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Anne Dalke's picture

1/8/09: Alice in Bed
We're beginning this class on the James family by reading this play by Susan Sontag. I like this idea of starting in contemporary times, working backwards to the woman--Alice James--who inspired Sontag's work.

And one thing this play makes clear to me is that this course is going to invite us to be aware of, and reflective about, what our minds are like. In Scene 6, Alice says, "I'm in my mind....which is like a boat or a chair or a bed or a tree. Or a rope bridge. And in my mind I can be high up, too. There are vantage points in my mind...I can have an overview...held in the beak of a bird, I'm flying over Rome...there is a whole world underneath, subterranean chambers, lost mind has its own swellings and diminishings...My mind doesn't have a size" (pp. 83-85).

So: I'm thinking I'd like to ask everyone in the class to come up with a metaphor for her own mind: how does it work? What is it like? (Mine's sort of...jumpy. It gets bored easily, so it keeps moving around quickly, looking for something new...)