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Notes Towards Day 16: Beginning Prodigal Summer

Anne Dalke's picture
Notes Towards Day 16:
Beginnning Prodigal Summer

I. English major tea @ 4:30 p.m.

II. We'll continue discussing the novel all next week--
do you like it? why/why not?
what snagged/grabbed you?
what puzzled/irritated you?
(THAT's the opening gambit for your paper...
what you DON'T understand....)
Is a novel an argument? Or something else...?

From the homepage of my Critical Feminist Studies course:
“…literature is...the place where impasses can be kept and opened for examination, questions can be guarded and not forced into a premature validation of the available paradigms. Literature…is…a mode of cultural work, the work of giving-to-read those impossible contradictions that cannot yet be spoken." (Barbara Johnson: The Feminist Difference: Literature, Psychoanalysis, Race and Gender, 1998)
III. By 5 p.m. on Saturday:
3 pp. interpretation of the novel due,
from Hyde, Allen, Schwartz, Pollan, whoever's p.o.v.

what would they say about how the novel works, what's going on, what's important?
(i.e.: what does Hyde's coyote have to do w/ the coyotes in the novel?
what would Allen say about the structure of foreground/background?
what would Schwartz's take be on the presentation of choice?
or Pollan's on the treatment of the food chain?)

IV. Some leads (your postings) for us to explore together

V. (Modeling) looking closely @ the novel/using quotations-->
a "bottom-up" approach
Some key terms:
What does "prodigal" mean? What is a "prothalamium"?

From the O.E.D. Online:

1. Extravagant; recklessly wasteful of one's property or means; spendthrift.
2. ...but subsequently made a repentant return: that has gone astray; errant, wayward; wandering, with allusion to Luke 15:11-32

Prothalamium: A song or poem written in celebration of a (forthcoming) wedding.
From epithalamium (upon+bridal chamber):
A nuptial song or poem in praise of the bride and bridegroom,
and praying for their prosperity.

From what/whose p.o.v. is the story told?
read aloud, cfing. pp. 1-3, 443-444