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Monthly Archives: January 2013

1) Many different individuals appreciate the argument presented in the book “Introduction, Intimacy, Publicity, and Feminity”, by Lauren Berlant. Weber who is associated with Contemporary Literature explains that this text is a clever piece that brings new things into perspective claiming the connection between feminine literature and female belonging. (Brenda R. Weber, Contemporary Literature). Mary O’Hara who has a Feminist blog suggests that this book brings attention to the fact that our culture is creating scenarios with stereotypical women and these roles in movies, TV shows, even novels is being exploited. She supports Berlant’s argument and takes it a step further suggesting the creation of such literature is to exploit the roles of women. Lara Langer Cohen a literary critic mentions that in this book Berlant contributes to the notion that world believes that we need love and how much is lost in that process of trying to find it. Critics believe that the book itself if a very clever discovery of the current acts of the media as well as literature. The marketing role of the female is being exploited and the feeling of belonging is attached to this role. The common roles allow women to relate to one another no matter how different their situations are.
“My claim is that the gender-marked texts of women’s popular culture cultivate fantasies of vague belonging as an alleviation of what is hard to manage in the lived real-social antagonisms, exploitation, compromised intimacies, the attrition of life. Utopianism is in the air, but one of the main utopias is normativity itself, here felt a condition of general belonging and as aspirational site of rest and recognition in and by a social world”(Berlant, 5). Berlant is asking the public to reconsider the ideas that literature is promoting.


2) Berlant is arguing that women experience feelings of belonging specifically when they are engaging in feminine literature rather than intervening into the political world. The female complaint is to gain an increased understanding of power produced by women’s culture and acknowledge the molding that is trying to take place in order to urge women to feel the same as one another. Berlant suggests specifically that the female complaint is “women live for love, and love is the gift that keeps on taking”. Specifically this element of Femininity in literature not only encourages love, but also monitors failure with fascinating love. In many different stories in this genre women experience romantic love, however there is nothing perfect about these relationships. Women are engaging in normative behavior based on the concept of love in order to stay within the norms of society.

3) Within the book the Uses of Enchantment by Heidi Julavits there are examples of Berlant’s claim. Referencing Berlant the female complaint again is “women live for love, and love if the gift that keeps on taking”, we see this specifically in the novel when we learn that Mary is using Bettina’s story specifically for attention. Mary seems to be neglected throughout the novel especially by her mother. Mary’s longing for love enabled her to fabricate a story that would be believable by everyone else who was not paying attention to her. Since part of loves gift keeps on taking when Mary’s mother dies she does not get the chance to ever gain her love, leaving her hopeless. This quote also applies to Regina in the sense that Regina has had many different finances, and never gets married. She finds love but never actually makes in permanent.

4) I think that these genres are changing literary texts because instead of portraying something that is realistic feminine readers are engaging in something that is unrealistic in hopes that something realistic will come of it. These self- help books and novels that tell stories of love are fiction. It is important to keep that in mind. Berlant considers real to be normative, engaging in love in normative ways instead of wanting to become a character. Thinking that if I were these characters things would be a lot easier in the present world. I think that the way Berlant relates to Wood’s piece is the use of hysterical realism. These fantasy novels are not producing something that is realistic to its readers, instead it is forming an ideal that each reading would like to experience, taking over their emotions rather than their idea of what is realistic.


The word loaded comes to mind after reading Mr. Peanut, because the book is literally loaded with including but not limited to; suspense, imagination, confusion, reality, death, mystery, love, personalities, literal, figurative, lust, empathy, emotion, you name it it’s in there.
Mr. Peanut blended three separate stories together. David and Alice, Hastroll and Hannah and Sheppard and Marilyn. Each story talks about the struggles of marriage and portrays the male characters as individuals who do not realize what they have until they have lost it literally or figuratively. For example, David and Alice have struggled throughout their marriage with Alice’s health conditions, primarily her weight. David lost Alice figuratively when their marriage went through a rough patch with Alice losing her weight, gaining it back and then losing again a constant cycle. This alerted Alice’s personality and their relationship as a married couple. Peppin(David’s alter ego) comes about as the Freudian term known as the id throughout the story. The id is all about desire and selfishness. All about what Peppin wants and nothing else matters. Peppin imagined Alice’s death numerous amounts of times. Considering he was in the process of writing a book, he lost a sense of reality. When Peppin is summoned back to earth, he would sometimes have tears in his eyes for realizing the brutality of his thoughts. In Peppin’s figurative world, he lost Alice literally. David looses Alice literally as well when he realizes she has died during her surgery. In the novel when seeing the name Peppin it was the book that was being written from the third person. Hastroll and Hannah also went through some rough patches in their marriage; however, we do not get to see a lot into their lives, not as much as Sheppard and David/ Peppin anyways. However, Hannah and Hastroll have problems of their own and he two imagines his wife’s death. Hastroll looses Hannah figuratively when he refuses to get out of bed. He is unable to have a meaningful relationship with her and does not realize that he took her for granted until he no longer lives a “normal” life. His wife choosing to be bed ridden and Hastroll desperate for the return of things to the way they used to be. Hastroll never loses his wife literally, so he is the only lucky character. Sheppard who we get to know a lot about in the middle of the novel has an awful relationship with Marilyn. He loses her figuratively while in the process of having numerous affairs with other women. Sheppard also loses her literally, when she is murdered. Sheppard never seemed to appreciate his wife for anything that she did. Not even respecting the fact that they have a son or asking her about her needs to fix their relationship, he takes the easy way out. This drives Marilyn to speak to Mr. Eberling, encouraging herself to start an affair of her own, not realizing this man has been silently stalking her. It is arguable that figuratively Sheppard killed his own wife, drove her to her own death. The three marriages are linked heavily but all end separately which shows the difference in how different situation will end when they have a commonality.
Throughout the course of the novel I found myself sometimes confused about what was actually happening and what had occurred in the minds of the characters. In the beginning pages of the book (pages 1-20), I finally came to realize that this was the start of Peppin’s book. It was a slap in the face after jumping from story to story trying to keep everything straight as well as distinguishing from reality and imagination to see the words on page 445 “ HERE’S HOW IT (ACTUALLY HAPPENED)” and then page 446 “HERE’S HOW DAVID’S BOOK ENDED”. After reading, the titles and what came after that it made me realize the whole time I was reading the reality was about David. All of the stuff associated with Peppin was his book. It was not till the end of the book that all the puzzle pieces fit into place one step at a time.

Hello Everyone. I am Amanda Kollias. I have a Bachelors degree in English Adolescent Education from the College of Saint Rose. I have tried my hardest to only commit to Facebook and leave the rest of the new and upcoming social media sites behind. However, I think that this class is going to get me up to speed with the rest of the world, considering I am now tweeting and on Tumblr. As Far as reading goes, I prefer to have a book in my hand. I feel as though when I am reading a text on the internet or another digital source I can feel my comprehension level declining. However, I think that it is a good tool because I am paying attention to my comprehension and acknowledging when I need to go back and reread something, rather than just reading a text and convincing myself I am comprehending because there is nothing else in front of me. I feel as though I am becoming more open to reading texts online however certain things I need to print out and have in front of me. As the length of the text that I am reading increases, I need to have the hard copy in front of me. I feel as though I am a good writer and enjoy writing as well. I think that I was given somewhat of the short end of the stick throughout my undergraduate career because when you are an education major concentrating, Strose takes all your time and encourages a focus on education. I did well in my undergraduate English classes don’t get me wrong, however I did not get to put most of my time into the English aspect of my degree because I was producing 100+ pages for each one of my Education classes. I am excited to be able to devout my time to writing. I think that writing is a great way to express your thoughts and feelings. Just connecting with the themes of the class, I am writing now or should I say typing my thoughts, for my blog instead of writing in a notebook that will be turned in next class. I think that the digital age is evolving quicker than we can imagine. It seems to boggle my mind when thinking about some of the things that we discussed in class. Like what is going to happen when there are no more books. I think that I have good narration skills and am interested to see what happens when I put them to the test. It seems weird to think of myself as a scholar. Just because I have heard my whole career about scholarly articles and scholars of a particular area of study, it seemed like these people were held on the highest pedestal, almost intangible. However, I have no problem accepting this title and working with it. I am looking forward to experiencing all different aspects of this class. After all this class is the reason why I have now crawled out of my hole and accepted some new technology.