Thursday, December 29, 2011
Wednesday, December 7, 2011
Thursday, December 1, 2011
Wednesday, November 30, 2011
- Write a little something that includes the following: the smell of fresh-baked bread, hot peaches, a man in a beret, the words souvenir, clink, and lurk.
- Write about a time you either very very hot or extremely cold--and try to include something visual in every single sentence (a color, a description of an object, a metaphor). The idea behind this exercise is to combine two senses at the same time--the visual and the tactile.
- In this exercise, list ten places. (Any place will do.) Then list a smell that comes to mind in each place. After you have those ten places and ten smells, circle the pair that you find most intriguing and start writing.
- See #3, except do ten places, ten sounds.
- With specific detail that appeals to all the senses, describe windy weather on a city street.
- Imagine a body of water. Might be a lake or pond or river, anything. What do you see in your mind? Describe this body of water in detail--detail that addresses all the senses. What colors do you see? Lights and shadows? How does it feel on your skin? What is in it, near it? And in the last minute, write the feelings that this body of water evokes.
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
Sunday, November 13, 2011
Saturday, November 12, 2011
Wednesday, November 9, 2011
Thursday, November 3, 2011
- What they won't tell you about ___ is ___.
- This is the kind of place where___.
- Describe a place as if it were a person, complete with hair color, height, personality, a favorite book, and more.
- Name something significant that happened in this place--how you define "significant" is up to you.
- If this place were a song, what would it be?
- How do you get to this place? Write your way into this place. What are its boundaries? Theoretical? Natural boundaries (like a river)? Political? Cultural?
- Where is the physical center of this place? Where is the emotional center of this place? Are they the same? Different? Write about that.
Tuesday, November 1, 2011
- What role does place play here? How it as much a character as Cork or Molly or Jo or anybody?
- What role does weather and landscape play in advancing the story?
- How does the book begin? What do we learn about Cork and Sam Winter Moon in the first few pages?
- Consider the voice of each character: how is it constructed?
- What does each character want--by the end of this section? What does Cork want by the end of these first nine chapters?
- The prologue and the first chapter are both in the voice of fourteen year old boys (Cork in the prologue, Paul Le Beau in the first chapter). What does that do to the movement of the narrative?
- What function does the Windigo serve? Obviously it serve a plot function--and we can talk about it from a literary criticism position and discuss metaphor, etc, but we won't. How is the character of the Windigo created and how does it work in narrative?
- Where do you get the best insight into characters? (We discussed that it was in dialogue that we got the best insight into Cork, because he's a different person in his dialogue with Molly than he is with Jo.) We got our best characterization of Henry Meloux through dialogue as well, just that brief car ride where Cork picks him up on the side of the road.
- In Chapter 4, the prologue plays an important role, because we see the return of Sam Winter Moon. By now, as all the characters are being introduced, we start to see how they all fit together.
- Just from that first page of Chapter 4, what can we tell about Sam's character? Given the prologue, we get that he is showing compassion for Cork, who just lost his father. But in Chapter 4, we find that Sam has left "Sam's Place" to Cork, so it's obvious that they have created a special relationship, that they were close even after that bear hunting outing.
Monday, October 31, 2011
- What is a natural disaster?
- How do we talk about disasters in literature? What function do they serve in the culture and history of this group of people, at this particular time?
- How does the epic form impact the subject matter?
- How do these stories function for readers today? Morality tales? Literal history?
- How do these stories and the disasters themselves function in terms of creating identity?
- How does the literature of fact and the literature of fiction here? How does one become another and how does the disaster play into that?
Saturday, October 15, 2011
Friday, October 14, 2011
Tuesday, October 11, 2011
- Quiddity: the inherent nature of something, a distinctive feature, a peculiarity (p. 81)
- What is the quiddity of "A Connemara Fractal"?
- What are the larger implications? How and where and why is the larger idea applicable outside of math?
- We think of math as definable and solvable (like an island, in "Islands and Images")--how does Robinson disprove that?
- How does he work the idea of fractals into other contexts?
- What is the nature of uncertainty? Can we know anything, truly?
- Formulate the a question/confusion/irritation, the most interesting question you can come up with...
- Answer/explicate/complicate it. Prepare to present for 3-4 minutes.
Wednesday, October 5, 2011
Monday, October 3, 2011
Land patterns from the Atlantic coast westward provide condensed narratives of Earth and human histories inseparably linked, histories of ideas as well as actions, histories of change.
Saturday, October 1, 2011
Friday, September 30, 2011
Tuesday, September 27, 2011
Wednesday, October 12
Light refreshments will served.
Thursday, October 13
The Writing Life: A Conversation with Students