Lecture 18 - Delphine and Faunia (4 June 2012)


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Eighteenth lecture for my students in English 104A, UC Santa Barbara, spring 2012. Course website: http://patrickbrianmooney.nfshost.com/~patrick/ta/s12/index.html

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Lecture 18 - Delphine and Faunia (4 June 2012)

  1. 1. Lecture 18: Delphine and Faunia English 104A UC Santa Barbara Spring 2012 4 June 2012“According to another European observer of America,Jean Baudrillard, part of the pleasure of travel is ‘to diveinto places where others are compelled to live and comeout unscathed, full of the malicious pleasure ofabandoning them to their fate. Even their local happinessseems tuned to a secret resignation.’” —Geoff Dyer, The Ongoing Moment
  2. 2. A few words about the final exam● Monday, June 11, 4-7 p.m., Girvetz 1119.● Worth 30% of total grade for the quarter.● Although I empathize with people who have difficult handwriting, if I can’t read an answer, I can’t grade it.● Bring blue books ● No, really, you should bring blue books. Think about bringing two, just to be absolutely sure that you have enough paper to write on.
  3. 3. Three sections:● Term identifications (pick one from each group of four, for eight identifications total; eight points each). Explain where term occurs (by naming both the text and its author), what it means, and what its significance is.● Quote identifications (pick nine of about twenty-five, four points each). Identify author, text, speaker, and (in 1-2 sentences) what its significance is.● A comparative essay (fifty points), approx. 2-3 pages, on a topic asking you to think broadly about what we have learned about American society this quarter.Extra credit:● Questions are either very difficult or from the optional reading. Sometimes both.● Maximum possible: 9 points (final exam is worth 150 total).● Three sections. Pick one difficult question from each section.
  4. 4. Sample term identifications“Term identifications (pick one from each group of four, for eightidentifications total; eight points each). Explain where termoccurs (by naming both the text and its author), what it means,and what its significance is.” ● Theodore Roosevelt Babbitt ● Signifier/signified Sample answers can be found on the course website.
  5. 5. Sample quote identifications“Section 2: Quote identifications. Pick 9 of the following passages.Identify the name of the work from which the quote comes, the authorof the work, who is speaking in the passage quoted, and, in 1-2sentences, describe its broader significance to the work from which itis drawn and/or the larger concerns of the course. (4 points each.)” “And still he missed it, even set – sitting right there in his own office and actively watching Flem rid Jefferson of Montgomery Ward. And still I couldn’t tell him.” “Loneliness, far from being a rare and curious circumstance, is and always has been the central and inevitable experience of every man.”
  6. 6. Sample quote identifications (notes toward answers)“And still he missed it, even set – sitting right there inhis own office and actively watching Flem ridJefferson of Montgomery Ward. And still I couldn’t tellhim.” (This is the whole of chapter 11 of WilliamFaulkner’s The Town.)“Loneliness, far from being a rare and curiouscircumstance, is and always has been the central andinevitable experience of every man.” (This is from theeditor’s introduction to book four of Thomas Wolfe’sYou Can’t Go Home Again – it is not from The HeartIs a Lonely Hunter.)
  7. 7. Paper-related reminders● You must hit at least four full pages on your second paper. I will still be applying this requirement as a bright line on paper two, and there will be no chance on paper two to remove this penalty. ● People wanting to remove the penalty from paper one must hit a bright-line minimum length of five full pages.● I will be fully applying the MLA-compliance and grammar penalties on paper two.● The absolute latest time to hand in a paper is when you begin to take the final.
  8. 8. Delphine and perception“Afraid of being exposed, dying to be seen –there’s a dilemma for you.” (Coleman’s assessmenton 185; ch. 3)At the NY Public Library: “She’s looking for the manwho is going to recognize her. She is looking forthe Great Recognizer.” (200; ch. 3)“It’s not that she’s now prejudiced, it’s just that sherealizes she would not have so misjudged a man ofher own race.” (262; ch. 4)“She closes her eyes to try to sleep and make it allgo away, but the instant her eyes are shut, thereare his eyes. They are staring at her and then theyexplode.” (280; ch. 4)
  9. 9. Delphine, on feminism“Since she doesn’t herself have that muchconviction about all the so-called discourse shepicked up in Paris and new Haven, inwardlyshe crumbles. Only she needs that language tosucceed.” (266; ch. 4)“and yet she remembers being in France andbeing at Yale and living for this vocabulary; shebelieves that to be a good literary critic she hasto have this vocabulary. She needs to knowabout intertextuality.” (271; ch. 4)
  10. 10. Delphine, on Faunia“He [Coleman] settles on this broken womanwho cannot possibly fight back. Who cannotbegin to compete with him. Who intellectuallydoes not even exist. He settles on a womanwho has never defended herself, who cannotdefend herself, [...]” (198; ch. 3)
  11. 11. Faunia“The kid who is false, the kid who hides herselfand lies, the kid who can’t read who can read,who pretends she can’t read, takes willinglyupon herself this crippling shortcoming all thebetter to impersonate a member of asubspecies to which she does not belong andneed not belong but to which, for every wrongreason, she wants him to believe she belongs.Wants herself to believe she belongs.” (164; ch.3)
  12. 12. “she was quite lacking in something, and Ididn’t mean the capacity to attend to small talk.What I meant I would have named if I could. Itwasn’t intelligence. It wasn’t poise. It wasn’tdecorum or decency—she could pull off thatploy easily enough. It wasn’t depth—shallowness wasn’t the problem. It wasn’tinwardness—one saw that inwardly she wasdealing with plenty. It wasn’t sanity—she wassane and, in a slightly sheepish way, haughty-seeming as well, superior through the authorityof her suffering. Yet a piece of her wasdecidedly not there.” (212; ch. 4)
  13. 13. “The illiteracy had been an act, something shedecided her situation demanded. […] Thinkabout it. Afflicts herself with illiteracy too.. Takesit on voluntarily. Not too infantilize herself,however, not to present herself as a dependentkid, but just the opposite: to spotlight thebarbaric self befitting the world. Not rejectinglearning as a stifling form of propriety buttrumping learning by a knowledge that isstronger and prior.” (297; ch. 5)
  14. 14. Faunia’s funeral“Her god was nature, and her worship of natureextended to her love for our little herd of cows,for all cows, really, for that most benevolent ofcreatures who is the foster mother of thehuman race. Faunia had an enormous respectfor the institution of the family dairy farm. […]”(Sally on 286; ch. 5)“Over time, she was no longer invisible to thestudent, no longer just a housekeeper, butanother person who they’d developed respectfor.” (287; ch. 5)
  15. 15. Statements of identity“Being stupid Faunia—that’s my achievement,Coleman.” (233-4; ch. 4)Coleman: “Self-discovery—that was the punch tothe labonz. Singularity. The passionate strugglefor singularity. The singular animal. The slidingrelationship with everything. Not static but sliding.Self-knowledge but concealed. What is aspowerful as that?” (108; ch. 2)“Buried as a Jew, I thought, and, if I wasspeculating correctly, killed as a Jew. Another ofthe problems of impersonation.” (325; ch. 5)
  16. 16. “Everyone Knows”“‘Everyone knows’ is the invocation of the clichéand the beginning of the banalization ofexperience, and it’s the solemnity and the sense ofauthority that people have in voicing the clichéthat’s so insufferable. What we know is that, in anunclichéd way, nobody knows anything. You can’tknow anything.” (209; ch. 4)“For all that the world is full of people who goaround believing they’ve got you or your neighborfigured out, there really is no bottom to what is notknown. The truth about us is endless. As are thelies.” (315; ch. 5)
  17. 17. “Dad, everyone in Athena knew. That’s how it got to us.” “Everyone? Who is everyone?” […] “Lisa. Lisa heard it first.” “Who did Lisa hear it from?” “Several sources. People. Friends.” (173; ch. 3)“Simply to make the accusation is to prove it. Tohear the allegation is to believe it. No motive forthe perpetrator is necessary, no logic orrationale is required. Only a label is required.The label is the motive. The label is theevidence. The label is the logic.” (290; ch. 5)
  18. 18. Some remindersBring blue books to the final!Tomorrow is election day.