Global Literatures in English

A qwriting.qc.cuny.edu blog

Mass Media and Mythology

March 14th, 2012 · 14 Comments
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Comment here for our two stories and three poems for today.  Our group will probably familiarize us with some of the names and personalities treated in those works, so I suppose we’ll leave that to them.  That said, you can find a lot of the references on Youtube (like Kate Smith on WCBS).  Our question for today will be simple–which of the five pieces’ speakers do you identify with most?

Other major American poets: Robert Creeley& Charles Olson (Black Mountain)
Lyn Hejinian, Ron Silliman & Charles Bernstein (LANGUAGE Poetry)
Kenneth Koch (New York School)
James Merrill
Susan Howe
Sonia Sanchez

Native American writers (like Alexie): Leslie Marmon Silko (novelist, major work Ceremony)
Louise Erdrich (poet and fiction writer, major work Love Medicine)
N. Scott Momaday (novelist and poet, major work House Made of Dawn)
Gerald Vizenor (novelist and poet, major work Bearheart)

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14 responses so far ↓

  • 1    cbergmann // Mar 14, 2012 at 7:04 pm

    Out of the five pieces that were assigned, I would have to say the speaker of “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” was easiest for me to identify with. The speaker spent his day running average errands in his seemingly average life. Throughout the day he spends his time mostly daydreaming of fantastical events that could occur if the speaker lived some action-packed movie. Especially when I was younger, I use to daydream all the time about living a life that was anything but average. I would play out these fantasies in my head when in reality I was just doing some chores around the house. I think many of us, every once in a while, daydream about what it would be like if we lived some unrealistic action-packed movie life.

  • 2    GordonWTam // Mar 14, 2012 at 11:29 pm

    I related most with “The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fist Fight in Heaven” since I used to work at a 7-11 and much of the “training” they gave me was what to do if you get robbed. (Thankfully, it never happened. Then again, I didn’t do the late shift.) There was maybe 6 minutes to learn how to use the register and the rest of the time it was “hope you don’t get robbed.” The problem of the clerk turning and getting shot or beat up changed when one of 7-11’s new policies were to have two people on the late shift at all times. The fun little silent alarm behind the counter was also installed. This story was very relative to my experience working there.

  • 3    Zasha Lucas // Mar 15, 2012 at 1:37 am

    The piece I identify with most is “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” because ever since I was a little girl I always liked to use my imagination and take my self somewhere else outside of the “real world”. I can relate with imagining myself being a doctor and trying to save someones life. Even till this day I catch myself imagining different situations or me as a different persona. It’s just fun and different sort of like an escape.

  • 4    marissae17 // Mar 15, 2012 at 3:27 am

    I would have to be honest and say that I most identify with the speaker of “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty”. When I am at school, work or out running errands, I am constantly imagining ‘where would I be right now if I was…’ and I always make up these crazy professions. As a college student, I think at one point or another each students asks themselves ‘What if my major was……’ or ‘Where would I be right now if i decided to take the career path instead of school?” I think it is inevitable at one point or another in everybody’s life for somebody to ask “What if”.

  • 5    gvelella // Mar 15, 2012 at 4:12 am

    I do not identify with the story entirely, but “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” reminds me of escaping difficult or misleading times through my imagination. As Marissa said, I too would think if I had taken another direction in life, where would I be if i went to college for some other profession, or finished college earlier, etc… It thought Mr. Mitty was just escaping his life and thinking of these outrageous, fun situations.

  • 6    Jamie Rohr // Mar 15, 2012 at 1:56 pm

    While I might be echoing what my classmates have been saying, I stay put with identifying most with “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty”, because honestly who doesn’t get lost in a good daydream. At this time in my life, the daydreams are not just of a boy in some foggy little cloud above my head. The daydreams take me through my different life choices and creates a picture of my posssible choices. I dont want to get to the point where I am like Walter Mitty, wondering what I could have done, which is every person’s fear. He is extremely relateable.

  • 7    khaff88 // Mar 15, 2012 at 2:58 pm

    Out of all the stories and poems we had to read for today, I mostly identify with “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” (like most of the class it seems). Walter turned his boring afternoon with his wife into multiple adventures; I find myself doing the same thing sometimes. It’s nice to let your imagination run wild for a bit throughout the day. Walter may have been daydreaming a bit too much but I honestly don’t see any harm in it.

  • 8    azaharopoulos // Mar 15, 2012 at 4:48 pm

    The Thurber and Alexei short stories were the ones I identified with most. I enjoyed the way the protagonist bounced back and forth from dreaming to reality. It reminded me of old couples that one partner grips on to the past and the other just jokes about the fact like when a man says he wants to do something and the woman says forget it you are not a spring chicken anymore. The Alexei story takes place in a world that is very familiar to me. Like creamsicles and seven elevens but the humor involved in this story kinda veils the seriousness of drinking to much and domestic disputes that lead to odd behavior. Both these stories were entertaining. Im a big fan of cartoons and Daffy Duck but it kinda let me down because it was really not about cartoons. This poem was also loaded with references I was not aware of. Im still doing research to make ends meet.

  • 9    hernandez // Mar 15, 2012 at 4:50 pm

    I as many of my classmates also relate to the story, “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty”. At first not at all because I had no idea what was going on. He went from doing one thing to another in a matter of minutes. Than I realized he was definitely day dreaming which explained it all. I don’t daydream often but when I do its not of fantasies and such. Its about possible outcomes that can happen when a decision is made or about to be made. At other times yes I am not going to lie I do daydream about what ifs. I remember talking about it with my cousin on what we would do with me won the lottery. My mind went 1000 mph in every direction. Daydreaming isn’t such a bad thing sometimes. Life is way too serious and this can definitely help out a bit.

  • 10    seanlevine // Mar 15, 2012 at 4:54 pm

    I found “Ave Maria” to be the most interesing piece amongst
    the lot. The fracturing of the piece leaves the reader alot
    of room to play around with its recitation/meaning. But what really drew me to it as the fact that It raised alot of questions on my end. Mostly concerning how different the processes of maturing, and growing throught childhood has changed, utterly
    and absolutely, since O’Hara wrote the poem. I found his imperative to let you’re Children out into the broader world, to experience, to love, to fail, to be human, was an interesting perspective that is increasingly fading away in the age of the internet; and often by the youngsters own volition rather than the directives of the parents. Anyway, the poem probably operates on an esoteric level in actuality, so i’m just projecting all of this meaning onto the text. But somehow I feel the author would find some aspects of the interpretation congenial to his intent/way of thinking.

  • 11    andycrazn // Mar 15, 2012 at 7:09 pm

    i identify closely with “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” because i day dream and plan things out a lot like in case of a zombie apocalypse type of scenario what would i do or a more likely scenario like what would happen if america faces hyperinflation/default. Daydreaming is a nice way to escape but, nowadays we have a lot of media influencing and replacing our imaginative ways with their own imagination. it makes me wonder if we could still daydream if our lives got thrown way off our “norm”.

  • 12    javeriasid // Mar 15, 2012 at 7:30 pm

    The speaker I most identify with is Walter Mitty. Even though at first I was confused as to whether he was actually navigating a ship or was waiting on his wife at the hairdresser’s, I figured out that he was daydreaming. Walter Mitty’s imagination is wild and endless, which to me is what my childhood was all about. Sometimes when life gets boring, the only thing you really can do is congure up fantasies in your mind to keep life interesting. Though his imagination is more vivid than my own, I understand his desire to escape from the life he is living.

  • 13    costantinipatti // Mar 15, 2012 at 7:37 pm

    I identify with the story” The secret life of Walter Mitty”. At first I was under the impression that he was having flashbacks as he went on his regular day. Then, I though that perhaps he was a veteran and he is suffering from a trauma. It was a good story for me because it was almost up to the reader to use the imagination and set a platform for the story.

  • 14    nmulet // Mar 15, 2012 at 8:11 pm

    I identify with the speaker of “Ave Maria” the most, even though I was allowed to go to the movies with my friends and without any parents. I think he’s ultimately trying to say that a child shouldn’t be too sheltered. And I think, in a way, I was. Obviously, my mother did it for my own safety and well-being, but I also think being sheltered made me very naive about the way the world works. It’s a good and a bad thing. I do also watch A LOT of tv.

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