A night of reading and writing letters
ANNOUNCEMENT!!! BIG HONKING ANNOUNCEMENT!!!
Do you want to go to France this summer and be in a writing workshop taught by Dan Chaon and Lynda Barry ? They’ve been working together to develop a way of teaching writing that is a BLAST! Lynda Barry says:
"This class is about a kind of writing you may not know you’re good at. It has a lot in common with making visual art. It’s based on seeing, but it’s the mind’s eye kind. The kind that happens during a flood of memory; unwilled, vivid, easily described. A place you’re suddenly ‘in’.
We’ll use handwriting, simple drawings, unexpected imagery and a specific way of keeping a notebook to help us write both fiction and autobiographical stories and to track and identify the images that keep coming up in our work, a kind of writing that helps notice how and when these images show up in our day-to-day lives, gives us an understanding of our history with them and just where they may be trying to take us.
Becoming accustomed to a kind of spontaneous image-based writing can help us tremendously in writing both autobiography and fiction along with other writing tasks like artist statements, response papers, project descriptions, reports, reviews, etc. All you’ll need is a pen, a composition notebook, a pile of candy, and your two bare hands.”
She also says: “I love LOVE teaching with Dan Chaon. He is a genius writer and a genius teacher.”
FOR APPLICATIONS AND MORE INFO: blogs.butler.edu/chamonix
Dan Chaon teaches creative writing at Oberlin College.
Lynda Barry teaches writing and picture-making at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Reading the Work (pg. 3-49)
The Road so far has been interesting, yet really confusing. The way in which McCarthy wrote the book makes the plot hard to follow at times. The PoV is consistent with the main character (The Man), but the story is constantly changing from present day to memories of the pre-apocalyptic world. The novel is also doesn’t quite make sense yet. So far The Man and The Boy are traveling through a burning world in which they appear to be the only survivors hunting for food and on a journey to the coast (who knows what lies there).
The Man and The Boy have come across one other survivor that died shortly after they passed him on the road. While the two are trying to get to the coast as fast as they can, The Man is slowing down and having more memories of the past with his wife. He appears mad at his wife for taking her life and leaving The Man and The Boy alone in the world. The Man is also coming down with some disease, but doesn’t want to scare The Boy. It seems like TB. The Man is having a hard time trying to decide if he believes in a greater power and if he does he is mad at this greater power.
The Boy is reserved yet curious. He is always asking questions and says what he feels. While he is always saying “I’m scared”, he never shows his emotions and is trying to be brave for his father. The Boy does not realize that he is the reason The Man is still alive. The Man sees The Boy as something holy that must be protected from the world. As a result of this The Boy gets more food when they eat and is given treats when found (like a Coca Cola). It appears that this is the only live The Boy has ever known because he is never talking about or remembering before the journey on the Road. The Boy is also what keeps the pair human. His compassion is what reminds The Man that there is still something to live for and to keep pushing towards a hopefully brighter tomorrow.
In this first section of the novel many themes have begun to appear. Violence and mortality are obviously big themes present in the novel. Another major theme that I have noticed is memory and the past or versions of reality. When The Man is not talking about the world around him he is either dreaming or is remembering a time of pleasure with his wife before the isolation.
The book is reminding me so much of “Radioactive” by Imagine Dragons.
Reading the Work: Ch 1-7
I was not sure what to expect when I got this book. I have always enjoyed Chinese culture and traditions and picking a book written by a woman who grew up in China. She is American but her parents, who were missionaries, travelled to China. While reading I am annoyed at how the main character views women. He believes them to be like slaves and cook, clean, and provide children. He cannot wait to claim his wife. He has never met her before and I do not like how she really had no say. Wang Lung, the main charater, also has an issue with her not binding her feet. I think this is completely ridiculous as no one should have to tie their feet in order to keep them small. I find myself becoming more and more of a feminist and I hope I do not become an extremist. I do not think I will though because this book is in a different time period and things are a quite a bit different now. I hope as the story progresses, Wang Lung and his wife O-lan will become more equal and have a loving relationship.