Saturday, November 28, 2015

Nailing The Twentieth Century (open-genre creative project)

For my open-genre creative project, I decided to turn our books into nail art. I painted my nails to represent important themes and scenes from many of the books we've read this semester (all of them except Song of Solomon and The Stranger). Above each nail I've written what it depicts and I've given explanations for the maybe not so obvious ones.

I think that these nail designs say a lot about the takeaways of the books. With time, I've probably forgotten some less crucial details of the stories, and only the really big things stick with me. My designs show what I think are the five most important things from each book. To condense these books into just five tiny snapshots required me to think about what the really important scenes and motifs  of each book were. It was really cool to figure out what I wanted to paint and then have to wrestle with the logistics to make it look decent (the bull and Gregor took forever to get right). I also enjoyed seeing my designs develop to look better and be more practical. In total I think I spent about five hours planning, doodling sketches of designs and stinking up my bathroom with polish and remover.

**Note: this post is sorta long, but it's mostly pictures**

 The Mezzanine


Broken Shoelace

CVS Logo


Cookies and Milk

Mrs. Dalloway 


Clouds, to represent the motor car montage

A hat for Lucrezia and Septimus

A clock, to represent the passage/use of time in the novel

More flowers

The Sun Also Rises


Fish, for Bill and Jake's fishing trip

A bull

A matador's cape

Art deco, because the novel is set in the 1920's

The Metamorphosis

An apple

Fabric, because Gregor is a traveling fabric salesman


A key

Wide Sargasso Sea

A heart, for all the romance (good and bad) in the novel

A rock with blood and a tear for Tia and Antoinette

Waves, for a wide Sargasso Sea

Rochester's stick figure drawing


Monday, November 9, 2015

First Thoughts On Wide Sargasso Sea

We’ve been reading Wide Sargasso Sea for a while now and in the beginning I kept getting an almost déjà vu sensation that I couldn’t quite put my finger on. I have since come to realize that Wide Sargasso Sea was reminding me of Mrs. Dalloway. The way Jean Rhys has huge jumps of time in her narrative and switches narrators reminds me of Virgina Woolf’s free indirect discourse. Now that I’ve recognized the similarity between Rhys and Woolf’s writing style, I’m wondering if their novels share any other characteristics. I’ve noticed that they both do that thing where they introduce minor characters for one scene or chapter and then never mention them again. As I continue reading Wide Sargasso Sea, I am now on the lookout for flashbacks and more narrator changes. On the whole, I am enjoying Wide Sargasso Sea, although I find it very confusing. I don’t always know how old Antoinette is or the names of all the people she is surrounded by. The children who tease her, the nuns in the convent, even Tia, now seem inconsequential. Other then giving us a glimpse into how Antoinette’s life, they don’t always move the plot along.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Twentieth Century Novels Need More Aliens ( Thoughts on The Man Who Wasn't There)

The movie The Man Who Wasn’t There reminded me a lot of The Stranger. From the absurd ideas to the trial, there were lots of similarities. It was a little difficult for me to follow along with the plot of The Man Who Wasn’t There and that combined with the general vibe of creepiness the movie gives off made it an unpleasant two hours for me. While I wouldn’t want to watch it again or recommend it to a friend, I could be convinced to watch a sequel about what happens to Birdy, Frank and Dave’s wife after Ed is executed. The one thing I did enjoy about this movie was the UFO references. It didn’t play a huge role in the plot, but I found it lightened up an otherwise serious story. Imagine if all of our twentieth century novels had aliens in them; “Gregor is returned home after a night aboard a UFO to find himself a giant cockroach” or “Howie found the aliens’ spaceship rather interesting. He wondered what life was like on their planet. Were they so advanced that they had invented special tear- proof shoelaces? Or perhaps they had evolved to no longer need shoes at all”.  I have found some of the books we’ve read a little boring and aliens could definitely liven them up.