Saturday, September 1, 2007

Process Paper G2-2/Goddard


Annotation #4: Frank Conroy
Annotation #5: The book of Ruth
Annotation #6: Jerzy Kosinski

Long Critical Paper: Continuity of Story

Creative Work: From Ansbach to Color
Soles of Locomotives (new material)

Dear Kyle:

To answer a few of your questions from your response letter to packet one: I read the “Dead Man” in both English and Spanish. I must admit the story alluded me in both languages, but I often find that when I read the same story twice. Instead of looking for the truth in the prose, or even the poetics, I often look at the mechanical differences in the translation. Mired in minutia, I suppose. I try to read in Spanish every chance I get, language is a muscle, if not regularly used it will atrophy. About ten or twelve years ago, I kept a journal in Spanish for that very reason. Can you imagine? The stories I wrote were pretty silly, but the purpose of it was practice rather than expression. As an aside here, if the current population projections are to be taken seriously, it’s not inconceivable the official language in the United States will be Spanish someday. What becomes of us then? Any work done by our writers today will have to be translated, why not write in Spanish from the get go?
On the point of revision, I’m beginning to understand that as a process too. I found the perfect definition for revision. I can’t tell you if I would have come to this conclusion at any other point in my life, as I did recently. Anyhow, a week or so ago I was at the library checking out CDs. It was one of those wonderful late August days when you can tell the summer is nearly gone (and thank God). I had checked out several old albums, in fact all them were CDs of which I once had but have lost over the years. The pinnacle of them was a reissue of The Cure’s Head on the Door. Once home I discovered that it was a double CD set. The first disc was the same disc I knew, and the second was previously unavailable B-sides, and Demo versions. In listening to the Demo of In Between Days, I found the best minute twenty-five seconds of my day. This Demo makes me so happy. As beautiful as I think it is, in the sleeve notes Robert Smith explained how he had recorded that demo in his bedroom. As a stroke of utter inspiration, he recorded his little song. When compared to the studio release of the same song, the melody was not lost. In fact, the melody becomes the vocals, which add an entirely new feeling, and with words. The guitar, the drums, typical pop music, I guess. In this revised work, the sound is so much more rounded, developed, and complete. So in the whole idea of revision, yeah, I get it, and even more now, perhaps if you come across another student as rigid as I was about revision you can let them listen to In Between Days, and hopefully this puts the concept into terms they can understand.
That said... I just made a demo version of my Long Critical Paper.
Oddly enough, I have been enjoying the process of this long critical paper. It’s horribly flawed, I’m afraid. I don’t think I’ve ever had an undertaking quite like this paper before. Does an “undertaking” get its beginnings in grave digging?
I began the paper early in August. Shortly after I finished Kosinski’s novel, I was turned on to both the Viktor Frankl and the Bruno Schulz. It has taken weeks for me to pull my thoughts together, and I think much of what I need to work on is clarity of thoughts. It’s difficult, many times for me to adequately get what I’m thinking into a workable set of sentences on the page. I was really hoping to have more confidence in giving the paper to you, but as I said, a demo version. Oddly, the conundrum is not so much with the paper, but the schedule of packets. I realized when I received the return of packet number one that we decided to put this long critical paper due in the third packet. Unfortunately, I must include it in this packet, partly because it is what I’ve been working on, and mostly because it is all I have. At any rate, I do hope turning this LCP sets me up for further success this semester, a revision of it is fine, I had intended on it.
Now back to the short critical paper… I agree with your criticism. I really felt I nailed ol’ Kotzwinkle’s elephants, but in looking at it now, I see so much room for improvement. I will have the revision by packet number three.
From Ansbach to Color, I’m sorry to only give you this scant little chapter. I’m learning a few things about it. I’m starting to see how events fit together, and the development of Carmichael as a narrator is not the toughest chore I thought it was going to be. I know we outline new and revised creative material in each packet. I will revise the creative material, but in this packet, I’ve included eight pages of new stuff. I have a few things to fill in yet, gaps in the story, gaps in the flow of events, gaps in the narrator and the writer, I know. As things are developing, I am seeing so much I didn’t see before. This new material in this packet and packet number one is the jumpstart I needed in my work. Thank you for your critiques, I look forward to the rewriting of these first three chapters.
The reading list is going along with swiftness. Honestly, I’m getting more out of the reading portion of the program than I thought I would. Odd, I’ve been a reader my whole life, and now it’s taking on a new facet I never got before. Does that make sense? The exception is American Buffalo, Ruthie’s pig iron, what am I looking for? Ruthie’s pig iron, I feel like I’m missing something. I can’t remember the last time I read a play. Can you give me some pointers on how to read a play? When you read a play, what are you reading for? Storyline, I know, but what else? And can you lean back in an easy chair and read a play? I don’t think I’m getting confused by who’s talking, it is printed right there before the dialogue. It just feels so jumpy, even when I try to read it aloud.
Well Kyle, thank you for your kind words and thank you for your patience, I appreciate your guidance, and I look forward to the response on this second packet.


PS I hope you enjoy In Between Days, analogy of revision

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