Blogs I Enjoyed.

November 30, 2010

I had posted this earlier! on time, don’t know where it went.

Michael B- Negocios & Opression

Nishatnt- Diaz has style.

Each of these were interesting to read.  I liked that my fellow classmates not only agreed with me but also disagreed.  Felt like a breath of fresh air.


November 18, 2010

We find in these 10 stories the tale of at least two cities: the cities that Diaz depicts in his minimalist fictions, and the cities that reviewers have built around them. The despair of urban youth casting about for lives of sex or drugs plays a large part in them.  I just don’t know if i agree with much about how real these stories could be.  Don’t get me wrong, there are some lines that i had to read 3 times to make sure i read it correctly.  Maybe it is just the end of the semester, or maybe the last of the 5 stories were not as touching to me as the first.

Perhaps nothing reflects this better than “How to Date a Brown Girl, Blackgirl, Whitegirl, or Halfie.” In this story, a young Dominican narrator imagines an edgy suburban mother dropping her daughter off with him, a dark and perhaps dangerous city boy: “Her moms will say hi and you’ll see that you don’t scare her, not really. She will say that she needs easier directions to get out and even though she has the best directions in her lap give her new ones. Make her happy.”

If i had to pick a favorite, I would say Aurora.  Some lines I particularly liked:

“Here’s where i shot my first pistol.  Here’s where we stashed our porn magaizens.  Here’s where I kissed my first girl.”

“Nothing in the apartment, only us naked and some beer and half a pizza, cold and greasy.  You’re named after a star.”

“Why can’t I see us there? Her smoking in the bathroom and me dealing to the groom.”

“When I told him we were in love he laughed.”

“We seemed like we were normal folks.  Like maybe everything was fine.”

I think this is my favorite chapter in this book because Diaz does a fine job of depicting unordinary people.  I think it was intriguing to me mostly because I have lived on Long Island my whole life.  Whether true or not, these stories were not what I had to deal with growing up.  I think Diaz’ plan of action was to put on everyones plate a little taste of the inner city he was brought up in, and I think he did a fine job in that.  Aurora and the narrators relationship was straight up messed up.  Nothing about it was clean, and I think that is what grabbed my attention most.  I have never dealt with a relationship like that, and it is sometimes interesting to read about things you have never personally lived through.  The uncommonness of their actions cleared a path of what truly lied in between them, love for one another.


November 11, 2010

Drowning? not so much, finally! Totally different text, kind of a breath of fresh air.  Diaz displays plenty of talent in his writing that makes noise.  These are powerful and convincing stories.  He didn’t hold anything back, at times I actually had to read the sentence twice to make sure i saw it correctly.  Whether it was his older brother Rafa beating him up, getting with girls, or downright assaulting Ysreal, he was truly brought to life in my eyes.  I envisioned Papi and Mami and their traditional relationship, where the male says all that goes.  The fiesta and the affair are both described very well too.  I think Diaz has a much different tone than what we’ve been dealing with this semester.  His words explode off the pages into the canon of our literature.  His stories are very engaging, it was necessary to pause to admire his sly lyricism.

April 8, 1928.

November 8, 2010

I think the ending was okay.  I did not really care for it.  The last chapter takes place on Easter Sunday, which i thought was pretty cliche.  Much like the Compson’s downfall, we see Jesus Christ’s light in hope through Easter.  I also thought, that Caddy, the most inspirational character in this text, was going to narrate this chapter.  Instead she gets no chance to speak, which might even conclude why she is my favorite character.

Miss Quentin flees and at that point the Compson name is ultimately ruined.  Caddy is banished and none of the other brothers are capable either mentally or physically to pass on their name.  Her escape helped prove how much of a failure the Compson men were.  If Caddy was around, I do not think this would have happened because it was obvious Caddy dominated the relationship with her other 3 siblings as well.

The Compson’s downfall shone through in this last section, but some hope comes with every failure.  Again referring back to Easter Sunday.  The novel closes with Benjy.  Back to his chaotic and somewhat ordered mind.  When Benjy returns to his normal route, he returns to peacefulness. Faulkner shows us that under Dilsey, the Compson name may not end in the dark.  Some hope always prevails.

April 6, 1928.

November 3, 2010

Jason’s narration takes place the day before Benjy’s.  We find ourselves in the Compson household.  “Once a bitch, always a bitch”.  If we did not realize already, now it is clear that Jason is a miserable, mean spirited man.  Jason’s narrative is clear and almost entirely emotionless.  Jason confirms that Benjy has been castrated, that Quentin drowned himself, and that Caddy was divorced. The wickedness that Jason shows as a child is merely doubled in his adulthood.

Jason is the only one of the Compson children to win Mrs. Compson’s love. Jason abuses his mother’s trust, using it to blind her to the fact that he is stealing large sums of money from her. Perhaps Mrs. Campson favors Jason so much   is because he shares Mrs. Compson’s tendencies toward misery and self-pity.  Much more than the other children show these traits.  Unlike Benjy and Quentin, Jason is wholly focused on the present and on manipulating the present for future personal gain.

Jason is a bitter man, and he was a bitter child.  There really is no reason for him to be such a negative conniving man.  One might actually feel bad for him.  He does everything for his own personal gain, and does not care for anyone but himself.  His section, although easiest to read, was the most saddening.

June 2, 1910

November 3, 2010

Quentin Compson wakes up in his dorm room at Harvard, hearing his watch ticking. He realizes that it is between 7 and 8 o’clock in the morning. Quentin remembers his father giving him the watch.  When he got the watch, his father was saying that the watch might allow Quentin an occasional moment when he could forget about time. Which is a pretty odd thing to say upon receiving a watch as a present.  Quentin gets up briefly, then goes back to bed.

Quentin  dazing in and out of present day, suddenly sees his roommate in the doorway telling him he will soon be late.  Quentin tells his roommate to leave him.  Then he suddenly remembers falsely confessing to his father that he had committed incest.  He claimed he and not Dalton Ames, was the father of Caddy’s child. He muses on Dalton Ames’s name and remembers his father telling him that his great tragic feelings were meaningless.

Quentin breaks the face of his watch on his dresser, and at the same time cuts his hand.  The watch oddly continues to tick.  This, along, with me, would eventually drive Quentin a little insane.  This section of the narrative relates Quentin’s tormented and jumbled inner thoughts on the day that he commits suicide. Faulkner uses Quentin’s narrative to continue his exploration of the human experience of time. Quentins part, just like Benjy’s narrative, is very abstract.  Like Benjy, Quentin has memories of the past that intrude on his narrative constantly. Quentin’s memory is complicated because it is largely mixed up with his fantasies. Sometimes it is difficult to tell which of his memories are based on events that actually occurred and which are based on fantasy or wishful thinking. Quentin’s mind is far more complex than Benjy’s, and, unlike Benjy, he is clearly aware that his flashbacks are just memories.

Quentin is effectively trapped in time, obsessed with his past and memories. He always notices the bells of the Harvard clock tower. The ticking of his watch haunts him even after he breaks the watch against his dresser. Quentin asks the owner of the clock shop whether any of the clocks is correct, but does not want to know what time it is. Unlike Benjy, who is oblivious to time, Quentin is so obsessed and haunted by it that he sees suicide as his only escape.

Clearly, Quentin’s main struggle is with Caddy’s promiscuity.  Caddy’s conduct horrifies Quentin.  Quentin firmly beleives in femine purity and modesty.  Quentin so afraid of breaking this Southern code, asks Caddy to commit suicide with him.  When she rejects, his next thought goes to taking blame for the child so that maybe his family name can still be honorable.  Quentin’s anguish is tripled when he learns that his father really could not care less about Caddy’s promiscuity. Quentin,  finds his father’s indifference completely dishonorable to the Compson name.  Quentin seems to be very jealous of any man in Caddy’s life.  Their relationship consists of much jealousy, it was actually uncomfortable to read.  Faulkner implies that there is an unconscious sexual frustration between Quentin and Caddy. This section was more difficult than Benjy’s, it was just plain weird to me.  The structure was difficult to follow alike Benjy’s jumps from present to past, but it was just odd with the sibling rivalry.