ENGA10 LECTURE 03.docx

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ENGA10 LECTURE 03 9/28/2011 6:17:00 AM
REM: Losing my religion
Not called “Losing my Islam/Christianity/etc.”; emphasis not on
religion, but on faith
o Losing connection to what they‟re doing
Something about “try” and “cry”; if you don‟t know why you try,
you‟ll cry
If you don‟t understand the overall context of what you want from
something, you‟ll cry
“That‟s me in the corner”: portrait of Dorian Gray
“That‟s me in the spotlight”: beautiful Dorian Gray
Men see women as a possible salvation; something that will heal
the split (i.e. Dr. Jekyll and Hyde, Dorian Gray, man in Dover
Beach)
Loss of transcendental certitude created a search for the sacred
within the secular; made the secular sacred
o The presumed power of women to heal has become sacred
o Women feel needed; men feel whole
Cons:
Men: gives them access to power
Women: they can use their seduction to hold power, but
only as long as the seduction holds
E.g. Sibyl Vane: she only has power as long as Dorian
loves her; when her seduction fails, she has tried and
now cries
Dorian Gray is afraid to try
Lord Henry changes this
o Only two parents: Lord Henry & Basil
o Terrify him; tell him two things he can‟t possibly do, in order
to keep intact
o “Never stop being perfect” & “Never stop being young”
both impossible
Ideology: Your imagined relationship to your actual existence
Losing my Religion: two extremes: loser vs rockstar
When you‟re unsure of what to do you gravitate to false dilemmas
because you don‟t know what to do (e.g. Dorian Gray – two choices
from “parents”)
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Made out of words how we understand the world
o Key difference between us and animals: we are capable of
symbolism (i.e. there‟s a tree!)
o The word has an imagined relationship to the thing it
symbolises
The world we know is the world we think about and the world we
imagine
Our reality is the result of what our imagination permits
In order to do, to get up in the morning, we have to have an
imaginary relationship to our existence without this, we are
shattered
When Dorian makes the wish to the painting, he has separated his
word and his world; he now only does things because Lord Henry
tells him to
do this because it’ll make you feel good; Dorian’s life
has no more meaning, it is simply a means to pleasure
“Have fun”: too much pressure; it‟s not possible to always have fun
“Work hard, play hard”: why do you have to be intense about fun?
Why is the zombie the number 1 incarnation of our time (vs
vampires)?: vampires were elegant, zombies can‟t behave they
are just consumers, they are just us
We are just voracious consumers and we‟re afraid we don‟t have
enough
“I need stuff, I need stuff!” you don‟t actually need stuff, you just
want to fill the void
The mall has become the church in the 21st century: we go there to
pay not pray
Zombies gravitate towards the mall; nothing seems to please them;
they just move on to the next thing
Candy commercials: slogan for double mint gum: “Double your
pleasure, double your fun! Fun Police
We long for that encounter where everything will come together for
us 9 encounters in Heart of Darkness
Irony of Heart of Darkness: it‟s not the Congo that‟s the Heart of
Darkness, it‟s the ideologies that Kurtz brings to the crew: myth of
perfection, of progress, of efficiency, etc
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o These myths are like religions; they‟re what encourage us to
try
o All myths of deferral: of things that will happen later
Nine Key Encounters of Marlowe in Heart of Darkness
If Dorian Gray is about the Psychological Crisis of the 20th century,
Heart of Darkness is about the Economic Crisis
Encounter one: the old ladies knitting
Not a lot of women, but the women are very present by their
absence
o They‟re the domesticators: keep the home
As Imperialism began, by 1890 or 1900,
Marlowe goes into the Congo with an ideology (like Kurtz) that
imperialism is good; the natives will be better off with roads,
railroads, Christianity this is the best thing that will ever happen
to them
In goes the Imperialism, out comes ivory
1900s reality: need for rubber; natives used to harvest
o When the men got reluctant to work, they would lock the
women and children up and give the men a quota to fill
o We make our tools then our tools shape us
o Many of the inventions we have now were possible before,
but the need wasn‟t there
o E.g. computers we want it NOW because we love the way
its shaping us
o Imperialism was a solution to unemployment
o One way to think of Heart of Darkness is that it is a
corporation: extracting rubber from Congo at a cheap rate for
the smallest profit margin this has not changed
o Becomes a Dorian Gray system: the corporation looks is
handsome and beautiful, there seems to be nothing they can‟t
do; one day they say, “we‟re more efficient now; without your
job you are nothing” Sibyl Vane
Encounter 1: the two ladies knitting
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