【文讀assignment #5】epiphany achieved via violent means (deadline: 1/8/2012, 12 a.m.)

In her short stories, Flannery O’Connor brings her characters to a moment of epiphany when it is no longer possible for them to return to the old ways of life. The proud are humbled, the ignorant are enlightened, and the hypocritical are forced to recognize that the discrepancy between their smug surface and its hollow spirituality is the proof of their inadequacy in the eyes of God. For O’Connor, this epiphanal moment can only be achieved by violence and destruction: “In my own stories I have found that violence is strangely capable of returning my characters to reality and preparing them to accept their moment of grace…. We hear many complaints about the prevalence of violence in modern fiction, and it is always assumed that this violence is a bad thing and meant to be an end in itself. With the serious writer, violence is never an end in itself. It is the extreme situation that best reveals what we are essentially” (“On Her Own Work”).

In the three stories we read (“A Good Man Is Hard to Find,” “Good Country People,” “Everything That Rises Must Converge”), can you find any “moments of epiphany” which are produced in extreme violent situations? How do these violent situations “reveal” the hidden message of God? What mysterious transformations have the characters undergone when they are shocked into an awareness of their smug ignorance?

Is the Misfit the devil?

Famous for her rather eccentric and certainly unique literary style, O’Connor produced fiction in which the action of divine grace is worked in a mysterious and even grotesque way. Oftentimes, it is hard to understand the religious message that O’Connor tried to convey to her audience. However, in “On Her Own Works,” she explains to us the gist of her short story "A Good Man Is Hard to Find," which is "something more than an account of a family murdered on the way to Florida." The fatal encounter between the character Grandmother and the serial killer “the Misfit”mysteriously allows the action of grace in the Grandmother's soul to take place. As O'Connor writes:

“I often ask myself what makes a story work, and what makes it hold up as a story, and I have decided that it is probably some action, some gesture of a character that is unlike any other in the story, one which indicates where the real heart of the story lies. This would have to be an action or a gesture which was both totally right and totally unexpected; it would have to be one that was both in character and beyond character; it would have to suggest both the world and eternity. The action or gesture I’m talking about would have to be on the anagogical level, that is, the level which has to do with the Divine life and our participation in it…. It would be a gesture which somehow made contact with mystery.

There is a point in this story where such a gesture occurs. The Grandmother is at last alone, facing the Misfit. Her head clears for an instant and she realizes, even in her limited way, that she is responsible for the man before her and joined to him by ties of kinship which have their roots deep in the mystery she has been merely prattling about so far. And at this point, she does the right thing, she makes the right gesture….

I don’t want to equate the Misfit with the devil. I prefer to think that, however unlikely this may seem, the old lady’s gesture, like the mustard-seed, will grow to be a great crow-filled tree in the Misfit’s heart, and will be enough of a pain to him there to turn him into the prophet he was meant to become….

In such a picture, grace, in the theological sense, is not lacking. There is a moment in every great story in which the presence of grace can be felt as it waits to be accepted or rejected, even though the reader may not recognize this moment.”

Therefore, God works in a mysterious way. Like Manley Pointer in "Good Country People," the Misfit is not ridiculed by his creator. O'Connor suggests that the grandmother's "moment of grace" might induce the Misfit to be reborn too. It is possible that the Misfit has been transformed by his mysterious experience with the grandmother.



English Dept.
2011 台灣國際勞工影展花蓮場
放映時間: 12/20~23 (18:00-21:00) 18:00進場/18:15準時放映
放映地點: 國立東華大學共三講堂

【血咖啡】24 min
【佛圖之死】17 min
【時尚工業生死鬥】74 min

HTC的血汗品牌之路】36 min
【解構富士康】20 min
【蘋果IPad的真相】7 min
【工佔共和國】60 min

【紅土】20 min
【可口可樂殺人事件】85 min

【非關護照】24 min
【片刻緩和】28 min
【我家裡面有工廠】16 min
【景氣復甦大搜查線】13 min
【新自由主義行不行】12 min

更多訊息請洽: 2011台灣國際勞工影展


【文讀 assignment #4】Qs for Toni Morrison's "Recitatif" (deadline: 12/13, 12 a.m.)

Questions for your assignment (choose one from the following questions and answer it with 250-300 words):
1. At the end of "Recitatif," how does Twyla's and Roberta's exploration of the "truth" of what they had seen at St. Bonny's many years earlier affect your sense of the "truth" of later episodes in the story? Is either Twyla or Roberta more reliable than the other?

2. For you, what's the message of this story?

3. Why does Morrison use Maggie--a crippled, mute, deaf old man--as the focus of Twyla's and Roberta's obsession in this story? Toward the end of the story, Twyla says: "Maggie was my dancing mother?" What are the possible implications of this remark?


【文讀assignment #3】Qs for "A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings" ( deadline 12/3, 12 p.m.)

Questions for your assignment (choose one from the following questions and answer it with 250-300 words):

1. The subtitle of this story is "A Tale for Children." Why and how does this seem like an apt description? an inapt or ironic one?

2. How do the various characters interpret the winged man? How do they arrive at their interpretations? What might their interpretations reveal about them? about people and/or the process of interpretation in general?

3. Why do so many people at first come to see the winged man and later stop doing so? Why is Elisenda so relieved when he finally flies away? What insights into human behavior might be revealed here?


【創傷與文學書寫】(Trauma and Literature)國際研討會(Saturday, 11/12)



會議地點:國立東華大學校本部 原住民民族學院 國際會議廳(B123室)
8:30 - 9:20
9:20 - 9:30


(地點: 國立東華大學 原住民民族學院 國際會議廳)

9:30 - 10:30

主持人:單德興 (中央研究院歐美研究所特聘研究員兼所長)
演講人:李有成 (中央研究院歐美研究所特聘研究員)

Topic: "Of Imperial Trauma; or, Mohsin Hamid's Critique of American Empire"

10:30 – 10:50
10:50 – 12:00
 Session 1A (B123室) 
主持人:蘇子中 (國立臺灣師範大學英語學系教授)

1. Hyungji Park (Professor, Yonsei University)
  “Traumatic Procreations: Frankenstein and the Fear of (Re)production”
2. 趙順良 (Assistant Professor, National Chengchi University)
  “ ‘Sorrow only increased with knowledge’: The Monster's Desire for Human Relations in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein”
3. 羅珮瑄 (PhD Student, University of London)
  “Factory Children and Machinery: From Injured Bodies
towards a Cooperative Body”

 Session 1B (A137室) 
 主持人:阮秀莉 (中興大學外文系教授)

1. 吳雅鳳(國立臺灣大學外文系副教授)
2. 李健美(真理大學英美語文學系副教授兼系主任)
3. 劉婉俐(華梵大學外文系助理教授)

Session 1C (A151室) 

1. 陳國榮(國立中正大學外國語文學系教授兼系主任)
2. 王瀚陞(屏東科技大學應用外語系助理教授)
3. 徐詩思(國立交通大學外文系助理教授)
英美文學學會會員大會 (地點: 國立東華大學 原住民民族學院 國際會議廳) 
Session 2A (B123室) 
主持人:梁欣榮 (台大外文系副教授兼系主任)

1. Manfred Malzahn (Professor, United Arab Emirates University)
 “A Sadder and a Wiser Man? Vicarious Traumatisation in The Rime of the Ancient Mariner”
2. Boram Lee (M.A. Student, Yonsei University)
 “Wounded White: "Morpho Eugenia" and the Victorian Body in Crisis”
3. Joanne Yoon (M.A. Student, Yonsei University)
“Remembering a Forgotten War: Witnessing Trauma and Inadvertent Erasures in Chang-Rae Lee's The Surrendered”

Session 2B (B137室) 

1. 曾瑞華(大漢技術學院通識教育中心助理教授)
2. 許靜瑛(英國杜倫大學英文系博士生)
3. 廖培真(國立成功大學外國語文學系助理教授)

Session 2C (A151室) 
主持人:劉建基 (世新大學英語系教授)

1. 梁一萍(國立臺灣師範大學英語系教授)
2. 李盈潔 (美國威斯康辛大學密爾瓦基分校英文系博士班學生)
3. 蔡麗雲(淡江大學英文所文學組博士生)

Session 2D (B101室) 

1. 蔡珮琪(國立臺灣大學外國語文學系博士候選人)
2. 蔡幸紋(國立中正大學外文所文學組博士生)

14:10 – 14:20
14:20 – 15:30
Session 3A (B123室) 

1. Sachi Nakachi (Professor, Tsuru University)
“Trauma, Phantoms and Amnesia in Pauline Hopkins’ Works”
2. J. B. Rollins (Professor of English, National Chung Cheng University)
“Don DeLillo and the Language of Trauma: From Gibberish to Silence in The Body Artist and Falling Man”
3. Ron S. Judy(Assistant Professor, National Chung Hsing University)
“’Officer in Charge of the Dead’: Traumatic Identity in Philip Caputo's A Rumor of War”

Session 3B (A137室) 

1. 蔡淑芬(國立東華大學英美語文學系副教授)
2. 謝作偉 (國立高雄第一科技大學應用英語系助理教授)
3. 吳哲硯(國立臺灣大學外文系博士生)

Session 3C (A151室) 
主持人:馮品佳 (交通大學外文系教授)

1. 姜翠芬 (政治大學英文系教授)
2. 陳淑玲(國立東華大學英美語文學系助理教授)
3. 楊志偉(國立臺灣大學外國語文學系博士生)

Session 3D (B101室) 
主持人:張淑麗 (成功大學外文系教授)

1. 蘇子中(國立臺灣師範大學英語學系教授)
2. 王沐嵐 (國立台灣大學外文系助理教授)
  創傷、旅遊、癒合: 愛德華.李爾之山水畫與無稽圖文創作

15:30 – 15:40
15:40 – 16:50
Session 4A (B123室) 
主持人:單德興 (中央研究院歐美研究所特聘研究員兼所長)
1. Margret Kim (Assistant Professor, National Tsing Hua University)
“Chaucer and Trauma: Motherhood, Tyranny, and the Clerk‟s Tale”
2. 張崇旂(香港教育學院英文系助理教授)
“When Politics Meets Sex: Trauma in Edna O'Brien’s House of Splendid Isolation"
3. 莊晏甄(淡江大學蘭陽校區多元文化與語言學系專任助理教授)
   “The Rest is Silence: the Poetics of Ellipsis in Blanchot and Henry James's The Wings of the Dove”

Session 4B (A137室) 
主持人:梁一萍 (台師大英語系教授)

1. 邱漢平(淡江大學英文系教授)
2. 劉建基(世新大學英語系教授)
3. 王梅春(佛光大學外文系助理教授)

Session 4C (A151室) 
主持人:郭強生 (東華大學英美系教授)

1. 趙美玲(南華大學外文系副教授)
戰爭 (War) 與病房 (Ward):《贖罪》中的創傷經驗與創傷療癒
2. 陳重仁(台北醫學大學通識教育中心助理教授)
3. 張雅蘭(華梵大學外文系助理教授)

16:50 – 17:00 閉幕典禮 (地點: 國立東華大學 原住民民族學院 國際會議廳)

17:00 – 17:20 (地點: 國立東華大學原住民民族學院圓形露臺)

17:20-18:20 晚宴



【文讀assignment #2】The Sensuous Geographies in Dubliners (deadline: 10/29, 12 p.m.)

In "Araby" and "Eveline," sense perceptions--sight, sound, touch, smell--play an important role in the development of the psychological impacts and the emotional nuances of the stories. James Joyce elicits sensuous responses from the readers by making us actively engage with the sights, sounds, smells, and textures of the settings of the stories. Look for the descriptions of different senses in the two stories and analyze their implications or connotations. Use 250-300 words to respond this question.


2011 Nobel Prize in Literature

The Nobel Prize in Literature 2011 is awarded to Swedish writer Tomas Transtromer "because, through his condensed, translucent images, he gives us fresh access to reality."

For details such as press release, videos from the Prize Announcement, see nobelprize.org

【文讀assignment # 1】Guy de Maupassant's "The Jewelry" (deadline: 10/15 12 p.m.)

In Tuesday's class, we discussed Maupassant's champion of the realist approach to writing and his elimination of the moral judgements and long digressions used by many earlier writers. He once comments that the serious writer's goal "is not to tell us a story, to entertain or move us, but to make us think and to make us understand the deep and hidden meaning of events."

Questions for your assignment (choose one from the following questions and answer it with 250-300 words):

1) For you, what is "the deep and hidden meaning of events" that happen in "The Jewelry"?

2) Once the secret of Madame Lantin's jewelry is revealed, what details from earlier in the story take on a different significance?

3) The heroine of "The Jewelry" remains nameless throughout the story. We merely see things from her husband's point of view. If she were given a chance to tell her story, what would that be?


What is the use of literature?

Excerpt: "The Use And Abuse of Literature"


2011年秋《文學作品讀法》 syllabus

Critical Approaches to Literary Texts ( 文學作品讀法 )

Fall 2011

Tuesday 9:10-12:00, 敬業412 (Mei-lun Campus)

Instructor: Prof. Jen-yi Hsu (許甄倚)

Office hours: Friday 2-4 p.m., and by appointment (jyhsu@mail.ndhu.edu.tw)

Course Description: This class will introduce students to fiction, poetry, and drama and open up a complex field of interpreting and analyzing literature. While the first semester focuses on fiction, the second semester will focus on poetry and drama. We will learn how to approach literature as a distinctive genre with its own specifications and acquaint ourselves with the cultural and historical contexts surrounding the texts. The concern of this class is to engage literature with a critical eye and to introduce students to the complex interactions of region, gender, race, class, and narrative technique. Some basic knowledge of critical theory and its terminology will also be introduced as a preparation for further study.

Required Text:

The Norton Introduction to Literature (Shorter 10th Edition)—to be purchased at the University Bookstore (main campus)

Course Requirements:

  1. Class Prep: You are expected to finish the reading assignments before each class meeting.

2. Attendance: Attendance is mandatory; you are responsible for coming to class on time. Excessive and consistent lateness will also harm your grade. I do not distinguish between excused and unexcused absences. You will automatically fail the course if you miss more than 2 classes. If you must be absent for an extended period of time, you must consult with me to determine the best alternative for completing the course.

  1. Oral Report: Two students as a group will be assigned one text for your group report. In the report, you have to introduce the biographical information of the author, summarize the plot of the story, analyze the main characters, and select passages that play crucial roles in the whole development of the story. I encourage creative presentation ideas. You are expected to present in front of the class, ready to take questions.
  2. Midterm and final exams: Remember, there will be no make-up exams. Missing the exams will result in failing the course.
  3. Blog entries: You are expected to submit 10 blog entries throughout the semester. Deadlines will be announced on the blog: http://literarycollage.blogspot.com/

Grading Policy:

Midterm 30%, final exam 30%, presentation and class participation 30%, blog entries 10%

Course Schedule:

Week 1: 9/27 Intro

Week 2: 10/4 The Jewelry by Guy de Maupassant (58-63); “The Cask of Amontillado” by Edgar Allan Poe (101-5)

Week 3: 10/11“Roman Fever” by Edith Wharton (85-94, Alier); “Hills Like White Elephants” by Ernest Hemingway (106-9, Sandy & Amy ); “How” by Lorrie Moore (109-15)

Week 4: 10/18 “Araby” (503-7, Eunice & Erica) and “Eveline” (xerox) by James Joyce

Week 5: 10/25 “The Lady with the Dog” by Anton Chekhov (169-80, Susan & Sindra); “Young Goodman Brown” (xerox) by Nathaniel Hawthorne (Queenie & Linda Hsu)

Week 6: 11/1 “Flowering Judas” by Katherine Anne Porter (180-88, Kent); “A Rose for Emily” by Faulkner (391-7)

Week 7: 11/8 “A Pair of Tickets” by Amy Tan; Joy Luck Club (in-class film screening)

Week 8: 11/15 Midterm

Week 9: 11/22 “A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings” by Marquez (271-5, Sunny & Nick); “A Hunger Artist” by Kafka (507-13, Vivian Wang & Eric)

Week 10: 11/29 (no class)

Week 11: 12/6 “Recitatif” (139-52, Kendrick & Chou) and “Strangers” (xerox) by Toni Morrison

Week 12: 12/13 “Boys and Girls” by Alice Munro (570-9, Amy Hsieh & Jenny Chang); “Girl” (116-7) and “In the Night” (xerox) by Jamaica Kincaid; “The Story of an Hour” by Kate Chopin (353-4)

Week 13: 12/20 “The Garden of Forking Paths” by Jorge Luis Borges (463-9, Phoenix & Vivian Lee); “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman (354-65, Cathy & Lisa)

Week 14: 12/27 “A Good Man Is Hard to Find” (299-310, Leighton & Jenny Tseng), and “Good Country People” (310-23, Dora & Marcus) by Flannery O’Connor

Week 15: 1/3 “Everything That Rises Must Converge” by Flannery O’Connor (323-33, Kana & Kimberley); “The Prophet’s Hair” by Salman Rushdie (579-89, Shawn & Lily)

Week 16: 1/10 final exam

Week 17: 1/17 Film Screening: The Namesake