English Lecture “As for me and my House” April 5, 2011
Deus ex machina (God from machine)
Sister Solph The Coldest Winder Ever (1999)
- Fourth act of a play/book is usually the weakest. We kind of know what’s going to happen
- Odd: he sometimes reaches out and addresses a hypothetical reader which attributes values
to us that we may not have or wish to have
- p.9: you probably think I could’ve been a better person. Don’t be sentimental; who are
you to judge?
- Surprise, because we weren’t judging him. Kind of annoying if you weren’t
- p.74 “you see what I’m talking about” can you see the echo there?
- Troubling about Que’s narrative p.312
- “I’ll find someone to tell my story to. I’m going to wait here.” Why, since all the previous
narrative been in the past tense, why doesn’t he talk in the past tense? Why the sudden
- On page 308 Que is described as ‘half dead’ presumably he survives to tell his story. In
which case, why doesn’t he tell it in the past? The sudden switch in tense might be an
attempt to heighten the tension. Contrived, and Bentley doesn’t think it works.
- Biggest problem seems to be the shooting of Que
- Doesn’t think it’s credible that Jamal would drive the beamer up to that particular
intersection in Richmond Hill.
- Doesn’t think the conclusion is satisfying. Doesn’t fulfill one’s expectations; seems too
sudden, too quick, too incredible
- “Deux ex machina” (God from a machine) sense that the shooting of Que is a quick
wrapping up of plot.
- Not just where and how the novel ends, but when it is. We have so much tedious
backstory at this point; don’t we want to know what happens in the future, to find out
what happens to Que? We are just told that this is going to happen, and then he gets
shot. Don’t we want to know if Jamal goes to prison? If Carla becomes a lesbian and
hooks up with Tuyen?
- Maybe Brand is going to write a sequel?
- Structurally, this text relies on a crossroad idea, intersection idea which links it to Brand’s ___
- Satisfying: we can see a consistency of thought interest and high quality writing
- page 54
- he’s going west, not east (in the traditional islam and christianity, but into western
- figure of woman reaching out, woman as commodity. If not a commod