Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Poetry as Word and Act

Literary theory that is focused on poetic debates, among other things, the relative importance of different ways of viewing poems: a poem is both a structure made of words and an event. For the poem conceived as verbal construction, a major question is the relation between meaning and the non-semantic features of language, such as sound and rhythm.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Midterm Exam Announcement

Dear students,
The exam will cover ancient Greek art to Brillo Box. We will still follow the batch 1 and 2 system. I will also follow the official schedule. That’s all.
Miseducated Mentor

Notes on Warhol and His Brillo Boxes

“Why was it a work of art when the objects which resemble it exactly, at least under perceptual criteria, are mere things, or, at best, mere artifacts? But even if artifacts, the parallel between them and what Warhol made were exact. Plato could not discriminate between them as he could between pictures of beds and beds. In fact, the Warhol boxes were pretty good pieces of carpentry.”

Andy Warhol was expert at self-promotion. Obsessed with celebrities, Warhol loved jet-setting and partying. Yet he said, ‘I think it would be terrific if everyone was alike’, and coined the cynical slogan that ‘everyone has their fifteen minutes of fame’. Warhol emerged in the ‘Pop Art’ movement of the 1960s, a movement tied into fashion, popular culture, and politics.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Notes on Richard Wagner

Comic adaptation from the second act of Richard Wagner's opera Parsifal, 1882. Written by Patrick C. Mason, illustrated by P. Craig Russell.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Notes on the Garden of Versailles

Andre Le NotrĂª was from a family of gardeners called upon by Louis XIV to design a garden grand enough to his image as “The Sun King”. Le Notre spent 50 years of his life upon the magnificent gardens of Versailles.

Notes on Rhetorical Figures

"I thought it was only a metaphor when people said, 'My car died.'"

Thursday, August 7, 2008

A Note on Rhetoric

Rhetoric, which has been since classical times, has been the study of the persuasive and expressive resources of language: the techniques of language and thought that can be used to construct effective discourses. Aristotle separated rhetoric form poetics, treating rhetoric as the art of persuasion and poetics as the art of imitation or representation.

Culler, Jonathan. Literary Theory: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford U Press: New York, 1997.

A Note on Rococo Art

Rococo is a style of 18th century French art and interior design. Rococo style rooms were designed as total works of art with elegant and ornate furniture, small sculptures, ornamental mirrors, and tapestry complementing architecture, reliefs, and wall paintings. The word Rococo is seen as a combination of the French rocaille, or shell, and the Italian barocco, or Baroque style. Due to Rococo love of shell-like curves and focus on decorative arts, some critics used the term to derogatively imply that the style was frivolous or merely fashion; interestingly, when the term was first used in English in about 1836, it was a colloquialism meaning "old-fashioned". However, since the mid 19th century, the term has been accepted by art historians. While there is still some debate about the historical significance of the style to art in general, Rococo is now widely recognized as a major period in the development of European art.


Notes on Baroque Art

The origins of the word baroque are not clear. It may have been derived from the Portuguese barocco or the Spanish barueco to indicate an irregularly shaped pearl. The word itself does not accurately define or even approximate the meaning of the style to which it refers. However, by the end of the 18th century baroque had entered the terminology of art criticism as an epithet leveled against 17th-century art, which many later critics regularly dismissed as too bizarre or strange to merit serious study.

Notes on the Gothic Cathedral

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Notes on Hermeneutics

What determines meaning? Sometimes we say that the meaning of an utterance is what someone means by it, as though the intention of a speaker determined meaning. Sometimes we say meaning in text as if meaning were the product of the language itself. Sometimes we say context is what determines meaning: to know what this particular utterance means, you have to look at the circumstances or the historical context in which it figures. Some critics claim that the meaning of text is the experience of the reader, intention, text, context, reader—what determines meaning?

Message from the Sick Miseducated

The following students from my 3:00 to 4:30 pm class are exempted from their humanities 1 midterm examination:

Notes on Gothic Architecture

Monday, August 4, 2008

Midterm Paper

Write a paper on the movie, ‘Princess Mononoke.’ You can choose any of the theories or approaches we have discussed in class. I have decided not to set a minimum number of words; however, make sure that your paper is comprehensive. The same format will be used: one-inch margins, 1.5 line spacing, 11 font size and Arial font type. Please do not forget the title of your written discussion. Also cite your sources. Your paper is due on August 18, 2008.

Princess Mononoke Trailer

Click link for the trailer.

Notes on Gothic Art

Kirby I: A Book of Hours
Beginning in the twelfth century, Gothic painting, sculpture, and architecture quickly became dominant in Europe and remained popular until the Renaissance. The Gothic style originated in Italy and quickly spread throughout Europe, staying dominant for the next 200 years. During the Renaissance, writers criticized it as vulgar and hence named it Gothic art after the Gothic tribes that destroyed the Roman Empire and classicism during the fifth century.

A Note on the Hyper-Protected Principle

Hyper-protected cooperative principle is a basic convention that makes possible the interpretation of literature: the assumption that difficulties, apparent nonsense, digressions, and irrelevancies have a relevant function. 

Culler, Jonathan. Literary Theory: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford U Press: New York, 1997.

Notes on Poetics and Hermeneutics

Here there is a basic distinction between two kinds of projects: one, modeled on linguistics, takes meanings as what have to be accounted for and tries to work out how they are possible. The other, by contrasts, starts with forms and seeks to interpret them, tot ell us what they really mean. Poetics starts with attested meanings or effects and ask how they are achieved. Hermeneutics, on the other hand, starts with texts and asks what they mean, seeking to discover new and better interpretations. Hermeneutic models come from the fields of law and religion, where people seek to interpret an authoritative legal or sacred text in order to decide how to act.

Notes on the Ancient Greek Tragedy

Antigone Leads Oedipus out of Thebes
by Charles Francois Jalabeat

Ancient discussions of tragedy introduced one of the most persistent of all theories of art, the imitation theory: art is an imitation of nature or of human life and action. Classical tragedy began in Athens in the sixth century BC as part of spring celebrations of Dionysus, god of the grape harvest, dancing, and drinking.

Notes on Ancient Greek Architecture

By the end of the 7th century BC, two major architectural styles, or orders, emerged that dominated Greek architecture for centuries: Doric and Ionic. The Doric order developed on the Greek mainland and in southern Italy and Sicily, while the Ionic order developed a little later than the Doric order, in Ionia and on some of the Greek islands. In addition to Doric and Ionic, a third order, the Aeolic, developed in northwestern Asia Minor, but died out by the end of the Archaic period, and a fourth, the Corinthian, emerged late in the 5th century BC.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Notes on Ancient Greek Pottery

Geometric Style (c. 1000-700 BC)
  • From about 950 to about 750 bc, are called the Geometric period, a term that refers to a primarily abstract style of pottery decoration of the time.
  • The lively, rectilinear meander patterns circling the body of the amphora are typical of Geometric pottery design. Greek Funerary Amphora (800 BC)