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Thursday, June 7, 2018

2 books I read while an Undergraduate




"Let be be the finale of seem..." Wallace Stevens, The Emporer of Ice Cream".

Image result for wallace stevens poemsWallace Stevens was the quintessential American Modernist, a man whose muse allowed him to consider the perfection of forms and the imperfections they garner as the human mind considers them and attempts to transform them. This is metaphysics with a memory , deconstruction with euphoric recall. There is a subdued music under the lithe lyricism of Steven's tuneful imagery, with varying degrees of joy, melancholy, desire, loss. The world he writes of is here because he was in the world. Heidegger likely would have admired Steven's reconsideration of Ideal and Idyll formations.

Read this in college both as undergraduate and graduate literature student, sociologist Goffman's "frame theory" of how people interact in various situations, people from diverse backgrounds both in public and private spaces, interacted according to what roles they were expected to play. As a curious student interested in digging a few layers deeper into the Southern and Russian novels I was reading, this analysis came in handy as a primary tool to interpret character motivation and how such characters could switch tones, loyalties, moral outlooks in short order. So far as I know, no one else, including faculty, were using Goffman or his dramatically analysis as a means to discern the narrative complexity of particular writers. In any case, I found Goffman's ideas , examples and terse writing style compelling, essential elements to interest a would be know it all.



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