Lecture 18: »Du mußt dein leben ändern«

773 views

Published on

Eighteenth lecture for my students in English 165EW, "Life After the End of the World," winter 2013 at UC Santa Barbara.

Course website: http://patrickbrianmooney.nfshost.com/~patrick/ta/w13/

Published in: Education
0 Comments
0 Likes
Statistics
Notes
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Views
Total views
773
On SlideShare
0
From Embeds
0
Number of Embeds
2
Actions
Shares
0
Downloads
5
Comments
0
Likes
0
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Lecture 18: »Du mußt dein leben ändern«

  1. 1. Lecture 18: »Du mußt dein Leben ändern« English 165EW Winter 2013 13 March 2013“Destiny always seems decades away, but suddenlyit’s not decades away; it’s right now. But maybedestiny is always right now, right here, right this veryinstant, maybe.” — Brother Joshua in Walter M. Miller, Jr.’s A Canticle for Leibowitz
  2. 2. The Epic of Gilgamesh● One of the oldest surviving works of literature. – Dates to at least the 18th century BCE in its earliest form.● Early Sumerian poems are combined into an epic in Akkadian around the 12th century BCE.● Reconstructed based on recovery of partial stone tablets, on which the epic was carved.● Was likely influential on the Bible, including the books of Genesis, Daniel, and Ecclesiastes.● For our purposes, Gilgamesh is also notable as a very early work of transhumanism.
  3. 3. Sample Final Exam QuestionsSection I: Name/idea identifications. Pickfive of the following items. For each, explain inyour blue book, in approximately four to fivesentences, where the term occurs and what itsdefinition is, as well as what its relevanceand/or significance are. (5 points each.)– Mourning
  4. 4. Section II: Quote identifications. Pick five ofthe following passages. In your blue book,identify the name of the work from which thequote comes, the author of the work, who isspeaking in the passage quoted, and, in 1-2sentences, describe its broader significance tothe work from which it is drawn and/or thelarger concerns of the course. (4 points each.) “The man thought he seemed some sad and solitary changeling child announcing the arrival of a traveling spectacle in the shire and village who does not know that behind him the players have all been carried off by wolves.”
  5. 5. Section II: Quote identifications. Pick five ofthe following passages. In your blue book,identify the name of the work from which thequote comes, the author of the work, who isspeaking in the passage quoted, and, in 1-2sentences, describe its broader significance tothe work from which it is drawn and/or thelarger concerns of the course. (4 points each.) “The man thought he seemed some sad and solitary changeling child announcing the arrival of a traveling spectacle in the shire and village who does not know that behind him the players have all been carried off by wolves.” (The narrator in Cormac McCarthy’s The Road, 78)
  6. 6. Section III: Short answer. Pick four of thefollowing questions. In your blue book, answereach in a paragraph of approximately five to eightsentences. In each case, you should connect youranswer to specific details (though not necessarilytextual quotations) from course texts. (You mayuse optional readings to answer these questions ifyou believe it is appropriate.) (5 points each.)Section IV: Essay. Pick only one and write anessay addressing it. Regardless of which optionyou choose, your essay must make reference toat least four texts that appeared on the syllabusthis quarter, including at least two novels. (Youare certainly welcome to treat movies – andoptional readings – as course texts.) (35 points)
  7. 7. Oryx’s education“In the village it was not called ‘selling,’ this transaction.The talk about it implied apprenticeship. The childrenwere being trained to earn their living in the wide world:this was the gloss put on it. Besides, if they stayedwhere they were, what was there for them to do?” (116;ch. 6)“Oryx was sold to a man who made movies. She wasthe only one of them that went with the movie man. […]He asked her wouldn’t she like to be in a movie. She’dnever seen a movie so she didn’t know whether shewould like it or not; but it sounded like an offer of a treat,so she said yes. By this time she was good at knowingwhen yes was the expected answer.” (136; ch. 6)
  8. 8. “So I learned about life,” said Oryx. “Learned what?” said Jimmy. He shouldn’t havehad the pizza, and the weed they’d smoked ontop of that. He was feeling a little sick. “That everything has a price.” “Not everything. That can’t be true. You can’tbuy time. You can’t buy …” He wanted to saylove, but hesitated. It was too soppy. “You can’t buy it, but it has a price,” said Oryx.“Everything has a price.” “Not me,” said Jimmy, trying to joke. “I don’thave a price.” Wrong, as usual. (139; ch. 6)
  9. 9. Seeing the Real“But Jimmy, you should know. All sex is real.” (144;ch. 6)“She [Oryx] turned into the camera and there it wasagain, that look, that stare, the stare that went rightinto him [Jimmy] and saw him as he truly was.”(308; ch. 12)“Rich was just a thing you learned to tell.” (136; ch.6)“Perhaps they’ll say, These things are not real. Theyare phantasmagoria. They were made by dreams,and now that no one is dreaming them any longerthey are crumbling away.” (222; ch. 9)
  10. 10. “Of course (said Oryx), having a money value wasno substitute for love. Every child should havelove, every person should have it. She herselfwould rather have had her mother’s love – thelove she still continued to believe in, the love thathad followed her through the jungle in the form ofa bird so she would not be too frightened or lonely– but love was undependable, it came and then itwent, so it was good to have a money value,because then at least those who wanted to makea profit from you would make sure you were fedenough and not damaged too much. Also therewere many people who had neither love nor amoney value, and having one of these things wasbetter than having nothing.” (126; ch. 6)
  11. 11. What Do People Want? “What people want is perfection,” said theman. “In themselves.” “But they need the steps to it to be pointedout,” said the woman. “In simple order,” said the man. “With encouragement,” said the woman. “Anda positive attitude.” “They like to hear about the before and theafter,” said the man. “It’s the art of the possible.But with no guarantees, of course.” (246; ch. 10)
  12. 12. Crake still had a collection of fridge magnets, butthey were different ones. No more science quips. Where God is, Man is not. There are two moons, the one you can see and the one you can’t. Du musz dein Leben andern. We understand more than we know. I think, therefore. To stay human is to break a limitation. Dream steals from its lair towards its prey. (301; ch. 12)
  13. 13. Ranier Maria Rilke, „Archaischer Torso Apollos“ Wir kannten nicht sein unerhörtes Haupt, darin die Augenäpfel reiften. Aber sein Torso glüht noch wie ein Kandelaber, in dem sein Schauen, nur zurückgeschraubt, sich hält und glänzt. Sonst könnte nicht der Bug der Brust dich blenden, und im leisen Drehen der Lenden könnte nicht ein Lächeln gehen zu jener Mitte, die die Zeugung trug. Sonst stünde dieser Stein enstellt und kurz unter der Shultern durchsichtigem Sturz und flimmerte nicht so wie Raubtierfelle; und brächte nicht aus allen seinen Rändern aus wie ein Stern: denn da ist keine Stelle, die dich nicht sieht. Du mußt dein Leben ändern.
  14. 14. Ranier Maria Rilke, “The Archaic Torso of Apollo” (tr. Stephen Mitchell) We cannot know his legendary head with eyes like ripening fruit. And yet his torso is still suffused with brilliance from inside, like a lamp, in which his gaze, now turned to low, gleams in all its power. Otherwise the curved breast could not dazzle you so, nor could a smile run through the placid hips and thighs to that dark center where procreation flared. Otherwise this stone would seem defaced beneath the translucent cascade of the shoulders and would not glisten like a wild beasts fur: would not, from all the borders of itself, burst like a star: for here there is no place that does not see you. You must change your life.

×