Wednesday, December 08, 2004
What literary work has changed your world?
What literary work has changed your world?
What text is a touchstone for you?
Atticus Finch says this, "If you just learn a single trick Scout, you'll get along better with all kinds of folks. You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view...until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it." What a wonderful lesson! This can be applied not only to people, yet to texts as well. You have to get inside people, like texts, taking time and patience to understand them. Like texts, people too can be entertaining, boring, funny, satirical, sad, dramatic and happy. Another one of my favorite quotes from this novel," I remember when my daddy gave me that gun. He told me that I should never point it at anything in the house; and that he'd rather I'd shoot at tin cans in the backyard. But he said that sooner or later he supposed the temptation to go after birds would be too much, and that I could shoot all the blue jays I wanted-if I could hit'em; but to remember it was a sin to kill a mockingbird. Well, I reckon becuause mockingbirds don't do anything but make music for us to enjoy. They don't eat peoples gardens, don't nest in the corncrib, they don't do one thing but just sing their hearts out for us." I just love this, I think it is so sweet and important to recognize the simplicities and song which nature offers.
This text is a touchstone for me, beacuase it was the first text I read which dealt with social, race, and family issues. I was angerd by this text, wanting justice for Tom Robinson, wanting him to be free! Reading this text is the first time I felt truley alive within the words, making it an important touchstone for me. I feel as though this novel will remian a classic throughout the future because society will always have a need for heros, and it this text Atticus Finch is the hero, defending a black man in the deep south in the early 40's believing that cheating a black man is ten times worse than cheating a white man. Humanity will always call for integrity, character and truth and it is this novel which depicts all three beautifully.
What peice of work offers you consolation?
Saturday, December 04, 2004
The Desert Island Book Question.....
I am by no means a great fisherwoman, in fact I have not fished in many summers, yet it this book and McLeans words which seem to capture the immense and grand beauty of Western Montana. I spent a summer working in Glacier National Park, and my family has a cabin which my grandfather built with his own hands, on Lindbergh Lake in the heart of the Swan Valley nestled in between the Swan and Mission Mountian ranges. Needless to say, I am in love with Montana. Surely when I finish my degree, I will head off to see the world and hopefully encounter many adventures, new rivers, and new mountians. Yet is my youth spent in the mountians and waters of this beautiful state which will forever be apart of my heart, and in this novel which puts the beauty and sincerity of nature into words. My grandfather too is old and rarley fishes anymore, he has this passage from the novel above his fly rod mounted in his living room;
"Now nearly all those I loved and did not understand when I was young are dead, but I still reach out to them. Of course, now I am too old to be much of a fishermen, and now of course I usually fish the big waters alone, although some friends think I shouldn't. Like many fly fishermen in western Montana where the summer days are almost Artic in length, I often do not start fishing until the cool of the evening. Then in the Artic-half light of the canyon, all existence seems to fades to a being with my soul and memories and the sounds of the Big Blackfoot River and a four-count rhythm and the hope that a fish will rise. Eventually, all things merge into one, and a river runs through it. The river was cut by the world's great flood and runs over rocks from the basement of time. On some of the rocks are timeless raindrops. Under the rocks are the words, and some of the words are theirs. I am haunted by waters."
Sunday, September 12, 2004
"And the night shall be filled with music, and the cares that infest the day, shall fold their tents, like the Arabs, and as silently steal away.
Reflections on Thursday's lecture....
Last Thursday morning, I was tired an entered the classroom somewhat sleepy. I left the classroom awake, prepared and smiling. How fun it was to discover such a lovely passage on the importance of Literature! I very much enjoyed Walter Pater's thoughts on not placing so much importance on a lesson, morality, or even complicity in a work- yet simply valuing the beauty of a work. One of my favorite books is Where the Sidewalk Ends, by Shell Silverstien. It is a childrens book of poetry, often very simple, yet fun. To love, understand or even apprecitate a work of literature does not mean it has to be lofty, academic or extremely complex. Literature should enteratin and inspire and Thursday's class seem to shine a bit of light on the daring decision to become an English major. Also, the President of the University's cameo was entertaining as well.