Lecture #2 - January 18th.docx

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St. Michael's College Courses
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Jenna Sunkenberg

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SMC229H1: Lecture #2 Friday, January 18 /2013 A READER ON READING (ALBERTO MANGUEL) P. 2-3 Paragraph – “As far as I can remember…”  Is fiction more real than everyday fact? o Maybe he lives more through the stories then he does in real life o Connection to the characters, more so than the people around him  Two elements of reality and fiction coming together o Mimesis: A rhetorical term for the imitation, reenactment, or re-creation of someone else's words, manner of speaking, and/or delivery. (IMITATION) o Poiesis: Indicating the act of making or producing something specified (CREATION) o Whenever we are reading these two elements are present – element of imitation and creation (he goes into this world where something feels real, but there is also a creation element – she falls down a rabbit hole) o Any work of fiction that is supposedly entirely made up, has both of these elements o We love to go into a place that are somewhat real and not real o As we grow up we start getting a certain disbelief o Is the combination of this two somehow useful in understanding ourselves? P. 3 Paragraph – “A book becomes a different…”  As we grow as people and develop an identity, our understanding grows o Then as we change fiction tends to affect our experience of reality o We see what we want to see and apply them how we want to apply them in our own lives o Sometimes we change our characters to make them more like us so that we can apply them to the greater world o Stories are how we learn about ourselves and frame our identities o All of these stories that we read are somehow affecting our experiences  With reading comes reflection, it is a crucial part of the reading process – through it we let fiction open up our perception of reality P. 4 Paragraph – “After passing through her reflection…”  Names are arbitrary – I could sit in an object without it having a name o The idea of a name versus its purpose o What is the medium we use to associate things – LANGUAGE, that’s how we understand the world o How do we understand ourselves in this world? How do we communicate with one another? How do we make sense of anything? How do we put these ideas together? Communicate whole cultural identities?  Language, creating stories out of the language we have o Language becomes a primary medium through which we start to make sense of experience o With names, we need some kind of common ground, that’s why we come up with arbitrary things  Without language would things become abstract and obsolete? o Language involves a shared understanding of knowing the objects purpose regardless of what its called (core/substance)  Thus mediums are ways of communicating o Language is a medium o Is there a medium more primary than language? (THOUGHT/FEELING) P. 4-5 Paragraph “Oh that’s the name of the song is it…”  Stories try to give shape to an experience to try and name it o By putting shape to that experience, by reading about that stories and reflecting on that story we can learn more about our selves P. 6 Paragraph “The danger Alice and her…”  There is always this gap between the experience (being in an experience where one doesn’t know the right path, where one dwells)  If we put too much trust in the stories we will get confused and we’ll forget about actions o We always want to appreciate the historical setting that a text was meaning, but we also want to know how it can be applied today o Language can be quite harmful, and we put such value in these words because we need them P. 8 Paragraph “George Steiner suggested…”  What’s the difference between looking at an image and reflecting on what’s it representing then entertaining? o Our society is caught up in things that have been created for us rather than things that are going on  Readerships isn’t just about what we’re reading, but whose reading them and why o Readerships affect society, unity, and the political structures that come from our perceptions of things o Thus the different readerships of society reflect what’s going on o Media forms often are made to be more entertaining then they should be – distorts real life o Personal relationships evoke emotions in us and affect the way we perceive things A HISTORY OF READING:  Look at how writing and reading cultures developed  Moving through history and open up where the idea of reading comes from, writing in connection to reading, the different between the two, and how different reading was from what we consider now A. BEGINNINGS Page 178: “…in all probability”  Writing invented for commercial reasons – to record transaction, document of such a transaction; origin of language was 2000 BC  Writing came from a very practical place so that society could work; language itself was created as a means of exchange o Tablets were the first medium that took language and put it into the written form  Exchange represented in the use of language form, the result of this is the externalization of memory; physical presence of the message giver is not necessary o Once we start extending things into writing we don’t necessarily have to remember – Plato was afraid that writing would cripple society because things would become harder to remember  Entire shift in our way of being, because if language is how we express and organize ourselves that language is a medium – it’s an extension of the self, once we switch into this form where there is an order and a truth, we are extended into that as well and its going to affect how we perceive things o Permanence was born; individual interpretation starts to occur – stories used to be more communal in the oral culture  When you start get into a written tablet you start getting this idea of truth, and we start developing this notion of truth and it will keep developing as writing is coming about, and people will start reading more and more, and the more they start reading, its no longer about reading a simple transaction, the more MY TRUTH and MY INTERPRETATION is going to influence things; fact will break down and struggle and conflict will ensure P. 180 – Second Paragraph - Scribes  As writing comes about, the scribe had to contain it – this was a unique and incredibly important role – marking
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