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Monthly Archives: April 2013

While reading Hayles, the same kinds of concepts were reinforced that we studied at the beginning of the semester. Hayles is obviously for Digital Media and supports her claims with scientific evidence but also experiences that are relateable by readers. Specifically I enjoyed the comparison between parents and children on pages 93-94, which suggested that parents are concerned with the amount of time that their children are on the computer, however in the long run what they don’t realize is it will benefit them. Hayles states “Interactive text stimulates, at the same moment, the language centers of the brain and other cortical functions not usually mobilized in conventional print reading, including fine motor movements, involved in controlling the mouse, keyboard or joystick, haptic feedback through the hands and fingers, and complex hand eye coordination in a real-time dynamic environment”(Hayles, 93). Hayles goes on to suggest that children who engage in computer activity at a young age, affects the neurological structures of the brain differently than those who have not had experience with the computer at an early age. She goes on to further suggest that studies indicate that children who have had this experience including long hours on the computer show “different cognitive styles” than their parents who have experience with mostly print (Hayles, 93). Hayles brings up a good point when she suggests that young children become more familiar with computers and have a complex understanding of the computer and the way that it works. In fact they often have an easier time than the older generations (Hayles, 94).
I really related to this idea because I can remember in elementary, middle and high school taking computer classes that would teach different things to do on the computer. My parents had no experience in school with computers and often reference that the only thing close to a computer that they had experience with was a type writer, which in no way is similar to a computer. In addition, I find that I know way more about computers and programs on computers than my parents do because they are on the computer for email or search Google quickly and then there off, while I read on the computer and search databases and many different complex tasks that would blow their mind. I think Hayles is moving in the direction of a digital media age and supports this shift. Technology is the way of the future, it seems as though she encourages individuals to join the cause and accept this idea instead of throwing it out the window. Hayles also suggests that in today’s society adolescents prefer internet, and mp 3 data instead of reading books. I also agree with this idea, however I think that more and more individuals are reading books just not in print, they are engaging in reading through kindles or online, which is the way of the future.

While I was reading Chronic City, I found myself questioning the reliability of the narrator. Was this really Chase? There are many times throughout the book that it seems as though there is a shift. At one point Chase narrators in the first person and other times it is questionably, Chase narrating in the third person or perhaps a switch and the voice of the actual narrator is revealed, or maybe both. I first encountered this idea on page 76, which says, “These were the offices of Starbo Blandiana, the celebrated master of European medicine, who catered almost exclusively to the starts—Chase Insteadman had been in his care since that time, ten years past, when he had qualified as something of a star himself” (76). This quote suggests that this Eastern medicine specialist has cared for Chase; however, the use of Chases’s name makes this feel like a switch in narration. Unless perhaps Chase is addressing himself as the third person, which in this case does not really make sense. If this is a switch in narration, this idea also caters to the fact that Chase was previously qualified as a star and is not currently. When Chase is narrating in the first person he does somewhat question is star like qualities and attribute most of them to his fiancée, this could support the idea that Chase is addressing himself in the third person.
The second instance is on page 80. After the shift on page 79 it seems as though Chase has taken over narration again, or at least I thought so. But in the middle of page 80 it reads “How had it come to this? How had I been allowed to persuade him? Puttylike Chase Insteadman, so eagerly enlisted in absurd causes — Chase had talked Perkus into this”(80). This particular section really enhances the idea that reliability is not present throughout the text. First when Chase is addressed in the third person, it seems like it is himself narrating. He is questioning himself like Puttylike Chase (me) actually talked him into this, almost like he is shocked with himself. Then I thought this had to be Chase narrating in the third person because above it says “ How had I been allowed to persuade him” which he heard about in the very beginning of the book when Chase actually wants to persuade Perkus to visit this Doctor. However at the end is where the shift takes place, it reads “Chase had talked Perkus into this.” This right here blew my mind. Is Chase actually narrating in the third person, which makes it seem like a shift, or is he narrating in the third and first person at times but is there another narrator present? This made me question the reliability of the narrator (whoever that may be). In addition, the shift (if there are separate narrators) occurs within the same sentence, rather than shifting from section to section, which is confusing and annoying at the same time.

Random thoughts: Tiger symbolizes something bigger. Everyone has a Tiger present in his or her lives that represents something personal. For example, Perkus’s headaches are his Tiger. In addition, this idea that Chase’s girlfriend is lost in space seems unrealistic. I was unable to connect with this idea.

Through my process of drafting, I am still trying to decide what exactly to use. I have some interesting (or at least I think there interesting), ideas about the tableaux in Melancholia as well as many different scenes throughout the film. I am working with Freud’s Mourning and Melancholia in which he suggests that the primary feelings of Melancholia are “painful dejection, cessation of interest in the outside world, loss of the capacity to love, inhibition of all activity, and a lowering of the self-regarding feelings to a degree that finds utterance in self-reproaches, and self-revilings, and culminates in a delusional aspect of punishment.” I am also looking at the idea that mourning and melancholia are somewhat the same idea and when undergoing feelings of either the patient cannot “consciously” acknowledge what they have lost either.
Along with this theory I have made connections to Melancholia in the sense that Justine is suffering from depression and in this case Melancholia. She has lost interest in the outside world pertaining to society, unable to be “happy” at her wedding because she is well aware of the events to come, does not partake in any activities and is unable to partake in basic activities (needs instructions on how to get into the cab), along with this she also partakes in a view of the world that would prove opposite of Freud’s suggestion of a “delusional aspect of punishment.” This idea suggests that the patient suffering from depression is forming unrealistic expectations of punishment, however Justine is realistic in this sense. The definition of realism that I am working with is as follows ““ based on an accuracy of description and to a more general attitude that rejects idealization, escapism, and other extravagant qualities of romance in favor of recognizing soberly the actual problems of life”( Oxford Literary Terms, 212). I think this specifically applies to Justine because she is seeing the world for what it actually occurring even though everything is morbid and everyone else may think she is delusional. Claire actually fits the description for delusional act of punishment in regards to her thinking because Justine views her as being punished since she is unable to cope with this idea that the world is ending.
I am also looking at Shaviro’s piece on the Romantic Anit- Sublime, he makes points about depression suggesting that by bringing attention to Justine’s emotions the audience can treat her depression as the proper state of being, or the right state of mind for this situation. I am looking at Matts and Tynan’s idea that Melancholia the film is Environmental, focusing on Justine’s depression and supports the idea that Justine is going through this situation properly. They examine the film and discuss ideas that are as follows, we do not see Justine in a “normal” state and her comments about Earth itself, suggesting its evil. I am also considering Figlerowicz’s piece, which explains Melancholia is a “Comedy of Abandonment,” in which the audience reads too much into the film and no analysis should be made. Von Trier is playing tricks on his audience, evoking the feeling of analysis, however when you take part in the analysis you are reading too much into the events.
I am arguing that the Tableaux serve as a different point at which Justine had the realization that the world was ending and focus on her ideas of rejecting survival and embracing Melancholia. I am also looking at the following scenes… The scene where Justine and everyone are finally going in to her own reception and she stops to look at the “Red Star,” (Melancholia), The scene where she is going to the bathroom on the golf course and first sits in the golf cart and stares at the sky in appreciation and then proceeds to go to the bathroom in which she engages in the same activity, the scene where she is lying naked embracing Melancholia and the three things these scenes have in common is the shift from Justine’s face to the planet showing their intense connection. I am looking at a few more scenes but I need to narrow them down. Should I focus on the Tableaux in addition to three scenes or just the tableaux? Suggestions welcomed.