Notes for 28 October 2015
Teaching Associate: Patrick Mooney
Bldg. 494, room 160B
- On Dale Bailey's
The End of the World as We Know It ...
- What makes this story metacritical?
- Constant discussion of the genre, sure. Wyndham's name, sure. What else?
- Well, there are unusual forms of engagements with the genre's tropes:
Realism directed not at the characters, but at the reader:
Shit happens. (290)
- Negative commentary:
No one shot at him. / He was not assaulted by a roving pack of feral dogs. (292)
- Cursory treatment of other tropes:
- Quick adjustment to lack of governance:
Clearly, rescue would not be forthcoming. (290)
- Quick adjustment to lack of law:
It was the end of the world and he had to have a place to sleep.
End of the world as a metaphor: 284, 285.
- We've come to the end of The Road...
- How are we to read the ending? As hopeful? Pessimistic?
- What are the various kinds of evidence for various ways of reading the last third or so of the novel?
- What does the boy's process of identity development tell us about the world in which he lives?
- How does the the very last paragraph of the novel fit in with the rest of it? What does (not) make it a satisfying ending?
- How are we to read the novel as a whole?
- As a straightforward narrative? (as straightforward genre piece, as imaginative work, as nightmare?)
- As an allegory? (After all, one of the more common imaginative tropes for
life in Western art and literature is
a road or
- Today's whiteboard snapshots