Archive | November, 2015

Week 16… The Focus Paper

30 Nov

IMG_4064-1Your Voice..

Your Identity…

Your Intentions….

On the page.

Hemingway is one of

23 Nov

singularity, singular ideas and words, concepts and visions.  Singular characters, character studies.  This is not to support assertions of his writing as simplistic or rushed, but that his sentences convey applaudable levels of certainty.  Last week I mentioned ‘confidence’, and, yes, it speaks to that read as well.  He begins Chapter 5 by addressing the people, and if they’re avoided the day promises more, and more to him being a writer.  He refers to them as impediments and suppressors, then going on to say the atmosphere itself holds the relief and the inspiration, focusing on goats and watching their movements like one studying a group of people.  The goats fascinate Hem in a way people at that moment cannot.  And, he keeps repeating the word “goat” as if to suggest he wishes he could just roam the Paris streets like them, be observed and studied like them, distancing himself from people altogether.  Then, in Chapter 6 to further support Hem’s aversion to people on some occasions, “Racing never came between us, only people could do that…”.  He later says, “I was going to races alone more now…” What is Hemingway’s view of people, and do you agree that he sees them as a bit of a bother?  His view of Ms. Stein seems to have eroded and become a bit infected not so much by her arrogance or outspokenness, but by his perception of her and the occasional antagonizing of Stein.

But still, Hemingway continues with this memoir or laying-out of portraits with indefatigable indifference.  And although his perception of people may at times appear a bit harsh, or too directed, he does need them for the writing, and he can’t write without these people, the characters that revolve around him like Parisian pigeons.  Hemingway also continues to show affinity for time and the feel of the air, the temperature and what it does to his writing and attitude, to his “work”.  And it’s all work to Hemingway, all competition, and no wonder he lets things end with Stein as he does, and interacts with Walsh and Ezra as he does, with short answers and listening more than talking.  To Hemingway, it’s all a boxing match.

With his narrative style, his storytelling command, what else is he showing you?  Remember, this was written at a time in Hem’s life where everything was in decline and decay, from his physical and mental health to his relationships.  Was he trying to live as he did in Paris, one last time, with this manuscript?  Remember earlier when he wrote “The story was writing itself and I was having a hard time keeping up with it.” Is it just a story he’s talking about, or is it his life, THE story…  HIS story.  Maybe he just wanted one last, singular hurrah before his story ended, before the Feast stopped moving…..

For HW:  (due next Monday) Finish the book, write out your official conclusions as to what that whole memoir was about..  PLEASE post your reactions below for a possible 5 points, and feel free to respond to each other and engage each other, or me, in conversation on Hemingway’s singular intention with ‘Feast’.  Or, concerning anything in the book.

Happy Thanksgiving, and I’ll see you when you get back.



Hemingway has a way of

18 Nov

intriguing and frustrating us with his language.  I suppose the frustration would come from the exhausting sentences and their proximity to the more curt march-like clauses, then we have the intrigue of him, and where this story is going, and what he’s going to show us about this place he’s chasing, Paris, what there is to the Feast.  And, frankly, how does he afford to live like this, just walking around café to café, writing and observing people and living as this libertine penner?

And, Ms. Stein’s influence on Hemingway… your thoughts?  Do you sense any mood change in Hem when he’s around Ms. S?  Some would call their relationship abusive, dysfunctional, reciprocal, and, at times, just plain awkward.  Like when she addresses the issue of ‘inaccroachable’ (25), how Hem says he didn’t agree, but “I did not believe in arguing with my elders.” Is this meant to be a passive insult at Ms. S?  OR, is there something deeper, more elemental and combustive going on?

And, the topic of food, the cuisine, the sensory appeal of Paris that Hem shares with us.  What does that do to the read, to this memoir, if it is in fact such.  We have all this mention of Literature and Art and culture, but somehow you could argue something’s missing.  Some centrality… what?  What’s missing in this feast Papa’s prepared for us?  And, if you feel nothing’s missing, or it’s too early to tell, then fine!  Share your observations with us and share where the strengths are in this next reading (through ch. 13).  I said last meeting that Hemingway is taking us on a tour through HIS Paris, so what does he observe and what do you observe in those observations he shares?

HW:  Read through Chapter 13 (page 100 in the edition I ordered to the bookstore..), and post a 250-300 word reaction, addressing your observations in the text, and if something’s missing or if he’s so far provided a coherently structured manuscript.



16 Nov


We have an author that has more conviction than most, but somehow demonstrates vulnerability and a certain sensitivity that’s trounced out by boldness, this masculine paradigm.  He writes in discipline as well as in between excesses and indulgences.  He’s proverbially aware of life, death, and their unmistakeable and irrefutable interconnection.  Reading his work, you can see he admires everything around him, everything and everyone.  It’s all material.  It can all be on a page.  Which is similar to the other authors we’ve read but with this author there’s more intensity.  And a stratosphere of more confidence, near cockiness in his compositions.  When reading his sentences, try to determine which clauses convey strength, and which deliver a sense of vulnerability.  This will help determine who and what we’re reading.  I’ve said before that ‘Hem’ is his own genre, one of only a few American authors that have achieved such, I offer.  Similarly, Hemingway wants us to experience truth, the truth of where he is, what he sees, hears, tastes, touches, smells, feels, wonders and loves.  A soldier on the page, in his sentences and in life, while still visibly sensitive, vulnerable, and dare I direct.. ‘feminine’.  Let me know if you see what I see in the Feast.  And if not, what do you see, what are you observing?  Because, quite frankly, this memoir or novel, or just ‘book’, is all about observation, life and appreciating the day.  Appreciating the Feast itself in the savory city of Paris.  Prendre plaisir!”

Mendo Final Ppr Proposals….

13 Nov

Post below.



2 Nov

Plath.  The multiple Plaths.

How many can you find?

Is there strength in this multiplicity?

Creative Writig Project– 

News.. Opinion.. Final Writing for semester



What do stories do?

We’re full of stories–