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Published in: on September 8, 2010 at 12:25 pm Comments (0)

Reflections on the Course

I’m thankful things worked out how they did because i was originally not going to take this course. I honestly believe that taking this class had a not profound but profound effect on me. Had I taken British Literature II, and read 10 novels of this period I truly believe I might have been a slightly different individual in this current moment. The material covered has been both engaging and provocative and Professor Tougaw’s approach to teaching the material has been wonderful. Apart from learning about interesting dream theories, this class has also provided a unique psychoanalytical frame work to apply to certain appropriate texts. Blogging has been a unique experience as well. It is something I’ve never done before and in this context, it has been a positive and rewarding experience. Combined with the writing of the final paper, I feel that I’ve gained more confidence as writer. Writing about the irrational unconscious has been challenging and its been a a entertaining and refreshing process. Overall I was pleased with the structure of the course and the presentation of material. Each class was interesting in its own way and I feel that this select group of individuals contributed to a unique classroom environment. This class has also increased my affinity for studying psychology as a sort of hobby and I plan to continue with that. Thanks everyone for a great semester.

Published in: on May 23, 2010 at 6:17 pm Comments (0)

Fixing my Paper

It is going to be difficult to fix my paper because I no longer have use of my right hand. I am currently dictating this blog entry to my girlfriend as I was drinking too much soda last night and somehow my wrist got broken. Hopefully I can reformat it as that is the main issue. I got wrapped up with getting all of my ideas out on the paper and the structure suffered. Now that I have comments and suggestions I think I can reformulate my paper and effectively propel my argument. I have rethought my approach and have basically came up with a new introduction that will adequately communicate my motive and articulate my thesis properly. By emphasizing the more pertinent elements of my body in the introduction the paper will read easier and make more sense in totality. I have a strong idea of how I will edit the paper and build upon what is already there. I think that by shifting my focus and cutting out some unnecessary elements the paper will be substantially better. Overall all of the pre-production and draft process has really helped me dissect my chosen topic and the writing process has been rewarding.

Published in: on at 6:01 pm Comments (0)

The waitress

I am in a crowded Italian restaurant and the waitress comes over and asks if I am a fan of bull riding. I say no but she insists that I watch it on one of the many screens. From what I understand she is telling me the biography of the bull rider but it is inter-meshed with that of Milos Foreman. We talk briefly about One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and then she goes and gets my bill. I am angry because my food never arrived and I leave the restaurant to get a haircut.

Published in: on at 5:52 pm Comments (1)

Now That We’ve Read The Unconsoled (sort of)

I don’t have much left of the book and plan to finish it shortly but now that we have a sense of the finale and some existing criticism, I definitely feel in a position to share some opininons on the text.  I’m going to make a connection here drawing from, sorry I don’t have the article but the guy who compares Ryder’s narration to the theory of homunculi.  To envisiage this I’m going to drop names like woah and here it is, Being John Malkovich. If you haven’t seen this film, I don’t know what you’ve been doing for your whole life and will make no disparaging remarks but this is defintely a film everyone should see (I’m guilty of this with other movies so don’t feel bad if you havent seen it). Well anyway if you havent, basically the film is about a man who finds a doorway that propels him down a tunnel into the consciousness of John Malkovich, in some vague sort of way.  Over time, the man (John Cusack) becomes a sort of humunculi and ursurps (wow never thought I’d use that word in a sentence) John Malkovich’s consciousness.  The narration of the film and the tools used to convey this shift in power over John Malkovich’s consciousness is very similar to the techniques used in The Unconsoled.  Hmm I just realized this would be some great hybrid paper but I don’t think I’m cool enough to write it.  As a reader we are experiencing a feeling similar to that of entering John Malkovich’s consciousness but with Ryder.  Ryder as a narrator shares this experience in a sense as he is both aware and unaware of his external reality, lending viability to the “presence” of a homunculus.  If so, the reader is in direct interaction with this humunculi and from the very first page could have entered into the consciousness of Ryder akin to those going into the doorway and down that tunnel in Being John Malkovich.  This comparision is probaly better understood in extralinguistical fashion so if anyone agrees thats cool if not oh well.

Published in: on May 17, 2010 at 11:16 am Comments (1)

Just a Quick Post

Okay so I just woke up and remember some little flashes of dream nonsense. Funny how this got in but, I was in Albany over the weekend because my friend graduated and was moving out. The vibe their was interesting because everyone left there was basically seniors who were graduating and moving on which led to some debauchery. Well this “Idea” about graduation was displaced all over my dream, if I finally understand this term, it was over-determining my dream. Now that you have that, here’s the dream which is bizarre but not unsettling. In the dream, I’m going to my graduation and I can’t tell if it’s the past (high school) or future (college). I’m with my friends that would indicate it was High School but there are also composites of individuals that I’ve encountered among my college career. This dream is rather stupid and they only vital (if even) information I remember is being part of a Trojan horse contraption that seemed to be one of those moving closets that are in the back of fashion shows (this is a wide generalization, taking what I know from television which infiltrates all our realities (am I using a second parenthesis… yes i am to reinforce this concept with David Cronenberg’s Videodrome and to take it even further; my friend’s roommate in New Paltz who is on a permanent acid trip told me he doesn’t need television to know he’s real and everything he says should be of great value. Well back to the dream… I’m arguing with somebody about a girl who was in my class last semester on whether or not she’s an Army Wife or has a child from a previous marriage in a foreign country. None of this is true and somewhere in the dream is a line for an amusement ride and disgruntled patrons.

Published in: on at 11:02 am Comments (1)

Getz/Gilberto plays throughout the Unconsoled

It’s easy to say that the unconsoled is tedious which everyone must feel on some level to the sheer fact that seemingly nothing happens while everything is happening.  It definitely has the ephemeral level of dreams to it and in a sense mirrors dreaming as the only thing Ryder knows is that there’s something happening but he is rather completely unaware of what it is and in the end only few things are memorable to the reader and to Ryder himself.  The unique style makes it feel like you’re literary reading about nothing but this is attributed to what the author himself discusses as the nature of identity (people, places, etc).  The prose reflects this as you’re in a sense transported within the conscious of Ryder as a peripheral observant, making the connections later on as if you’re going back and transcribing the narrative itself;functioning on some multi-conscious level where time is not so fixed.  Ryder drifts along seemingly oblivious at all of his surrounding himself and the people he meets while being led by the demands of others and occasionally being overwhelmed by nostalgia and drifting off into memories of times past.  As a reader the same sense of disorientation is felt and it’s convenient that people are always requesting something of him as to drive the narrative.  What’s going on as a question is very relevant to this novel, and this is a digression but the first third of La Dolce Vita was reminding me somehow of this book.

Published in: on May 7, 2010 at 12:33 am Comments (1)

D.H. Lawrence orders a Gyro

I’m going to try to get as much of this out as I can upon getting out of bed.  This wasn’t one dream but a series of dreams after initially waking up two hours ago and going back to bed.  I must have fell into REM multiple times and have retained some entertaining dreams that were quite vivid both on a logical and visual level.  Okay so the first narrative I remember is being at my weekend job, but my friends are there and we’re waiting for something.  It’s almost like we’re waiting at an airport to leave for a trip and thus killing time.  So we’re in a convenience store and I’m looking for an unnamed D.H. Lawrence novel.  This is relatively important because it ties into the next narrative in an odd way but I’ll get to that later.  So of course I’m not finding it but I probably should because airports have bookstores now but i guess I didn’t articulate the airport bookstore setting adequately in my dream-thought.  Well the next thing I know is I’m trying to order food and I call this Mediterranean grill twice. The first time the girl who answers (who is not the person who ever answers in real life) confuses my words and hangs up on me.  I’m trying to order a falafel patty with hummus sandwich and she indignantly tells me that they don’t have chicken “abstract incorrect word”.  I’m frustrated and call back again and this time she’s even more reluctant to take my order and after giving her my name she pretends to know me and proceeds to inquire if I’m going to the Christmas party.  This makes me very angry and I tell her off with some not so nice words.  Okay so back to the D.H. Lawrence connection.  Now in another narrative, I’m in my bed and it’s much like reality like I had woken up and this is what’s going on in my room, not that I really believe it to be true but it just feels “different” (words are failure).  This kid I work with is in the room and apparently he lives with me now.  Initially it’s just me and him but then his “friends” appear and they start to fill up my room but the reasons he’s there is that he’s writing a paper on my computer and he requires my assistance.  Believe it or not I’m suggesting he read Gordon Harvey’s guide and we’re looking for the file on my computer.  The D.H. Lawrence connection is that he had been reading a copy of Sons and Lovers one day at work and we discussed the book.  It’s funny how his presence can sort of be related to the first dream in such a manner.  Given they are related it’s interesting to see how the dreaming mind makes associations and although the dreams have relatively little to do to one another this D.H. Lawrence connection does act as a transitional utility into the next dream.  Well back in the dream, the tasks of writing the paper grows harder and harder as his friends become more lively.  Again like in some previous dreams, I can distinctly call now upon waking the faces of these people whom I created.  We never really work on the paper and at one point this 70’s looking black kid is playing Simon and Garfunkel’s “So Long Frank Lloyd Wright” on an acoustic guitar although he’s just miming it and lip syncing as the sound is coming from the computer which also displays upon its screen what I think now is an Itunes store page of 70’s soul music.  In another dream, I’m reading about a semi-pornographic film that apparently must have been profound as I was (kind of weird to use the present tense of am, right?) perusing a web page dedicated to it’s production and while I first wrote details of this dream, I deleted it as its not very appropriate or interesting in anyway and it really wasn’t very arousing.  It wasn’t going to be some trash novel about an aging actress who falls asleep in her trailer and wakes up to Fabio going down on her in 1764.

Published in: on May 2, 2010 at 1:25 pm Comments (0)

For Real: My response to Lucid Dreaming

I’ve always been fascinated with the phenomenon of Lucid Dreaming.  The first time I heard of such a thing is back in high school when I was very impressionable and I remember thinking how amazing of thing that is.  Well I think I tried to train myself to do it for awhile but most of the time I fall dead asleep and I just don’t think my unconscious is stable enough to maintain that required level of “waking consciousness”.  I don’t mean I’m crazy or anything but usually my awareness of self is substantially diminished in the dream state.  I believe Hobson comments on the suppression of ego in sleeping insofar as there is no self of sense which enables such nonsense to occur often rampantly.  I mean who wouldn’t disregard and awaken from such apparent absurdity.  This rather ties into Freud’s theory of dreaming as sustaining sleep.    LaBerge stresses that it takes somewhat of a severe commitment inasmuch that you need to successfully reassess the means by which you externalize reality.  If ever I have the time again, I would truly love to dedicate my time to achieving this lucid state.   The connection he makes with “awareness” and “enlightenment” is appealing for who wouldn’t want to be more aware of “reality”.   Life often seems so absurd and incomprehensible so to attain such awareness in state of pure sleep would be more than life changing.  It’s almost in a sense as to realize that this “reality” is rather meaningless.  I mean through lucid dreaming you can have endlessly more profound and interesting experiences.  The thing that gets me is this lack of self that is normally associated with dreaming.  I could never imagine being able to feel as if awake in a dream and function accordingly, believing my reality to be truly real and then possessing the means to alter and create REALITY-  my god but wait wouldn’t i be somewhat of a god then.

Published in: on May 1, 2010 at 2:07 am Comments (3)

The first time I met Michael Douglas

If I could have a lucid dream this is how it would go:
I would lay down upon my bed after experiencing the most euphoric of days.  Maybe I had the best sex of my life, or attained the ultimate high from wine and weed or perhaps I’d have fallen in love with the most beautiful woman only to realize she was my love all along.  The possibilities are truly endless, although so often in life are days considered euphoric.  Haha poetic digression finished: what I’m trying to say is that I’d have fallen asleep in a sound state of mind and be thus in an enlightened state whereas to easily drift into a lucid state.  Well in the spirit of the LaBerge readings, I would fly off into the sky but it’d be more like descending into an ocean towards a bright light of course, that attracted me with the zen like appetite Buddha must have had.  Somewhere in this dream I’d be attempting to write a short story but it it’d probably be about a man who goes to a lucid dreaming convention to steal narratives in order to sell his short stories to Square One Publishers, another story for another day.  After reaching the bright light I’d be transported into a nightclub and probably order a drink from a bartender who knew that I wanted a Sierra Nevada and would have it ready for me.  A few friends would then led me to the dance floor where they’d be playing the Tom Tom Club’s rendition of “Under the Boardwalk”.  At this point I would be overwhelmed with piety and feel compelled to thank the creator of this production.  I would kindly request that my unconscious produce the ultimate being akin to those in the LaBerge narratives.  I then would feel an intense rush of energy, although not kinetic, capable of moving my body in a 96 degree angle to see Michael Douglas in a purple suit, wearing sun glasses and at this moment I would fall through a floor as who am I to look upon Michael Douglas never fulfilling my desire to thank god.  After realizing my error I would probably invent a narrative in which I’m a Vaudeville star performing nightly on the circuit, wooing the audience with my scat singing.  After that I’d visit people I may have been in a past life and I’d find that I was once a Mexican girl living outside of Puerto Vallarta who died tragically of leukemia at the age of seven.  I would talk to her and she would probably say “Deseo que viviera un más tiempo” and I’d try to comfort her by telling her that she was I and I honored her by retaining her stunted femininity.  She wouldn’t understand such a notion but after  showing her the life she would have lived in real time she would finally see that her life had continued unto mine and be thankful that I let her “See” her life.  Wouldn’t we all like to know how we lived  had we not.

Published in: on at 1:37 am Comments (0)

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