Monday, October 13, 2008

Designing a Cover Meta-Cognition for When I was Cool

The story I read was very complex, and had lots of different parts to it. I really wasn’t sure what to do for a cover that would tie it all together, but when I started thinking about it, Sam had 2 main problems. He couldn’t get a girlfriend, because there weren’t any other students in the school, and he had all the Beats going at his throat, making him do their work. So I decided a cover that would depict that best would be a woman on one side, turning away, Allen Ginsberg on the other side, shoving papers at Sam, who was in the middle, with his ears blocked, closing his eyes to it all. I chose the font for the cover, because I thought it seemed slightly kid-like, but at the same time it was something an adult might use as well. That is pretty much the stage that Sam was in. He was more than a child, but couldn’t fully find his adult self. The woman on the left side of my page is what I imagined Carla, the girl he sees for awhile, to have looked like. It also bears a resemblance (in my mind) to Anne. In the pictures I saw of her, she was always wearing a button down shirt, and wore her hair long. On Sam’s desk, there are a bunch of papers and books, and one paper in front of him that doesn’t have anything written yet. That paper is his own poetry. He helped a lot with the poems of Allen, and Bill, as well as helping a few others, but he hardly got a chance to sit down and read his own poetry. I had a few reasons for depicting him blocking his ears. One is because for awhile, he turned away from the Beats, and their school, in order to pursue Carla. It was as if he were blocking his ears to their teachings. Another reason is that before he came to the school, he had his ears blocked to the human-ness of the Beats. My final reason was that he grew tired of the Beats’ antics after awhile, and was unsure why he was even there. But he did stick with it, which is why he is sitting at the desks. Desks are kind of like a prison, but at the same time it’s your choice to sit there (relatively speaking.) So Sam is at the desk for that reason. I feel like I captured at least a large chunk of the book’s themes. There were many aspects to the book, but these were most reoccurring.


When I sat down to write this paper, I was at a loss as to what to do. I started trying to write a dialogue, but soon realized it wasn’t coming out as I envisioned. So, I thought about what I liked doing, and decided that telling stories was something I liked doing. Having narrowed my options down, I then decided that since I was so in love with the story of Pandora’s Box, I better get to work on writing it. Hemmingway seemed like a fun writer, since my sentences are usually longer, and his use of dialogue was interesting. Initially, I was just going to write a paper full of short sentences. Then I thought to myself “Why not take it a step further?” I went to his story “A Clean, Well-Lighted Place” and began to match my story’s structure to his. I decided that it would be a better paper, and would give me a better idea of how he writes. Taking it even further, I began to match up my sentences syllable for syllable. After awhile, that became too difficult, and I felt it wasn’t adding to my story. So I stopped doing that, changed a few things back to the way they were before, and kept writing, while still keeping with the structure. The girls in my workshop group both liked the story I had written, which made me proud. They gave me a few ideas of where to end my sentences to make them sound more Hemmingway- like, and they also suggested I might throw in another paragraph about setting, just to break up some of the dialogue. At first I was a bit conflicted, because to do that would mean I would disrupt my structure, which I had worked so hard on. But then I realized that it wouldn’t really hurt the paper, but would instead add to it. It would keep the style, but at the same time, sound more fluid. I think my strong points were the dialogues, and my weakest point was the pace of the story. I had trouble keeping things moving, and had to constantly remind myself to do so. Though Hemmingway’s “A Clean, Well-Lighted Place” doesn’t span over too much time, it does move, and I was lacking that. I thought the dialogues were the most fun, so that is probably why they came most easily. I hope that in the future I will be able to write more fluidly, and I will be able to show the span of time with more ease. All in all, I feel as if I have a lot of progress to make, but at the same time I’m content with my writing. I know I will progress this year, and I look forward to that.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Debate- My stand

Faulkner is the better writer. In Faulkner’s openers, he is able to draw the reader in with his use of language as well as his use of detail. In Barn Burning, he wrote “The store in which the Justice of the Peace’s court was sitting smelled of cheese.” Why does it smell of cheese? Why is the court in a store? These are some questions one may ask when reading the story. Hemingway on the other hand, reveals too much of the story in the opening, yet fails to pull the reader in. In “Hills like White Elephants” he wrote “The hills across the valley of the Ebro were long and white. On this side there was no shade and no trees and the station was between two lines of rails in the sun.” Before the first paragraph is written, we know a lot about our setting, but there is no depth or interest to it. His “verbosity” if you will, doesn’t draw the reader in.
Faulkner's flow of writing unveils one part of the story at a time, while doing almost 2 stories at once. He begins his story Barn Burning at the court, soon changes the setting to a woman's house, and just as quickly changes back to the court. Little at a time, each story is unfolded. While it may at first look like its just a messy style of writing, it is really artfully woven, one thread important for the next. He reveals just enough to keep the reader interested, but doesn’t unveil the whole story In a rose for emily, the story is told in different parts, which leaves a little mystery. When Miss Emily goes to buy the rat poisoning, one is left in the dark as to what it is for, and is then compelled to keep reading. Hemmingway on the other hand, is very dull in his writing. In Hills Like White Elephants, though there is an element of mystery, he doesn't unfold it in a way that is as elegant or well thought out.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Style Essay

Hemingway’s Box
It was early and no one had been created for a long time because in the heavens there was much fighting. In the day all was quiet, but at night the gods came together and they liked to sit late because they hardly talked anymore and now at night it was calm and they felt it was time. The lower gods knew that the highest of the gods was a little pensive that day, and while he was a kind king, they knew that if he thought too much he would come up with awful ideas, so they feared the meeting about to take place.
"You must create a woman from clay," the highest of gods said.
"She will be our revenge."
"What do you mean?"
"How can you mean nothing?"
"She will be beautiful."
They sat together in the heavens that were full of tension and jealousy and they looked at one another where they could see the world in each other's eyes where all the humans were fighting, so flawed and ugly. The gods looked at one another and frowned. Their king had left the room and they were alone.
"I guess we should get a move on," one lower god said.
"What does it matter when we start? We have all of forever."
"We'd better do it soon. He'll be angry if we wait much longer. Out of clay he said?"
They looked down below to the earth where the darkness seemed to rustle as if it were anticipating something. The most beautiful goddess in the room stood up."What will I do?"The gods all turned to her. "You can be the model," one said."You'll have to be fast," the goddess said. The gods looked at her. She sighed and sat down."We'll be fast" said a young god to his partner. "We'll do it tomorrow. I never want to do things at night. Why'd he pick tonight to tell us this?"
The king came back in and sat down with the other, and pulled one god aside. "We're going to make her tonight," he said to the crafty god. This god motioned to the goddess. "Come sit" he said. She sat next to him and he began to scoop up earth from beneath him and created a woman like the one before him. "Now the winds can come" he said. The king took the orm in his arms. The winds came and blew breath into her at that moment.
"She's alive now" he said
"She is our creation."
"Will she be evil?"
"She shouldn't be. Just mislead."
"How will it be done?"
"We'll each give her a gift."
"That will make her mislead?"
"It will make her desirable."
"What's the point?"
"Destroying those who betrayed us."
"Will we send her to earth?"
"We will. She will marry the brother of our enemy. Let's show her to everyone so they can all give her their gifts."
“How will they do that?”
“We’ll hold a party. Go invite everyone in the heavens.”
“I’ll do it now.”
“Get going then.”
“I said I was.”
“I wasn’t sure. You were taking a long time.”
“I wasn’t. I was just about to leave. Then you stopped me. But now I am going. And I’ll tell everyone.”
The girl stirred for the first time. The king looked at her, still without any emotion. “Let’s go” he said, speaking with a dull tone as if he were the one who had no emotion. “We have a party to take you to. It’s time to leave.”“Errr…” she mumbled. “Go.” The king stood her up, and pushed her to the gathering hall. By that time, most of the gods had already gotten word of the party, and were gathered in the hall.
“Why did you bring us here?” the gods all began to ask. They were sitting in front of a table piled with food.
“It’s been so long.”
“We have made a woman.”
“What is so special about that?”
“More to me than you I suppose.”
“They are all the same.”
“You don’t understand. She will be the downfall of our enemies.”
“I don’t understand.”
“You don’t,” agreed the king. He did not wish to hurt his citizens, but his plan was forming faster than they could understand.
“And you? You have no fear this plan will fail?”
“Are you trying to belittle your king?”
“No, only to point out its flaws.”
“No,” the king said. “Now give this girl what you will.”
“She will have beauty, grace and will always be desired”
“What will she lack?”
“Nothing. She will be cunning and bold. But she will be foolish, mischievous and idle.”
“She has everything we have”
“No. She will never live forever, and her life will be hard.”
“Come on. Send her to earth.”
“I am one of those who cannot send someone without a parting gift,” one of the gods said. “Here, take this box. But never open it, no matter how curious you may be.”
With that, they sent her off, watching and waiting for what would soon happen on earth.