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This topic includes the examination of two different types of text, e.g. a novel and a film, a novel and a play, a documentary and a play, an op-ed article and a novel, a speech and a novel, a selection of poetry and a film, a film and a play, a selection of poetry and a novel.
Study in this unit will include two texts that are either:
- connected by the representation of concepts, identities, times and places
- transformations or adaptations of (or interventions into) other texts, such as reimagined literary texts or film versions of texts or plays.
In responding to two texts, students explore and discuss the personal, social, historical and cultural significance of representations in different texts and the cultural assumptions, attitudes, values and beliefs underpinning them. Students are given opportunities to add to ongoing, informed and public ‘conversations’ about both literary texts and non-literary texts.
What makes us conscious?
"Do you think that the machine you are reading this story on, right now, has a feeling of “what it is like” to be in its state? What about a pet dog? Does it have a sense of what it’s like to be in its state? It may pine for attention, and appear to have a unique subjective experience, but what separates the two cases? ... "
Thomas Aquinas, part 5: what does it mean to be human?
"For Thomas Aquinas, the human is a paradox. As "rational animals", we are the only species that straddles the divide between matter and spirit. We do not just inhabit the material world – we interpret it, discern order within it, derive meaning from it and act decisively upon it. Our intellects transcend their material confines with a unique freedom and imagination ... "
What does it mean to be human?
"What does it mean to be human? Centuries worth of scientific thought, artistic tradition and spiritual practice have attempted to answer this most fundamental question about our existence. And yet the diversity of views and opinions is so grand it has made that answer remarkably elusive ... "
Politics and the English Language
"Most people who bother with the matter at all would admit that the English language is in a bad way, but it is generally assumed that we cannot by conscious action do anything about it. Our civilization is decadent and our language – so the argument runs – must inevitably share in the general collapse. It follows that any struggle against the abuse of language is a sentimental archaism, like preferring candles to electric light or hansom cabs to aeroplanes. Underneath this lies the half-conscious belief that language is a natural growth and not an instrument which we shape for our own purposes ... "
Art and Ardor
Among the pieces included in this collection of wide-ranging essays are two extended essays on Edith Wharton and Virginia Woolf and analyses of the work of contemporaries including Updike and Capote. Book available in the library.
Teaching a Stone to Talk by
Publication Date: 2013-10-15
"A collection of meditations like polished stones -- painstakingly worded, tough-minded, yet partial to mystery, and peerless when it comes to injecting larger resonances into the natural world." -- Kirkus Reviews Here, in this compelling assembly of writings, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Annie Dillard explores the world of natural facts and human meanings. Veering away from the long, meditative studies of Pilgrim at Tinker Creek or Holy the Firm, Annie Dillard explores and celebrates moments of spirituality, dipping into descriptions of encounters with flora and fauna, stars, and more, from Ecuador to Miami. There is no writer quite like Dillard when it comes to the mysteries and wonder of the natural world. Book available in the library.
The Common Reader by
Publication Date: 2002-11-04
Woolf’s first and most popular volume of essays. This collection has more than twenty-five selections, including such important statements as “Modern Fiction” and “The Modern Essay.” Edited and with an Introduction by Andrew McNeillie; Index. Book available in the library.
Consider the Lobster by
Publication Date: 2007-07-02
This celebrated collection of essays from the author of Infinite Jest is "brilliantly entertaining...Consider the Lobster proves once more why Wallace should be regarded as this generation's best comic writer" (Cleveland Plain Dealer). Do lobsters feel pain? Did Franz Kafka have a funny bone? What is John Updike's deal, anyway? And what happens when adult video starlets meet their fans in person? David Foster Wallace answers these questions and more in essays that are also enthralling narrative adventures. Book available in the library.