September 17 2012 Noel Mirzoyev
- Can be negative or positive, the term criticism does not qualify the conclusion (whether good or
o ie. Good or bad film review.
- Criticism and being critical actually refers to a thinking process that aims at evaluating – it does
not refer to a negative conclusion.
- Evaluation based on thinking process.
- The thinking process that allows us to be critical rests upon an analysis that will take into
consideration different variables or factors (i.e. history, logics, coherence, observation,
- Thinking, reading and writing critically are skills – none of us are born with it.
- Why should we be critical? Why don’t we just accept things as they are?
o Critical skills are the most important thing to acquire
- Engage in abstract thought
Question and problem of stupidity?
Abstraction? Need for all of us to learn how to abstract in order to properly think.
- Complex 20 century literary authors. Hope to better understand critical thought. Estalbish
objectives to achieve.
- Preliminary objection can be brought up “why begin with literature?” in a political science class.
o There is an important link bw literature and politics – not only because authors let their
politics be precieved in their literature
o Common bond between politics and literature.
The desire for immortatlity – both literature and politics are an attempt to
transcend (go beyond) one’s mortal nature.
- By engaging in politics people leave traces of their existence & carve a place for themselves in
the existence of humanity by achieveing great deads and glory.
- Literature also allows people to leave traces in their existence, thru printed word and circulation
- Politics and literature cheat death of its most lasting concequence – to be forgotten. Allow us no
to be forgotten.
- Texting, twitter, facebook goes to an existential level of our angst of being forgotten. Eloquent
examples of people struggling to avoid even before death to be forgotten.
- Born in 1929, alive in paris.
- The distinction between stupidity and ignorance
- Laughable loves (Short stories)
- The art of the novel – 1986 – collection of essays
o Text that understands bw stupidity and ignorance
o “The Jerusalem Address”
- 1985 awarded Jerusalem prize (international literary prize given by the state of Israel)
The Novel and Europe:
- Set out to try to understand the work of different authors.
- Discuss different authors and noteably focus on one author
- Gustave Flaubert 1821-1880 19 century French author
1 o Madame Bovary – depict the very boring provincial life of a bored house wife married to
a boring doctor (most important novel)
Page POLS 1000
September 17 2012 Noel Mirzoyev
o A dictionary of received ideas- Flaubert collect the clichés or the fixed ideas of his era.
Everyone thinks to think is very thoughtful and profound but to him its stupid.
- We have to look at the era within Flaubert lived in – 19 century france.
- 19 century france = reign of the bourgeois. French revolution.
o The ruling aristocracy in france was extremely fragile, and prepared to distintigrate. (no
o The bourgeoise ends up replacing the weak aristocracy as the ruling class in france. (lots
of money, no political power)
o Bourgeoise had to rely on urban poor and peasants.
- 19 century represents the consolidation of bourgeoisie hold on political power.
- Take over 100 years to settle conflicts born of French revolution.
- 1914 ends French revolution.
- Bourgeois a member of the merchant class. Every expanding merchant class in understanding
who we are. Bourgeois becomes basis on institutions that we have today. Bourgeois creates
modern and political institutions of the current world. The guiding social force of our society.
- By the end of 19 century, aristocrats wer