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a note

18 Dec

Thank you all for a fun semester! Enjoy your breaks… I shall have the final grades up within a week, hopefully!!

If you’re interested, tell me how you think you did, for a little added credit, by emailing me a 500 word response/SELF-assessment! Again, this is only if you’re interested, but I would certainly be interested to hear from all of you, reading your evaluations of yourselves, thoroughly reflecting upon YOUR performances, as it pertains to our English 1A section.

But either way, enjoy your break!! It was an honor working with you all.

Mike Madigan

Tomorrow’s Submissions

16 Dec

Please take time to edit your work! I highly encourage that you all read your drafts several times before even thinking of submitting! Please remember to look for balance about your paragraphs, and that they establish and maintain Coherence thought your composition.. Make sure it’s exceptionally COMPOSED.

Thank you all for an enriched, resourceful, and reviving semester! Do stay in touch and contact me if there’s something you need.


Last Post for Term

13 Dec

Please post your drafts below… Both English 5 and English 1A!!! Let’s make this the best editing/workshopping/Exchange of Ideas of the entire semester. Be mindful of the counsel you write to your colleagues..

Thank you all, my friends and colleagues, for a wonderful three-plus months.

Loyally, and Forever Yours,

1A 11/21/13, Session Revisit

22 Nov

First thing: please give ‘Purloined Letter’ a second read.  There has to be something we’re missing.  OR, something Poe intends with this seemingly development-less tale.  We have two returning characters, Dupin and the unnamed narrator.  So???  And what is it about a letter?  What can a letter embody, especially from “royalty”? And the characters, this skirmish of senses between the prefect, Dupin, and narrator.. is this suggestive of something, perhaps a message we’ve seen before from Mr. Poe?

And with your Poe Projects, due of course Tuesday (26NOV), please feel free to exercise some of the creative content and formatting we saw last night in our workshop.  Don’t forget about you, the one doing the reading/analysis!  Feel at liberty to speak first-person about how certain messages, symbols, characters made themselves known to you.. what YOU believe they mean.  And PLEASE…  Don’t forget to title your project, as a whole!  This project is supposed to be a written document, a diary, of your journey through Mr. Poe’s works.  Be thorough.. be tenacious!  Own your mini-book of Poe reactions, and demonstrate your understanding through your paragraphs.

AND…  Syntactic variety!  Don’t forget to use a variation of words, especially adjectives, as Mr. Poe did.

Plague Personification and The Prince’s Complicity

20 Nov

We have these characters in a structure.  Contained, confined.  And they are confined because Prospero has locked them in.  And yes, while this could be interpreted as ‘well-intentioned’, he did assign these characters their final location.  Even if unknowingly.  And with the personification of death, in the plague’s actuality, we have a figure featureless; a ghost, like we many times see in Poe’s work, hunting people, murdering.  This consistency of vengeance in ‘Red Death’ could be interpreted as more evidence of Poe’s foul estimation of Human Beings.  And in this structure, the characters are no more than feed for this animated and tangible Death.  Does Poe think they deserve to die?  More than likely, yes.  “Most unusual magnificence,” indeed.

By stating the Prince is complicit, that asserts he had a role in all these deaths.  Well, didn’t he?  Again, yes, maybe unknowingly.  Or maybe not.  He knew it was coming, that is was out there, encroaching.  And sure enough, it found them.  All.  The masquerade, while festive and seemingly civil, provides only momentary distraction, sedation. Yes, I’ll agree that this is generous, but I also offer that this just as well weakens the other characters just before their respective falls, as they’re pretending rather than confronting a realistic present.  This is also characteristic of characters as self-elevating as Prospero.  Maybe that’s why Poe killed him first…

In the face of death, we can either act or adhere to actuality, embrace the scenes before us.  This, too, is one of Poe’s intentions with this piece.  Consider what a mask does.. it disguises, it’s for the purpose of hiding something, pretending, assuming a pervasive fiction.  And isn’t it interesting that the guests succumb after Prospero, that even though he never witnessed their ends, they still met finality as a result of being locked in that structure, in that locale, where he was.  With all dead, death is even more personified, with the visual of a peppered deathbed.  “Peppered,” with lifeless shells.


Narrative Knife

16 Nov

Poe loves playing with narrative, especially with one unnamed.  Why does he do this?  And, what is his intended psychological impact in doing so, especially with ‘Pit & Pendulum’?  Remember what I said: “Mr. Poe doesn’t want to scare us, he wants to be in our heads, and stay there.” His narrative command, I believe, proves demonstrative of that.  What do you think?  Does this add to his genre?  His HORROR?

Also…  How do you rate the ‘Poe-ness’ of “Eleonora”?  What was Poe’s intention with this lovely piece?  Think of mentality, the role of women in his work, and the notion of TIME…  He gave us a puzzle to solve with her, so let’s begin…

Have a great weekend, and write well!



1A– Response Prompt

9 Nov

Which of the two stories that were assigned is the most “Poe”? And by phrasing it that way, I mean that Poe is his own descriptor, his own genre, qualifier and category. Between ‘Rue Morgue’ and ‘Maelstrom’, which is most true to our Author’s form? However YOU, the reader, define it.

Poe Journal Pieces?

3 Nov

Anyone want to share one of their typed entries? Hopefully, you’re all exercising your magniloquent powers with your writing in Mr. Poe, as word choice/syntactic variety is part of this project’s intent.

Enjoy your day, and your writing!

Poe.. 1A

2 Nov

Please revisit those first three short stories (including ‘House of Usher’), if you would. Go through them slowly, and tell us if there’s something you didn’t notice in the first read, something you didn’t hear offered in class. Poe requires close consideration, much closer than Faulkner and certainly with more care than Walls.
I need more reaction to his work, so we can understand what his genre entails, and what his beliefs are.

Enjoy Your Saturday,

Poe Lab, journaling

26 Oct

Poe observations? What direct messages, or ideas, is he putting on the page? For this upcoming Poe Project, please be in the habit of typing your reactions, one for each piece. Don’t worry about length, just think of this typed journal as you documenting your journey through his collection of works.

In the end, I will be able to read your observations, reactions…

Don’t allow yourself to fall behind! Please write/type for each Poe piece!!