English442. 1st Paper Topics

English442. 1st Paper Topics - English 442 Suggestions for...

Info iconThis preview shows pages 1–2. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
English 442 Suggestions for First Paper Topics (5-7 pages) 1. Julian Murphet writes in a book entitled Literature and Race in Los Angeles (2001) “….Los Angeles should be a reliable test-case for determining the role and future of literature itself on the world scene, at the moment of its greatest crisis since Homer—its marginalization. For with the written word lying prostrate under the image, where better than tinseltown to interrogate the conditions of possibility of literature’s survival and chances for future renewal? ....Coming to terms with the place and role of literature in this city may be an indispensable step towards a proper conceptualization of its international fate.” Write an essay in which you study the rivalry or competition between the visual and the verbal in Los Angeles literature. Consider how and why writers of L.A. literature challenge--or succumb to--the power of the image, the visual, the appearance, the cinematic….or how they merge together the visual and verbal in new, compelling ways. 2. Julian Murphet writes in a book entitled Literature and Race in Los Angeles (2001): Gated communities, ethnic chauvinism, specialist consumer environments, the erosion of public transport, the solipsism of private transport: what we have been calling a city lacks even the pretence of a civic character or a collective will. Media stereoptypes of Venice Beach bodybuilders, South-Central ‘gangstas,’ East LA ‘homies’, and movie industry ‘schmoozers’ are just that, failing to orient us or Angelenos with regard to their social space; and the phenomenological fact that one cannot even trace mental lines of relation between these enduring imagoes is especially disabling. Giving this thoroughgoing resistance to totality in the social and geographical composition of the city, it is not surprising that, ideologically, the temptations of particularism dominate life in Los Angeles. Where you live tempers what you see, whom you relate to, your personal style, your life options and passions; it tells us more or less who you are. The ideal of an Archimedean vantage point, above and beyond the gravitational forces of group adherence and territoriality, has been more or less abandoned…… In a city as fragmented and polyglot as this one, to ‘represent’ is often to issue a manifesto of localism, of tribal identity and self-aggrandisement; and all of this appears entirely natural…. . Brecht once noted that naturalism focuses on the ‘milieu,’ while realism goes for the ‘system’; in naturalism, ‘segments of society….are little worlds of their own’ while realism’s ‘little worlds’ are sectors of the front in the great struggles.’ Write an essay in which you consider how and why—or whether—L.A. writers do what Murphet claims: Do they resist totality? Is there concept of “representation” one of representing the particular, as in naturalism, or the whole, as in realism, or is it some combination of both or a transcendence of both the imperatives of realism and naturalism
Background image of page 1

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
Image of page 2
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

This note was uploaded on 06/14/2010 for the course ENGL 442 taught by Professor Gustafson during the Summer '10 term at USC.

Page1 / 22

English442. 1st Paper Topics - English 442 Suggestions for...

This preview shows document pages 1 - 2. Sign up to view the full document.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Ask a homework question - tutors are online