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World Lit II - Class Notes for January 26, 2012
World Lit II - Class Notes for January 26, 2012
World Lit II - Class Notes for January 26, 2012
World Lit II - Class Notes for January 26, 2012
World Lit II - Class Notes for January 26, 2012
World Lit II - Class Notes for January 26, 2012
World Lit II - Class Notes for January 26, 2012
World Lit II - Class Notes for January 26, 2012
World Lit II - Class Notes for January 26, 2012
World Lit II - Class Notes for January 26, 2012
World Lit II - Class Notes for January 26, 2012
World Lit II - Class Notes for January 26, 2012
World Lit II - Class Notes for January 26, 2012
World Lit II - Class Notes for January 26, 2012
World Lit II - Class Notes for January 26, 2012
World Lit II - Class Notes for January 26, 2012
World Lit II - Class Notes for January 26, 2012
World Lit II - Class Notes for January 26, 2012
World Lit II - Class Notes for January 26, 2012
World Lit II - Class Notes for January 26, 2012
World Lit II - Class Notes for January 26, 2012
World Lit II - Class Notes for January 26, 2012
World Lit II - Class Notes for January 26, 2012
World Lit II - Class Notes for January 26, 2012
World Lit II - Class Notes for January 26, 2012
World Lit II - Class Notes for January 26, 2012
World Lit II - Class Notes for January 26, 2012
World Lit II - Class Notes for January 26, 2012
World Lit II - Class Notes for January 26, 2012
World Lit II - Class Notes for January 26, 2012
World Lit II - Class Notes for January 26, 2012
World Lit II - Class Notes for January 26, 2012
World Lit II - Class Notes for January 26, 2012
World Lit II - Class Notes for January 26, 2012
World Lit II - Class Notes for January 26, 2012
World Lit II - Class Notes for January 26, 2012
World Lit II - Class Notes for January 26, 2012
World Lit II - Class Notes for January 26, 2012
World Lit II - Class Notes for January 26, 2012
World Lit II - Class Notes for January 26, 2012
World Lit II - Class Notes for January 26, 2012
World Lit II - Class Notes for January 26, 2012
World Lit II - Class Notes for January 26, 2012
World Lit II - Class Notes for January 26, 2012
World Lit II - Class Notes for January 26, 2012
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World Lit II - Class Notes for January 26, 2012

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  • 1. World Literature II Renaissance to the Present Dr. Michael Broder University of South Carolina January 26, 2012
  • 2. Daily Write
    • Gargantua begins, “Alcibiades [an ancient Greek statesman], praising in a dialogue of Plato’s called The Banquet his teacher Socrates (beyond dispute the prince of philosophers), says amongst other things that he resembled Sileni .” What are Sileni , and why do you think Rabelais begins Gargantua with this anecdote?
    Beginning today, you may have up to 10 minutes to complete your Daily Write, and while you should aim for concision, you need not confine yourself to one sentence.
  • 3. Daily Write: New Grading Rubric
    • Starting today, your Daily Write is worth not 1 point, but 4 points
    • Grading rubric
      • Did you hand in anything at all = 1 point
      • Did you answer the question at all = 1 point
      • Did you answer the question completely = 1 point
      • Did you demonstrate knowledge of the text = 1 point
  • 4. Upcoming Assignments
    • 1/31 Shakespeare, Othello , Acts 1 & 2
    • 1/2 Shakespeare, Othello , Act 3
    • 2/7 Shakespeare, Othello , Acts 4 & 5
  • 5. Grotesque Realism Redux
    • “ The essential principle of grotesque realism is degradation, that is, the lowering of all that is high , spiritual , ideal , abstract ; it is a transfer to the material level, to the sphere of earth and body in their indissoluble unity.”
      • Mikhail Bakhtin, Rabelais and His World , p. 19-20
  • 6. The Material Bodily Principle
    • “ Images of the human body with its food, drink, defecation, and sexual life”
      • Mikhail Bakhtin, Rabelais and His World , p. 18
  • 7. Is the material bodily principle something new that Rabelais invented?
  • 8. The Material Body in Literature and Culture
    • In the Middle Ages
      • Ritual spectacle such as Corpus Christi, Twelfth Night, Shrovetide, and Mardi Gras
      • Comic parodies in Latin or vernacular
      • Obscene invective found in the streets and marketplaces
  • 9. In Classical Antiquity
    • Greek comedy (Aristophanes
    • Roman comedy (Plautus, Terence)
    • Greek poetry, especially iambic poetry and mimes
    • Roman poetry of all genres, but especially Roman verse satire
    • Roman prose satire (Petronius, Apuleius)
    • Even ancient history and philosophy was filled with food , drink , defecation , and sexual life
  • 10. Horace, Satires 1.8.37-39
    • If I am lying, may the ravens’ white droppings foul my head, and may Julius and that fag Pediatus and that thief Voranus come here to piss and shit on me.
  • 11. Juvenal, Satires 6. 298-305
    • For what does Venus/Sex care when she’s drunk? She ignores the distinctions between crotches and heads and she chews jumbo oysters past midnight, when the flowing perfumes foam with Falernian wine, when she drinks from oyster shells, when the ceiling wanders dizzily and the table rises up with twin oil lamps.
    • Juvenal avoided obscene words , but his Roman readers understood that “crotch” meant sexual organs , “oysters” where a metaphor for female genitalia , and “chewing” and “drinking” oysters refers to oral sex being performed on a woman, in this case by another woman
  • 12. Juvenal, Satires 6.309-313
    • Here they stop their litters at night, here they urinate and fill the statue of the goddess with their long streams as they take turns riding each other like horses and climaxing with the moon as their witness. In the morning, you tread on your wife’s urine as you go to call on your mighty patrons.
  • 13. Juvenal, Satires 2.8-13
    • You can’t trust appearances; for what street does not overflow with sad-looking perverts? You dare to rebuke foul behavior, when you yourself are the most notorious ditch among the Socratic pussy-boys? Hairy legs at least, and stiff bristles over your arms, promise a fierce spirit, but the doctor laughs as he cuts swollen figs from your smooth butt.
  • 14. Juvenal, Satires 9.22-26
    • For it was only recently, as I recall, that you were accustomed to frequent the shrine of Isis, the statue of Ganymede in the Temple of Peace, the shrine of the immigrant Mother on the Palatine, and the temple of Ceres (for in what temple does a woman not prostitute herself?), an adulterer more notorious than Aufidius, and (a fact about which you remain silent), you were accustomed to bend the husbands over as well.
  • 15. Juvenal, Satires 9.43-46
    • Or do you think it’s easy breezy to drive a proper penis into the guts and there run into yesterday’s dinner? The slave who plows a field will be less wretched than the slave who plows his master.
  • 16. Why don’t you know about this tradition of sexual, scatological, and bodily literature dating from classical antiquity?
  • 17. Because of the legacy of expurgation and censorship that took hold in Anglo-European cultures in the wake of the Reformation.
  • 18. “The aesthetic concept of the following ages…”
    • After the Reformation, authorities of Church and State alike would suppress, through expurgation or censorship , any literature that was
      • Low
      • Physical
      • Real
      • Concrete
    • Juvenal’s Sixteen Satires suddenly became Thirteen Satires
    • The passages I showed you earlier were not included in most 19th-century editions of Juvenal
  • 19. Grotesque Realism Redux
    • “ The essential principle of grotesque realism is degradation, that is, the lowering of all that is high , spiritual , ideal , abstract ; it is a transfer to the material level, to the sphere of earth and body in their indissoluble unity.”
      • Mikhail Bakhtin, Rabelais and His World , p. 19-20
  • 20. What is our word for that which is high, spiritual, ideal, abstract?
  • 21. Sublime
    • Lofty, grand, or exalted in thought, expression, or manner
    • Of outstanding spiritual, intellectual, or moral worth
    • Tending to inspire awe usually because of elevated quality (as of beauty, nobility, or grandeur) or transcendent excellence
  • 22. The sublime in literature is described as the sense of awe that is evoked in the presence of nature or great works of art.
  • 23. What is the opposite of “sublime”?
  • 24. Sublime ≠ Mundane* *Wordly, from Latin mundanus
  • 25.
    • Sublime
      • High
      • Spiritual
      • Ideal
      • Abstract
    • Mundane
      • Low
      • Physical
      • Real
      • Concrete
    Sublime and Its Opposite
  • 26. Do we only value the sublime , or do we also value the mundane ?
  • 27. Some pretty smart people have valued the mundane…
  • 28. “All things great and small”
    • Farewell, farewell! but this I tell
    • To thee, thou Wedding-Guest!
    • He prayeth well, who loveth well
    • Both man and bird and beast.
    • He prayeth best, who loveth best
    • All things both great and small;
    • For the dear God who loveth us,
    • He made and loveth all.
      • Samuel Taylor Coleridge
      • The Rime Of The Ancient Mariner (1798)
  • 29. All Things Bright and Beautiful
    • All things bright and beautiful,
    • All creatures great and small,
    • All things wise and wonderful,
    • The Lord God made them all.
    • Each little flower that opens,
    • Each little bird that sings,
    • He made their glowing colors,
    • He made their tiny wings.
    • The rich man in his castle,
    • The poor man at his gate,
    • God made them high and lowly,
    • And ordered their estate.
    • The purple headed mountain,
    • The river running by,
    • The sunset and the morning,
    • That brightens up the sky;
    • The cold wind in the winter,
    • The pleasant summer sun,
    • The ripe fruits in the garden,
    • He made them every one:
    • The tall trees in the greenwood,
    • The meadows where we play,
    • The rushes by the water,
    • We gather every day;
    • He gave us eyes to see them,
    • And lips that we might tell,
    • How great is God Almighty,
    • Who has made all things well.
    Cecil Frances Alexander (1818–1895) Hymn-writer and poet
  • 30. All Things Bright and Beautiful
    • All things bright and beautiful,
    • All creatures great and small ,
    • All things wise and wonderful,
    • The Lord God made them all.
    • Each little flower that opens,
    • Each little bird that sings,
    • He made their glowing colors,
    • He made their tiny wings.
    • The rich man in his castle,
    • The poor man at his gate,
    • God made them high and lowly ,
    • And ordered their estate.
    • The purple headed mountain,
    • The river running by,
    • The sunset and the morning,
    • That brightens up the sky;
    • The cold wind in the winter,
    • The pleasant summer sun,
    • The ripe fruits in the garden,
    • He made them every one:
    • The tall trees in the greenwood,
    • The meadows where we play,
    • The rushes by the water,
    • We gather every day;
    • He gave us eyes to see them,
    • And lips that we might tell,
    • How great is God Almighty,
    • Who has made all things well.
    Cecil Frances Alexander (1818–1895) Hymn-writer and poet
  • 31. He gave us eyes to see them, And lips that we might tell , How great is God Almighty, Who has made all things well. Do we have a responsibility to bear witness to the mundane as well as the sublime?
  • 32.
    • On the last day, Jesus will say to those on His right hand, “Come, enter the Kingdom. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was sick and you visited me.” Then Jesus will turn to those on His left hand and say, “Depart from me because I was hungry and you did not feed me, I was thirsty and you did not give me to drink, I was sick and you did not visit me.” These will ask Him, “When did we see You hungry, or thirsty or sick and did not come to Your help?” And Jesus will answer them, “Whatever you neglected to do unto the least of these, you neglected to do unto Me!”
      • Matthew 25:35
  • 33. “ When did we see You hungry , or thirsty or sick and did not come to Your help?” And Jesus will answer them, “Whatever you neglected to do unto the least of these, you neglected to do unto Me!” –Matthew 25:35
  • 34. Aspects of the Mundane
    • Bakhtin
      • Low
      • Physical
      • Real
      • Concrete
    • Jesus
      • Hunger
      • Thirst
      • Sickness
      • Low social status
  • 35. Aspects of the Mundane
    • Bakhtin
      • Low
      • Physical
      • Real
      • Concrete
    • Jesus
      • Hunger
      • Thirst
      • Sickness
      • Low social status
    • Might we also add…?
      • Eating
      • Drinking
      • Urination
      • Defecation
      • Sex
      • Childbirth
  • 36. Aspects of the Mundane
    • Bakhtin
      • Low
      • Physical
      • Real
      • Concrete
    • Jesus
      • Hunger
      • Thirst
      • Sickness
    • Might we also add…?
      • Eating
      • Drinking
      • Urination
      • Defecation
      • Sex
      • Childbirth
    All of these aspects of the mundane suggest the earth, the body, and bodily processes
  • 37. “When you wet the bed…”
    • When you wet the bed, first it is warm then it gets cold. His mother put on the oilsheet. That had the queer smell.
      • James Joyce
      • A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (1916)
  • 38. But “sublime” has another opposite besides “mundane”…
  • 39. “ From the sublime to the ridiculous”
    • Du sublime au ridicule il n’y a qu’un pas.
      • Remark made by Napoleon to the Polish ambassador following the French retreat from Moscow in 1812
    • There is but a single step from the sublime to the ridiculous.
  • 40. Ridiculous
    • Arousing or deserving ridicule
      • Ridicule = derision, mockery, laughter at
    • Extremely silly or unreasonable
    • Absurd
    • Preposterous
    Latin ridiculosus , from ridiculum , “jest,” or ridiculus , literally, “laughable,” from rid ē re to laugh First Known Use: 1550
  • 41. Thus, comedy in all its forms is the opposite of sublimity
    • Theatrical comedy beginning with the Greeks
    • Burlesque and Vaudeville
    • Clowns and Jesters
      • Including figures like Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, the Keystone Cops
    • Commedia dell’arte in Renaissance Italy
    • Farce
      • Unlikely, extravagant, and improbable situations, disguise and mistaken identity, word play, fast-paced plots, chase scenes
    • Stand-up comedy
    • Sketch comedy
    Just to name a few of the many types of comedy, humor, and laughter from antiquity to modernity
  • 42. Auerbach’s View of Rabelais
    • “ The revolutionary thing about his way of thinking is…the freedom of vision, feeling, and thought which his perpetual playing with things produces, and which invites the reader to deal directly with the world and its wealth of phenomena.”
      • Eric Auerbach, Mimesis (1946)
  • 43. Comic Literary Values
    • Freedom of vision, feeling, and thought
    • Perpetual playfulness
    • Inviting the reader into the world
  • 44. Laughter’s the property of man. –François Rabelais
  • 45. World Literature II Renaissance to the Present Dr. Michael Broder University of South Carolina January 26, 2012

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