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Lecture 2

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Department
English
Course Code
ENGB12H3
Professor
Sonja Nikkila

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Today's Lecture
Business
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Lecture Question
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Grandfather: Augustine & The History of Autobiography
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[Break]
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Son: Dickens[Copperfield, Ghosts, & A Posthumous Child
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[Discussion Section]
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Lecture Question
Think of an early memory vas early as you can.
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Try to think about how you know it.
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What senses do you use when you recall this memory?
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What external influences (photos, stories, etc.) may have gone into creating/strengthening this memory?
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Is this memory important to your life story? Would it make it into the final cut, or be left on the floor?
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Grandfather: Augustine & The History of Autobiography
Born: 354 A.D., in Thagaste (Algeria), under Roman rule -->to Patricius & Monica
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Childhood: Going to school, messing around
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Adolescence/Teenage: More school (Carthage), living in sin, fathering a child
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20's: Teaching, travelling (Italy), dabbling in Manicheanism
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30's: Conversion and baptism (age 32)
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40's: Made Bishop of Hippo (Algeria), writes Confessions age 43 (397 A.D.)
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50's: ?
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60's: ?
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70's: Dies age 75 (430 A.D.)
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The Confessions
Books I -IX: Birth, Childhood, Youth > Conversion [mom dies]
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Book X: On Memory
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Books XI -y///WKv^'v]_
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End of Book 9: ends narrative at his conversion? --> talks about his life from birth to rebirth (leads into some kind of new self) --> BUT
doesn't end at his conversion, but when his mom dies
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Strange choice: importance of her to him --> she converted before he did: led him to his new life --> perhaps acknowledges that one's
life can actually be defined by someone else
Also: gave actual birth to him
His confession important because asks the question: Where was I before I was me? How did I start? How did I come?
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Autobiographer: thinking about his life behind him, natural to think about life BEFORE him -> "What came before that", can be
changed to "what comes next"?
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Giving information by his CURRENT experience: memory, how much of you is known by the you before now?
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Worry about death? "What came before that?"--> "What happens when I die"?
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Augustine: "What is self? Soul? Spirit?"
^Some information about that [being in utero] has been given me, and I have myself seen pregnant women. But then, my God, my
sweetness, what came before that? Was I somewhere else? Was I even someone? I have nobody to tell me: neither my father nor my
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What was I like, as a baby?
Window of time before 2 years old: no memories --> Brains not formed enough to hold memory the same way, too traumatic i.e.
Birth--"if we didn't forget it, we'd go crazy"
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"But it irks me, Lord..." --> logically, admitting that he doesn't have access to babies and infant memories, doesn't have access to
when he was an infant --> to INFER something about your own life
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^But it irks me, Lord, to link that phase of my existence with my present life, the life I live now in this world; I do not remember
passing through it, I have to reply on the reports of others concerning it, and I can only infer from my observation of other infants
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Birth: is birth really when your life starts if you cannot remember/access it?
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Maybe your life is constructed by other ppl's memories of you -- your SELF is not what you have made, but by others who describe
you and narrate you, others have given you
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Then: yelling "I'm not a baby", "I'm a toddler now"
^Did I make my way from that infant stage into boyhood? Or should I rather say that boyhood caught up with me and took over fr om
infancy? Yet infancy did not depart, so what happened to it?_
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Lecture 2
January-20-11
6:45 PM
ENGB12H3 Page 1
www.notesolution.com
When do you stop being a baby? And start being an infant?
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P.47-48: LANGUAGE is the moment when he comes an infant --> grasping at words, learning to watch, remember, speak; system
of signs, becomes a REMEBERING self
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Modern psychology: idea that ourselves are created through language--> not just spoken language, but any system of signs that
indicate what you want to another person; any form of communication
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Is there a line, day, when suddenly when you're not an infant anymore? -->"Infancy did not depart" not like when you wake up
one day you're changed--> "hazy, murky borderline"
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infancy? Yet infancy did not depart, so what happened to it?_
How he came to be? Who he came to be?
Could I have made me who I am? --> "God fashioned you" = orthodox, accepted belief
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Then: got changes in our thinking but not in our answers e.g. God replaced with science --> Stephen Pinker "My Genome, Myself"
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"Are any of us skilful enough to fashion ourselves?"
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"Gifts": divine sense, what God has given him
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Acknowledge that you are something you didn't do, a collection of actions, incidents from elsewhere
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E.g. Socioeconomic status: where you are born has a lot to do with what your "gifts" are; what you have in your life, don't have in
your life -->rates of divorce, alcoholism, etc, givento you
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Importance: we can ask the exact same questions today --> 100% pertinent, even though he wrote it a long time ago
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Different Augustines
Editor: put this chronology together
1.
Writer of Revisions II, to 13 books of confessions
2.
"As far as I am concerned, they had this effect upon me in my writing of them, and still do when I read them now."
Expectation of change: in between writing and editing, he's changed --> thinks differently
Got the impression of the older Bishop of Hippo looking back on his life
Botticelli's paintings of St. Augustine:
3.
[Editor Augustine] 1st one older, 2nd one more movement
[Narrator Augustine] 1st one editor, BUT 2nd one, writer not completely static, secure (still in the moment, thinking, asking questions),
the guy writing the confessions at the age of 43
[Protagonist Augustine] 3rd guy: younger, fooling around, general "hell-raiser"
Narrator Augustine and Protagonist Augustine: two diff people
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The Bishop Augustine is even more removed from the child Augustine in the narrative --> little connection between the child and the
hell-raiser
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Children and sin? --> he asks what is the state of sin in children?
Even further away from what he remembers and what he cannot access --> Children and memories: blank memories?
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Augustine before his conversion: bad to good
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Progtagonist composite of decades of diff people that don't necessarily have clear connections:
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Baby to infant child: Augustine don't even know when this happened
Child to Collin Farrel: what he's trying to trace
Collin Farrell to Tom Hanks: conversion, tumbling & fall, death at conversion, new self was born
Period covered for protagonist (whole series of "I"s):
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Written age 43; editing happened at 75 at some point; 0-32 period covered for protagonist --> the gap between written and editing:
longer than the entire span of his protagonist's life!
What are all the composite I's between writing and revision, in between writing and editing, during these 33 years?
Do you actually stop changing as a person? Reach maturity and you're done?
History of Autobiography
Late 4th century: Augustine, The Confessions
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[The Dark Ages] --> 14 hundred years
Late 18th century: Rousseau, Confessions
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Between fall of Rome and Renaissance (scholarship dropped off in Europe: writing itself fallen off): stories weren't written/persevered
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14th century: Renaissance art & perspective drawing (flat medieval to vanishing points, geometry perspective: idea of positioning
yourself in perspective, seeing yourself in relation to other things) --> formation of our sense of autobio
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Late 16th c: Michel de Montaigne: "Essays" (more personal essays, one of the first Western autobiographers)
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Early 17th C.: Decartes: "Cogito ergo sum" -->spark in thinking about who we are--> what is a "subject", definition
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Late 17th C: John Locke: "Tabula rasa"
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Born out of a clean slate
Consciousness like a thread and ourselves like a beaded necklace, each bead a conscious experience --> what happens when you lose
consciousness?
What held experiences together when asleep? Consciousness not present --> "enlightenment": a lot of thinking
18th C: Didactive, instructive, cautionary tales
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Late 18th C: Rousseau: "Confessions", full expressed autobio in Western world
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19th C: 1. "Great men" (less cautionary tale)-->Progress, industry, "read this so you can be like me"
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19th C: 2. Romantic celebration of self/soul --> Victorian ("Self as soul")
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19th C: 3. The invention of childhood
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Acknowledge that kids can think
Previously: kids not people until "rational": 7-10 years old
Now : kids are also people, get Charles Dickenswho deliberately write about kids--> what made them the adult they are today?
ENGB12H3 Page 2
www.notesolution.com

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Description
Lecture 2 January-20-11 6:45 PM TodaysLecture { Business { Lecture Question { Grandfather:Augustine& The History of Autobiography { Z9Z}ZZ^DL][email protected]]L2_ { [Break] { Son: Dickens[Copperfield,Ghosts, & A PosthumousChild { [Discussion Section] TodaysProblems :^Z9,}}ZL}]}2Z Z}}ZZ}]}2Z[Z^L_MLZ}}ZZ ZZZ2]LL]L2M :^o9,}}LZLZZL}KL}L}^_M,}KL^_ZZ]L}]}2ZM :@Z9,}^ }Ko_ZZ}oL}]}2ZM,} }Kocan it be? Does it have to be non-fictional? [For Section L 9}Z9JZ]Z^ }LZZ]}L_MQ LectureQuestion { Thinkof an early memory L as early as you can. { Try to think about how you know it. { Whatsenses do you use when you recall this memory? { Whatexternal influences(photos, stories, etc.) may havegone into creatingstrengtheningthis memory? { Is this memory importantto your life story? Would it make it into the final cut, or be left on the floor? Grandfather:Augustine & The History of Autobiography { Born: 354 A.D.,in Thagaste (Algeria), underRomanrule -->to Patricius & Monica { Childhood:Going to school, messing around { AdolescenceTeenage:More school (Carthage),living in sin, fatheringa child { 20s: Teaching,travelling (Italy), dabblingin Manicheanism { 30s: Conversionand baptism(age 32) { 40s: Made Bishop of Hippo (Algeria), writes Confessions age 43 (397 A.D.) { 50s: ? { 60s: ? { 70s: Dies age 75 (430 A.D.) The Confessions { Books I - IX: Birth, Childhood,Youth > Conversion[mom dies] { Book X: On Memory { Books XI - O9KL^LZ]Z_ { End of Book 9: ends narrativeat his conversion? --> talks abouthis life from birth to rebirth (leads into some kind of new self) --> BUT doesntend at his conversion, but when his mom dies Strange choice:importanceof her to him --> she converted before he did: led him to his new life --> perhapsacknowledgesthat ones life can actuallybe defined by someoneelse Also: gave actualbirth to him { His confessionimportantbecauseasks the question: Where was I before I was me? How did I start? How did I come? { ^Someinformationabout that [being in utero] has been given me, and I have myself seen pregnantwomen. But then, my God, my sweetness,what came before that? Was I somewhere else? Was I even someone? I have nobodyto tell me: neither my father nor my K}Z }oLo]2ZLK7L}Z]L }}ZZ7L}LKK}}K}L:_ Autobiographer:thinking abouthis life behind him, naturalto think aboutlife BEFORE him -> What camebefore that, can be changedto what comes next? Giving information by his CURRENT experience:memory, how much of you is known by the you before now? Worry aboutdeath? What camebefore that?--> What happenswhen I die? Augustine:What is self? Soul? Spirit? What was I like, as a baby? { ^But it irks me, Lord,to link that phase of my existence with my present life, the life I live now in this world; I do not remember passingthroughit, I have to reply on the reportsof others concerningit, and I can only infer from my observationof other infants ZLZ}2Z]}};Q:_ Windowof time before 2 years old: no memories --> Brains not formed enough to hold memory the same way, too traumatic i.e. Birth--if we didnt forget it, wed go crazy But it irks me, Lord...--> logically,admitting that he doesnthave accessto babies and infant memories,doesnt have accessto when he was an infant --> to INFER something aboutyour own life { ^ZZZloLl]LKKK}]Z }L L7Z]}}]LL ]Z}L]ZZ]KZL]LKK}Z[Z}K:_ Birth: is birth really when your life starts if you cannotrememberaccessit? Maybeyour life is constructedby other ppls memoriesof you -- your SELF is not what you have made, but by others who describe you and narrate you, others havegiven you Then: yelling Im not a baby,Im a toddler now { ^Did I make my way from that infant stage into boyhood?Or should I rather say that boyhoodcaught up with me and took over from infancy? Yet infancy did not depart, so what happenedto it?_ www.notesolution.com
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