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Lecture 8

ENG365 Lecture 8

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University of Toronto St. George

Bel Canto and Peru Hostage Crisis  Hostage witness – terrorists played soccer with makeshift ball  Include teen girls (2) and boys… become undisciplined, caught by surprise when raid…  Digging hole and tunnel  Japanese Embassy, ambassador’s house  MRTA rebels took 600 hostages, released half soon, continued to release until 72 men remained  Hostages report to be more afraid of raid violence than terrorists’ violence  MRTA seeking to free Peru from oppression, help poor…  Not intention to kill, seeking to free comrades from jail  Sympathy between rebels and hostages… some hostages cried after deaths of rebels  Nested in inevitability but an optimistic novel (tells that all rebels will die in beginning of novel)  Inverts the mediated view of terrorism from outside, showing what happens inside  Employ events to imagine human relations…  “failed” social experiment – Roxanne  inverts usual relationship to mass media on terrorism, emphasis on real time camera rolling -> what camera can’t capture  not a behind-scenes look, deliberate unreality  names from operas… i.e. Carmen, Roxanne… signifying artifice of narrative  explores what it means to be held hostage… by art, social, terrorism  disinterest in world beyond the mansion… small community… not political novel… isolated from world outside of it, utopian gesture  utopia in American Pastoral, Intuitionist and Bel Canto o Roxanne about fixation vs Lila Mae and Gen as invisible, passive (+ Swede) o Exclusive world o Intuitionist and imagining world with racial progress, social hierarchies collapse… laying bare world – Bel Canto and similar leveling progress, fixed structure of outside world put away  Utopia: two possible Greek roots - “good place” (eu + topos) and “no place” (ou topos) o Ambiguity, describes either literary texts or real social projects o Imagines ideal society, whether described in ecological, economical, sociopolitical, religious, technological, or other terms o Relative o Often vehicle of social satire/critique… more about present than future at times o Utopia
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