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4) Anecdote Form (based on Labov)

The linguist William Labov analyzed the parts of the anecdote

1) Abstract
A short (one or two sentence) summary of the story that narrators provide before reconting the story proper. It encapsulates the point of the story.

2) Orientation
Servies to identify the time, place, persons, and their activity or situation and occurs immediately before the first narrative clause. It often includes a portrait of the main character, or context for the situation.

3) Complicating Action & Resolution
These are the core of the narrative. The former begins with the first narrative clause, and the latter ends with the last such clause.

4) Evaluation
Evaluation is the means used by the narrator to indicate the point of the narrative, why it was told and what the narrator was getting at, to ward off the question “so what?”. Evaluative comments may be distributed through the entire narrative. They may be inserted as direct observations by the narrator (external), or be embedded within the story, as dialogue, descripition of gestures, intensifiers, repetitions, comparisons. Comparators may depart from the past tense, and draw upon a background beyond the immediate complicating action.

5) Resolution & Coda
These elements mark the conclusion of the complicating action. Their effect is to create a sense of completion. They may consist of just one sentence, as a tag line, or return the account to the beginning of the narrative.

The Birthday Surprise

[Abstract] Let me tell you about the day George, the hired man at the Gravel plant, surprised Walt with a birthday present.

[Orientation] There was this huge pile, a mountain, of oversize rock that came off the side of the washer. Too big for anything, unless we had a crusher, which we could not afford. They just sat there, smooth oval mottled gray stone, and piled up over the years, always with a few rock-hounds climbing over it, lookng for agates. You could get a full cubic yard, over a ton of this rock, for two dollars in those days.

[Complicating Action] One day George came back from lunch with a present for Dad, a birthday present, something he found at the drugstore. Walt opened it and there was this box and inside the box was a pet rock.

[Evaluation] The pet-rock fad was just starting. Now there was no difference between this pet rock and the rocks in the ovesize pile, except that the pet one had a face painted on it, a frown, with knitted eyebrows, like it was angry, and it was packaged in this box like a pet carrier.

[Action continued] George says, “guess what this thing cost?” and Dad said he couldn’t guess. “Two bits?” he says. “Two dollars!” says George.

[Evaluation: intensifier] Two dollars each he says.

[Action…] Dad stared at that rock, hefted it in his hand, and this look came over his face.

[Evaluation] I thought he was going to throw it.

[Resolution] And that look was a good imitation of the frown on his new pet.

[Coda] He turned to me and says, “Go put this on the oversize pile.”

(275 words)

2018-07-20T14:48:49+00:00 July 20th, 2018|Categories: Memory, Mystory, Narrative, Tutorials|Tags: , , , |


The Popcycle of James Joyce

  History (School, Community): Young Joyce’s imagination was captured by the cause of Irish freedom, whose most prominent spokesman at the time was Charles Stewart Parnell, a national hero who suffered a tragic fall. “He was accused of adultery in the divorce suit of Captain O’Shea. At first it appeared that Parnell might weather this scandal, but a coalition of political enemies and devout Catholics ousted him from leadership of the Irish Parliamentary Party, and the rural population of Ireland turned against their hero with savage hatred” (Litz, 1972: 20). At Parnell’s funeral crowds tore to shreds the case in which the man’s coffin had been shipped in order to have a relic. Soon he became in the Irish imagination the type of the betrayed hero (21).

Church (Religion): Joyce’s formal education took place in schools run by the Jesuit order. His mot important religious experience occurred at Belvedere College, “when he was elected Prefect of the Sodality, “that is, “head of a group of students who banded together for the purposes of devotion and mutual help.” It was his duty according to the Jesuit manual “to excel the other members of the Sodality in virtue and to observe with the greatest diligence not only the rules of his own office but also the common rules, those especially that relate to the frequentation of the sacraments, confessing his sins and receiving the Blessed Eucharist more frequently than the others, and he should take care to advance the Sodality in the way of virtue and Christian perfection, more by example even than by words (28). Although Joyce broke with the Church, as Litz observed, this stance carried over to his “view of the artist as secular priest.”

Family (Paleo): The defining problem of Home for Joyce was his ambivalence toward his father, whose chief interst in life was “jolification.” “The declining family fortune had the greatest impact on James. The inefficiency of Joyce’s father and his wasteful habits gradually undermined family finances and family solidarity. When James entered the fashionable Clongowes Wood College in 1888, his family was quite well-to-do; by the time he had reached Belvedere College, five years later, his father had been dismissed from the Rates office on a small pension. The family had now begun a long series of removals to heaper dwellings” (919).

  Career: At age eighteen Joyce published a refiew of Ibsen’s play, “When We Dead Awaken” in The Fortnightly Review. In a letter he sent to Ibsen, the student Joyce explained that while he promoted the dramatist’s work at every opportunity, he kept to himself the most important reasons for his admiration. “I did not say how what I could discern dimly of your life was my pride to see, how your battles inspired me–not the obvious material battle but those that were fought and won behind your forehead–how your willful resolution to wrest the secret from life gave me heart and how in your absolute indifference to public canons of art friends and shibboleths you walked in the light of your inward heroism” (Joyce, in Litz, 24).

Mystory: These entries constitute a preliminary survey of Joyce’s popcyle, points of identification, both positive and negative, attraction and repulsion, by which Joyce oriented himself his existence: Parnell, Christ, Joyce’s father, Ibsen: together they constitute Joyce’s inner Board of Directors (superego).Even in these brief descriptions themata are evident, perhaps summarized in the completed sentence of Ibsen’s title: “When we dead awaken, we will see that we have never lived.” The Jesuit organization for boys, the Sodality, set the highest standards piety an virtue for lay people, perhaps too high: Parnell, Joyce’s father, the characters in the play, could not live up to them.


A. Walton Litz (1972), James Joyce, revised ed. New York: Hippocrene Books.

The image is a map drawn by Nabokov of the intertwining paths of Leopold Bloom and Stephen Daedalus around Dublin recounted in the novel, Ulysses.

2018-07-20T14:15:48+00:00 July 20th, 2018|Categories: Memory, Mystory, Popcycle|Tags: , , , |



Introduction to Projects

KE is for anyone interested in adapting Humanities education, and pedagogy in general, to digital media. It is not the only way such an adaptation may be accomplished, but it may be in the mix for those taking into account apparatus theory (electracy names the digital apparatus). The curriculum and pedagogy are organized around the invention, design, and testing of konsult, the genre for learning in an electrate way. The rationale and related practices are inventoried in the following outline, to be unpacked and tested throughout KE.

1) Adopt a Disaster. The invention begins when egents (student konsultants) choose an ongoing disaster as the setting for their konsultation. The choice is based on punctum–a sting or trigger of emotion, a feeling of in/justice with respect to current events.

 –Felt: Electracy constitutes a metaphysics of Desire, underwriting and augmenting across institutions the human capacity of attraction/repulsion (pleasure/pain). These passions include Thymos as well as Eros. A feeling of in/justice is addressed not as a “virtue” (a concept or ideal) but within the full range of passions, treated within literacy as até dramatized in tragedy (and comedy), probing the insight relating individual foolishness to collective calamity. Konsult seeks to do for the visceral order of passion what dialogue did for the intellectual order of reason.

Attitude: Electracy does not compete with literacy as science or oraltiy as religion, but complements them. To the extent that prayer and engineering are sufficient for managing catastrophe, there is no need for konsult. Konsult intervenes when business as usual no longer suffices, disasters persist and increase. Konsult adopts its own attitude to disaster: egents “consult” (seek advice from, attempt to learn from) the disaster. They attempt to transate for themselves and the community the writing of the disaster (Blanchot).

2018-07-12T17:20:02+00:00 July 12th, 2018|Categories: Overview|Tags: , , , , |