Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Let's Get Literary! (Reposted)

Uh, hey everyone! This is my first blog post ever, and thanks to James for welcoming me on board at Hemoblogin. I'm really excited, and I hope the handful of people out there who read this are as well.

I don't really know what a typical blog post consists of--personal reactions or more formal responses--but tonight I want to talk about literature, in a more informal matter compared to the likes of World Lit papers or the ACT Writing component (speaking of, wasn't the October ACT rather easy? Feel free to discuss).

Anyway, I've been making the time to read more lately. This is not to say that I have not enjoyed the school required Greek Theatre survey, but I've been making personal time for my buddies Haruki Murakami and Henrik Ibsen (if you're unfamiliar with these guys, you're missing out), and of course interjecting everything I do with a healthy bit of James Dickey and Extended Essay (I realize these parenthical passages are probably really annoying, but James Dickey is another literary badass I urge you to read. If you want to read 3,000 words on his excellent poem "The Sheep Child," just ask. I have no personal qualms with whoring out my Extended Essay). My basic point is that I've been reading a lot lately, and reaching some "lucid" levels of interpretation and analysis. This might sound pretentious, but bear with me.

It's really cool, this splattering of social Japanese commentary and sur- hyper- realistic fiction, the earliest moments of modern drama, violent Greek commentaries, and really fucked up poems about Georgian farm boys who impregnate sheep. It's metamorphosing (or maybe devolving?) into some type of "meaningful" conclusions about all sorts of things on my part--I mean, the points of all these interconnections. James Dickey constructs a child born to man and sheep and presents it as an expression of human nature's dualized desires and fears of the unknown; Murakami takes emotionally similar Japanese men and turns psychological metahpors into uncanny narratives; Henrik Ibsen creates the female Hamlet in Hedda Gabbler; and Sophocles somehow displaced a tragic hero in an existential world centuries before anyone was even saying "existential." But that's just a laundry list of why I love these writers: I'm getting to the point.

Society shapes literature in the same way literature defines society. It's like one president effecting the next presidential race--just look at the past months of campaigning, George Bush has been mentioned every day by both McCain and Obama. Post-War, post-capitalistic Japan created the need for a Murakami then defined itself by product of that need. Does that make sense? I don't think I clearly expressed that. Let me try again, with a more cool example. On James Dickey's sheep child: the sheep child is pure Dickey, a construction pricking at the puritanical conscience of America by dignifying its deepest taboo.

Do you see what I'm hinting at? I realize as I'm typing I sound like such a pretentious douche bag, but let the awesome-ness of this sink in: a man wrote a poem about beasility fucking and had a substantial message behind it. Social paradigms, just in their rigid being, neccessitated the creation of this sheep-child, and as an argument the poem presents an anti-pastoral depiction of the way shit really went down. Can you do that Neil Gaimon? Fuck no. Fuck you. You suck.

Okay, this is getting a bit long and rant-ish, but it's what I felt like talking about. I might develop this later, or come back and want to delete it after seeing how douchey it all really came off, but hey, it's late and I still have Bio homework. If you walk away from this with anything, it's that you should, if you have time, check out Dickey or Murakami. I highly recommend both.

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