Chaste Egoist

Chastity Article in the first installment of Portrait in The Egoist Magazine.

This is juxtaposed with a Wordle of the first part of Chapter 3 in Issue 16 of the Egoist, as this excerpt from the novel particularly deals with Stephen's grappling with his religiosity (I'm not sure I would call it religion, per se) and morality.

 (having problems loading my second Wordle :( )

One of the things I noticed is a sterility in the chastity article, perhaps because not so much moralizing is going on, whereas with the Chapter three excerpt Stephen is facing a lot of unbridled hatred and condemnation. The first has a loftiness, seems preoccupied with the "ideal" "virtue" "virginity," while the second is mired in "sin" "hell" "fire" "death" "torment" etc. Quite the contrast.

From "Chastity" is "life," but from Portrait is "death," Chastity's "virtue" to Portrait's "damned." Somehow there is a freedom to the chastity article, a lightness, reflecting the article's evenhandedness toward feminine sexuality (lack of judgmentalism, internalized or otherwise), versus the "world of judgment" in which Stephen seems to be drowning.

Other notable words in the latter Wordle, for merit on its own is "heart" "foul" "God" "poor" and "time." The internal crisis in which Stephen is subsumed becomes amply evident in the prominence of these words. In some ways one could argue the "chastity belt" of Stephen's strict Catholic education--designed to, at least in theory, free him from eternal damnation--sent him on a spiral of internal turmoil, a true crisis of faith and earthly damnation.

 

 

 

 

The Egoist 1.6

This is Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man in The Egoist 1.6. 

 

 

This is the remaining portion of The Egoist without Portrait. Interesting what both parties call people. 

 

Egoist's Ego

Egoist 1:4 Most common words What are the preoccupations collectively of the writers for the second installment of A Portrait?

Clement and Distant Reading

I was fascinated by the Clement article and by her approach to The Making of Americans.  I’m not familiar with Stein’s story or the computer programs Clement used, but it seemed that the text provided the methodology.  Clement, pointing out what seems to be the accepted understanding of Stein’s work, says, “the repetitive form… renders the reader’s usual process of making meaning useless and emphasizes the fact that ‘Sense-making is a fundamentally cultural activity’” (362).  Later, she argues that Stein understood her own text as “foreground[ing] the process of meaning-making rather than meaning itself.”  The article, in many ways, encourages the process of making-meaning as well.  I couldn’t help feeling that Clement’s article was defending “distant reading” through the analysis of Stein’s story.
 

Just as The Making of Americans has two halves (one traditionally linear and one repetitive, “mimetic reminder of the impossibility of exact replication”), reading similarly has two-halves, close and distant (376).  Clement argues that the D2K application discovered patterns from the “chaos of the more frequent repetition,” and shows textual constructions that “may have [been] missed with close reading” (363).  The overall effect of distant reading and close reading Stein’s text “leads the reader to consider that the formation of knowledge is a cycle of the ongoing creation that results from this push and pull” of the “hole of knowledge” and the “whole of knowledge” (376).
      

It seems to me that close reading and distant reading provides a similar method of the formation of knowledge conveyed in Stein’s work.  Moretti says distant reading is a “specific form of knowledge,” suggesting that it provides a unique approach or specific vantage point of text.  I’m interested in the preparatory work done before initiating a computer program.  Clement decided to analyze the frequency of repetition in Stein’s work, and then map the “co-occurrences.”  This decision seemed to be based on the background (the critical complaints) of the text.  I want to know what happens to analysis when one algorithm is privileged over another, one motif or technique studied instead of another.  Does distant reading focus too narrowly on the pre-set conditions of the computer software?  Or, are these programs more efficiently mimic the way we read?  I’m interested in what would happen if we distant read A Portrait, and whether it would complement or disagree with our readings.

 

Stanley Fish NYT "Blog Posts" on DH

 Most of you have already seen these because I posted them in Modernism and New Media, but here are all three blog posts in which Stanley Fish dicusses DH:

http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/12/26/the-old-order-changeth/

http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/01/09/the-digital-humanities-and-the-transcending-of-mortality/

http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/01/23/mind-your-ps-and-bs-the-digital-humanities-and-interpretation/

The final one may be of particular interest because he mentions some of the larger debates within and about DH and links to what appear to be important articles.  

DeadBook?

I don't know if this is necessarily the proper place for this, but we have the ultimate Digital Humanities items in use right now. Facebook. What happens 100 years from now and all of us are dead? Will everything we posted to our pages be archived? Will WE be archived? Will the famous have their Facebooks printed and bound in book form? How is Facebook an adequate measure of the digitized human?

 

And, how will they know we are dead? What if they go by the fact that we haven't logged in for a long time? What if they accidentally archive someone in the dead file when they are in fact living. What a strange idea...it's like being buried alive.

Modernism began in the magazines

 Robert Scholes and Cliff Wulfman's chapter "Modernity and the Rise of Modernism: A Review" in Modernism and the Magazines says that modernism was in many ways not as much a sythesis of sybolism and realism but a struggle between the two with certain magazines and individuals taking certain positions within the debate.  For this week's assignment I looked at The Little Review v5 n5 and several of the pieces in there.  Here is what I paid particular attention to: 

 

"The Western School" by Edgar Jepson pages 4-9

T.S. Eliot "Sweeney Among the Nightingales," "Whispers of Immortality," "Dans le Restaurant," "Mr. Eliot's Sunday Service." Pages 10-14

James Joyces, Ulysses episode VI pages 17-37

Ezra Pound "Notes from an Ivory Tower" Pages 50-53 

Marsden Hartley, "The Reader Critic: Divagations" Page 59-

 

In looking at these selections I notice that this issue of TLR includes several highest of the high modernists like Joyce, Eliot, and Pound (as well as prose fiction from Sherwood Anderson and Ford Madox Ford and poetry from W.B. Yeats) alongside articles like the ones by Jepson and Hartley on the aesthetics, functions, and sources of poetry and art.  So in many ways the texts present a situation much like what Bornstein outlines in "How to read a page: modernistm and material textuality."

 

Bornstein describes how the sites where poems and other works appear originally is significantly different from how they are received in other publications later on (e.g. Norton Anthologies).  His example is how a Keats' poem is originally published in a highly political periodical The Examiner.  Bornstein's point is that the appearance of Keats' poem in a politically left periodical would perhaps associate not only Keats himself as a public figure with these left-leaning politics, but also contribute to how a reader would interpret the poem.  I would argue that a similar situation is taking place in TLR.  Jepson for instance is (mawkishly) praising T.S. Eliot's poetry at the expense of other American poets such as Frost, Lee Masters, and Lindsay.  The fact that not only is Eliot's poetry praised in a publication in which other of his poems also appear, but Jepson and Hartley make larger claims the elements of good poetry and art.  Hartley, like Jepson, praises (he's a little less effusive) Joyce's Episode IV of Ulysses against the realism of Flaubert.  So we have come back around to the struggle that Scholes and Wulfman describe as a struggle between symbolism and realism that takes place in the magazines.

 

I would say though that some ambiguity arises because it's difficult to determine how writers like Joyce, Pound, and Eliot understood how their work was being "used" in these magazines.  Of course, Pound was likely very aware considering he was on the editorial board, but I do know that he was an ardent supporter of Frost's poetry early on.  However, Jepson's description of the situation opposes Pound and Eliot's work with the likes of Frost.  This suggests to me that whether or not the poetry that appears alongside aesthetic manifestos like Jepson's express similar values, the poems and poets are implicated in the larger debates taking place.   Having read "Signature/Event/Context" and Limited Inc. over break, I'm prepared to discuss the idea of contextual implication a bit further in class if we have some time.  I think it would interact in interesting ways with Bornstein's use of Speech Act Theory and Benjamin's concept of aura.  

 

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