Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Armory Show: Modernist Poetry and Prose

One of the first pieces of art I looked at was the "Leopard and Deer" by Robert A. Chanler. His piece exudes a very gory depiction of a leopard attacking a dear. I think that this reminds me a lot of one of the thematic elements of modernist literature which is the grotesque. In "In Our Time" by Ernest Hemingway there is a lot of gory grotesque descriptions which I believe relate to this painting along with many others in the Armory Gallery collection such as Andrew Dasburg's "Lucifer". I think that this one painting is very attention grabbing which is why it is like "In Our Time". These pieces are very striking and intriguing because of their strange and grotesque features and I think that makes them very modern because they are less private and are more open and interesting.

I also found the painting by Marcel Duchamp called "Nude Descending a Staircase, No. 2" to be very interesting and relative to Modernist Literature. The painting is very fragmented looking, almost Picasso-esque, and very choppy and divided reminding me of the fragmentation often found in that of Modernist works such as "In Our Time" by Ernest Hemingway. The way that Hemingway's book was written was a very fragmented way. There are chapters that are numbered and then there are chapters that are named. The numbered chapters are so very different from the named chapters because the numbered ones are narrated by an unknown character while the others are narrated by different people which the readers are aware of their identities. This relates back to the painting because I feel that it is hard to identify the identity of who is in this painting and what it is about, much like the numbered chapters of In Our Time.

The third painting that I thought had a very modern twist on it was the Eugene Higgins "Hunger under a Bridge". This one was particularly striking to me because it reminded me of the alienation we see in the thematic elements of such modern works. The tempera painting shows a lone man who appears to be starving and maybe even cold, obviously poor. The alienation it reminded me of most was that of Krebs in "In Our Time". He had many friends before the war and when he returned they didn't care for him, he didn't care for women, he didn't have a job, and he was no longer pious. I think that Krebs feels as alone and as poor as this man who is so hungry under the bridge. The man in the painting may have once been rich or well off and has been reduced to starving and I think that is a form of alienation in itself. I think that alienation was  something that wasn't very advertised or so much addressed in the past so it has a some what modern feel.

In the artwork drawing by Elmer Livingston MacRae, he draws the beach and names the work "On the Beach". this brings us to a beautiful aspect of nature which we have been emphasizing a lot in our class this semester. The people in this drawing are playing at the beach. When I look at this picture I imagine that they are looking straight at beautiful view of the ocean sunset or something of the like. This reminds of the way Nick goes into nature with his father, his uncle, and his friends. Nick, from "In Our Time" seems to be very into nature, fishing, and the outdoors. I think that the Modernist literature and art relates on the thematic level of nature a lot because I think it is shown as an escape from life. Nature in Modernist  literature and art lets the people be more aware of how to get away and grow somewhere else away from "the village".

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The Revolt of 'Mother'/ The Yellow Wallpaper

I think that the two short stories we were assigned to read in ENG 258 both have a few good similarities. The stories are built around women who feel oppressed by their husbands and stuck. They are living in a place that also bothers them a lot but are taught not to complain about it and to submit to their husbands. However, both of the women try to communicate to their husbands about their homes which annoy them but it does nothing for the women. To get out of their trapped lives they do whatever it takes to get out. The wallpaper seems to be a symbolic structure in both stories as in the Yellow Wallpaper when it is hated mostly by the woman who is trapped in her "nursery" and the wall paper in Revolt of Mother where Sarah Penn's house should be replaced due to how old it is while her husband doesn't care to build a new home for his family.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Freedom Quotes

Dickinson- "And laugh -- No more have I --"
I think this shows Dickinsons' sense of freedom because in the poem 613, we see the journey she goes through out of the captivity of oppression and she is saying here that she no longer allows herself to be oppressed.

Emerson- "Free should the scholar be, — free and brave.
This quote shows Emerson's sense of freedom because it shows that all people should have freedom to be creative in reading and they should be brave enough to do so. They should be man thinking and be free to come up with their own ideas."

Douglass - "In coming to a fixed determination to run away, we did more than Patrick Henry, when he resolved upon liberty or death."
Here Douglass explains that he is more independent than Patrick Henry and that he is not going to give up on freedom. We can tell that he is  VERY determined.  He wouldn't allow himself to truly be a slave.

Whitman- "I lean and loafe at my ease . . . . observing a spear of summer grass. "
I think that this is shows Whitman is very free and easy going. He feels freedom and ease are something you do for yourself not for the world. He emphasizes exploring and learning for themselves.


1. Captivity

I think that captivity is the most striking word in Dickinson's poem, 613, because it shows a reference to the fact that during her time women were sort of held "captive" in a way. She was oppressed along with many other women of her time because men were thought to be those who could think and write and be intellectual whereas women were supposed to be domestic. I think that this one word shows the whole idea of the poem. It shows her transformation between being captive in the closet to laughing off her oppressors which is a huge feat she is able to overcome. Captivity is the idea that she struggles through and makes it out alive. Though her poems weren't published until after her death, she didn't need publishing to help her overcome her captivity. Poetry was her way out of the captivity. It was something she needed for herself to get through the struggle of being a women of the age.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Emily Dickinson


They shut me up in Prose--

I think that this line is producing a feeling that Dickinson was feeling whens she wrote the poem. possibly meaning that with the way maybe her family life was working she was stuck in writing prose or poetry. It makes me feel tense like she was stuck and i would not like to be in her situation 

As when a little Girl
little, its a cute word to me. She was once a little girl and this line expresses that vulnerability. The word they in the first line makes it seem like she was the baby of the family. she was young. makes me want to reminisce on my past as a little girl and relive all the little memories

They put me in the Closet --

I dont think that this literally means she was shut it a closet, possibly figuratively trapped, she feels trapped. my initial reaction was surprised to this line. it explains the being shut in prose idea
Because they liked me "still" --
being trapped in a closet makes me feel like you could do nothing but be still because you are trapped in a closet anyway. there is not an inch to move around in. they thought they were keeping her still but she was writing away without them even knowing anyway. this makes me think about the thoughts
I have about things and how I keep them to myself sometimes. Certain things are not talked about. This line makes me feel pain and confinement I wouldnt want to be kept still and not be free
Still! Could themself have peeped --
this line makes me think of the behind the scenes idea. you never know whats happening behind the curtains
 And seen my Brain -- go round --
If they were looking then they would see the behind the scenes work that was going on.
They might as wise have lodged
a Bird
don't hurt the birdies! I think that this corresponding with the next line because its not finished but I think that the two combined are trying to explain that she didnt do anything wrong and she is being "shut up" for no reason at all
For Treason -- in the Pound --
the closet is the pound. this makes me think of a dog pound. being stuck somewhere you dont belong because nobody wanted you or because you wandered and got lost
Himself has but to will
If you want something you have to get it yourself. if you dont have motivation to do it  then you can do nothing.
And easy as a Star
once the motivation is there then its easy
Abolish his Captivity --
being figuratively stuck means that you can just get right out of the situation by breaking the ties of the captivity with your own will 
And laugh -- No more have I --
When you realize you are strong enough to do something you will laugh at how someone thought they could cage you and how you let yourself stay trapped

I think what sticks out the most to me is just the fact that throughout such a small and short poem, such a huge journey goes on. it starts with Dickinson is being oppressed and she finally comes out free. the other thing that stands out is the fact that she is overcoming the captivity of her life and this inspires me to do the same thing. She's not letting them oppress her anymore.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The American Scholar

Each philosopher, each bard, each actor, has only done for me, as by a delegate, what one day I can do for myself.“ 

In Emerson's eyes, one should be original. If you are unoriginal in life you are not free, in fact you are entrapped because you have been following what everyone else has created instead. Having originality also means that one must be independent and not dependent on the foundation that people before you have laid out. Originality also entails creativity instead of imitation. Emerson wants us to be creative and use our own experiences to make something new instead of sticking with the past and reiterating what older philosophers have already told us. Emerson is saying here that what the philosophers, bards, and actors do he can also do, that is, use creativity to come up with something new and different-- something never thought of before.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Well, I guess this is where I tell you all of the generic things people usually say to introduce themselves. Name's Taylor J. Pyka. First year. From So Cal.

Things I like:
Alpha Phi- I pledged Alpha Phi Fraternity/Sorority last semester at State. I love it.
Nail Polish- Yeah, this is really girly but I honestly am obsessed with it, especially sparkly kinds.
I like to sleep- I take four hour naps sometimes, though not as often as I used to. Oh well.
My OWN space- I feel a bit more free that way. Keeping things spic and span just because I have a roommate is hard for me.
My boyfriend.... obviously, otherwise he wouldn't be my boyfriend. Duh.
Big cities- Every year I visit NYC. I took the above picture from a yacht in New York harbor.

Random facts about me:
I don't like feet.
I have a 7 month old baby cousin name Asher who I'm obsessed with.

That's just a bit about good ol' me, can't wait to meet y'all in AMERICAN LIT!!!! I'm super excited to have this blog here for English 258. Lookin' forward to what's in store in the class.