Nice job at the Tang yesterday. Tomorrow we turn to the question of literary rewriting with the work of Kenneth Goldsmith — as I mentioned, we’re only reading a selection of what’s in the packet: an excerpt from his work Day, the introduction to his book Uncreative Writing, two pieces from Seven American Deaths and Disasters, and Brian Droitcour’s article on him.
As you’ll see when you start reading Goldsmith’s work, it doesn’t necessarily lend itself to specific passage quotation. So for this blog post, you should post three generative questions about this material by class time tomorrow — open-ended things that will help us to engage and interrogate what Goldsmith is doing, and to set it in the context of the rest of our course material. While you don’t need to quote or cite directly in your questions, they should be closely and specifically informed by the readings and the issues they raise. See you tomorrow!
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Here’s a thread for our preparation for talking with filmmaker Eric Fleischauer in Friday’s class. As a reminder, alongside the film you should read the article by Miltner and Highfield in the packet and this Teen Vogue article on reaction gifs and digital blackface. Then you should post at least two questions (or clusters of questions) before our discussion Friday: one question should be for Fleischauer himself, since we’ll do some Q and A time with him– it can be about his process, his work, the film, his views, etc. The other should be a generative question or set of questions that we can take up with him in response to his film, these readings, and the gif as an appropriative unit of digital culture. See you all soon!
This Wednesday we move from the aesthetics of the swede to another form of remaking and reenactment, one that we might call (as Legault does) translation, or transcription, or something along those lines — these rewritings of Dickinson and Melville take us back to literature as a specific genre, and raise questions of how writing fits into the practice of remaking in relation to authorship, visuality, language, and more.
So part of our work with this material will be to figure out what rewriting (or at least this specific kind of rewriting) does — what kinds of material and linguistic departures do these translated versions make from their original, and what’s important about those? What’s added, lost, distorted, or otherwise altered in these processes, and what does that tell us about the originals? What does it mean to translate these authors — two of the most famous in all of American literature — this way?
You’re free to take up these and/or related issues in whatever way makes sense to you — just make sure that you pursue your thinking through some quotation and close analysis of both translated versions, so you have a chance to think about what they’re each doing.
Reminder: Your writing should go in the comments section for this post — click on the link near the top of this post where it says “Leave a Comment.” It should be at least 300 words, and is due by midnight Tuesday, November 15. If you have any questions, let me know via email.
We don’t have a printed text to draw from for Be Kind Rewind, so rather than our usual passages for Friday, you should instead post at least three themes or generative questions in relation to the film that we haven’t yet discussed by class time — the question of race and cultural appropriation is certainly one thing we didn’t get to today that we’ll discuss Friday, but there’s lots more as well, so try to think of other new things. See you all Friday!