Let’s groove one last time:
Christopher R. Beha: …I’d emphasize, if anything, the limits to analytical reflection. As a fiction writer you don’t — at least, I don’t — start out with a list of themes or formal methods you want to explore, or a sense of how you want to stand with respect to a particular tradition. You start telling a story. As you go along, the story makes certain demands of you. If you’ve read widely and carefully enough, you have some understanding of how other, better writers have met similar demands, and this understanding can be a big help. But there are lots of problems that arise while writing that must be solved intuitively. It’s possible that too much analytical reflection on such problems can be a hindrance…
…I began with a voice… This voice was like my own in some ways, but was not my own. I also began with a situation… This too had a slight grounding in my own life, but not much. I knew that these things — the voice (or better to say the character this voice implied) and the situation — were related in some way. My first problem was figuring out what the relation was. This is typical of the kind of problem a novelist is often faced with, in my limited experience. The questions I’m constantly asking myself while I work aren’t “What is my attitude toward death?” or “How can meaning persist in the absence of God?” but “How do I get from this scene to that scene?” and “What does this character want from this character?” These are narrow questions, specific to the work at hand, and it seems to me that one of the things that separates the truly great novelist from the able and learned craftsman is an instinct for answering these questions in the perfect way.
. . . seldom is heard a discouraging word / And the skies are not cloudy all day:
Big wheels rolling through fields / Where sunlight streams / Meet me in a land of hope and dreams:
Nine to five is how you survive / I’m not trying to survive / I’m trying to live it to the limit:
Born down in a dead man’s town / The first kick I took was when I hit the ground:
It seems we livin’ the American Dream / But the people highest up got the lowest self-esteem / The prettiest people do the ugliest things:
My reign is as far as the eye can see / It’s amazing:
A lobster boiling in the pot / A bluefish on the hook / They are suffering long:
They might have split up or they might have capsized / They might have broke deep and took water / And all that remains is the faces and the names / Of the wives and the sons and the daughters:
One afternoon, four thousand men died in the water here / Five hundred more were thrashing madly as parasites might in your blood / Now I was in a lifeboat designed for ten and ten only:
Here is what is left on English class, including scheduled sonnet readings and speech speakings. (None of this is written in stone — if you won’t be in class on a day your are scheduled to present, we’ll work it out.)
Here is what’s left of English class — including a tentative schedule of sonnet readings and speech speakings.
Earlier in the semester, I presented my close reading of Wordsworth’s “Lines Written in Early Spring” using PowerPoint.
Now, you choose a poem and close read it using either PowerPoint or Prezi.
Begin with a slide that describes the poem’s form and context. Then go through the poem stanza by stanza, or line by line, paying attention to the poet’s word choice and the speaker’s tone. Finally, discuss the poem’s implications. Your presentation should be clear and easy to follow as well as visually striking.
There are many resources available online to help you close read your poem. Here‘s just one.
This is a substantial, challenging assignment — plan to spend a few hours assembling it!
Write a 1-1.5 page (doublespaced) reflection on the production of Macbeth we saw.
Choose an excerpt — a speech, a conversation, a whole scene — from Macbeth.
In paragraph one, describe your vision of this excerpt. If you were the director, how would you play it? How would the actors speak their lines? What would they do with their faces, their bodies? What props would you need? What lighting would you use? What impression would you want to leave your audience with? You don’t have to answer all of these questions; you do need to give a detailed description of your vision, and to refer to the text while doing so.
In paragraph two, describe what you saw Classical Theatre Project do with the excerpt you chose. Bring as much detail to this description as possible.
In paragraph three, reflect on the differences between your vision and Classical Theatre Project’s. Did CTP sway you, or give you new ideas? Do you think your vision is more accurate or insightful? This is your opportunity to evaluate and critique both your own ideas and what you saw CTP perform.