attention passengers this is your pilot speaking, we’re going to be experiencing some heavy turbulence shortly so please strap in. this loser just bet that i couldn’t do a 360 barrel roll in this thing and let’s just say i’m about to be $20 richer real soon
Technologies of Heartbreak
This seminar will examine how emotion is attempted and transmitted in fiction, the various ways readers are captured and made to care about a story. Emotional effects—rapture, sympathy, desire, empathy, fascination, grief, repulsion—will be considered as techniques of language, enabled or muted by narrative context, acoustics, phrasing, and our own predispositions. How can a sentence, a phrase, a paragraph cause us to feel things, and is a high degree of feeling akin to “liking” a book? What is it to care about a character or the progress of a story, and how was that care installed in us? What are the various kinds and sequences of sentences that, when placed in a narrative, can produce emotional engagement in a reader, affection or distraction, or is it impossible to isolate our reaction to a book in terms of its language? The focus will be on some rhetorical strategies novelists and story writers have used to impart feeling, among them: concealment, indirection, revelation, confession, flat affect, irony, hyperbole, repetition, sentimentality, elusiveness, and sincerity. A tentative book list follows.
2/4 - Revolutionary Road - Richard Yates
2/11 - Mrs. Bridge - Evan S. Connell
4/1 - Blood Meridian - Cormac McCarthy
4/8 - The Fifth Child - Doris Lessing
4/22 - Two Serious Ladies - Jane Bowles
4/29 - The Sheltering Sky - Paul Bowles
5/6 - Correction - Thomas Bernhard
The college I work for has two food banks one on each campus.
I was talking to my mom about starting salaries for kids out of college, and she said when she got her first job in 1976, her starting salary was $10,000 a year. I checked an inflation calculator - that’s more than $41k/year in 2014 dollars. College students are broker than ever before, and recent grads are lucky to crack the poverty line in their first year out of school. It’s going to be really interesting in the next half century to see how this generation reacts to starting off in life so far behind.
And my parents wonder why I’m so terrified….
"Identity Tapestry" – Each participant chooses a color of yarn they feel represents them from the shelf to the left.
No two colors are the same, and each ball of yarn holds a stone in the center.
They unravel it, wrapping statements on the wall that they feel show something about who they are… [read more]