to become a shepherd for a year, tells Sancho of the life they will lead. Cervantes uses great imagery here to convey what Don Quixote dreams about. He uses many metaphors to convey nature and happiness.

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Sep 28 2011

Post 12: Translating

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It seems to me that translating from one language into another, except from those queens of languages, Greek and Latin, is like viewing Flemish tapestries from the wrong side, when, although one can make out the figures, they are covered by threads that obscure them, and one cannot appreciate the smooth finish of the right side. (Don Quixote, Part II, Chapter LXII)

It seems like many literary scholars make a big deal about this novel perhaps losing some of its value through translation. A reason for this could be that many words and phrases in Spanish do not have the equivalent counterpart in English. These change of words may imply different ideas that ultimately alter the story of Don Quixote. Another reason translation may not be as accurate is do to the fact that during the time of translation, resources were limited and the few dictionaries there were, may have been incorrect. It is important to understand and accept that this translated novel is slightly altered in meaning and in order to truly study this masterpiece, it must be done so in Spanish.

 

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Sep 28 2011

Post 11: Humor

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“Then he lifted up his shirt as best as he could, and thrust two ample buttocks into the night air.  Once he’d done this, which he’d thought was all he needed to do to escape from his harrowing predicament, he found himself in another even worse plight: he thought that he wasn’t going to be able to relieve himself in silence, and he began to grit his teeth and hunch his shoulders and hold his breath for as long as he could, but in spite of all these precautions he was unfortunate enough, in the end, to make a small noise, quite different from the noise causing him such great fear.” (Cervantes 160)

Sancho humanizes the story through humor and compassion. I found this scence to be hilarious.

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Sep 26 2011

Post 6: Parody

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Don Quixote is a parody of the romances of Cervantes’s time. Do the characters who mock and try to humiliate Don Quixote come across in a positive or a negative light?

“I shall never be fool enough to turn knight-errant. For I see quite well that it’s not the fashion now to do as they did in the olden days when they say those famous knights roamed the world.”

In Don Quixote, the innkeeper responds to the priest, who has been trying to convince him that books of chivalry are not true. He sort of quietly mocks Don Quixote because he realizes that knight-errantry is outdated but secretly admires it. In this article, a great example of parody is given with Austin powers.

 

 

 

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