Sunday, December 14, 2003

One More Thing

Katharine Haake, the author of "Arrow Math," took the time to read Brooke's blog response to her story and wrote a response to Brooke's response. I am reprinting it here:
Thank you for reading my story, and for taking the time to write about it.

For what it’s worth, this story started with an arrow math problem and the concept of overloading. That is, I wanted to see how much a story could hold together before, finally, flying apart, as well as to bring together disparate elements, things that might not normally hold together—poetry, for example, and math (though, of course, they are very close to the same thing). I was also infinitely tired of stories with single turning points, straight lines, and the American preoccupation with individual subjective experience. And I had just finished writing a novel and come to end of writing what, at that time, I knew how to write, which always is a sign, for me, to give myself over again to what I don’t know how to write, or what Trinh Minh-Ha might call “the coming into being of the structure of the moment.” Hence, “Arrow Math,” which turned out to be the first in a series of multi-discursive narratives that braid together fiction and nonfiction—memoir and natural science—with meditations on writing that culminated in my recent novel, That Water, Those Rocks.

Another blogger, Shana, writes that she sees this story as a woman’s story, and you might let her know that when I wrote “Arrow Math” I was working on a book about feminism and creative writing studies and did explicitly conceive of this form as feminist. If, for example, female identity can be imagined as multiple, shifting, porous and fluid, and if the nature of female experience is that it is at least double voiced, how is it even possible for a woman to write herself (always making Trinh Minh-Ha’s distinction between writing about the self and writing the self) into the tidy elegance of Freytag’s triangle? What is the form of the story that has not yet been written?

Oh, and I was also worried about text-based narrative in general. Convinced, as always, that if writing is to retain its imperative in a culture saturated with narrative, writers (of fiction, at least) need to devote themselves entirely to a sustained investigation of what language can do that other media cannot, in my own work, what I wanted was that it should exist as a form that, even as it recognized itself as a self-conscious construction of language, refused to abandon those old conventions of story itself—up to and including naïve illusionism—that had made me come to love it in the first place. And I wanted the work also to recognize itself as growing out of a particular cultural and historical moment, even if it is the end of time.

My work is currently featured in the online magazine, Segue (http://www.orgs.muohio.edu/midorgs/segue/currentissue-archive.htm) if you are interested in reading more about it.
Pretty cool, no?
The Last Time

So okay, if you don't know, the snow cancelled our party today. We are running out of options and time, so I'm taking two steps:

1) I'll be in my office, Goldwin Smith 345, from 1 to 3 PM tomorrow to hand back papers, hear poem recitals, and chat about things.

2) I suggest that those who can make it meet me at The Nines at noon on Wednesday, December 17. This takes care of the whole car problem. The pizza's on me, drinks are your own lookout. We'll recite poems, talk about Brian's piece (Zach can't make it and Keri, Brooke, and Jenn did in fact come by today so we discussed Keri's piece then), and just generally hang out.

Final portfolios are still due at noon in my mailbox in Goldwin Smith 350 this Friday, December 19. Incidentally, I expect you all to get caught up with your blogs by then. And the last blog entry should be your reaction to the book you've been reading, which of course I'm also asking you to include in your portfolio. Respond as a writer to the book in question.

I'll miss you most of all, Scarecrow....

Saturday, December 06, 2003

Final Festivities

Okay, so the last class meets in Goldwin Smith 350 at 10 AM (not 11) on Monday, December 8th. After class ends we will make our way to my house, 321 Pleasant Street, and the pizza and poetry will officially get going at noon. I will have a car and hopefully enough of the rest of you will be able to car pool. You can find directions at Mapquest.

And I'd like to remind you that everyone has to recite at least ten lines of someone else's poetry. I'll do it too.

Wednesday, December 03, 2003

Reminders, Updates, Deadlines

Right now we're scheduled to meet for the last time at 11 AM on Monday, December 8 in Goldwin Smith 350. However, I've now learned I may have yet another scheduling conflict, so if possible I'd like to move that up an hour to 10 AM. We'll find out if that works for y'all tomorrow.

The final portfolio, consisting of a 1-2 page introduction/reflection on your work, four revised pieces, and your 2-3 page book response, is due in my mailbox in Goldwin Smith 250 by noon on Friday, December 19. (Yes, I know I said 5 PM, but the office it turns out is closed then, and I want to make sure I'm able to get everything so I can get your grades in on time.)

If by some bad chance you still haven't seen any readings and you're reading this, there's another MFA student reading in the English Graduate Lounge today at 5:30 PM. There's also a poetry reading happening this Saturday December 6th at 8 PM at Wownet Cafe on Aurora Street downtown. Your last chance!

Anything I've forgotten to mention here will get clarified tomorrow, I'm sure.

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