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Class Notes 2/17

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class notes 2/17/10

Anne begins with pictures of various covers of PL
quote from Ralph

Calamity shows off her stunning memory skills and identifies who is not here

HW: read through ch 26 for Monday

Discussion of Tom Stoppard’s play of same title- play within a play
man and woman- she’s commiting adultery
later find out that that was a play- that he wrote?
layers of “real thing” where is it? is falling in love the real thing, question of performance
how to decide real thing in life/love/etc

Generational difference of perception- scene 7 The Real Thing the play
House of Cards play within the play
“love is colonization”

Anne: the question of real, seeing it everywhere…

Discussion of film: transgender narrative—question of reality and performance

Aseidman’s response to discussion
reality is agreed upon by a number of people
aseidman at a party wearing a control-top thing: is she this new size, or is she the size she usually is and is just fooling everyone?

Kylee Mason- brings up idea of gender performance

Today is about visuals: classed gender performance

Q: what happened when visual becomes verbal?

Anne: PL is a verbal insertion into a very old visual tradition (portraits of ladies)
see Q above
how does his creation shift
Cite Italian predecessors
How to characterize tradition that HJ inserts him into

Series of images: (all titled the same: portrait of a lady)
1. Paolo Uccello, 1450s
Kylee Mason: posture, rigidity
Calamity: long neck, exaggeration? Artistic license; fits with posture
Penguins: fuzzy-ended hair, spilling out, counter to stiffness
Marina- skin contrasts w/ black background
Calamity- no landscape, austere
Anne- fills the whole frame
Jrlewis- a profile view, no expression
Kylee Mason- like a dog show, she’s being “shown”

2. Alessandria Botticelli, 1470-1475
Calamity- background, depth, perspective
Aseidman- looks uncomfortable, uncertain why, facial expression
Kylee Mason/calamity- is she preggers
Anne- ready to vomit? Swelling belly, heartburn, whatever, more of her personality, ¾ turn
Kylee Mason-plainer hair in style, more texture to the dress though,
Anne- holding on to the frame, more dynamic

3. Portrait of a lady with a lapdog, Lorenzo Costa, 1500
Jrlewis- lost the background again
Anne- stark background
Kylee Mason-looks pensive
MissArcher2-eyes down, head cocked
Marina- more ornate jewelry, headpiece

4. Raphael …with a unicorn, 1505-6
Jrlewis-always positioned over stomach
Fabelhaft-symbolic unicorn
Anne- raises reality of painting, if artists have ability to paint reality as is, why a unicorn, and why is it so damn small
Mix of symbolic and real
Calamity- she doesn’t look to happy with the unicorn, awkward position, pouty face, held away from the body

5. PierFrancesco di Jacopo Foschi
MissArcher2- nice sleeves
Kylee Mason- def looking down
Jrlewis- more shadowed, face in shadows
Calamity- holding book, literary, educated, wealthy
Aseidman- hand on the stomach, again
MissArcher2-more confident, even though looking down it has to do with set of shoulders
Kylee Mason- snobbish
Anne- looking down on us?
Calamity- all wearing shades of red

MissArcher2-first have high necks, pier has higher collar, same with next
Kylee Mason-detailing still reminiscent of breasts
Anne-collar not quite as tight

6. Background is red, chick wearing green
Anne- what about her face? Personality?
MissArcher2-slightly amused, smirking
Anne- kindly, her personal fav, listening, maternal almost
Penguins-headmistress of an all-girls school
Aseidman-severity of hairstyle, etc, speak to not being as a kindly
Calamity- kind but strict

7. Lady with a puppy
More red
Kylee Mason-identifies rosary
Anne-only 1 with a book, few with animals
Kylee Mason-diff angle on body, turned upper body away, getting hip, face looks direct
Trope- how much we can see

Renaissance tradition HJ invokes with PL

Film based on novel 1996 w/ Nicole Kidman, Jane Campions—Anne says costume drama
Other renditions: art (Macena Alberta Barton)
Kylee Mason-uncomfortable again
Marina- abstract background
Penguins-red again
Calamity- sad
Anne- sense of stillness in the others, this one has movement (discomfort)
What about class?
Kylee Mason-lower arms exposed, hair down and messy, leads to lack of “lady”
Anne- would you call her a “lady?”
Calamity-doesn’t have the stature
Anne- doesn’t carry herself in that way, not the pose
Why called it then
MissArcher2- irony
Kylee Mason- this is the new lady
Anne- what is ladylike about her?
Kylee Mason- the emotion, not stodgy, still clearly feminine and beautiful
Anne- looks like a servant, invokes “the real thing” servant ended up being a lady, something at play which challenges tradition

Dan Earle
Calamity- totes not lady like, her state of dress
Anne- she’s exposed, unlike previous version, all covered up
Aseidman- flaunting lady-hood
Kylee Mason- still the shoulders
Anne- still playing with tradition

Anne- how is J’s lady like or different than these images? How does she fit or not fit? Could she be hung on the wall like those women?
Jrlewis-3rd person narrative, to be watched
Anne- not her speaking, get insight as seen by series of men; if tradition is tradition of men gazing, then this fits
Calamity-both her status and image of herself allow her to carry herself well, like ladies of earlier portraits
Anne- sense of ideal, she wants to think well of herself, wants to be well thought of; propriety, how you are seen
MissArcher2- reading from ch. 7 “she was intelligent, and generous… what would she do with herself… most ladies waited… gracefully passive (pg 63 in the smaller v)
interesting, makes her different, a lady but with intentions of her own, under wing of Mrs. Touchett, being dressed by others, gives appearance of ladylike, but not necessarily nature
Anne- she is original, stresses gives impressions; other examples… do you imagine her the way she is on the cover, she has the sleeves, black rather than red
Kylee Mason- kind of, poise and clear status of cloth, almost strength to look that the passive of other images lack
Anne- she’s looking right at us, how open is she? How much is shielded? How available is she
Calamity- b/c 3rd pov, Ralph, his mom, etc talking, we only have limited perspective of her feelings
Don’t feel she is looking at me; the smaller cover is more accurate b/c most of her is missing
Anne- that is his complaint of her, Ralph describes edifice of Isabel, he can’t get in, but she has the same complaint of Ralph: his thing w/ music always playing; Isabel feels he’s not very hospitable to her; loving and admiring, but at a distance
Unlike those two, Madame Merle “walks in w/o knocking at the door”

Anne- sense of visual tradition; obvious difference: verbal; what does it mean to take a visual tradition and make it verbal
Kylee Mason- interesting play of verbal vs. visual, and real thing, couldn’t paint portraits but could tell the story
Anne- why could he do that? What prevented him from doing it in "The Real Thing?"
Calamity- people are more complicated than one picture, if enough time to talk for 600 pgs get to meat of person; a painting can be complex & give idea, but at same time only get one image
Anne- verbal portraiture allows more complexity?
Calamity- Earle painting- all we know is she’s solemn, proud, only this one moment
Anne- a painting/movie is more directive than verbal representation, book vs. movie adaptation, images in mind are not same on film; follow script written by novel, all have slightly diff images
Visual representation doesn’t allow the same range of possibilities
Me as lit crit: literature allows more possibilities
Marina- but can look at art through gender, etc; visual image will always have surface look for everyone
Kylee Mason-may b more visually directive, converse of each other; picture can give a million diff stories
Anne- cliché of pic worth a thousand words “the lover” writer and film maker, a word is worth a thousand pictures; can go either way

Anne- bring forward to 1996
Play opening scene of Jane Campion’s film version of PL
Why does she start the film this way? Would you begin it this way? Does this match up with the book?
Calamity- contrast to the stiffness of those portraits
Anne- what was your experience with the beginning? Feel very different? Engaged? Bored? Etc
MissArcher2- takes a bit to get into it
Calamity-beginning is kind of abstract, you are outside, they are people you don’t know, “tea is so nice,” not real investment
Anne- could you place yourself in the novel? Taking tea?
Kylee Mason- def not, I’m chilling invisible, just watching, feels like you are the lens, or behind, not a participant
Calamity-like Isabel, she was watching them from the doorway
Anne- mirroring Isabel’s arrival to the scene; what is Campion doing with this opening sequence. Describe to me
Jamie Barlow: opens w/ discussion by women on “mythology of love”
Very ambiguous, has the effect of destabilizing expectations of 19th century fiction
Relation of those women to Isabel archer
Kylee Mason- feel like their language, being intertwined, liking it, theories, etc, opinions, if Isabel was given the chance to talk, she’s have lots to say; any woman would have opinions if given the opportunity
Anne- what are they thinking about?
Penguins- not solely focused, but thinking about finding something to intertwine with
Anne- so she is the edifice with the door lock, and they are waiting to be kissed, very open, want to find a “mirror,” a soul mate
Kylee Mason-the guardedness of society forces Isabel to keep her distance, can never be the mirror, b/c of 19th cent.
Anne- so now you can get an exact mirror
Kylee Mason-ha
Penguins- can never be exact mirror, because it is a reverse
Anne- to be mirrored is always to be reversed; Isabel is not so far from us, akin to longings we have today
That was J’s sense of the writer? Wrote about the art of fiction
“House of fiction”
Kylee Mason- reads “House of Fiction” aloud
Anne- rereading and thought of spooky pic of peter quint from Turn of the Screw at the window (

Freaky picture 
Anne- striking: similarity b/n J’s description of watcher at the window, how like that is to peter quint@ window, and alike to Kylee Mason’s feeling of watching while reading the book
Also interesting in light of repeated trope of people like houses (inaccessibility)
But the novelist at the window can actually see it
Do you trust this narrator?
Aseidman- believes b/c she has not been given a strong reason not too
Anne- more believable if the narrator is first person
Aseidman- disagrees. Omniscient 3rd is non-subjective moreso, like the voice of God, 1st person is an interpretation
Anne- do you trust the voice of god more than a person
Kylee Mason- the watching mode is kind of like seeing a play, you accept that is it an accurate rep.
More passive thing
Anne- how J makes his reader; check out opening line
Penguins- read opening line
Aseidman- that could be two sentences
Anne- he is hippopotamus like, don’t knock it
Who is speaking?
Penguins- ambiguous until you get further in, it could be 1st, it could not
Kylee Mason- resolved on the matter of tea.
Anne- voice of resolution and authority; do you have a sense that the person is a tea-drinker
Calamity- it’s like second breakfast, there has to be a first one; this is afternoon tea, sets up a pattern
Penguins- reads second sentence (its short!)
Anne- what does this tell us about the narrator? Attitude towards you?
Jrlewis-even if not directly involved, still can be present, can still take present,
Anne- don’t linger on the edges, come on over, come on in
Kylee Mason- ok to be a watcher, don’t need to partake of the tea
Calamity- can still chill with your peeps, you can still be there, eat some crumpets
Penguins- read the third sentence
Anne- what happens in this?
“I” invocation of I
A 1st pov. But feels like 3rd, previous sentences feel like outside perspectives
Penguins- also involves reader as a minor character
Anne- you are invoked before me; telling us how to read his novel, distance from which it is narrated; make the reader by the kind of sentences they write. So what instructions are built into these sentences? Pulled in or pushed out? Assumption of insider status? Where are you in relation to what’s happening?
Calamity- enjoy delightful situation, camp.
MissArcher2- kind of trivial, oh, I have tea, some take it, some don’t, you can listen, and I like the idea of enjoying it
Anne- do you think the voice is ironic? Making fun of the smallness of the story?
Aseidman- agrees. Slightly making fun of the whole tea situation, it’s kind of ridic w/ the back and forth of conversation “are you comfy… are you? What about it?”
It skims over deep truth
Kylee Mason-talking past one another
Aseidman- nothing tricky, just small talk
Anne- so the picture I get is we don’t feel drawn to the inside, feel edifice keeps us at a distance
Penguins- windows?
Anne- toothpaste on them
Kylee Mason- agreed.
Calamity- don’t feel that distance b/c still get Ralph and Isabel's impressions
Not so subjective; not so distant, but not in someone’s head
Anne- want to suggest by comparing Campion to HJ is that it is a very diff way of presenting the story
Trying to teach us how to watch this feminist film (our voices speaking in the beginning) then cut to Isabel archer
Here you are, you are her, story of your life, Campion draws you in, and HJ allows you to watch

Dream sequence from Campion’s film

Critic- anachronistic travel dream sequence is supposed to help us remember that we are not seeing a woman, we are seeing a portrait
Back to notion of representation
In film she is making portrait of Isabel

Keep thinking about representation? The “real thing”
Our role as reader and where J positions us

Campton sees novel as fairy tale, will still confirm trap of romanticized love and duty that Isabel cannot escape
What kind of mind does Isabel have? Intrigued by way her mind is quicker than most, a vagabond, active imagination. Etc
Is that kind of mind going to get her into trouble?
Jrlewis-makes her more susceptible to suggestion
Kylee Mason- distracted from reality