Thursday, August 26, 2004

Bordando el Manto Terrestre

Word to students in my American Literature and American Culture course: Follow this link to Remedios Varo's painting Bordando el Manto Terrestre. Viewing the image of Varo's painting should help you to understand better why Oedipa is so moved by the painting and to answer the following questions from your study guide to Thomas Pynchon's The Crying of Lot 49.

Focus on: art, affect and knowledge
6a. Reread the passage recalling Oedipa’s visit to an exhibition of Remedios Varo's paintings aloud several times (10–12). Pynchon writes, “Oedipa, perverse, had stood in front of the painting and cried” (11). First, briefly contextualize this sentence. That is, explain how, when, where and with whom Oedipa came to view Varo’s painting.

b. Then, refer to specific lines and phrases from the text to answer the following questions: Why was Oedipa moved to tears by viewing the Remedios Varo painting “Bordando el Manto Terrestre”? Why might the narrator have described Oedipa and/or her response as “perverse”? What knowledge is revealed to Oedipa “because of [the] painting”? Be as specific as possible, and address some of the significant details that Pynchon’s ornate narration provides. For example, you might remark upon the fact that Oedipa could “see the world refracted through those tears” (11 italics mine) and speculate on why she feels such a strong connection to the painting of the imprisoned girls. Try to find a reproduction of this painting in an art book or on the Internet.

Sunday, August 08, 2004

See You In Hell?

Kierkegaard referred to it as the aesthetic mode of existence, and here's where it could get me, according to the Dante's Inferno Test...

The Dante's Inferno Test has banished you to the Second Level of Hell!
Here is how you matched up against all the levels:
Purgatory (Repenting Believers)Very Low
Level 1 - Limbo (Virtuous Non-Believers)Low
Level 2 (Lustful)Very High
Level 3 (Gluttonous)Low
Level 4 (Prodigal and Avaricious)Very Low
Level 5 (Wrathful and Gloomy)Moderate
Level 6 - The City of Dis (Heretics)High
Level 7 (Violent)Low
Level 8- the Malebolge (Fraudulent, Malicious, Panderers)Moderate
Level 9 - Cocytus (Treacherous)Moderate

Take the Dante's Inferno Hell Test