94 Matching Annotations
  1. Aug 2020
  2. icla2020.jonreeve.com icla2020.jonreeve.com
    1. Polly sat for a little time on the side of the bed, crying. T

      The narrative passes so seamlessly from one character to another almost as if they are passing each other the baton.

    2. as a disreputable sheriff’s man used to come every other day to the office, asking to be allowed to say a word to his daughter

      Men are not shown in a very good light in this story

    3. One night he went for his wife with the cleaver and she had to sleep in a neighbour’s house

      I think this has been the most interesting starting to a story till now! As someone mentioned, the nonchalance of Mrs. Mooney is palpable. And with that we get this sense of her being a sturdy woman, unfazed by such antics of her husband.

    4. I had never spoken to her, except for a few casual words, and yet her name was like a summons to all my foolish blood.

      I'm inclined to say this is a sexual innuendo

    5. leaves were yellow

      Someone on Zulip had mentioned Joyce's preoccupation with yellow as a color.

    6. Christian Brothers’ School

      Follows the characteristic elements of a christian setting as the rest of Joyce's stories we have read

    7. He seemed to have forgotten his recent liberalism.

      I very well-put statement that encapsulates the change in views

    8. Eliza took out her handkerchief and wiped her eyes with it. Then she put it back again in her pocket and gazed into the empty grate for some time without speaking. “He was too scrupulous always,” she said. “The duties of the priesthood was too much for him. And then his life was, you might say, crossed.” “Yes,” said my aunt. “He was a disappointed man. You could see that.”

      I believe this could be interpreted as a kind of commentary on what happens when an individual passes away. After an individual passes away, I don't believe you get an accurate picture of his life. People tend to exemplify his character as more pious and moral. They tend to pass judgements on lifetime activities as 'facts'. The entire narrative is often warped.

    9. I found it strange that neither I nor the day seemed in a mourning mood and I felt even annoyed at discovering in myself a sensation of freedom as if I had been freed from something by his death.

      Interesting that the narrator finds himself freed by his death. Maybe the narrator has grown into his independence with under the guiding hand of his friend but now no longer feels restricted by that relationship and the disapproving opinions it invited from the people around

    10. Every night as I gazed up at the window I said softly to myself the word paralysis. It had always sounded strangely in my ears, like the word gnomon in the Euclid and the word simony in the Catechism. But now it sounded to me like the name of some maleficent and sinful being. It filled me with fear, and yet I longed to be nearer to it and to look upon its deadly work.

      I always enjoy when writers write about language and how it sounds or feels or what it evokes. Beautifully meta

  3. Jul 2020
    1. But Marion wouldn’t be stopped. “No, mother, you spoil father, and it’s not right. You ought to be stricter with him. He’s very naughty.” She laughed her hard, bright laugh and patted her hair in a mirror. Strange! When she was a little girl she had such a soft, hesitating voice; she had even stuttered, and now, whatever she said—even if it was only “Jam, please, father”—it rang out as though she were on the stage.

      I always find these role-reversals very interesting - the moment the children become the parents.

    2. You’re an ideal family

      I haven't read far enough but judging from the accounts of Harold, the title and the family - this story could be about the façades of an ideal family and how you can never really know the complete story when you are on the outside looking in

    3. old for the spring

      Particularly evocative sense of sadness and passage of time because spring is usually symbolic of youth and vigor and new beginnings. And if Mr.Neave felt old in spring, there was something else going on too.

    4. That evening for the first time in his life, as he pressed through the swing door and descended the three broad steps to the pavement, o

      While it's still quite in the middle of the narrative, this particular beginning is more long-drawn and contextualized than the other short stories we have read.

    5. But presently a soft, melting, ravishing tune began, and a young man with curly hair bowed before her. She would have to dance, out of politeness, until she could find Meg. Very stiffly she walked into the middle; very haughtily she put her hand on his sleeve. But in one minute, in one turn, her feet glided, glided. The lights, the azaleas, the dresses, the pink faces, the velvet chairs, all became one beautiful flying wheel. And when her next partner bumped her into the fat man and he said, “Pardon,” she smiled at him more radiantly than ever. She didn’t even recognise him again.

      I wonder if there is something to be said about the fact that everyone shares the same reality (the ones that come crashing down around you in Mansfield's stories) but wealth and society and other such distraction cushion the blow. There are some very obvious similarities to Marriage a la modé

    6. not a word about the floor.

      Maybe he had done this too many times already to make small talk

    7. “This is my little country cousin Leila.

      "little country cousin" as opposed to "little cousin from the country". It's an implied indication that she's young and new to the ways of the upper class city/town luxuries and etiquette

    8. he forgot how in the middle of dressing she had sat down on the bed with one shoe off and one shoe on and begged her mother to ring up her cousins and say she couldn’t go after all.

      relatable qualities of an introvert who wants to do something exciting and new but is also risk-averse

    9. Meg’s tuberoses, Jose’s long loop of amber, Laura’s little dark head,

      I thought the Sheridans was just a coincidence until this

    10. Exactly when the ball began Leila would have found it hard to say

      typical in medias res beginning

    11. No, it was too difficult. “I’ll—I’ll go with them, and write to William later. Some other time. Later. Not now. But I shall certainly write,” thought Isabel hurriedly. And, laughing, in the new way, she ran down the stairs.

      Isabels character is one that changes immensely around her friends. She considers them vile and is saddened by their cruel mockery of her husband's love letter and yet she continues to associate with them and chooses them over wiring to her husband, even when she knows that their marriage is one the rocks and William has just played his last card. It feels like this is a common pattern in that William makes a gesture, Isabel ruminates over it for a second but then soon forgets. I now understand why William feels like a burden to the life she really wants to live. Maybe Isabel got married too young.

    12. Listen, it’s too marvellous. A love-letter!”

      It's Williams' one last way of attempting to revive their marriage - by putting everything on the table. Especially since we are told that Isabel usually does not appreciate displays of sentimentality

    13. It was not until William was waiting for his taxi the next afternoon that he found himself alone with Isabel

      I see now why he feels neglected. He doesn't feel special in her life anymore

    14. A Lady with a Box of Sardines,

      I wonder what his repetition of this sentence structure means. He also said "A Lady in love with a Pineapple" - is it just for comedic effect or something more?

    15. We’re all starving. William’s starving,

      To me, William seems more distant from Isabel than she from him (which is what it felt like when he was reminiscing). He seems to be in her thoughts often and she remembers that he must be starving and that the gramophone might disturb him etc.

    16. The servants were talking as if they were alone in the house. Suddenly there came a loud screech of laughter and an equally loud “Sh!” They had remembered him.

      Even the servants are more comfortable here than he is

    17. I refuse to part with my pineapple.

      Pineapples were symbols of fertility and abundance. Could this mean that Isabel refusing to part with her youthful sexuality and lifestyle of abundance is what caused the marital strain?

    18. she looked about fourteen

      is it just me or is that a strange thing for a husband to say

    19. A red-faced girl raced along by the carriages, there was something strained and almost desperate in the way she waved and called. “Hysterical!” thought William dully. Then a greasy, black-faced workman at the end of the platform grinned at the passing train. And William thought, “A filthy life!” and went back to his papers.

      Initially I had a mild impression of William. I figured he was just unhappy with wife and hence passed those comments such as "new Isabel" etc. But looking at this passage in particular, I'm inclined to believe there is a judgmental side to his personality overall.

    20. The familiar dull gnawing in his breast quietened down.

      seems to suggest that he finds solace in his work

    21. in the new way

      Maybe the things he used to once adore now grate on him

    22. The new Isabel

      I enjoy Manfield's style of providing us truckloads of information in simple phrases. This phrase just eliminates the need for her to delve into any context and at the same time centers us in the state of their current relationship (or at least prepare us for what is to come)

    23. “that they should like the right things from the very beginning. It saves so much time later on

      amusing that this might hold true for marriage as well as child rearing

    24. I saw her bag was open again.

      Recurring statement - what could it represent?Is it some kind of metaphor for alway been an open book, easy to read? or something to do with how excessively flustered or lost she is - or even gullible and easily taken advantage of?

    25. Salle Privee

      private room - in the casino it could be one of those private game-rooms hosted by the rich

    26. Mrs. Raddick pressing notes into her hand as they passed through the swing doors.

      Seems hungry for her daughter's approval. In just a couple of lines, clear power dynamics for this short story have already been established

    27. In her blue dress, with her cheeks lightly flushed, her blue, blue eyes, and her gold curls pinned up as though for the first time—pinned up to be out of the way for her flight—Mrs. Raddick’s daughter might have just dropped from this radiant heaven.

      Different beginning from the other two we have read - it's out of context but not random or middle-narrative

    28. “we must come to a definite decision.”

      I find their banter amusing because Jug is obviously overpowering in relation to Con but she's still not the most decisive. They have almost lost their sense of purpose after their father, a man they had a love-hate relationship with, has passed away. It seems like he was the very centre of their existence.

    29. “There’s not father to cook for.”

      For me, the most interesting thing about this story is the realistic way in which portrays death. It deals with the every day realities of life and duties of family members when someone passes away -- planning the funeral, cleaning up their stuff, answering family members, deciding what to do with the house/maid and other assorted things while simultaneously dealing with grief

    30. Another thing which complicated matters was they had Nurse Andrews staying on with them that week.

      Mansfield seems to have a characteristic style of dropping readers right into the think of the narrative with next to no context. But she is also skilled in the sense that context becomes apparent very quickly

    31. Laurie

      Seems strange to name their children both Laura and Laurie. is it perhaps a nod towards the numbingly uniform manner in which children born into wealth are brought up ?

    32. I know,” she said. “Let’s make up a basket. Let’s send that poor creature some of this perfectly good food. At any rate, it will be the greatest treat for the children.

      couple of things I would love to discuss during our Zulip discussions:

      • the unfounded savior complex that upper class seems to embody
      • how performative activism functions in the Sheridans in this story, especially given the modern day context.
    33. I’ll remember it again after the party’s over, she decided. And somehow that seemed quite the best plan...

      Laura is young and naive and curious about the world. She seems to be discovering the class divide for the first time and the harsh realities of the power dynamics that maintain this rift between populations. However, a tragic consequence of her upbringing, as highlighted here and further in the story, is her preoccupation with appearances. Mrs. Sheridan seeks to lure her back to her life of opulence by tempting her with the hat and invitations to look into the mirror - almost like saying, remember who you are and what you look like. the

      And it works! Laura is charmed by the hat (a symbolism of materialism) and while she feels bad about the death of the workmen, it's not enough to move her into action and recognize the hold that materialism has on her. Thus she decides to "hold off" the sadness till it's convenient to her. Having the power to decide when you can let misfortune affect you is a huge power and privilege that the rich have.

      Later on in the story, when Laura sees the dead man's corpse, she has an epiphany that materialism means absolutely nothing because when we meet our inevitable end, it doesn't matter which class we belonged to - we are all returned to equal footing. The fact that that moment of clarity overwhelms her in a positive, eye-opening manner and not one of revulsion once again speaks to her character and the idea that there is still hope for the rich upper class to see this truth

    34. “Drunk! Who said he was drunk?”

      Profiling!! The poor worker was instantly profiled as the unruly neighborhood drunk even when there has been NO evidence to even suggest the possibility. It speaks to Laura's heightened sensitivity (in relation to her family) that she managed to catch Jose's slip

    35. no right to be in that neighbourhood at all.

      Who decides what is 'right'? What had the Sheridan family done particularly noble that they had the right to remain in this neighborhood while the "greatest possible eyesores" didn't? The privilege and the entitlement of the upper class has been beautifully highlighted.

    36. “He’s left a wife and five little ones.”

      There are some striking parallels between the family he left behind and the rich Sheridan family 'next door'. Maybe that's what makes Laura sympathize further?

    37. cook

      I thought it was interesting that the cook was just referred to as 'cook' like that was their name. Not even capitalized to indicate some sort of a title. It is almost as if the rich view their servants only as a means to an end - their entire identity only revolves around what they can do for the family. In this case, it is to 'cook'. They don't really care to know beyond that

    38. staves

      While I was looking for a pdf copy of this text, I came across a children's adaptation of The Garden Party. In that words such as 'stave' were changed to 'pole' but there were astonishingly few differences otherwise It made me consider how the distinctiveness of Manfield's writing lay in her simplistic writing style that was understandable to both children as well as adults and yet it manages to pack so much complexity if you are willing to decipher it. I really enjoyed that because she wrote in a way that was accessible to a large segment of individuals and not just the elites.

    39. Only the blue was veiled with a haze of light gold,

      The writing style is so clearly established from the very beginning. There's a beauty to the imagery Mansfield writes.

    1. They disclose, structure and evaluate the world differently

      Structuralist? The idea that all of these different systems disseminate meaning differently

    2. rather a productive construction of meaning

      Elliot Eisner, in his article 'Arts and the creation of the Mind' made a very similar argument. he drew comparisons between the brain and the mind - the brain being a biological endowment and the mind being a productive of cultivation by culture and engaging in the arts. One of the biggest tangible experiences that the Arts (here, specific to language) is that of recall (which a private experience) and imagination driven by recall which can them be used to derive social or public utility from the Arts that you have interacted with. This understanding is very different from mere recollection, because you recall it and then you apply your own scheme of thinking to produce new meaning, and new methods of processing the world around you.

    3. “other” to the “same.”

      I think the concept of "othering" is relevant here which resonates with me rather strongly, given what I see about diversity and understanding diversity at home in India and in university. It's actually incredibly hard to identify when you yourself are engaging in other and like the author points out, often times you are only trying to fit the glorious notion of 'other' into your own mold of what is familiar

    1. to prove the existence of a black civilization to the white world at all costs.

      This excerpt draws a lot of attention to "erasure" as a concept and how the experiences of entire cultures, lifestyles and groups have been erased from the account of the world by western, white, colonial powers. "proving the existence of black culture" is surprisingly easier said than done, especially because empires have been built on a culture of excluding those narratives. And we have individuals like the author fighting every day, using language, using arts etc. to establish such a missing narrative

    2. Every dialect is a way of thinking

      Once again, it reminds me of the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis in that a dialect is probably a unit of language that is built up from a particular way of thinking (that is most likely culturally influenced). I think this is a very powerful statement.

    1. or co-sign

      what is a co-sign?

    2. wrestling with anxiety while trying to fall asleep

      specific medical symptom

    3. Struggling with reaching a meditative state

      experientially described symptom

    4. Visualizing is not the only way to imagine.

      Strong point. Very interesting to be because not visualization doesn't mean non-imaginative. Are they talking from experience or is there evidence to back them up?

    5. It also makes going to sleep hard because my anxiety likes to attack me when I’m laying in the darkness with nothing but my thoughts.

      Wow this is not a consequence I anticipated - can they still dream?

    6. it’s like an impression of a creative thought.

      Interesting psych theory - is imagination more linked to thought that visualization???

    7. I’m confused because although I can’t see things I am incredibly creative and imaginative.

      Can you 'imagine' without a mind's eye?

    1. Here was an opportunity of producing Robinson Crusoe!

      I find it hilarious that the way Robinson Crusoe is so prophetic is finally revealed - Betteredge just seems to wait for the right time to whip out the quote that he believes is relevant and has already earmarked! And guessing that Rachel is pregnant when Franklin rushes in to tell them about something that will affect them 'in a few months' is hardly prophetic but I think it's amusingly on-brand with Betteredge's persona

    2. I have the honour to remain, dear sir, your obedient servant, Richard Cuff (late sergeant in the Detective Force, Scotland Yard, London).^fn3

      I'm annotating at the end of this chapter a general thought on the whole narrative.

      I can't help thinking that an ending such as this, though marvelously satisfying, wouldn't gain as much traction in modern times. People often feel cheated out of a mystery if the answer lies in facts that they could have never guess - for instance, had we known that Godfrey was harboring a more problem this severe or known that his room was so significantly connected to Blake's room, we would have suspected him instantly.

      However, the Moonstone is a masterpiece in its own way. I loved its way of unravelling the mystery - almost in a sense that the narrators were discovering new things and piecing together the story *with us**. It provided a unique insight into the minds of the characters and prevented us from suspecting anyone outright because the narratives endeared them to us.

    3. And yet, knowing this, I cannot find it in my heart to disappoint her. I must try if I can discover some new arrangement, before post-time, which will allow me to say Yes to Miss Verinder, without damage to the service which I have bound myself to render to Mr. Franklin Blake.

      This may be very out of context but I can't help thinking about the gravity behind the mere act of writing a letter. You have to ruminate so much, systematically organizing the things that need to be said, clarifications that need to be made etc. I'm imagining the book taking place with modern day correspondence and Jennings just texting Rachel a firm 'nope sorry' when she asks to be present. The distance and the lack of instant communication means that the character's thoughts are always weighed carefully before they put themselves on paper. In the age of texting, Jennings might not have spared a second to really consider if anything can be done to accommodate Rachel simply because he could alway text her a quick update if he comes up with something later (which wouldn't have happened). Probably useless, but amusing insight

    4. Does it only mean that I feel the contrast between the frankly kind manner in which he has allowed me to become acquainted with him, and the merciless dislike and distrust with which I am met by other people?

      only someone who has been through addictions of his own can possibly understand another of their kind. Franklin might be able to relate to Jennings in a way that Betteredge or the Verinders or any other 'straight-laced' individual cannot.

    5. June 16th.–Rose late, after a dreadful night; the vengeance of yesterday’s opium, pursuing me through a series of frightful dreams. At one time I was whirling through empty space with the phantoms of the dead, friends and enemies together. At another, the one beloved face which I shall never see again, rose at my bedside, hideously phosphorescent in the black darkness, and glared and grinned at me. A slight return of the old pain, at the usual time in the early morning, was welcome as a change. It dispelled the visions–and it was bearable because it did that.

      The motif of the double-self, the difference in the personalities the characters inhabit when under the influence is apparent. He is haunted (by ghosts of his past?) in a surreal reality very different from the 'objective' and disciplined reality of a doctor when he is awake. Jennings is particularly interesting a character because as a consequence of his addiction, he is under the influence of opium almost 24/7. And yet the levels of it and how much his mind is able to fight that determine his personality at that moment. I could be reading very much into it but it seems to be a portrayal of no matter what, man is always fighting his demons and some kind of an addition, even if it isn't as obvious as an opium one.

    6. ome interruption from pain

      The irony because opium was usually used as a pain reliever and now the taste of his own medicine cripples him in a way

    7. “Facts?” he repeated. “Take a drop more grog, Mr. Franklin, and you’ll get over the weakness of believing in facts!

      Interesting coming from someone who believes strongly in the truth coming to light. Betteredge is very biased by his loyalties

    8. use.^fn2

      I find the interjected footnotes exceedingly interesting. Franklin promises not to interfere in the narration and yet he does? but sporadically. I can think of a lot of places where a footnote by him could have been expected and yet he picks and choses where he places them. The narrational notes are an interesting motif.

    9. And young ladies may behave in a manner which would cost a servant her place.

      I like this interesting aside on privilege. During the course of the book, Rachel is often extolled for her outspoken behavior, her devil-may-care attitude, her refuse to be 'ladylike' and her willful nature. They are all qualities that endear her to her loved ones and signal to the extended family that she is not a pushover - it's definitely looked at positively. But she CAN behave that way only because of her status in society. She can afford to break engagements, and refuse to cooperate in investigations because she has a certain power and social capital. A servant or someone in a lower position cannot afford to do that. And that doesn't make them any less strong-willed but it does portray them as weak.

    10. long, too long, tolerated in my aunt’s family.

      Betteredge gives the impression that he was indispensable to the entire family, and knows the extended family so well and cares for them - and yet here we are

    11. Without my diary

      Another document - and yet this one is portrayed as more reliable and 'objective' and more like a collection of facts than Penelope's scattered papers that Betteredge used

    12. discipline the fallen nature which we all inherit from Adam

      interesting allusion?

    13. I forgot that I hated Sergeant Cuff.

      The inconsistencies of Betteredge's narration are probably rooted in that of his personality

    14. high in the sum total of her defects.

      There's this idea of a running tally of the strengths and weaknesses of women. They are literally scored on their status, looks, deformity, skin tone etc.

    15. Throw her away, and try another!”

      Another example of the cavalier attitude towards women. I'm not finding a lot of examples of Collins' apparent "respectful portrayal of women"

    16. Sergeant Cuff never laughed

      found this characteristic amusing because in all the descriptions of his oddities I got the sense that he was mildly amused by many things

    17. with her personal appearance, that she has got a lover.

      There's a lot of rumination on Rosanna's plain appearance in the book till now. I wonder if it leads up to something or is just a product of its time

    18. (making due allowance, of course, for fright and fluster)

      I find it curious that Sergeant Cuff's dialogues consist of parenthetical sentences. Especially cause they are spoken word - what is the relevance of using parenthesis as a form of indication "asides"? Unconventional

    19. “I have got an extract, which you shall see presently.

      While this is not the clearest example of it, the book builds suspense and a sense of mystery by heightening anticipation. There are a lot of spots in the novel where the characters outright tease the fact that they know something, but they will only reveal it later which is maddening but effective

    20. heathenish way

      I have been noting the way that the Indians are spoken about - heathen, shabby, dirty, dark. While I read somewhere that Collins portrayed the colonized Indians respectfully, I believe that some implicit biases of the time peak through. I have trouble drawing the line between whether such words seek to exemplify the narrator's character or if it's the author who thinks in this manner

    21. Here, for one moment, I find it necessary to call a halt.

      I didn't quite understand the way that chapters seem to begin and end. At the beginning of most chapters he does this quick recap of the previous chapter and I wondered why until I read that this was a serialized book. Now the narrative structure makes more sense

    22. lawless Mohammedan hand

      Conceivably a personal judgement colored by western prejudices and narratives. Not all Mohammedans were 'lawless'. They simply didn't conform to western notions of law, leadership, governance etc. And thus this could just be an easily perpetuated stereotype

    23. Aurungzebe,

      once again, not the typical spelling of 'Aurangzeb'. Maybe spelt this way for phonetic reasons?

    24. Brahmins

      Interesting that he doesn't explain the meaning of Brahmin - is he so immersed in Indian culture that it's second nature to him or is it an intentional omission?

    25. end of the generations of men

      An allusion to the Hindu concept of the four 'Yucas' or time-periods in the cycle of time: Satya, Treta, Dvapara, Kali. It's interesting for me to read the portrayal of India culture from a western point of view

    26. truth.

      The individual seems to believe in the idea of an objective truth.

    1. Literary criticism relies heavily on associations as evidence.

      Maybe it's difficult to standardize because there's so much the critic draws from personal experience that can't be controlled for.

    2. seeming inevitability of influence

      Cannot study literary phenomena outside of interrelationships, like Tynjanov said

    3. Like it or not, today’s literary-historical scholar can no longer risk being just a close reader

      Ties in which Hernstein's article on what is close reading? One approach doesn't seem to be sufficient, given the corpus of data available

    1. our ethical obligationis neither toread them all nor to pretend that you have read them all, but tounderstandeach path through the vast archive as an important moment in the world’sduration—as an invitation to community, relationship, andplay

      Oddly calming - takes the pressure off of the mad race to "know everything"

    2. shared experience of culture sufficient to the tasks we’ve tra-ditionally set for education

      What about conformity? Shouldn't conformity play into experiences of shared culture because even if you are screwing around, people are your will be doing that too, and eventually you are bound to converge on something.

    3. representative,” because no one has any basis formaking such a claim

      That's incredibly daunting and also application to fields other than just books.

    4. Allthat is nec-essary for a student is access to a library, and directions inwhat order thebooks are to be read

      Ia thought of "decision fatigue". If we have all these immense resources available but no direction on how to begin or use them, we probably will never access them or apply ourselves