Archive | January, 2016

Plath and Place

27 Jan

Esther shares with us her intense sensitivity to place.  What’s around her and how it affects her sensibilities, as well as how she translates it into art, the narration.  Now, you could be saying, “Well, this is a fictive character, she’s not doing any translating into art or narrative, at least not yet.” Two responses:  1, Is this a work of fiction?  And, 2, she’s been writing quite a bit so far or shared with us her love of writing, even writing to make her current location, like the professor’s classroom, more tolerable.

Esther is a character that should speak to all of us, and urge us to be more mindful of and commanding in our immediate locales.  The place, where we are and what we’re doing is our own—  Like Tolstoy said, “If you want to be happy, be.” But then, it’s not that simple for someone like Greenwood/Plath.  There’s something else occurring in her character; in her story and how she reacts to her surroundings.  She’s teaching us something in this light, critical and analytical leaning—  In that, as modern readers we should find inspiration, empowerment, urgency.  A beautifully dactylic form of instruction.  YES…  She’s teaching us!  This, you could argue, is Plath’s lecture.  Poetry in the form of prose, with the rhythm of poetry while maintaining the orthodoxy of prose.. and ‘wow’, I’m thinking as a modern reader.  “How did she do that?”

Well, plainly, she just did.

Her own genre.

Her own force.

Her own topic.

Her own place.

That elegiac thought stream.

This is how she survives in the oppressive time of her tale, of her ‘place’.  At times she’s exhausted, slowed, perhaps even depressed.  But she persists with her poetic form and narrative body.  She transports herself to a new place and takes us with her, instructing along the way, and possibly plating hints like savory bites as to why she ended her story the way she did.


1/25/16 (‘5’)

25 Jan

The ride.  Who’s on a ride?  Hunter, or US as readers?  But before that…  Who’s seen or felt something significant, recently?  Something that’s shaped you…

But first… any observations of note?  Any writings to share?  Anything from the Composition Book or holstered journal?  If not, let’s jump right into the right into Hunter’s world.

Of course, the drugs, I know.  but there’s something else there, don’t you think?  A certain determination and thrill, imagination and wild commitment to his journalistic craft.  You feel the pace of his heart and an intimate sense of how his mind works with his words and streaming sentences.  And language, “Was there no communication in this car?” (8).  What does he  mean by this.  My thoughts, this is like a dream, and not necessarily a positive one, where no one is on the same linguistic plate, as if they truly are “dumb beasts” (9).

With an early introduction of the concept of ‘arming one’s self’, we get a taste (or another) of the fear, the paranoia promulgated by drug and alcohol use.  Which is consciousness, and altered perspective being addressed head-on.  We as readers should see this as the Artist’s urgency, and wonder where this will take him, and his attorney, in Vegas.

“Permanent record”.  Thoughts?  Permanent suggesting the eternal, and record meaning it’s to be recorded and shared, observed and experienced by others.  Of course by now you may be thinking this is all a bit random and weird, but couldn’t that be just what Hunter intends?  And, “fools not to ride this strange torpedo all the way out to the end.”, something like that rush of the American Dream, however you define that.  This bizarre and crazy feel is just what wants the author wants us to feel as readers, but what greater purpose does it complement?  The obligation to do so, to LIVE and not just exist, as London said.  The PROPER function of man.. live, not exist.  And that’s what these men want to do.  Are doing.  And one of them wants to record it all.  We’re all on a crazy ride with these characters, and thrown into it.  The pacing of the prose and paragraphs certain makes it believable, and energetically poetic.  He keeps the story moving, keeps the momentum and the thoughts darting at him and then by near extension to the page.

Identity, and Purpose.. the narrator seems to be significant sewn by the two, obsessing over his equipment and the drugs, and the timing of everything.  And the symbols of ‘the desert’, and ‘the race’…  How is this pertinent to the narrator’s character?  What are you feeling while reading this and what is “the feel” of the text?

About all this hallucination, we have two different worlds.  But less analytical than that, we have extremity, we have excess, we have as readers an association of characters seeking thrills.  And for the story, this “American Dream”.  And what is that?  What is the story being told, here?  What has Thompson told us in these beginning pages?  Where is he taking us?

So far…

25 Jan

Does anyone notice ‘celebration’ or ‘struggle’ in these inaugural pages of Fear/Loathing/Vegas?


24 Jan

is significant.

Even brushing your teeth.  The kind of toothpaste you use to the pace at which you move the bristled stick.  It says something about you, but more importantly that moment you’re in.

Give it ample entertainment.  

Sometimes you

23 Jan

realize change needs to precipitate. And that time should be now.

For everyone.

For something.


500 word invitation

23 Jan

500 words, an opinion, or position, on anything you like..

Feel free to return to this prompt at any point during the semester.

You can do this up to 3 times for extra credit!

Happy Sat’!!!



22 Jan

How are the readings going?

Who’s used their holstered journal?

Any questions about the semester?

Looking forward to working with you all!


DAY 1 — Puissance (1/20/16)

20 Jan

Know your own story before you read someone else’s.

Who can “inspire” you?  Someone else…  Or YOU?

Critical Thinking…  What does that mean?  How does it differ from just ‘thinking’?

It’s difficult, but record everything.. use the holstered journal.. be ready, be armed.

iamatology: study of remedies.  Study your own written remedies, find more, use them, instruct yourself on how to self-heal with paragraphs, narration (much of what this semester’s about).

Maybe you shouldn’t ask so many questions and just go find the answers yourself…?img_0829

Freewriting, may just be for the sake of doing so or it may quake to some tremendous composition.  And think of the work more closely, the provinces of the idea, to free-write.  Yes I write it as one word only because I cringe at ever separating the concepts of ‘free’ and ‘write’, even if it’s proper, or some kind of standardized something.  But don’t discount yourself when scribbling erratically in your Composition Books— it could lead to something, it could lead to some remedy…..  It could lead to a sterling stretch of Self-Education (what I believe to be the most truthful form of educating).  Be your own force, in your writing, what ideas you bring to class and share with your colleagues.  Be what YOU know you have to be…

When you write, hope to be out of breath.

Gift yourself elevated goals, ones challenging and inwardly vocal.  And don’t be afraid of not reaching them.  Don’t entertain not reaching them.  that’s not a possibility in this new mind.  What is possible, and wildly likely, is holding what you sought upon the term’s close.

And once more, what’s your story?  What have you seen?  What have you lived and what do you want?

Don’t worry if you lose and idea, or can’t write it down.  You’ll have the opportunity later.  And if you don’t, it wasn’t meant to be written.  Don’t force the ideas.  Or, not all the time, anyway.  You have to live.  You can’t always be at the keys, in front of your Composition Book.  And I know that this may seem like a bit of a ramble but it’s one meant to assure you that you ARE capable of generating ideas worth writing, ideas that deserve to be heard by the rest of the class.  And by myself.

You can walk away with whatever you want to, from this class.  The experience can be whatever you want it to.

And let me return to remedy.  Study your own patterns for producing them through your writing.  And don’t stop.  Don’t get tired.  Use everything around you for inspiration.  Even the small notes you rush in the corner of one of your notebook’s pages is valuable.  Throw away nothing.  Be a packrat with your work.  Who knows when you might return to a particular entry, by accident or purpose.


20 Jan

lawless and playful, frolicsome with your scribbles.

That’s how you fly free.

For today…

19 Jan