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
Both Superman’s Metropolis and Batman’s Gotham City are said by some to be comic book representations of New York City, but the visions of both comics are very different. “Metropolis is New York by day; Gotham City is New York by night” is a statement that has been attributed to both comic book writers Frank Miller and John Byrne.
Batman writer and editor Dennis O’Neil put it this way (although this exact quotation varies in several versions): “Gotham is Manhattan below Fourteenth Street at 3 a.m., November 28 in a cold year. Metropolis is Manhattan between Fourteenth and One Hundred and Tenth Streets on the brightest, sunniest July day of the year.”
(From by Barry Popik)
Golden Age - GQ Style China
In case you haven’t been keeping track (which you probably haven’t) GQ China has been killing it with their editorials. Having been a tennis player for basically all of my life, this is heavy inspiration for my personal wardrobe in the coming months.
For S/S 2014, Zara blatantly rips off Tokihito Yoshida’s Bicycle Jacket for the Barbour Beacon line. The original Bicycle Jacket came out for the very first season of the Barbour Beacon Heritage x To-ki-to collaboration for A/W 2009, 5 years ago. The pattern of the venerable jacket was essentially unchanged for 3 years, with only variations on the materials and color. Then for S/S 2012, the jacket diverged/devolved into the “cycling shirt jacket” and “mount shirt jacket,” both of which were pale references to the original template.
This is by far one of my favorite pieces of outerwear and it’s pathetic that Zara would copy it nearly pocket for pocket. However, one can quickly tell by the photos that Zara cuts costs on materials and stitching, which are nowhere near as sturdy as Barbour’s quality, and it’s also missing the every-so-useful rear game pocket. One pays less with Zara, but at the expense of Yoshida’s intended functionality.
This song infects my ear every now and then, and I always think it’s Erlend Øye, then spend ages skimming over his tracks unsuccessfully (it’s Junior Boys).
After Miyazawa Kenji’s death, a single, black notebook was found in a pocket in the lid of his favourite trunk. This is the famous “Ame ni mo makezu” notebook. The poem is written in midst of his repetitious copying of “namu myoho renge kyo" which shows his earnest nature and his reflections on letting go of the desire for pleasure.
Be not defeated by the rain, Nor let the wind prove your better.
Succumb not to the snows of winter. Nor be bested by the heat of summer.
Be strong in body. Unfettered by desire. Not enticed to anger. Cultivate a quiet joy.
Count yourself last in everything. Put others before you.
Watch well and listen closely. Hold the learned lessons dear.
A thatch-roof house, in a meadow, nestled in a pine grove’s shade.
A handful of rice, some miso, and a few vegetables to suffice for the day.
If, to the East, a child lies sick: Go forth and nurse him to health.
If, to the West, an old lady stands exhausted: Go forth, and relieve her of burden.
If, to the South, a man lies dying: Go forth with words of courage to dispel his fear.
If, to the North, an argument or fight ensues:
Go forth and beg them stop such a waste of effort and of spirit.
In times of drought, shed tears of sympathy.
In summers cold, walk in concern and empathy.
Stand aloof of the unknowing masses:
Better dismissed as useless than flattered as a “Great Man”.
This is my goal, the person I strive to become.
— 宮沢 賢治 / Miyazawa Kenji (trans. David Sulz)
She’s teaching me French, but Germany is a greater possibility in two years, so I try not to think too hard about the future.
On rainy nights we slept in a tent, and on starry nights we slept outside. We were in our 20s; our needs were simple.
We lived dangerously, which is to say we were up for anything. We didn’t think about what things cost. We thought only about the cost of not doing things.