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eolecki's picture

Week 11

I have found myself in several classes, including this one, asking myself “why this book?, isn’t there a better example out there?”.  I was so perplexed when I began reading Whitman, I thought, there is no reason to read this in this class.  However, after our talks about unconscious and metonymic associations it began to make a lot of sense.  After talking about past book selections, including Moby Dick and Ahab’s Wife, I have more faith in the text selections for this class.  As I began to read The Sorrows of an American I noticed a lot of similarities or at least connections between the two texts.  There is a lot of unconscious thought in Sorrows of an American.  Also there are no divisions between types the story that is being told (whether itis Erik’s thoughts, his father’s diary, or an actual description of what is going on).  It’s interesting to see unconscious thought, like from Leaves of Grass, weaved into a story with a distinct plot line.  This immediately made me think of our discussions of evolution.  I like Hustevedt’s writing and reading the character’s jumbled, stream-of-consciousness thoughts.  I think its much more useful than Whitman’s purely stream-of-consciousness writing, but in this example Whitman was an ancestor of Hustvedt.  The “trait” or idea of stream-of-conscious writing was refined and incorporated or “passed down” into a new type of story.      

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