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  • admin 2:26 pm on July 2, 2012 Permalink | Reply  

    Final Project update: the due date for the final project is Tuesday, July 10, at noon.

     
  • admin 2:26 pm on July 2, 2012 Permalink | Reply  

    Searchable Item #6:

    A striped blouse in a clearing by Bazille   
    Is, you may say, a patroness of boughs   
    Too queenly kind toward nature to be kin.   
    But ceremony never did conceal,
    Save to the silly eye, which all allows,
    How much we are the woods we wander in.

    Let her be some Sabrina fresh from stream,
    Lucent as shallows slowed by wading sun,
    Bedded on fern, the flowers’ cynosure:
    Then nymph and wood must nod and strive to dream   
    That she is airy earth, the trees, undone,
    Must ape her languor natural and pure.

    Ho-hum. I am for wit and wakefulness,   
    And love this feigning lady by Bazille.   
    What’s lightly hid is deepest understood,   
    And when with social smile and formal dress   
    She teaches leaves to curtsey and quadrille,   
    I think there are most tigers in the wood.

     
    • Ron Stein 3:20 pm on July 2, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      The poem is by Richard Wilbur. For his photo, and an interesting comment about lumpy pudding, go to http://lumpy-pudding.tumblr.com/post/3588771607/ceremony-by-richard-wilbur-a-striped-blouse-in-a

    • savi 7:01 pm on July 2, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      A re-occurring theme of in-between seems to come up when searching Wilbur’s approach to poetry. University of New Orleans Professor John Gery describes Wilbur as a poet who uses “disparities as well as of unities,” and “No more a religious poet, finally, than a sociopolitical or transcendentalist one, he joins images and ideas as much to explore what inevitably divides them as to illustrate their inherent connections.” Gery also comments on the experience when reading Wilbur’s work: “To read a poem by Wilbur…is to be pulled simultaneously toward anxiety and consolation, toward despair and hope, and ultimately to he deposited somewhere in between.”

      • Anthony Schwartz 7:14 pm on July 2, 2012 Permalink | Reply

        A Wilbur poem reads so easily that it can dispel close scrutiny, as if the poem just as it is says all that needs to be said and withholds nothing. (As a result, Wilbur’s work has rarely attracted the attention of the skillful critic.) In fact, the smooth surface of the Wilbur poem can successfully distract us from recognizing how unusual and unexpected are the twists and leaps that structure the poem’s narrative. Many poems by Wilbur, while striking a superficial “balance,” implicitly celebrate, while demonstrating, the virtues of a wit that is elaborately playful.

        A Fire-Truck

        Right down the shocked street with a
        siren-blast
        That sends all else skittering to the
        curb,
        Redness, brass, ladders and hats hurl
        past,
        Blurring to sheer verb,

        Shift at the corner into uproarious gear
        And make it around the turn in a squall
        of traction,
        The headlong bell maintaining sure and
        clear,
        Thought is degraded action!

        Beautiful, heavy, unweary, loud,
        obvious thing!
        I stand here purged of nuance, my
        mind a blank.
        All I was brooding upon has taken
        wing,
        And I have you to thank.

        As you howl beyond hearing I carry you
        into my mind,
        Ladders and brass and all, there to
        admire
        Your phoenix-red simplicity, enshrined
        In that not extinguished fire.

    • Minsun Ko 9:05 pm on July 2, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Wilbur’s grandfather and great-grandfather were both editors, and Wilbur showed an early interest in journalism. As a student at Amherst College in the early 1940s, Wilbur wrote stories, editorials, and poems for his college newspaper and magazine. His experience as a soldier in World War II, however, drove him to “versify in earnest.” He has described the influence of his experiences in war on his poetry: “One does not use poetry for its major purposes, as a means to organize oneself and the world, until one’s world somehow gets out of hand.”

      (http://www.poetryfoundation.org/bio/richard-wilbur)

    • Kiku Ouchida 9:07 pm on July 2, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Richard Wilbur was a poet and a translator. When the Confessional poets of the 1960s and ‘70s came into vogue, Wilbur’s reputation began to suffer. “Public taste,” Stephen Metcalf wrote in the New York Times, “courtesy of ‘Howl’ and Lowell’s ‘Life Studies’ and the phenomenon known as Sylvia Plath—edged away from Wilbur, and from his dedication to urbanity and metrical poise. Wilbur, it used to be said, coasted along a little too smoothly; he wrote the poem bien fait.” However, Wilbur’s work has always enjoyed critical acclaim, and his third volume, Things of This World, won both the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award in 1957.

      (http://www.poetryfoundation.org/bio/richard-wilbur)

    • Alina 9:12 pm on July 2, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Wilbur, a WWII vet., Harvard Grad, and the second  American Poet Laureate,  was a published poet since he was eight years old. His style has form that doesn’t undermine, but instead is reinforced by the importance of nature and imagery in writing. 

      In an interview for the Paris Review, Wilbur commented in his form saying that, “I think it is perfectly true that if you put yourself in a position where you have to pay attention to all sorts of wild suggestions that come to you through the sound contract you have made, it can be liberating. If you are a silly person, it will ruin your poem because you will let the rhyme twist your thought, take your mind off where you were going. But if you are not silly, it can be very enriching and instructive. I don’t really take an Apollonian approach to poetry. I think you have to be using your brains all the time, yes, but your brains have to be very attentive to the stupid part of you. I trust the stupid part at least as much. And one way of extorting suggestions from that part of you is through the use of formal devices such as rhyme and stanzaic patterns.”

      http://www.theparisreview.org/interviews/3509/the-art-of-poetry-no-22-richard-wilbur

    • sophiak 12:00 am on July 3, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Here’s a link to the painting “Family Reunion” by Frédéric Bazille, which inspired the poem “Ceremony” by Richard Wilbur. http://www.musee-orsay.fr/en/collections/works-in-focus/painting.html?no_cache=1&zoom=1&tx_damzoom_pi1%5BshowUid%5D=1803

      Wilbur is sometimes categorized with the New Critical style of 20th century poetry. These poets wrote in line with the theories of the New Criticism movement, named after a book by the literary critic John Crowe Ransom, which advocated “close readings” of texts without considerations of the author’s biography or intention, the reader’s response, or historical context. New Critical poets often also wrote works heavy with wordplay and dry wit that appealed primarily to the intellect, instead of one’s emotions. Perhaps these ideas informed Wilbur’s “reading” of the painting by Bazille.

    • béthany 12:25 am on July 3, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      The poem originally appeared in Poetry Magazine in February 1948.
      see the scanned page : http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poetrymagazine/browse/71/5#/20590349/0
      It was republished in his second book in 1950.
      Richard Wilbur is still alive at age 91.

    • kevinyee 12:32 am on July 3, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      There is a mostly consistent meter with this poem. It can be read as pentameter, syllable by syllable and when doing so there is a strong rhythm. Parts that throw off the reader a bit are the “Too queenly kind toward nature to be kin.” and “And when with social smile and formal dress She teaches leaves to curtsey and quadrille” lines. The words queenly and quadrille stick out because of the stress on the first part of the word contrasteed with the others in the phrase. Wilbur uses form to push specific lines to have more of an effect on readers.All the while moving forward with the images, the last line leaves us with a sense of foreboding.

    • Ben Fish 12:40 am on July 3, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      “Wilbur has also published a number of works for children. These include a trio of word-play books devoted to synonyms and antonyms: Opposites (1973), More Opposites (1991), and Runaway Opposites (1995). Self-illustrated, these books offer amusing poems devoted to words with opposite meanings. A Game of Catch, another work for children, was first published in the New Yorker in 1953 and reprinted as a separate volume in 1994. Other books for children include The Disappearing Alphabet (1998) and The Pig in the Spigot (2000). Wilbur’s children’s literature often investigates language and words in a witty, inventive way.”

      Wilbur’s concepts for children’s books are telling indicators of just how important relationships of division are to his work.

      http://www.poetryfoundation.org/bio/richard-wilbur

    • Irina 1:16 am on July 3, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      The name of the poem is Ceremony.
      Another poem by Richard Wilbur, called The Death of a Toad, appeared on an AP English Literature Exam in 1997. An AP English teacher wrote to the author with some questions about the poem and he responded with a letter describing his writing style. Here is a link to this letter:
      http://apcentral.collegeboard.com/apc/members/courses/teachers_corner/11830.html

    • spencerruehl 1:44 am on July 3, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Wilbur is the two time recipient of the Pulitzer prize for poetry and was poet laureate consultant to the library of congress. His first published poem appeared in print when he was only eight years old. His content often deals with finding beauty in everyday life. Here is video of Wilbur where he discusses everything from poetry to gardening:

      http://youtu.be/eqw_e-crFiI

    • annabear 1:52 am on July 3, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Wilbur is known, and under appreciated for his formal and traditional topics and style of poetry. Compared to the other poets of his time it can be argued that Wilbur was and still is overshadowed by modernists such as Ezra Pound and T.S. Eliot. Also, as far as entertainment value goes the Beats took the spotlight.

      During the 1940s Wilbur was swept up in the academic movement of New Criticism. Thus, he writes primarily in the neoclassical style. His poems require intense analysis, which can explain why he was and is under appreciated, as well as the modernists and post-beat generation he was up against.

      http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704150604576166452338502880.html

    • kurteizinger 5:26 am on July 3, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Richard Wilbur is a decorated American poet. Wilbur has received two Pulitzer awards for poetry. Although Wilbur is a famous poet, he is also noted for many translations of foreign poetry. He translated the famous Candide by Voltaire. Even in his later life Wilbur was still pulling in many literary awards, he won another Pulitzer in 1988. John Longenbach, a writer for Slate stated that “Wilbur’s poems matter not because they may or may not be stylish at any given moment but because they keep the English language alive: Wilbur’s great poems feel as fresh—as astonishing, as perplexing, as shocking—as they did 50 years ago.”

    • Jean Catubay 4:11 pm on July 3, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Since the publication of Ceremony, Wilbur’s artistic stature has never been seriously challenged. His work not only demonstrated his unsurpassed individual gifts, but it also exemplified a new formal style emerging among the mid-century generation of poets. Sometimes called the “New Critical” style, this approach usually employed rhyme and meter, elaborate wordplay (especially puns and paradoxes), and intricate argument to create subtle and intelligent–but rarely highly emotional–poems.

      (http://www.danagioia.net/essays/ewilbur.htm)

    • cody916 4:30 pm on July 3, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      By RICHARD B. WOODWARD

      Richard Wilbur turns 90 on Tuesday, but it’s unlikely that many Americans will stop to pay tribute to our finest living poet. Despite having earned almost every literary award this country has to offer, including a pair of Pulitzers and Bollingens, as well as the title of U.S. Poet Laureate in 1987-88, he has never enjoyed a rapt general following. Neither his highly wrought verse nor his reserved public manner are apt to elicit birthday visits from TV news crews or party invitations to the White House.

      Enlarge Image

      Associated Press
      Richard C. Wilbur

      Why Mr. Wilbur is not more nationally beloved or imitated is perplexing. Clive James favors the suppression theory: Mr. Wilbur’s virtuosity in meter and rhyme so daunted his contemporaries returning from World War II that he had to be belittled or ignored. “Anyone capable of appreciating his artistry was helpless not to emulate it, and emulation guaranteed mediocrity,” according to Mr. James.

    • Courtney 4:39 pm on July 3, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Richard Wilbur was a initially in training to be a U.S. Army cryptographer, when he was demoted to front line infantry. he saw battle in Italy, France and Germany during WW2. later the person who was appointed cryptographer was killed Wilbur took over his position while doing his other work as well. Cryptography the science or study of the techniques of secret writing, especially code and cipher systems, methods. No doubt this gave him insight and skill that the average writer would not have.

    • Jessica Flores 5:15 pm on July 3, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      In June 1942, Wilbur married Mary Charlotte Hayes Ward, a graduate of Smith College. He joined the Enlisted Reserve Corps that same year and was called to active duty in 1943. Wilbur served in the European theater until 1945. Upon leaving the army he pursued graduate studies in English at Harvard University. It was at Harvard that Wilbur became friends with Robert Frost.
      Wilbur’s first book of poetry, The Beautiful Changes and Other Poems, was published in 1947, the same year he completed his MA at Harvard. He served as a junior fellow and, later, a member of the Harvard faculty from 1947 through 1954.

    • Natasha 5:44 pm on July 3, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      “Ceremony”, by Richard Wilbur, is a poem based on Frédéric Bazille’s painting, “The Family Portrait”. He focuses on only one lady in the painting, one who he believes stands out from the rest of her family. He describes the woman in stripes as a “feigning” lady, perhaps separating her from the others in the painting who appear dispassioned and embody a monotonous quality about them.

    • Michael Niebuhr 5:50 pm on July 3, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Wilbur’s poetic tone moves in a drastically different thematic direction than those of the great majority of literature we’ve encountered in class so far. Unlike, say, Eliot, whose poetry often worked to construct a terribly dead and barren aesthetic, Wilbur seems much more playful, taking on lighter and more beautiful subjects with an ever-present essence of tongue-in-cheek, operating in a mode that seems closer to romanticism than it does to modernism. Indeed, his words to Arlan Haskell, that “the world is fundamentally a great wonder” serve as evidence of his departure from the desperate lamentations of the modernists.

    • Margot Guerrero 7:14 pm on July 3, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Since the publication of Ceremony, Wilbur’s artistic stature has never been seriously challenged. His work not only demonstrated his unsurpassed individual gifts, but it also exemplified a new formal style emerging among the mid-century generation of poets. Sometimes called the “New Critical” style, this approach usually employed rhyme and meter, elaborate wordplay (especially puns and paradoxes), and intricate argument to create subtle and intelligent—but rarely highly emotional—poems. The poems were complex but comprehensible—and they often seemed to cry out for critical analysis, especially the line-by-line examination called “close reading” practiced by the New Critics.

    • james gibilisco 7:14 pm on July 3, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      What struck me first about Wilbur’s poem is how the poetical style/form mimicked that of Eliot’s “The Wasteland.” Both poets “borrow” from the past in order to create their poems. In Wilbur’s case, line three is obviously taken from Hamlet’s line “more than kin and less than kind,” and line fifteen seems to be an adaptation from a line in Emily Dickinson’s poem “Of Consciousness, her awful Mate.” Wilbur also references Sabrina, the Goddess of the river Severn/fast flowing waterway. I agree with M. Miebuhr in that the poem seems to be closer to romanticism than modernism. I don’t think an extreme modernist would openly proclaim his/her admiration for wit. The poem doesn’t seem to have the dark and despondent references of a modernist poem. Instead, it seems to be borrowing from modernist ideas and blending them with classical references as well as modern philosophical thinking.

  • admin 1:40 am on June 27, 2012 Permalink | Reply  

    Searchable Item #5:

     
    • Irina 4:50 am on June 27, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Josephine Baker (June 3, 1906 – April 12, 1975) was an American-born French dancer, singer, and actress. Fluent in both English and French, Baker became an international musical and political icon. She was given such nicknames as the “Bronze Venus”, the “Black Pearl”, and the “Créole Goddess”.
      She started performing in St. Luis when she was 15 and continued performing for several years in Harlem during Harlem Renaissance before moving to Paris in 1925.

      Baker was the first African American female to star in a major motion picture, to integrate an American concert hall, and to become a world-famous entertainer. She is also noted for her contributions to the Civil Rights Movement in the United States (she was offered the unofficial leadership of the movement by Coretta Scott King in 1968 following Martin Luther King, Jr.’s assassination, but turned it down), for assisting the French Resistance during World War II, and for being the first American-born woman to receive the French military honor, the Croix de guerre.

    • Jessica Flores 5:11 am on June 27, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Josephine Baker became a muse for contemporary artists including F. Scott Fitzgerald, Pablo Picasso, Ernest Hemingway, and Christian Dior. She performed live shows and appeared in silent movies but did not have the same following and reputation in America as she did in France. In Paris she married a french man named Jean Lion. It is said she renounced her American citizenship without difficulty when asked if she was ready to give it up during her wedding ceremony.

    • Minsun Ko 6:07 am on June 27, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Josephine served France during World War II in several ways. She performed for the troops, and was an honorable correspondent for the French Resistance (undercover work included smuggling secret messages written on her music sheets) and a sub-lieutenant in the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force. She was later awarded the Medal of the Resistance with Rosette and named a Chevalier of the Legion of Honor by the French government for hard work and dedication.

      (http://www.cmgww.com/stars/baker/about/biography.html)

    • Kiku Ouchida 6:08 am on June 27, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Josephine visited the United States during the 50s and 60s with renewed vigor to fight racism. When New York’s popular Stork Club refused her service, she engaged a head-on media battle with pro-segregation columnist Walter Winchell. The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) named May 20 Josephine Baker Day in honor of her efforts.

      (http://www.cmgww.com/stars/baker/about/biography.html)

    • Ron Stein 2:59 pm on June 27, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      “Overcoming the limitations imposed by the color of her skin, she became one of the world’s most versatile entertainers, performing on stage, screeen and recordings. Josephine was decorated for her undercover work for the French Resistance during World War II. She was a civil rights activist. She refused to perform for segregated audiences and integrated the Las Vegas nightclubs. She adopted twelve children from around the world whom she called her ‘Rainbow Tribe.'” http://www.lkwdpl.org/wihohio/bake-jos.htm

      While watching the videos, I couldn’t help but remember Carmen Miranda, whom I bet was influenced by Josephine Baker. Also, one can’t help but see connections with the famous “mulata” of Brazilian carnival. I didn’t want to offend anyone’s sensibilities, but for some footage, just go to youtube and search mulata carnaval. (note spelling difference in Portuguese.)

    • savi 6:47 pm on June 27, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      • savi 4:24 am on June 28, 2012 Permalink | Reply


        Josephine Baker paved the way for many black artists, yet her courage also serves as inspiration for anyone who believes it is important to stand up for what you believe in. It is insane to think that the social norm during Baker’s life was that a African-American artists could not perform in certain theaters, or that audiences were not allowed to be racially integrated. Baker really strived to end racism, but at the same time her performances didn’t shy away from who she was, she didn’t compromise herself to make other people feel comfortable. Today, Beyonce performing is so normal, and it is completely acceptable to have a diversely integrated audience. Yet, there was a time when this performance wouldn’t have been widely accepted. This made me start thinking about social norms that exist today which we should perhaps question or start changing.

    • annabear 9:53 pm on June 27, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      “The Global Mother”
      Josephine Baker, despite her booty shaking dance moves, was quite the humanitarian. Josephine started/adopted a family she referred to as the “Rainbow Tribe.” Baker had a vision of a multi-cultural family, and did everything in her power to make that happen for herself and others. In the picture below Baker is distributing her children’s book “The Rainbow Children” to refugee children in 1957.

      http://www.spiegel.de/fotostrecke/photo-gallery-the-global-mother-fotostrecke-47310-5.html

    • Jean Catubay 10:21 pm on June 27, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Long before Angelina Jolie, Mia Farrow and Madonna made headlines with their adoptive families, 1920s star Josephine Baker tried to combat racism by adopting 12 children of various ethnic backgrounds from around the world. Today the members of her “rainbow tribe” are still searching for their identity.

      http://www.sanfranciscosentinel.com/?p=44701

    • Anthony Schwartz 11:39 pm on June 27, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Josephine Baker in : Princess Tam Tam
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xTIT9PJJAQA

    • Andrew Chan 1:44 am on June 28, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      As stated before, Josephine Baker was an international celebrity, whose lurid performances abroad increased recognition of African-Americans worldwide. Baker and her provocative routines gave a wholly inaccurate representation of both African and African-American culture; yet, it was by this very same “exotic” appeal that she managed to charm her European audiences.

      In many ways, Baker’s time in Europe mirrors that of Quicksand’s Helga Crane. In order to satisfy her audiences, Baker adopted a sensual tone for her routines, appearing onstage in skimpy outfits that gave credence to the Europeans’ view of Africans as “uncivilized, exotic creatures”. Likewise, Copenhagen’s populace displayed much fascination towards Helga’s darkened skin. Helga immediately realizes the irony of her situation – that the attention she receives is simply due to the Danes’ fascination with the mysterious African race. She is looked down upon as inferior, and she is paraded around town much like a circus act.

    • Courtney 3:19 am on June 28, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      “One day I realized I was living in a country where I was afraid to be black. It was only a country for white people. Not black. So I left. I had been suffocating in the United States… A lot of us left, not because we wanted to leave, but because we couldn’t stand it anymore… I felt liberated in Paris.”

      from the 1800s to the 1970’s blacks have been escaping racism by moving to Paris. Paris was a place of art that gave many people a since of liberation. Promoted modernism and opportunity, in the 1920’s Black art was a huge thing in Paris, and said to be the root of modernism, it was even said to be very influential to Picasso.

    • kevinyee 5:14 am on June 28, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Josephine Baker was thought to be bisexual. One of her adopted sons worked on her autobiography and talked about that part of her life. She had female lovers while she was both single and married. Throughout her lfie, she was married four times. She takes her last name from her second husband from when she bagan getting attention as a performer.

    • kurteizinger 7:29 am on June 28, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Josephine backer can be credited as the first African-American female super star on a world scale. She was born in America, but resided in France for most of her life. She was a singer, actress and also a talented stage performer. Even in her later years, she still sold out stadiums for her performances. Was the first American born Women to receive the French military honor- Crox de Guerre. She had major sex appeal in her day.

    • Natasha 5:04 pm on June 28, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Josephine Baker renounced her American citizenship due to encountered racism and found a home in Paris, where she was well received. She rejected American culture as she found it imbedded in racism and embraced French culture for just the opposite. Her fame grew fast in France and was awarded the Legion of Honor which is the highest honor in French culture.

    • Ivaan 5:13 pm on June 28, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      It seems that Larson’s Helga Crane and Josephine Baker parallel one another in many ways. Helga appears to be struggling with what Du Bois calls the “double-consciousness” of African Americans. She struggles with many issues throughout, but most notably is her consistent confrontation with place. Similar to Helga, Josephine Baker moved often (both lived in the South, Harlem, and Europe), she must have experienced similar sentiments as Helga during her travels. Furthermore, the notion of double consciousness might have been present in Baker’s life as well—she resided in France away from overt American racism yet, she was still very much involved in the struggle for equality.

    • Ben Fish 5:31 pm on June 28, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Here’s a link to “Chasing a Rainbow: The LIfe of Josephine Baker,” an International Emmy Award winner for best documentary, 1987.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JHnOfKwAga0&feature=relmfu

    • Sophia Kim 6:29 pm on June 28, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Some of our classmates have pointed out the parallel between Helga Crane and Josephine Baker in terms of their evolving sense of identity as African-American women. It’s interesting to track this evolution for Baker through her changing fashion throughout her career. Like Andrew discussed in his post above, Baker glamorized an “uncivilized” stereotype of the African-American woman early in her career. A prime example of this is the outfit donned by Baker in the second video that Professor Hanley posted, a skirt fashioned from a string of bananas that she wore when performing her Danse Sauvage or “savage dance.”

      Later in her career, Baker befriended the heads of haute couture Paris fashion houses like Christian Dior, Coco Chanel and Pierre Balmain. Although she retained some of her “exotic” aesthetic (like her penchant for posing with her pet cheetah), Baker eventually morphed into an icon of Western high-end fashion. The singer Shirley Bassey described this transformation as Baker’s change from “‘petite danseuse sauvage’ with a decent voice to ‘la grande diva magnifique.'”

    • béthany 7:05 pm on June 28, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Josephine Baker had an amazing journey from childhood poverty to being rejected at a Broadway audition in the early 1920’s to success in Paris by 1925, and befriending the Princess of Monaco.
      Interestingly enough, she is well remembered in French modern culture, with a swimming pool named after her in Paris (a river boat transformed into a swimming pool,) a square in the 14th arrondissement in Paris named after her, and a tribute album by French DJ Gervais. An opera retracing her friendship with Belgian author Georges Siménon was produced in Liège, Belgium.

  • admin 3:48 pm on June 25, 2012 Permalink | Reply  

    Searchable Item #5:

     
    • Ron Stein 3:55 pm on June 25, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      The first painting is one of a series called the Jacob Lawrence Migration series. For a “gallery view” of this collection along with music and historical background, go to:
      http://www.phillipscollection.org/migration_series/flash/experience.cfm

    • Irina 4:21 pm on June 25, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Between 1915 and 1970, more than 6 million African-Americans moved out of the South to cities across the Northeast, Midwest and West.This relocation — called the Great Migration — resulted in massive demographic shifts across the United States. Between 1910 and 1930, cities such as New York, Chicago, Detroit and Cleveland saw their African-American populations grow by about 40 percent, and the number of African-Americans employed in industrial jobs nearly doubled. It had a great effect on almost every aspect of American everyday lives — from the music that we listen to, to the politics of country to the ways the cities even look and feel, even today. The suburbanization and the ghettos that were created as a result of the limits of where African-Americans could live in the North still exist today. And the South was forced to change, in part because they were losing such a large part of their workforce through the Great Migration.

    • Anthony Schwartz 6:36 pm on June 25, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      The second painting is by Aaron Douglas, an influential painter who was part of the Harlem Renaissance. Here is an interesting perspective on his life and works.
      In the film Hidden Heritage: The Roots of Black American Painting, David C. Driskell—an artist and a leading educator and scholar of African American art—discussed Aaron Douglas’s role in art history: “Douglas is the leading painter of the [Harlem] Renaissance movement. A pioneering Africanist, he accepted the legacy of the ancestral arts of Africa and developed his own original style, geometric symbolism. At a time when it was unpopular to dignify the black image in white America, Douglas refused to compromise and see blacks as anything less than a proud and majestic people.”

    • Courtney 7:49 pm on June 25, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      The “New Negro” movement later renamed the Harlem Renaissance, allowed African Americans to capture the black consciousness. Black artist didn’t want to paint landscapes instead they wanted to capture the figurative urban scene. African American artist’s goal was to give a new identity to the black race, as well as some understanding. This idea stretches throughout all genre of art during the time. in reading people like Claude McKay, Paul Lawrence Dunbar and many others you get a view into the black experiences that dominate society didn’t believe to exist.

    • savi 10:20 pm on June 25, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      The WPA (Works Progress Administration) was a government funded New Deal agency which financially supported artists, musicians and writers to document American history. Artists during the period known as the Harlem Renaissance were largely funded by the WPA. In addition to funding public art works the WPA employed millions of workers, re-distributed food, clothing and housing, and financed new construction in many cities.

    • béthany 10:45 pm on June 25, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Jakob Lawrence, the artist of the first image, was apart of the 306 Workshop Group in Harlem, along with other artists, musicians and writers of the Harlem Renaissance. There, he met Alain Locke and Langston Hughes (two of the authors for this week) and Aaron Douglas, the artist of the second image. Click for an image of the 360 Group.

      http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-ignsE2PDkho/T0yHrijiffI/AAAAAAAAD9k/ml1L0qJ6GMc/s1600/306+group.jpg

    • annabear 10:49 pm on June 25, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Aaron Douglas the “Dean of African American painters”

      Douglas’ work was published regularly, and in 1934, Douglas was commissioned by the WPA to paint a series of murals for the 135th Street Branch of the New York Public Library. His works were heavily influenced by jazz music and geometric forms, and focused on the creativity of the 1920’s, especially in the lives of free African Americans.

      http://legacy.www.nypl.org/research/sc/Harlem/text/adouglas.html

    • Andrew Chan 1:05 am on June 26, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      The subject of both these images is the Great Migration, the mass migration of African Americans from the South into the North in the decades following the Civil War. Although the artists approached the subject from different angles, they manage to both touch upon important aspects of the movement. Whereas Lawrence’s work depicts the literal exodus of individuals from the South into Northern metropolises, Douglas’ work shows the Great Migration as a symbolic exodus, mirroring the Biblical Exodus from slavery into freedom. In Douglas’ art, the Northern industrial cities are shown as “a city upon a hill” (Mt 5:14) that signifies hope to African Americans from the South.

    • cody916 3:53 am on June 26, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      The Great Migration established the foundation of Chicago’s African American industrial working class. Despite the tensions between newcomers and “old settlers,” related to differences in age, region of origin, and class, the Great Migration established the foundation for black political power, business enterprise, and union activism.

    • Michael Niebuhr 4:23 am on June 26, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      The Great Migration was mostly fueled by the resurfacing of openly vehement racist culture in the American South in the aftermath of Reconstruction. If it could be said that the federal troops stationed in the South during Reconstruction helped to suppress the region’s dominantly racist ideology, that benefit was lost upon their withdrawal. The establishment of Jim Crow laws, which the federal government chose to ignore (at least politically), threats of lynching, strict segregation, and better opportunities for work and education in the North were all factors that led to the massive exodus of black citizens across the Mason-Dixon line.

    • Kiku Ouchida 5:36 am on June 26, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Since Black migrants sustained many Southern cultural and linguistic traits, these cultural differences created a sense of “otherness” in terms of their reception by those who were living in the cities before the migration. Stereotypes ascribed to Black people during this period were often derived from the migrants’ rural cultural traditions, which were maintained in stark contrast to the urban environments in which the people resided.

    • Minsun Ko 5:37 am on June 26, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      any of the greatest works of the Harlem Renaissance sought to recover links with African and folk traditions. In “The Negro Speaks of Rivers,” the poet Langston Hughes reaffirmed his ties to an African past: “I looked upon the Nile and raised the pyramids above it.”

      (http://www.digitalhistory.uh.edu/database/article_display.cfm?HHID=443)

    • kurteizinger 6:02 am on June 26, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      The painting is titled “The Great Migration.” James Lawrence painted it. Lawrence was a famous African-American painter during the Harlem Renaissance. Many people describe Lawrence’s painting style as “Dynamic Cubism.” Lawrence took art classes in Harlem at a young age and was taught by famous Harlem Renaissance artist Charles Alston. At the core of the painting, we see a depiction of the modern Diaspora of southern African-Americans. The African-Americans from the rural south moved to the urban north to seek safety from racist abuse from white southerners. The great migration is important because if completely reshaped the modern demographics of America. The great migration also helped fuel the industrial economy of the north.

    • Ivaan 6:04 am on June 26, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Access to housing became a major source of friction between blacks and whites during this massive movement of people. Many cities adopted residential segregation ordinances to keep blacks out of predominantly white neighborhoods. In 1917, the Supreme Court declared municipal resident segregation ordinances unconstitutional. In response, whites resorted to the restrictive covenant, a formal deed restriction binding white property owners in a given neighborhood not to sell to blacks. Whites who broke these agreements could be sued by “damaged” neighbors. Not until 1948 did the Supreme Court strike down restrictive covenants.

      Confined to all-black neighborhoods, African Americans created cities-within-cities during the 1920s. The largest was Harlem, in upper Manhattan, where 200,000 African Americans lived in a neighborhood that had been virtually all-white fifteen years before.

      http://www.digitalhistory.uh.edu/database/article_display.cfm?HHID=443

    • Jean Catubay 6:54 am on June 26, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Through a series of paintings, in The Great Migration, Jacob Lawrence illustrates the mass exodus of African-Americans who moved to the North in search for a better life. Lawrence’s parents were among those who migrated between 1916-1919, considered the first wave of the migration.

      Source: http://www.columbia.edu/itc/history/odonnell/w1010/edit/migration/migration.html

    • kevinyee 9:04 am on June 26, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Aaron Douglas has been called “The Father/Dean of American Arts” though he does not see himself as such. He work is influenced by Africa but inspired by many things. The title of the piece is “Aspiration”. In addition to his work on canvas, he also painted murals.

      http://deyoung.famsf.org/deyoung/collections/collection-icons-aspiration-aaron-douglas

    • Alina 5:46 pm on June 26, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Aaron Douglass was educated in art at the university of Nebraska, and later in life in Paris. Like many African Americans in the early 1900s  Douglass moved to Harlem,  from the south, where he got married and and worked on his career as an artist. Douglass’ home became a niche for prominent African American artists and writers such as W.E.B. Dubois and Langston Hughes. Douglass worked alongside W.E.B Dubois for the The Crisis, the official magazine of the NAACP. W.E.B Dubois was one of the original founders of The Crisis magazine and the first editor , the original title of which was The Crisis: A Record of The Darker Races. This monthly journal contained art, poetry and essays on the topics of current affairs and culture, mostly from the African American community. 
      The journal experienced many changes over the last century and it is still popular today. 

      http://www.thecrisismagazine.com/

    • Natasha 6:43 pm on June 26, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      The first painting is the first of a series of four by Jacob Lawrence. His paintings tell a story of African-American migration to the North in search for a better life. The paintings are now part of The Philips Collection in The Museum of Modern Art in New York.

      http://www.columbia.edu/itc/history/odonnell/w1010/edit/migration/migration.html

    • james gibilisco 7:14 pm on June 26, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Lawrence and Douglas, along with the writers we read for today, all seem to share the same theme of “the exile” that we have been associating with the Modernist Era in class. This idea of being an outsider seems to both fuel their creative energies for artistic expression and stimulate the desire social change. In “The New Negro,” Alain Locke explores the reasoning for the mass migration of the negro northward. Locke argues that the migration is not done out of necessity or by being forced, but rather as he refers to it, as “a new vision of opportunity, of social and economic freedom, of a spirit to seize, even in the face of an extortionate and heavy toil, a chance for the improvement of conditions.” He goes on to describe it as the migration from medieval to modern America. Following the migration, Locke along with other writers and poets such as Langston Hughes, stress the need for “a truer self-expression of the negro in their artistic endeavors. Coincidentally, a heightened self-awareness and introspective nature is one of the defining characteristics of the Modernist movement. Georg Simmel, a leading German sociologist and philosopher of the Modernist era writes: “The deepest problems of modern life derive from the claim of the individual to preserve and protect the autonomy and individuality of his existence in the face of overwhelming social forces, of historical heritage, of external culture, and of the techniques of life.” It is this problem and desire for cultural preservation that seems to drive the artists we are studying now.

      Robeson’s: “Sometimes I feel Like a Motherless Child”
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KiJx1Hbn_KM

    • Jessica Flores 5:23 am on June 27, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      With the rise of the Harlem Renaissance & the Great Migration, African-American artists began to express themselves through their art and music not by using direct political means, but instead incorporated culture to work for goals of civil rights and equality. This was really the first time that African-American art, music, and literature were absorbed into mainstream culture. It was a time when they became more vocal and expressive, and this also came to be known as “the New Negro Movement.”

  • admin 1:54 am on June 20, 2012 Permalink | Reply  

    Searchable Item #4:

     
    • savi 3:59 pm on June 20, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      First one is Untitled by Hannah Höch. She was a Dada artist whose photomontage’s reflect overt political images made of cut up photographs inventively pasted or redesigned, which in turn created a “new truth.” Among her most famous works is, Cut with the Dada Kitchen Knife through the Last Weimar Beer-Belly Cultural Epoch in Germany, 1919 in which she criticizes Weimar Germany.

      • Anthony Schwartz 5:05 pm on June 21, 2012 Permalink | Reply

        About the only thing these non-artists all had in common were their ideals. They even had a hard time agreeing on a name for their project. “Dada” – which some say means “hobby horse” in French and others feel is just baby talk – was the catch-phrase that made the least amount of sense, so “Dada” it was
        http://arthistory.about.com/cs/arthistory10one/a/dada.htm

    • Ron Stein 4:09 pm on June 20, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      The lower image is by John Heartfiel, Photomontage for Der Knüppel, no. 2, February 1927, entitled “Die Rationalisierung marschiert!”(Rationalization is on the March!) http://www.johnheartfield.com.

      Born in Berlin in 1891, John Heartfield was a pioneer in the use of art as a political weapon. His photomontages became famous on both sides of the Atlantic as daring and effective tools to resist the worldwide threat of fascism in the middle of the twentieth century.

    • mochiron 4:16 pm on June 20, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      The lower image is by John Heartfield, Photomontage for Der Knüppel, no. 2, February 1927, entitled “Die Rationalisierung marschiert!”(Rationalization is on the March!) http://www.johnheartfield.com.

      Born in Berlin in 1891, John Heartfield was a pioneer in the use of art as a political weapon. His photomontages became famous on both sides of the Atlantic as daring and effective tools to resist the worldwide threat of fascism in the middle of the twentieth century. (ibid)

    • béthany 5:12 pm on June 20, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      John Hartfield, the photo-montage artist made an image entitled “Hurrah, die Butter ist Alle!” The title inspired the British punk band Siouxsie and the Banshees to write “Mittageisen,” which was dedicated to John Hartfield. That song then inspired a Swissgerman band to name themselves “Mittageisen.”

    • Irina 8:32 pm on June 20, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Hanna Hoch was born in in 1889 in Germany. In 1912 she moved to Berlin where she studied calligraphy, embroidery, fabric and wallpaper design and graphic arts.
      In 1915 she had met and started a relationship with Dadaist activist Rauol Hausmann and it was her time in this fiery, tempestuous affair that she developed her photomontage style. Despite the Dadaist statement of revolutionary progress and their nods towards feminist liberation, it was with great reluctance that Hoch was accepted into the group. Hans Richter describing her as a hostess, “the girl who procured sandwiches, beer and coffee, on a limited budget”.
      Her life was full of contradictions- her bisexuality, lovers, marriage, abortions, her politically charged and progressive artworks and her love of traditional crafts. She championed women’s rights and racial understanding and designed tea towels. A complex and creative person whose effects and processes are still felt in the art rooms of today. She was so much more than, as an obituary described her on her death in 1978 as “the blonde bobbed, androgynous muse of the bad boys Dada club of 1919”.

    • Minsun Ko 9:04 pm on June 20, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Also in 1917, Heartfield became a member of Berlin Club Dada. In 1920 he helped organize the Erste Internationale Dada-Messe (First International Dada Fair) in Berlin. Dadaists were the young lions of the German art scene, opinionated provocateurs who often disrupted public art gatherings and ridiculed the participants. They labeled traditional art trivial and bourgeois. Heartfield was a vital member of a circle of German titans that included Dada playwright Edwin Piscator, Bertolt Brecht, Hannah Hoch, and a host of others.
      (http://www.johnheartfield.com/john_heartfield_PHOTOMONTEUR_BIOGRAPHY.html)

    • annabear 10:38 pm on June 20, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      “Dada is anti-Dada”

      The Dada Movement was a movement that was against authoritarianism, and one single ideological force. The movement was characteristically against materialism and nationalism.
      The naming of the movement is associated with childishness and absurdity, which was appealing to the group. The group believed that the name symbolizes the division between their views and those of conventional society.

    • SpencerRuehl 10:47 pm on June 20, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Dada artists often use clippings from advertisements to further comment on societies materialistic obsessions. Many dada artists rejected rationality and patterns and instead were influenced by nonsense and irrationality. Dada is anti-war and anti-suburban and focuses on being abstract and subcultural.

    • Courtney 3:48 am on June 21, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Hannah Höch became good friends with Raoul Hausmann one of the main people who pushed the Dada art. They meet in Berlin and they learned together the techniques of photomontage. Here is one of his images- https://encrypted-tbn0.google.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRjgQteku4TbaHHF_liSTbCNLdfa4YsQh34J6cyDBNUwyz7ubZp

    • Alina Krjukova 4:44 am on June 21, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      The Dada movement began circa 1916, at the climax of World War I. The movement was a direct response to the war from people who weren’t necessarily artists, but people that believed that the war was outrageous, uncivilized and unpatriotic. The art produced by the Dada was propaganda against the war, nationalism and authoritarianism. The art produced was abstract, composed of satirical components meant to “shock” and draw attention to the absurdity of war.

    • kevinyee 6:33 am on June 21, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Many of Dada’s aesthetics ended up influencing pop art. A pwerful link between the two is the expression of images. The photomontage in particular takes bits and pieces to compose a broad picture. The images look mechanical because they were cut out and put in a specific order. Though Dada does focus on war and politics where pop art goes after the ethnology of art itself, there are strong links in the methods used to create the pieces.

    • Michael Niebuhr 7:03 am on June 21, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Dadism first established itself as a movement in Zurich, Switzerland, by a cadre of artists and poets associated with the Cabaret Voltaire. In order to express their horror over the events of World War I, the Dadaists deliberately eschewed all logical form in their projects, choosing instead to value “nonsense, irrationality, and intuition.” This departure from traditional artistic form is now regarded as one of the major paradigm shifts that came to define modern art, contemporary pop culture, and laid the groundwork for postmodernism.

    • kurteizinger 7:04 am on June 21, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      John Heartfield was a german born artist. He was one of the frist artist’s of his time to use art as a political weapon. Heartfield was anti-nazi as well as anti-fascist. John Heartfield was also an early pinoneer of what has become the “photomontage” or pasting different pictures together. John Heartfield should also be credited for having the blueprints of tumblr back in pre-war Germany. During his youth, John Heartfield became involed in the “Dada” art movment. An avant-garde movment in early 20th century Europe. some other famous Dada artist include Marcel Duchamp and A.Stiglitz.

    • Ben Fish 7:11 am on June 21, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vorwärts

      “Vorwärts” (the publication displayed in the lower image) was “the central organ of the Social Democratic Party of Germany,” published from 1891 to 1933. Notable, considering Heartfield’s concern with fascism, is that in 1923 Vorwärts lost a libel trial brought by Adolf Hitler.

    • Kiku Ouchida 7:24 am on June 21, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Members of Berlin Club Dada would have a profound effect upon him. He, in turn, deeply influenced their work as well. His theater sets were vital elements in the early works of Piscator and Brecht. Heartfield played a major role in helping Brecht to realize the concept of the “alienation effect” (Verfremdungs-effekt). This new theater technique was to remind spectators that they were experiencing an enactment of reality and not reality itself.

      (http://www.johnheartfield.com/john_heartfield_PHOTOMONTEUR_BIOGRAPHY.html)

    • Jessica Flores 8:48 am on June 21, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      When the people of the dada movement had to leave Germany in 1933, Hanna Hoch moved to a remote house outside of Berlin and lived there for much of her 30s-40s. Many of her surviving works were stored at the bottom of a dried out well in her garden and weren’t found until WWII ended in 1945.

    • james gibilisco 2:41 pm on June 21, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      111

    • james gibilisco 2:55 pm on June 21, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      As mentioned, the Dadaist movement centered around the idea of challenging traditional concepts of form and beauty. Coincidentally, the Modernist Poets we have been discussing in class have been interested in doing the exact same thing. Although Eliot was not a Dadaist (he maintained his devotion to the Anglican Church throughout his life), his poetry could be seen as a example of everything that Dadaism is meant to represent. His poem “The Wasteland.” is itself a conglomerated view of chaos, beauty, and experience. While reading “The Wasteland,” the reader can almost picture an image similar to that of the one’s we are given here from Hoch and Heartfield. All of these artists seem to be striving towards the same goal. Attempting to create something beautiful and personal out of a fucked up chaotic and seemingly meaningless world and existence.

    • cody916 4:01 pm on June 21, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      “Dada does not mean anything.. We read in the papers that the Negroes of the Kroo race call the tail of the sacred cow: dada. A cube, and a mother, in certain regions of Italy, are called: Dada. The word for a hobby-horse, a children’s nurse, a double affirmative in Russian and Rumanian, is also: Dada.”

      Tristan Tzara, Dada Manifesto

      “Words emerge, shoulders of words, legs, arms, hands of words. Au, oi, uh. One shouldn’t let too many words out. A line of poetry is a chance to get rid of all the filth that clings to this accursed language, as if put there by stockbrokers’ hands, hands worn smooth by coins. I want the word where it ends and begins. Dada is the heart of words.”

      Hugo Ball’s manifesto, read at Zunfthaus zur Waag on July 14th, 1916

    • Anthony Schwartz 5:06 pm on June 21, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      About the only thing these non-artists all had in common were their ideals. They even had a hard time agreeing on a name for their project. “Dada” – which some say means “hobby horse” in French and others feel is just baby talk – was the catch-phrase that made the least amount of sense, so “Dada” it was.

      http://arthistory.about.com/cs/arthistory10one/a/dada.htm

    • sophiak 5:48 pm on June 21, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      These photomontages by Heartfield and Höch demonstrate the Dada technique of re-appropriating found images and objects. Like the “readymade” sculpture “Fountain” by Marcel Duchamp that Professor Hanley discussed in class last week (which was in fact just a typical urinal that the artist only modified by signing with a pseudonym), these works also make use of mechanically reproduced, easily available media, thereby subverting the idea of “high art” and questioning the role of the artist.

    • Anonymous 6:06 pm on June 21, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Hannah Hoch had affair with Dada activist, Rauol Hausmann, who exposed her to the Dadaist artwork. While the Dadaist movement was active her work echoed Dadaist ideals of unconventional life and beauty. In 1924, the Dadaist movement disintegrated and Hoch’s style evolved into a more feminist nature.

      hubpages.com/hub/Lady-Dada-Hannah-Hoch-Female-Dadaist-Artist

    • Jean Catubay 7:09 pm on June 21, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      The movement was, among other things, a protest against the barbarism of the War and what Dadaists believed was an oppressive intellectual rigidity in both art and everyday society; its works were characterized by a deliberate irrationality and the rejection of the prevailing standards of art. It influenced later movements including Surrealism.

      Source: http://www.artinthepicture.com/styles/Dadaism/

    • ivaan fernandez 7:24 pm on June 21, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Dada, is this concept of originality, that everything has already been written, and so what is left is to move the focus from narrative arc, Aristotelian form, character development, and instead experiment with
      form and reader expectations.

      http://ramsites.net/~whitemm2/pages/collage.pdf

    • Margot Guerrero 11:24 pm on June 25, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Following the war, Heartfield settled in East Germany East Berlin and worked closely with theater directors such as Benno Besson and Wolfgang Langhoff at Berliner Ensemble and Deutsches Theater.
      He was greeted with suspicion by the Stasi (East German Secret Police) because of the length of his stay in England. He was denied admission into the East German Academie Der Kunste (Academy of the Arts). He was unable to work as a artist and was denied health benefits. He was suspected of “collaboration” by the Stasi because of the amount of time he had lived in England and because his dentist was under suspicion.
      Due to the intervention of Bertoldt Brecht and Stefan Heym, Heartfield was formally admitted to the East German Akademie der Kúnste (Academy of the Arts) in 1956. Although he subsequently produced some montages warning of the threat of nuclear war, he was never as prolific again.
      In 1967, he visited Britain and began preparing a retrospective exhibition of his work, “photomontages”, which was subsequently completed by his widow Gertrude and the Deutsche Akademie der Künste, and shown at the ICA in London in 1969.

  • admin 4:44 pm on June 14, 2012 Permalink | Reply  

    Not a searchable item 

    The perfect commuting storm has descended onto the Bay Area – – BART fire in W. Oakland, traffic backups from Orinda, San Leandro, Hercules, motorcycle accidents and parking lot conditions on the Bay Bridge, U.S. Open next door to SFSU.  In other words, class is canceled for today – -Thursday, June 14.  Keep an eye on the motherblog and here for updates on Tuesday’s class.  Enjoy your day off . . . just don’t try to drive or ride across the bay.

     
    • Margot Guerrero 5:11 pm on June 14, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      The power loom came to silk only in the 1870s. Equipped with an automatic device that stopped the loom when the thread broke, the new loom could be attended by women and girls, a less expensive and initially more manageable source of labor. In broad silk the male weavers fought a delaying battle against the power loom, which nevertheless gradually replaced the handloom during the 1880s. In ribbon weaving, however, power lagged behind. Ribbon weavers made the narrow and often fine silk used for ties, labels, and hatbands. For the very reason that power came to silk so much later than to cotton and other textiles – because, that is, of the delicacy of the thread and of the work – power came to ribbon weaving last. Not until 1889, when a high-speed automatic ribbon loom was introduced, could embroidered designs on ribbon goods be produced efficiently by power looms.
      Throughout the 1890s some handloom ribbon weavers still worked the old way, but by 1900, or 1905 at the latest, the handloom had disappeared in Paterson. By using the latest technology, Paterson’s manufacturers captured markets from the less mechanized European silk industry and also attracted capital away from Paterson’s older industries; by 1900 they had succeeded in making Paterson into “Silk City,” the “Lyons of America”. But the new technology did not equally transform their work force; the habits and attitudes of the handloom weaver outlived the handloom. Long after the English and French migration had stopped and the power loom had completely replaced the hand-loom, weavers were needed. And they were still troublesome, because only by causing trouble could they maintain the value of their skills.

  • admin 3:29 pm on June 13, 2012 Permalink | Reply  

    Searchable item #3: “Paterson silk strike” (again, remember, the goal is to build up significant information and context – – rather than repeat what others have posted, add to it)

     
    • cody916 5:16 pm on June 13, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      The 1913 Paterson silk strike was a work stoppage involving silk mill workers in Paterson, New Jersey. The strike, which involved demands for establishment of an eight-hour day and improved working conditions. The strike began on February 1, 1913, and ended six months later, on July 28

    • Jean Catubay 6:37 pm on June 13, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Unlike most textile strikes, including the 1912 strike in Lawrence, Massachusetts, the Paterson strike did not begin as a defensive battle against a wage cut. The broad-silk weavers called the strike on 25 February as a way of blocking an increase in loom assignments from two to four.

      Source: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/goldman/peopleevents/e_strike.html

    • Kiku Ouchida 9:14 pm on June 13, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      This revolutionary vision of workers’ control reached its fullest expression in the “Pageant of the Paterson Strike” performed by over a thousand workers in Madison Square Garden on 7 June. The even was conceived by John Reed and supported by the I.W.W., the Socialist Party, Greenwich Village intellectuals, and a social circle associated with heiress Mabel Dodge. (Source PBS)

      Image of poster used to promote the strike:
      http://www.njdigitalhighway.org/enj/lessons/paterson_strike_of_1913/img/paterson_pageant.jpg

    • Minsun Ko 9:16 pm on June 13, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Despite the pageant, the strikers were eventually defeated. Although they had shut down Paterson, beaten off an attempt by the American Federation of Labor to undercut the strike, and nonviolently overcome a police offensive against them, they had been unable to extend the strike to annexes of the Paterson mills in Pennsylvania. Paterson manufacturers, victorious but frightened, held back the four-loom system for another decade. Strike supporters were torn apart as a result of the defeat, and the I.W.W. never recovered in the East. (Source PBS)

    • annabear 9:30 pm on June 13, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      More info on the I.W.W. and their involvement.

      The Industrial Workers of the World (I.W.W.) Union provided a great service to the individuals involved in the Paterson Silk Strike. The I.W.W. membership was divided into two groups: anarchism and socialism. Both groups eventually agreed to focus on “direct action” rather than political elections as a way to emphasize the notion that members of the working class and their employers were two separate entities. Their idea of direct action primarily involved labor strikes, which explains their involvement in The Paterson Silk Strike. By providing weekly meetings for these toiling female silk workers the I.W.W. helped to encourage and empower the individuals involved in this strike, and provided a detailed and educational approach to this strike.

      http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/goldman/peopleevents/e_iww.html

    • béthany 9:41 pm on June 13, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Among the methods used in the strike was a performance held in Madison Square Garden, involving over a thousand silk workers. This “Pageant of the Paterson Strike” helped to raise awareness and funds for the strike.

      • béthany 9:46 pm on June 13, 2012 Permalink | Reply

        The pageant was both propaganda, and performance art. Artists who were non-silk workers, such as John Sloan, participated in the project by painting a huge backdrop for the stage. 15’000 people were in attendance for the one performance.

    • jamesgibilisco 11:19 pm on June 13, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      What I’m noticing, is that of of the poets were reading, William Carlos Williams took a special interest in this strike. It makes sense, Williams was born and raised in Rutherford NJ which is only about 10 miles away from Paterson. He was 30 years old when the strike occurred, and already a published poet. What I’m reading is that the strike helped focus Williams’ attention and his artistic efforts into the community. The radicals and workers that he encountered gave him a rich supply of material for his poetry. Following the strike of 1913, Williams began to associate with a group of artists from New York City who called themselves “The Others.” This group included the poet Alfred Kreymborg, along with artists such as Man Ray and Marcel Duchamp. His exposure to this group introduced him to Dadaist and Surrealist principles which influenced his early poetry and made him one of the important figures in the modernist movement in America. Later on in life, Williams published an epic five book poem entitled “Paterson” over a twelve year period between 1946-1958. This work experimented with combining both poetry and prose in a mosaic structure. In 2003 the Edwin Mellen Press published a book entitled “William Carlos Williams A Poetic Response to the 1913 Paterson Silk Strike.”

    • Ben Fish 11:43 pm on June 13, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/USApaterson.jpg

      This is a cartoon by Art Young, published June 7th 1913, depicting Paterson silk manufacturers as a rotund, boorish behemoth (complete with top hat), defacing the constitution in the name of profits.

    • Alina k 12:18 am on June 14, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      John Reed, a New York city journalist who came to Patterson in order to report the strike, was imprisoned in Paterson County Jail. After publishing stories about the lousy conditions in the jail he was released. Reeds experience inspired him, and other journalists, to defend the rights of the press in covering industrial disputes. Being a Greenwich Village resident, Reed was part of a circle of artists and writers. His wide circle of comrades and thorough knowledge of Sociology helped him to be one of the main organizers of the Paterson Strike Pageant.

      Here is a link to “War in Patterson” an article by John Reed that describes the conditions durring the strike.

      http://www.marxists.org/archive/reed/1913/masses06.htm

    • savi 1:02 am on June 14, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      The silk boom created a need for a large labor force, thus a large number of immigrants were brought from Eastern and Southern Europe. These immigrants often clashed with the pre-industrialization workers, but also brought new ideas that led to unionization. Union meetings were illegal in Paterson, but the socialist mayor in nearby Haledon allowed them to meet at the house of Pietro Botto. The home of Pietro Botto, a silk worker from northern Italy, and his wife Maria became the meeting hub for over 20,000 silk workers during the strikes. Today, The Botto House is a national landmark and houses the American Labor Museum.

    • Courtney 2:37 am on June 14, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Botto House is a Victorian house that belong to silk worker Pietro Botto. It was the meeting place of over 20,000 silk workers. The museum has restored the facility, and has educational programs; such as a lobor eduactional tour.
      http://sites.bergen.org/ourstory/resources/paterson/strike/Strike_Industry.htm

    • kevinyee 5:15 am on June 14, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      A link to the program of the pageant: http://historymatters.gmu.edu/d/5649/

      The focus was on heavy emotional images that would push the audience to action. In episode 4 the audience becomes a part of the scene by singing the songs as well.

    • Andrew Chan 5:25 am on June 14, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      The Paterson Silk Strike of 1913 was particularly noted for the participation of intellectuals in support of workers’ rights. Although their “Paterson Silk Pageant” in New York garnered significant acclaim for its artistic achievement, it failed to raise enough money to support the general strike, which ended less than two months after the pageant. The pageant itself was an ambitious undertaking incorporating thousands of the striking workers in a grand production at Madison Square Garden.

      “The average man who went to look [at the Paterson strike pageant] and the social observer familiar with labor struggles left Madison Square Garden with a vivid new sense of the reality of the silk strike and of industrial conflict in general for that matter.” – Survey, June 28,1913 http://www.jstor.org/stable/1144681

      Despite the failure of the pageant to fund the general strike, it helped to bridge the divide between workers and non-workers by invoking the shared values of humanity. By witnessing the bold depiction of a strike, Americans were able to empathize with the workers in a way that helped to support further workers’ rights movements.

    • kurteizinger 5:59 am on June 14, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Paterson was on the first planned industrial cities in early America. In the late 1800’s, Paterson was known as “Silk City” and had a boom in the textile industry. Because of the success of the silk industry, many immigrants from northern Europe moved to Paterson for work.

    • Irina 6:24 am on June 14, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Photo of the strike leaders at the Paterson silk strike of 1913. From left, Patrick Quinlan, Carlo Tresca, Elizabeth Gurley Flynn, Adolph Lessig, and Bill Haywood
      By the time the strike ended in failure in July of 1913, Patrick Quinlan was sentenced to 2 to 7 years in prison and other leaders were facing trials.
      http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/b/b9/Paterson_strike_leaders.jpg

      Also, worth noting:
      “The women have been an enormous factor in the Paterson strike . . . They are becoming deeply interested in the questions of the hour that are confronting women and are rapidly developing the sentiments that go to make up the great feminist movement of the world. With them it is not a question of equal suffrage but of economic freedom.”
      — William D. “Big Bill” Haywood, Industrial Workers’ of the World (I.W.W.), June 1913

    • Ivaan 4:19 pm on June 14, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Early developments in the strike: http://youtu.be/EG1rWpyrA_w

    • Margot Guerrero 5:13 pm on June 14, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      The power loom came to silk only in the 1870s. Equipped with an automatic device that stopped the loom when the thread broke, the new loom could be attended by women and girls, a less expensive and initially more manageable source of labor. In broad silk the male weavers fought a delaying battle against the power loom, which nevertheless gradually replaced the handloom during the 1880s. In ribbon weaving, however, power lagged behind. Ribbon weavers made the narrow and often fine silk used for ties, labels, and hatbands. For the very reason that power came to silk so much later than to cotton and other textiles – because, that is, of the delicacy of the thread and of the work – power came to ribbon weaving last. Not until 1889, when a high-speed automatic ribbon loom was introduced, could embroidered designs on ribbon goods be produced efficiently by power looms.
      Throughout the 1890s some handloom ribbon weavers still worked the old way, but by 1900, or 1905 at the latest, the handloom had disappeared in Paterson. By using the latest technology, Paterson’s manufacturers captured markets from the less mechanized European silk industry and also attracted capital away from Paterson’s older industries; by 1900 they had succeeded in making Paterson into “Silk City,” the “Lyons of America”. But the new technology did not equally transform their work force; the habits and attitudes of the handloom weaver outlived the handloom. Long after the English and French migration had stopped and the power loom had completely replaced the hand-loom, weavers were needed. And they were still troublesome, because only by causing trouble could they maintain the value of their skills.

    • Michael Niebuhr 7:36 pm on June 14, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      The strike’s major organizational body, the I.W.W. — or “Wobblies,” as they were called colloquially — was notable at the time for its radical Marxist worldview, which stated that all workers should unite as a distinct class and abolish the wage labor system. The union was actually split over how to achieve this vision most effectively, with some inner-union factions supporting political association with the Socialist Labor Party led by Daniel DeLeon, while others called for direct action in the form of strikes, boycotts, and union-produced propaganda. Partly because of the radical ideology touted by the organization, the Wobblies faced substantial animosity from the American government, who worked to suppress and dismantle the union, sometimes through violent means; Wobblies were killed on multiple occasions by agents of the United States government on varying levels of authority.

      In an slightly unrelated note, the IWW holds a special place as the worker’s union with a special fondness for song; for instance, when the Salvation Army band was sent to a Wobbly event to drown out the sound of IWW speakers, member Joe Hill wrote impromptu parodies of the band’s music so that members could sing along, changing songs like “The Sweet By and By” to “There’ll Be Pie in the Sky When You Die (That’s a Lie).”

    • Natasha 6:09 pm on June 19, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      “On 27th January, 1913, 800 employees of the Doherty Silk Mill went on strike when four members of the workers’ committee were fired for trying to organize a meeting with the company’s management to discuss the four-loom system. Within a week, all silk workers were on strike and the 300 mills in the town were forced to close.”

      http://sites.bergen.org/ourstory/resources/paterson/strike/thief.JPG

    • spencerruehl 8:06 pm on June 19, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Though the Patterson strike was defeated, the Patterson company became afraid of the workers and held off on their four loom machinery for another decade. the I.W.W., after the failed strike, began to lose memebrs all across the eastern seaboard and diminished their credibility enormously.

    • Anthony Schwartz 5:12 pm on June 21, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      The poem is composed of five books and a fragment of a sixth book. The five books of Paterson were published separately in 1946, 1948, 1949, 1951, and 1958, and the entire work was published as a unit in 1963. This book is considered to be Williams’ epic. Williams’ book In the American Grain is claimed to be Paterson’s abstracted introduction involving a rewritten American history. It is a poetic monument to, and personification of, the city of Paterson, New Jersey. One of the least opaque themes of the poem centers on the process of industrialization and its effects. But Randall Jarrell opines that “the [true] subject of Paterson is: How can you tell the truth about things?–that is, how can you find a language so close to the world that the world can be represented and understood in it?”[1] One notable phrase that echoes this theme and is repeated throughout the poem is, “No ideas but in things.”[2]

  • admin 12:35 am on June 8, 2012 Permalink | Reply  

    Searchabel Item #2: nihilism

    (To answer the searchable item – – click on the reply button in the upper right-hand corner of this post. And, don’t forget – – no more than 2 or 3 sentences and don’t repeat, add or supplement if somebody already posted your information, discovery, etc.)

     
    • minsunk 2:10 am on June 8, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Nihilism which is from the Latin nihil, nothing is the philosophical doctrine suggesting the negation of one or more putatively meaningful aspects of life. Most commonly, nihilism is presented in the form of existential nihilism which argues that life is without objective meaning, purpose, or intrinsic value.

    • Kiku Ouchida 2:10 am on June 8, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Sometimes it is used to in association with the lack of social norms to explain the general mood of despair at a perceived pointlessness of existence that one may develop upon realising there are no necessary norms, rules, or laws.

      The following is a comic from xkcd on Nihilism. It hits the main points on Nihilism and adds a comical aspect. I feel it touches a lot on the topic above. http://xkcd.com/167/

    • Irina 3:18 am on June 8, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Nihilism is the belief that all values are baseless and that nothing can be known or communicated. A true nihilist would believe in nothing, have no loyalties, and no purpose other than, perhaps, an impulse to destroy.
      In Russia, nihilism became identified with a loosely organized revolutionary movement (C.1860-1917) that rejected the authority of the state, church, and family. The movement advocated a social arrangement based on rationalism and materialism as the sole source of knowledge and individual freedom as the highest goal. By rejecting man’s spiritual essence in favor of a solely materialistic one, nihilists denounced God and religious authority as antithetical to freedom

    • Ivaan 10:48 pm on June 8, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Dr. Cornel West (Professor of African American Studies at Princeton and outspoken Christian theologian ) speaks heavily on the subject of Nihilism. His concern addresses Nihilism on a social and inter personal level. He believes that Nihilism in action is profoundly destructive to individuals and causes aimlessness and depression. To Dr. West, Nihilism in America is one of the major contributors to social unrest and is enacted both socially and politically.

      http://youtu.be/nAfxFEGF-wY

    • Alina Krjukova 10:36 pm on June 9, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      I think this here sums nihilism up pretty well:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hbHgr_YzqAw

    • mochiron 7:20 pm on June 10, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      The discussion of nihilism on the web differentiates epistemological, political, ethical and existential nihilism. A true nihilist, it seems to me, would not bother to answer this post as any statement therein would be impossible to know (epistemological), the action of doing so would be counter-productive by perpetuating a meaningless forum (political), the value of doing the post would be irrelevant (ethical), and the contribution would be meaningless (existential.) Would someone be willing to explore how the Hindu concept of maya fits in?

      • Michael Niebuhr 10:41 pm on June 11, 2012 Permalink | Reply

        As far as maya is concerned:

        Strictly speaking, a Nihilist could possibly appropriate the concept of maya to argue for the futility inherent in any attempt to find a “true” purpose in existence, but they would be able to do so only by ignoring the term’s contextual significance within the overall Hindu worldview, because maya only OBSCURES the true nature of reality for beings stuck in samsara (the Hindu term for the cycle of birth/life/death/rebirth prior to moksa, that is roughly, “salvation”) — it is not, as a Nihilist could possibly argue, evidence that such a reality does not exist; in fact, Hindu belief states that through intensely focused meditation (jnanayoga) and/or performing one’s righteous duty (dharma), any person can overcome maya’s influence and come to view the true nature of existence in which all things are one. In light of this, a Nihilist would probably rebuke the Hindu belief in maya by saying that the purposeless nature of existence — and the disharmony of existence in general — that Hinduism attributes to a temporary inability to perceive reality properly is not an obfuscation of any “higher” reality, but the true nature of existence itself, and the concept of maya is simply a faith-based coping mechanism that attempts to assign an arbitrarily manufactured logic to an existence void of purpose.

        • Ron Stein 2:48 am on June 13, 2012 Permalink | Reply

          Wow!! Thank you for thoughtful reply. I have been enlightened–so to speak!

    • spencerruehl 1:22 am on June 11, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Nihilism was first introduced by german philosopher Friedrich Jacobi. He used it as an example of extreme rationalization. A person who is a nihilist believes that something that cannot be proved cannot exist, there fore since our own existence cannot be proved out side of our own reality, then we do not exist.

      Here is a video on Nihilists dating techniques http://youtu.be/TkAAf3APD7I

    • Margot Guerrero 3:13 am on June 11, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      A common, but misleading, description of nihilism is the ‘belief in nothing’. Instead, a far more useful one would substitute ‘faith’ for ‘belief’ where faith is defined as the “firm belief in something for which there is no proof.” A universal definition of nihilism could then well be the rejection of that which requires faith for salvation or actualization and would span to include anything from theology to secular ideology. Within nihilism faith and similar values are discarded because they’ve no verifiable objective substance, they are invalid serving only as yet another exploitable lie never producing any strategically beneficial outcome. Faith is an imperative hazard to group and individual because it compels suspension of reason, critical analysis and common sense. Nietzsche once said that faith means not wanting to know. Faith is ‘don’t let those pesky facts get in the way of our political plan or our mystically ordained path to heaven’; faith is ‘do what I tell you because I said so’. All things that can’t be disproved need faith, utopia needs faith, idealism needs faith, and spiritual salvation needs faith. Abolish faith.

    • savi 6:45 am on June 11, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Dr. Steven Cromwell, Professor of Philosophy at Rice University, discusses the effect that nihilism has on the individual: an individual, if weakly constituted, may fall in despair when confronted with nihilism, or an individual may creatively transvalue their values establishing a new order of rank. Nietzsche embodies such a person through his prophet Zarathustra who teaches the meaning of the earth and has no need for otherworldly supports of the values he has. He describes him as the “overman,” or “last man of the nineteenth century” who understands nihilism as the moral point of view through life denying fundamentals and reformation of the idea of autonomy; essentially releasing life affirming potential.

    • Jessica Flores 4:49 pm on June 11, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Professor of philosophy and dean of the honors college has suggested that a manifestation of nihilism in television is the show “Seinfeld” because the basis of the show is that it is a “show about nothing”. In his opinion, it characterizes the show’s ironic humor.

    • béthany 6:13 pm on June 11, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Nietzsche is often associated with Nihilism, which as the other students have said, rejects the notion that anything has inherent meaning.
      In meditation, one can sit in a state of awareness that allows all to be and not be. Practicing to remove one’s attachment to certainty reveals the space between what is (or is not) and the judgement that locks our minds in place.

    • cody916 7:47 pm on June 11, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Thomas Hibbs suggested that the show Seinfeld is a manifestation of nihilism in television. The very basis of the sitcom is that it is a “show about nothing.” The majority of the episodes focused on minutiae. The view presented in Seinfeld is arguably consistent with the philosophy of nihilism, the idea that life is pointless, and from which arises a feeling of the absurd that characterizes the show’s ironic humor

    • cody916 7:57 pm on June 11, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Whoops! I didn’t realize someone had already posted about “Seinfeld”…Here is a great quote of Nihilism by William S. Burroughs, Naked Lunch:

      “You were not there for The Beginning. You will not be there for The End…. Your knowledge of what is going on can only be superficial and relative….”

    • Natasha 11:02 pm on June 11, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      A nihilist is a man who judges of the world as it is that it ought not to be, and of the world as it ought to be that it does not exist. According to this view, our existence (action, suffering, willing, feeling) has no meaning: the pathos of ‘in vain’ is the nihilists’ pathos — at the same time, as pathos, an inconsistency on the part of the nihilists.

      —Friedrich Nietzsche, KSA 12:9 [60], taken from The Will to Power, section 585, translated by Walter Kaufmann

    • annabear 1:57 am on June 12, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      The Italian Futurist Movement and the English Vorticism movement can be linked to nihilism. In a brief summary of The Futuristic Syndrome, by David Ohana, attention is focused on the artist Wyndham Lewis, whose glorification of Hitler in his artwork, and rejection of sentimentalist artwork can be linked to nihilism. In his piece below, A Battery Shelled he depicts the atrocities of war, and his depiction of ‘man as machine’ is an indicator of the Vorticistic movement away from sentimentalism.

      Wyndham Lewis, A Battery Shelled:
      http://silverandexact.files.wordpress.com/2011/02/a-battery-shelled-wyndham-lewis-1918.jpg
      Brief Summary of link between Nihilism and Futurism:
      http://www.sussex-academic.com/sa/titles/politics_ir/OhanaFuturist.htm

    • Ben Fish 3:34 am on June 12, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      From the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy:

      “In Les Misérables, Victor Hugo contrasts universal negation with universal affirmation:

      ‘All roads are blocked to a philosophy which reduces everything to the word ‘no.’ To ‘no’ there is only one answer and that is ‘yes.’ Nihilism has no substance. There is no such thing as nothingness, and zero does not exist. Everything is something. Nothing is nothing. Man lives more by affirmation than by bread.’ (1862, pt. 2, bk. 7, ch. 6).”

      http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/nothingness/

    • Andrew Chan 4:47 am on June 12, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Nihilism argues that all meaning has no meaning at all. The only rational conclusion that we can draw about life itself is that all our beliefs and values have no logical basis; that is to say, the meaning that we define for our lives is merely an elaborate ruse to assuage our need to understand. But we can never truly understand ourselves, as the quest for answers to life’s greatest questions directs us towards emptiness.

    • kurteizinger 5:31 am on June 12, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Friedrich Nietzsche is probably one of the most famous nihilists. During his life, he believed that “god” was dead and that humans killed the idea of him. Many famous philosophers believed that nihilism should be avoided and it that it is a very dangerous topic.

      Kurt Eizinger

      http://www.cracked.com/funny-2469-nihilism/

    • kevinyee 5:31 am on June 12, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      As an Ethical Concept, Nihilism goes along with the “life is meaningless” ideology. Life itself has no worth and nothing in it does either. This ideology doesn’t work well with epistomology because then knowledge itself would have no meaning as the method to aquire more knowledge has no worth.

      It is notably different from cynicism which is negativety, nihilism is empty compared to feelings of pessimism towards the world.

    • Courtney 5:59 am on June 12, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Moral nihilism or ethnic nihilism is the belief that denies moral principle and value.
      “Science keeps religion from sinking into the valley of crippling irrationalism and paralyzing obscurantism. Religion prevents science from falling into the marsh of obsolete materialism and moral nihilism.”
      —–Dr. M.L.K. Jr

    • Jean Catubay 7:44 am on June 12, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Greek philosopher Gorgias (885 BCE-380 BCE) was considered the first nihilist. This is largely based on his ideas represented in his written work On Nature or the Non-Existent – ideas which are most influenced with the belief that “nothing exists”

      http://www.anistor.gr/english/enback/plato.jpg

    • sophiak 6:11 pm on June 12, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Nihilist ideologies have been appropriated by some punk musicians and sections of the punk community, who identify with the sense of meaninglessness of life. Here’s an interesting scholarly essay called “Nihilism in Punk and Post-Punk Bands”: http://camil.music.uiuc.edu/~jbunch2/files/Writings%20-%20Nihilism%20in%20Punk%20and%20Post-Punk%20Bands.pdf

      Also, here’s a song by punk band Rancid called “Nihilism”: http://youtu.be/2WOx4U3sCuQ

    • jamesgibilisco 7:16 pm on June 12, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      It’s hard for me to say that the content of the poems we are looking at today is completely nihilistic. They seem to present nihilistic themes, but at the same time they don’t completely reject all established laws of poetry. Robinson’s poem “The Clerks” definitely possesses the sense of nothingness and meaningless, but he presents the poem in a traditional Petrarchean rhyme scheme. In his poem “Mr. Flood’s Party,” he references Roland and his horn Oliphaunt which are prominent in classical poetry. Masters poem “Petit, the Poet” seems to be the closest one that embodies the theme of nihilism. The rejection of traditional poetic aspects along with the idea of beauty and love fading away really makes it a destructive poem. His poem “Lucinda Matlock” however seems to imply that there is beauty in life that we are unable or unwilling to see. Millay seems to take traditional forms (i.e. shakespearean sonnet) and apply them to darker material. Perhaps this is her way of commenting on current times and rejecting traditional modes of poetry.

      Frost reading “The Road Not Taken”:
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ie2Mspukx14

    • Anthony Schwartz 5:06 pm on June 14, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      As a teenager my first exposure to the nihilist doctrine was in the film The Big Lebowski, here are some quotes that really shaped my understanding.

      “Nihilists! Fuck me. I mean, say what you like about the tenets of National Socialism, Dude, at least it’s an ethos.” -Walter Sobchak

      “We believe in nothing, Lebowski. Nothing. And tomorrow we come back and we cut off your chonson.” -Nihilist

      Bunny Lebowski: Blow on them.
      The Dude: You want me to blow on your toes?
      Bunny Lebowski: I can’t blow that far.
      The Dude: [looks at man lazing in the pool] Are you sure he won’t mind?
      Bunny Lebowski: Uli doesn’t care about anything. He’s a Nihilist.
      The Dude: Ah, that must be exhausting.

  • sophiak 4:55 pm on June 7, 2012 Permalink | Reply  

    As others have mentioned, Augustus Saint-Gaudens is celebrated as a hero of the American Renaissance in arts and architecture. The artists of the American Renaissance, occurring approximately between 1876 and 1917, believed that the United States, with its rapid advancements in technology, industry and democracy, was on the path to achieving the kind of greatness realized by ancient Greece and Rome, and Europe during the Renaissance. To that end, Saint-Gaudens captured important American historical heroes like President Lincoln, General Sherman and Robert Gould Shaw. The comparison to Greek and Rome is shown in these works in their strong classical influence. This ties into what Professor Hanley lectured on in Tuesday’s class when he explained that writers in the period we’ll be focusing on this semester felt a renewed sense of national pride and purpose.

     
  • jamesgibilisco 4:29 pm on June 7, 2012 Permalink | Reply  

    Augustus Saint-Gaudens. Irish/American sculptor (1848-1907). Born in Ireland and raised in America, Gaudens received his training in Paris and Rome. It seems to me that this classical training and the views associated with it are what Henry Adams is focusing on in “The Dynamo and the Virgin.” Gaudens represents a throwback to the renaissance where art was appreciated more for its technical skill and execution. The modern day notion of an artwork’s “meaning” seems to be lost on Gaudens. Adams on the other hand was educated in America, but seems to be hinting that his way of thinking is deeply rooted in the past. Both of these gentleman seem to be struggling with the integration of the past with the present. In front of the statue of the Virgin of Amiens, Gaudens sees only classical beauty and taste where Adams focuses on the female figure as a symbol of force. This could be a response by Adam’s to the rising power of women in the United States. Adams wants to appreciate the statue for its beauty and emotion, but his experience in America forces him to see it as an expression of force. Gaudens is unable to mesh modern day views of femininity into artistic appreciation. The idea of changing the way people think seems to be one of the primary goals of the exposition of 1900. The integration of art and industry as well as the “Negro Expostion,” attempted to influence popular opinion going into the 20th century.

     
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