Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Visual Portfolio

Of the images in the textbook's visual portfolio for the "Ah Wilderness!" chapter, which do you think presents the most provocative or powerful argument? What is that argument? How does the image itself make the argument so powerful?

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


I hope you all gleaned something regarding "ecocritical approaches" to literary analysis yesterday from Earl's presentation. Also, last week, we endeavored to detect the "environmental" ethos within certain essays (and I explained that "ethos" in this regard is not quite the same as the rhetorical appeal "to ethos" with which some of you are familiar). Our good friend Wikipedia tells us that "ethos," in the sense that I am using it to investigate literary texts, means "the guiding beliefs or ideals that characterize a community, a nation or an ideology." So, certainly, while Earl did not say this directly, he was investigating Dan O'Brien's "environmental ethos." This "environmental ethos" was informed by a comedic approach to the natural world, according to Earl. What else did you learn from Earl's ecocritical project about Dan O'Brien's "environmental ethos"? What makes it, according to Earl, significant and interesting?

Monday, October 11, 2010

Hart Crane Paragraphs

You'll remember our exercise last week: groups of four students composed paragraphs to reveal the "environmental" message or content within the section "The Tunnel" from Hart Crane's poem The Bridge. I have compiled these paragraphs into a PDF, available here , and I hope you will read them all and then choose one upon which to comment here in the comments section. Choose a paragraph that you think is most effective on a rhetorical level and that is also interesting in terms of its "reading" of the poem. Why is the paragraph effective in your opinion? Give specific reasons and please comment explicitly on the authors' "craft" in writing their paragraph in the way that they did. What is worth emulating? Be sure to give the number of the paragraph upon which you are commenting.