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Lecture

“Spin” – O’Brien

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Department
English
Course
ENG214H5
Professor
Daniela Janes
Semester
Fall

Description
Nov.23 /12 “Spin” – O’Brien - the idea that stories can save us - something profound in telling stories - the men carry home the experience when they return home - time is a kind of loop - memory functions in the same way - proliferation of the same story told from different POVs - Cubist/kaleidoscopic - For the survivor of war, you never walk away from it - P. 31 o “remembering turns into a kind of re-happening” o plays with idea of item in the past o re-happening collapses those spaces together o home/away, here/there, good guys/bad guys  binaries get collapsed - “Spin” is paradigmatic story - it is anticipating the fragmentation of body and of war - p. 35 o discreet set of items he remembers - progression of memories to the dead one o spectral o haunting o obligation to remember - decontextualized bits of information - how to make coherence - sequence provides causal - moral judgement/forgiveness - Tim did something - Tim has agency and no agency at the same time - Yes, he did something, but he didn’t have any other choice - P. 32 o Follow the leader o Stray from the path and you will get blown up o Morally precarious position; no choice but to follow - P. 36 o Stories ends with grand sense o The story has a life beyond the limit of the man or woman writing the story - His stories can call people back from the dead - Significant sense of what is at stake in telling stories “On The Rainy River” Nov.23 /12 - p. 37 o confessional mode o level of intimacy - kind of exorcism by telling the story - the shame of the story - his embarrassment got to him and he joined the war - collapse of binaries - the brave thing to do would have been running away; the act of cowardice is staying behind - story tells deflation of our hero, Tim - he has a strong sense of egotism - he has his life planned out - he does not want to die - his
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