Archive | January, 2015

A Little Notes & Coffee Kinda Morning…..

31 Jan

Hope you’re all having a lovely day so far… Cheers!!


English 1B

30 Jan

Please post what you wrote in yesterday’s Creative Writing session, to the picture, below… Enjoy your weekend, and I’ll see you all on Tuesday for great discussions and reactions to Sur’s summation… Loyally– Mike

Salvador Dali said..

29 Jan

“There is only one difference between a madman and me. The madman thinks he’s sane. I know I am mad.”
Kerouac connection???

Jan 29, 2015 Session — Communication, Music!

29 Jan

Exercise… Pretend you’re on the Road, and see this.. (photo on overhead)
Today Session: Communication — Notably, how these characters communicate, right then, where they are.. They always maintain their own ‘colloquy’ and ‘sodality’ while on the Road, especially in the presence of music..
But before that, Compose a Literary Letter to your colleagues, expressing thoughts, QUESTIONS, unique connections, interpretations and dilemmas with the reading.. Please be as specific as possible and use precise passages from the book…
Last session we explore life in the characters, and that exuberance consistent with our definition.. show us where this Life is COMMUNICATED, with intent, to the characters that surround, especially in the presence of music!
What does Dean mean to say when says ‘I dig life’, and ‘IT! IT!’ … What in the world is IT?
How is the relationship between Sal & Dean changing? What is there to this change? What does it possibly indicate about how Kerouac saw Cassidy at a certain point? Is Kerouac’s depiction unflattering?
“‘Whooee!’ yelled Dean.” — The idea of speed, moving fast, like LIFE, like JAZZ(!!!), and why not? What is Kerouac saying through this character, D. Moriarty? … “‘We’l just pick him up for kicks!’”
Page 128, music! Tell us about the resounding Nature to this passage and the characters in it and why Kerouac heralds music so highly…
And, before I forget… “Music is a higher revelation than all wisdom and philosophy.” -Ludwig Von Beethoven
Thoughts from me: Last night while re-reading the assigned pages I couldn’t help but think of Life, and Music, and how inextricably the two are linked, and dependent upon each other.. our hearts, needing to maintain some sort of BEAT, some rhythm to forward functionally.. out brains, in all their synaptic frenzy, have their own measure and notes and expression, and that’s what music is, or how I see it: one of the ultimate forms of expression, which explains why Dean reacts the way he does to Shearing (128).. “Old God! Old God Shearing! Yes! Yes! Yes!” Repeating yes, his agreement and subscription and SURRENDER 3 times! (Possible pertinence with the Holy Trinity..) But on either note (yes, that pun’s intended), music is dominant in our culture, the Human culture, on all continents and proves, as Plato said, to be a Moral Law. And it’s a fun law as it can take so many forms, so many genres, and Artists translating the law, like Kerouac in his jazzy, swift prose..
And what better way to COMMUNICATE?

So… Duluoz… (English 1B)

22 Jan

Last class I asked, “What’s wrong with him?” As to imply something is troubling him, or he’s unhealthy or sickened or burdened by something. So, what is it? I offer: he’s engaged in a battle for Personhood. AND, I fashion to note, ‘recovery’. And I don’t simply mean recovery from addiction or ailment, I’m referring to recovering what he’s lost.. and what has he lost? Part of his life, his sense, his PEACE, his Personhood. But how can he do all this hanging around people like Dave and like Cody? Around the BEATNIKS? He tells us about this struggle, about the problems, about the nightmarish existence… But what about solutions? What about that health… and Personhood?
For today’s session, I’d like to focus on the concept of Personhood, and Recovery, and “critically think” about what both involve, conceptually. Sure, we’ll get a bit abstract, and loosely connected to and from the text, our own lives, from the ‘real world’.. but what do we think of when we hear these words? And Duluoz, what does he value about himself, if anything at this point in the story, if he does seek to recover and build Personhood and continue to drink, to roam, to shun direction? “Sleeplessness, sweat, trembling…nightmares, (nightmares of death)…” Death, always on his mind, but what about life? HIS life?! LIFE!!!
And Cody, obviously inspired by Jack Kerouac’s real-life friend Neal Cassidy, only keeps him in one place, it could be argued. Yes, a man with a family, but his attitude and past and the vulnerable nature of Duluoz at this point in the story make him a bit villainous, antagonistic. I’ll again cite ‘life’, maintaining one and the search for whatever it is we search for? Is it just peace Jack wants or is it something else? A book that made him “famous” now has him famously ill, and desperate, and running our of time.. (evidence: ‘One fast move or I’m gone.’). If you would, start collecting a list of ideas as to Jack’s goals and psychological state, his Personhood and how it, he, changes, and get back to us! … Cheers! -Mike … PS– “The good writer seems to be writing about himself, but has his eye always on that thread of the Universe which runs through himself and all things.”

Today.. we explore Morals, Morality in ‘Road’…

22 Jan

Where do we see these characters’ Morals, and beliefs, and codes by which they conduct themselves? Sal, how he talks to Terry.. with Dean and his presence or complete lack thereof. And why someone would do this, just go on the Road with no real aim in mind. What does that indicate about their MORALS? And us, our morals, what we hold ourselves to.. is it a code as they say? Is it consistent? What is a ‘Moral Code’? What is Sal’s Moral code when it comes to working, and Remi’s with Art and Life and Sal… The Morals of this book are situational, they are not consistent, and I argue that’s precisely what Kerouac wants us to entertain and value in this book– situational Morality.. think about it, if you’re in a situation or predicament, or dilemma with a dire nature, your Morality will change, and if not for sure, you would certainly entertain a different approach that might go against your moral regularity.. Morals of the Road are ever-changing, and give way to more flexible “spirit”. “I forgave everybody, I gave up, I got drunk.” (77)

Now, with us, as writers and students and readers, we have to ask “What do we see as ‘morally just’, or ‘right’?” This will open more doors as we read through this novel, and answer some questions for us as to why the characters act the way they do.. Possible topic: “Jack Kerouac’s novel shows the Beat morality’s outline…” OR, “Sal Paradise’s morals are shaped by the amorality of the ‘real world’.”
Feel free to play with this idea of Morality as its presence in the book, and get back to us! Let us know what you’re thinking and what you’re writing! And enjoy your interpretations! -Mike … PS– “Music is moral law. It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and charm and gaiety to life and to everything.” -Plato

The Road…

20 Jan

Where are you on ‘it’?

Stage for Yesterday’s In-class Pieces (English 1A & 1B…)

16 Jan

Please feel free to post the piece you wrote yesterday during the ten minute scribble, and also react to each other’s pieces if so pushed, citing anything you want from form to tone to word choice to images. Thank you so much for a beaming first week of discussion and ideas. See you all Tuesday…
PS– Enjoy your first Kerouac readings, and note in your journal as you follow him on his journey, be it the Road or Big Sur.

Anton Chekhov said

15 Jan

“There is nothing new in art except talent.”

What does this say to you?

Do you agree?

Is he being too simple in his thinking?

Modern examples you can think of?



14 Jan

Starting the day with a bit of writing.. How are you all? How’s the Kerouac research going? Try The Paris Review interview he did…
See you all tomorrow!! Cheers!!!