【英史】Virginia Woolf and her narrative modes for presenting consciousness in Mrs Dalloway (deadline: 5/7, 12 p.m.)

According to A Glossary of Literary Terms edited by M. H. Abrams, stream of consciousness "is the name for a special mode of narration that undertakes to reproduce, without a narrator's intervention, the full spectrum and the continuous flow of a character's mental process, in which sense perceptions mingle with conscious and half-consious thoughts, memories, expectations, feelings, and random associations" (202). Virginia Woolf's Mrs. Dalloway is a quintessential example of this mode of narration. Listen to this NPR story, in which Woolf's stream-of-consciousness technique was said to anticipate what neuroscientists' study of the human mind and memory. After listening to the story, write down things you feel impressed when you read Mrs. Dalloway, particularly with regard to her keen observation of human mind. Examine any character's interior monologue, observe the flow of their mind, and describe their conflicting feelings, emotions, desires, or fantasies.





The Poetry of Emily Dickinson (Deadline: 5/4, 12 p.m.)

Being one of the two mid-19th-century American geniuses (the other is Walt Whitman), Emily Dickinson knew her poetry was unacceptable by her society's standards of poetic convention, and of what was proper for a woman. Fewer than a dozen of her poems were published in her lifetime; more than a thousand were laid away in her bedroom trunk, do be discovered after her death. A genius who knew what she wanted and chose her seclusion in her self-claimed poetic house of "possibility," Dickinson declared that only the "fairest" visitors were admitted, indicating her aversion to publicity. Being a recluse, she nevertheless presented to us an amazing mind that is inquisitive and profoundly penetrating. The way she observed human vicissitudes was original and unorthodox. Her frequent ways of blending the holy and the profane, the eternal and the homely gave her poetry unexpected turns and startling twists.

We read quite a few poems by Dickinson in today's class. Have you found any poems that impress you as exceptional and unconventional? Which poem inspires you the most? What kind of profound understanding have you gained--in terms of human destinies, nature, a female artist's interior struggles, and so forth?



被多位媒體記者譽為本年度最佳國片之《台北星期天》東部隆重首映:04/30(星期五)晚上6:30東華演藝廳準時放映, 六點開放入場, 加導演映後座談。



2010 台北金馬奇幻影展開幕片《台北星期天》Pinoy Sunday 東部首映暨導演映後座談

放映時間:99年4月30日(五) 18:00 憑票入場 18:30 開映



監製 胡至欣
導演 何蔚庭
音樂 蔡曜任
剪輯 許\惟堯






【英史】the rhetoric of "discovery" and its gendered ideology (deadline: 4/18, 12 p.m.)

In this famous picture drawn in 1575, Jan van der Straet depicts the "discovery" of America in an allegorical way--as a pornographic encounter between a man and a woman. Amerigo Vespucci, an Italian explorer who "discovered" America, is portrayed in the drawing as a fully clothed man who stands masterfully before a naked and sexually inviting woman, who extends her hand in a gesture of seduction and submission. Vespucci, a god-like figure who represents civilization and technology, was about to conquer, to "penetrate" or to "pierce" the virgin land, which is allegorically portrayed as a naked woman. In other words, the rhetoric of "discovery" hinges on a gendered ideology, in which male is conventionally seen as active or aggressive while female viewed as passive and vulnerable.

However, this kind of male-centered imperial discourse cannot always be that triumphant and cocky. In the background of the drawing, we can see a cannibal scene in which human bodies are dismembered and roasted, suggesting threat and danger lurking in the wilderness. The "feminized" wilderness, in fact, is never that passive and vulnerable as imagined by male explorers; oftentimes, it provokes anxiety and fear.

In "Heart of Darkness," can you find similar portrayals of the wilderness that is being "feminized" or "eroticized"? Besides the imperial hubris and narcissism, with its delusional fantasy of male might and unstoppable pillaging and looting, can you also spot a contradictory fear of engulfment or castration? Identify passages and explain them. Make your answer into a 250-300-word essay. Cite texts to prove your points.


【英史】The ideology of "whiteness" in "Heart of Darkness" (deadline: 4/11, 12 p.m.)

In 1899, an advertisement for Pears' Soap in McClure's Magazine announced: "The first step towards lightening THE WHITE MAN"S BURDEN is through teaching the virtues of cleanliness. PEARS' SOAP is a potent factor in brightening the dark corners of the earth as civilization advances, while amongst the cultured of all nations it holds the highest place--it is the ideal toilet soap."

In this ad, we can see the admirable captain wearing white uniform, supposedly using Pears' Soap to wash his hands. Here commodity capitalism goes hand in hand with imperialism. Cleanniss and whiteness guarantee white power and justify the domination of aboriginal people (which is shown in the bottom right corner--a mini-picture of the genuflection of a naked African man). Ships, seaports, and buildings suggest not only trades but also imperial progress. White civilization needs to be brought into the wilderness; the lesson of hygiene needs to be taught to those "savage" people who don't know the "virtues" of clieaniness and whiteness.

It is an interesting coincidence that Conrad's "Heart of Darkness" was also published in 1899, the same year that the Pears' Soap ad came out. In Part I of the novel, Marlow encounters a wonderfully sleazy accountant whom he describes as a "hairdresser's dummy." Re-read these paragraphs (pp. 1902-3). Do you see any irony in these paragraphs? How does the accountant achieve his sartorial spruceness? Why is maintaning cleaniness so important for this accountant? How do you make of his obsesission with cleaning and grooming rituals?

Make your answer into a 250-300-word essay. Cite texts to prove your points.