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Calamity's blog

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Un Journal n'est pas une Vie

What has most captured my interest in House of Wits has been the question of representation and re-presentation as I have learned about the James family. Each of my papers has dealt with this topic of representation. A few months ago I mapped Alice’s diary with charts to see if the diary was a thorough and accurate representation of her life, and I learned that she wrote less than 15% of the time she kept the diary. This surprised me, for as a genre the reader assumes a diary gives a complete and moment-by-moment description of its author’s life, that a diary is as close to actually knowing what happened as the reader could ever get. Alice’s diary proved this assumption false.  A diary is not a life.&

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A Sunday Kind of Love

For this paper, I chose to represent William James and two other persons from our discussion in comics. Comics bring a different, more humorous, mentality to “reading” James. Working with this paper gave me more respect for cartoonists; comics are, in some ways, easy to think up—the tricky part is translating what’s visually in my head to the paper. They also take a significant amount of time to draw. 

“Metaphors for Sale”









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Don’t Judge a Book by its Cover: a Comparative Reinforcement


Isabel Archer, protagonist of Henry James’ novel The Portrait of a Lady, is “guided in a selection chiefly by the frontspiece” when looking for reading material (The Portrait of a Lady 23).  

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Mind the Gap[s]

When reading The Diary of Alice James I found the gaps between her entries fascinating; these gaps began to interest me more than the entries themselves—my attention caught by what Alice didn’t write, rather than what she did. Professor Dalke suggested creating a visual representation of the diary to see where the gaps fell in the thirty-five months Alice kept her diary. I used a chart system, one chart for each year she wrote, and I chose red to represent the gap days for its contrast to black and white, and to emphasize the gaps more than the entries.

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