English 300 - Fall 2004

This is my class journal for Professor Sexson's Critical Theory class.

9.12.04

English 300 Paper

Following is the paper I turned on Literary Criticism and the Well-Lived Life. I wrote it as a short story (I was kind of happy to hear Brian wrote his as a play--so maybe I'm not the only crazy one!), and I don't know how effective it is (really I don't like it 100%, but I'll deal with it), but time simply did not allow any more.

There are problems with it, but take it as you will. :)
PS: There is mention of a suicide and some details thereof included, just to warn you.




In the beginning there was life, and life was the beginning, but there was no real meaning until Irene met God.
In the master reality that prevails over all perceptual realms, he was not God, but Garridan Michaels. However, to Irene it made no difference; he was God to her and she loved and adored him as such. After all, the one who brought her such joy and made her feel so alive, one who understood her and gave her strength—he had to be God. And so he was.

I. By Blood Are We Destroyed


Her King abandoned his throne.
“I have to leave you,” came his raspy voice. If historians are bound by facts, God was no historian. I want to be at your side forever, echoed his voice in Irene’s mind. Why was he not bound to the laws of the Pantheon?—Greek gods could not break their vows.
He must have been a superior God.
“You can’t do this to me!” she had begged at his knees, grabbing at his hands. “I love you—you’re everything, my entire world! I love you! Do you not still love me?”
Garridan remained in his same stance, his head drooped, staring, unfeeling, past his once-sworn lover. Her question he ignored. “I have to leave,” he repeated, withdrawing his hands and taking a step backwards. If poets cannot lie because they never affirm, God was a poet. And a liar.
Irene only wept, shaking her head and groping at his clothing.
“I mean it,” he whispered sternly. God’s love changed to wrath. He drew his pocketknife and snapped out the blade, meaning only to scare her—but as he did, she reached for him. The sharp rip was the flesh on the underside of her forearm cleaving.
Garridan swore under his breath; Irene gasped and twisted her arm abruptly, staring numbly at the deep red mess emerging from her arm. She felt nothing, yet, but the blood told her she should soon be in pain. As she shrunk back, watching with wide eyes as the blood left her veins, God disappeared from her sight, and Garridan’s words floated past her—she did not hear them, though they were plain:
“I’m sorry. For everything.”
What she did hear was the gunshot. A powerful clap that shredded the silence for an instant but rang through the air for a prolonged moment. Irene didn’t know how she found herself on her feet and running around the corner, into that alley. His body alone was she aware of; crumpled on its side, streaked with blood and crimson gore, a bullet hole in its temple and a pistol still clutched in its right hand.
Her superior God had managed the impossible; her God was dead.

II. Der Tolle Mensch[1]


A month passed like a dream. Alcohol could not erase him; pills could not distance him; prayers could not revive him. Bandages and long sleeves only hid the mark of her destruction—the scar on her arm—from anonymous others.
When Garridan had been the God of her life, everything had meaning, for everything was Garridan and Garridan was everything. Irene had never considered, even imagined, looking outside of her God; outside of him existed nothing.
Now, outside of him existed everything. But all of it—all of it was meaningless.
She slept late into the morning and spent the afternoon wandering through the dirty city, trying not to think—trying merely to exist. Without meaning, existence is all that remains.
“Ich suche Gott! Ich suche Gott!” came a desperate voice. Immediately a man clothed in rags, carrying a lantern, stepped directly in front of Irene.
“What the—?! You crazy—”
The man, upon hearing the girl’s utterance, spun around and eyed her curiously, holding up his lantern as if he needed its aid to see her face in the broad daylight. “Ich suche Gott!” he said again, after a pause.
Irene sniffed. “God is dead.”
Astonished, the man jolted, took a step backwards. Scrutinizing the girl, he began to nod. “Wir haben ihn getödtet.... Wir alle sind seine Mörder![2]
Sighing, Irene attempted to step around the crazy man. But he stepped again in front of her. “Riechen wir noch Nichts von der göttlichen Verwesung?[3]” he continued, his voice crescendoing. Irene turned around and began to run. But the man’s voice followed her.
“Auch Götter verwesen! Gott ist todt! Gott bleibt todt! Und wir haben ihn getödtet[4]!”
The man’s voice faded as Irene turned a corner. But his final words stung her heart; she felt sick. “Diese That ist dir[5] noch ferner, als die fernsten Gestirne, —und doch hast du selbst[6] gethan![7]
You yourself have done it.... What human has the power to destroy God?
As Irene slowed to catch her breath, she noticed the small church on the corner. The doors were open, seemingly in invitation. Somewhat unsettled, she paused, then went in.
The stained-glass windows weakened the outside light as it entered; the myrrh-like smell of incense hovered in the cool air—the air was just as cold inside as it was outside. The idea of a sepulcher[8] came to mind, along with sense of infinite sadness and loneliness. She sunk down onto an empty pew, staring at the wooden floor.
Gradually she became aware of a presence beside her. But the church had been empty, hadn’t it? She turned to her right, and gasped: a man dressed in a suit and hat was sitting next to her on the pew with a rather thick book in his lap. He seemed to enjoy himself thoroughly, simply observing the interior structure of the church and partaking in the act of breathing.
“You’re troubled,” he said, without looking at her. “What’s missing from your life?”
Irene would rather have asked the man who he was—how he so silently appeared next to her. But something prompted her to answer him. “...When I knew God, my life had meaning. But now that he’s dead...now I see nothing around me; I feel nothing but my own pain....”
“Well,” said the man, smiling, “at least you’re aware of the hierarchy.”
“What hierarchy?”
“The hierarchy to which you just alluded—the hierarchy of order in the universe. At the top is God, underneath is meaning, then the world, and finally, at the bottom, you yourself.”
“—Why thank you,” Irene interrupted, somewhat offended that a stranger would rank her at the very bottom of the universe.
“Each level of the hierarchy is, of course, strongly connected to those adjacent to it,” the man continued, undeterred. “Losing one level inherently causes you to lose all levels above it—like removing the bottom book from a stack. And that lost level also throws some confusion into the levels below it.”
“I realize that,” Irene said bitterly.
“However,” the man went on, still looking only straight ahead, “if God is dead, as you claim, then you have been mistaken. God must be eternal and infinite. Perhaps you were only stuck, if you will, at the ‘world’ level, thinking you had found God, when in fact, you had found but a mere man.”
Tears began to well up and burn in Irene’s eyes, but they did not fall. “That’s not true!” she replied. “When I had him, my life had meaning! According to your stupid hierarchy, if it was only a world-level thing, meaning would be impossible!”
“Oh, but did it have meaning?” the man asked, turning to look at her intently. “I do not doubt it had purpose, but meaning? There is a difference! Did you have an endless supply of food for reflection? Were you enticed to contemplate something impossible to resist? Was there a strong and ineffaceable impression on your memory –one of subject matter that transcended the physical world?[9]
“What are you talking about?! You sound like some crazy professor talking about some book or something!”
The man’s face remained serious, his eyes steadily holding their gaze at Irene. “What’s the difference?”
“...What?”
“What’s the difference?” the man repeated with the same fervor. “If your life were a book, and you were the reader, would you be reading only at a literal level? Or would you find something beyond—something allegorical, moral, even anagogical[10]?”
Irene shook her head, sighing. “You’re crazy. You must’ve been reading too much of that stupid book you’ve got there.”
“Look at this ‘stupid book,’” said the man, and he slowly opened it to the middle. On the left side were words printed in structured paragraphs—it could have been any book and any page. On the right, the pages were blank, and the centers had been cut out, leaving behind only the picture-frame shape of the pages and a deep hollow—like a hidden storage space.
Irene stared at the odd book for several seconds, then shrugged. “What does it mean?” she asked carefully.
“You certainly don’t do much thinking for yourself,” the man commented, then tapped the left side of the book. “Here is the structure, the formulas, if you will, for a good book. If this were your life, this side is all that happens to you.” He moved his hand to the right side of the book. “Here is the place for what you come away with after reading. In your life, this is what you decide to make of your experiences: how you consider them, in what regard you hold them, what you use them for.
“You are both the reader and the author. You must create meaning as well as discover it. This is what will bring meaning to your life. And meaning is what brings you closer, I think, to God.” As he finished speaking, the man closed the book. “Transcend the boundaries of yourself, experience the world with ardor and transcend too its boundaries. Allow yourself to fall in love—not just with someone, but with ideas. Combine everything with energy and passion. This is the only way to live.”
He rose, tucking the tome under his arm, and walked toward the door. Irene half-expected him to disappear at the threshold, but he exited the building and entered the streets like any normal person would.

III. By Blood Are We Reborn


An ascending phoenix came to mind as Irene stepped through the doorway and onto the sidewalk. A cool breeze sighed; the sun shone strongly. With a deep breath, Irene rolled up her sleeve and looked for the first time at the mark[11] on her forearm. Of course, she had seen it before, but every time she’d quickly pulled her glance away from the symbol of her destruction.
It was her death as much as it was Garridan’s.
But now, as she looked at the scar on the underside of her forearm, she could almost see the blood streaming from her veins again.
Maybe it was not only my death...but my life as well.
She had lost the love of her life, but gained the freedom to discover this life. She lost his physical presence, but gained his eternal memory. It was too soon to fall in love with another man. But she could fall in love with life and living—this would bring her strength and meaning and joy...everything she had from her love of Garridan.
“Ich suche Gott! Ich suche Gott!” The crazy man’s voice emerged among the crowd as Irene passed through the city the way she had come. He’s starting at the wrong end of things... she thought. And then, fully aware of the world around her and the people gawking at her, Irene shouted, “Ich suche auch Gott! Aber zuerst such’ ich mich selbst und die Welt, und die Bedeutung von diesen![12]’’
~*~*~*~


[1] 1. This chapter’s title and all quotes in German are taken from F. Nietzsche’s Die Fröliche Wissenschaft, Kapitel 125. Translations are my own.

[2] “We have killed him.... We all are his murderers!”
[3] “Do we smell nothing yet of the rotting of God?”
[4] “Gods also rot! God is dead! God remains dead!”
[5] original reads “ihnen” – “them” instead of “you”
[6] original reads “haben sie dieselbe” – “they themselves have”
[7] “This deed is infinitely farther from you than the farthest stars, and yet you yourself have done it!”
[8] In reference to the last line of Kapitel 125: “Was sind denn diese Kirchen noch, wenn sie nicht die Grüfte und Grabmäler Gottes sind?” – “What, then, are these churches yet now, if they are not the graves and sepulchers of God?”
[9] Elements from Longinus’s On Sublimity
[10] Elements of interpretation from Dante’s The Letter to Can Grande
[11] The mark of Cain was a symbol of his blessing (God’s protection from murderers) as well as his curse.
[12] (Not from Nietzsche): “I am also searching for God! But first I’ll search for myself and the world, and the meaning of these!”

6 Comments:

Blogger dannyprill said...

jaimie- good paper- i enjoyed your groups presentation today. i was just wondering- however- if you wanted to get together over break and play smash bros on n64 since we we talking about it this morning. anyway, my email is on my journal if you are interested. talk to you later. have a good break.
danny prill

17 December 2004 at 22:21  
Blogger dannyprill said...

jaimie- good paper- i enjoyed your groups presentation today. i was just wondering- however- if you wanted to get together over break and play smash bros on n64 since we we talking about it this morning. anyway, my email is on my journal if you are interested. the website is at
www.tenminutestosunrise.blogspot.com
talk to you later. have a good break.
danny prill

17 December 2004 at 22:22  
Blogger saragk48aegibson said...

Hot News From The Automotive Lending Industry!!

+++++++++Current Profile+++++++++
InterFinancial Holdings, Corp (IFLH)
Current Price $0.036
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Is this an undiscovered gem priced to go higher!!
Please read the following Announcement in its Entirety and Consider the Possibilities�
Watch this One to Trade!

IFLH announces Senator David Cain has joined its Board of Directors!!

IFLH volume trading is beginning to surge with landslide Announcement. The value of this
stock appears poised for growth! This one should not remain on the ground floor for long.

BREAKING NEWS!!
InterFinancial Holdings, Corp. (OTC Pink Sheets: IFLH - News) announced that they have added
David Cain to their board of directors. David Cain is currently the Chairman of the advisory
board to TTI (Texas Transportation Institute). Senator Cain represented Senate District 2 for
eight years in the Texas Senate and Chaired the Senate State Affairs Subcommittee on
Transportation and served nine terms in the Texas House of Representatives for District 107.

During his twelve years as Chairman of the House Committee on Transportation, Senator Cain�s
efforts on behalf of the people of Texas have been widely recognized. He was named to Texas
Monthly Magazine�s list of Ten Best Legislators, the Dallas Morning News said he was one of
the outstanding legislators of the 73rd session, and the Texas Department of Transportation
awarded him the Russell H. Perry Award in 1995 for his efforts to gain public awareness of
the need for and benefits of transportation facilities in the State of Texas.

Jeffrey C. Bruteyn, Managing Director, stated, We at InterFinancial are proud to have such a
widely recognized Senator join our board and oversee out automotive lending division. His
affiliations and connections to the automotive industry will be invaluable to our company.
Senator Cain will be instrumental in expediting our approval to use a government issued Seller
Finance License.

Seller Finance Licenses are very difficult to obtain and are usually reserved for the Big Boys
with heavy lobbyists. These licenses are highly coveted because it allows the finance company
to collect the entire down payment, instead of paying a portion of it to the taxing authority.
This dramatically helps a finance company�s bottom line if the buyer defaults on the loan.

With the new GPS tracking systems being installed on every car to dramatically improve
repossessions and with Senator Cain on the Board of Directors, InterFinancial Holdings
is ready to take their business to the next level.

Conclusion:

The examples above show the Awesome, Earning Potential of little known Companies
That Explode onto Investor�s Radar Screens. This stock will not be a Secret for long.
Then You May Feel the Desire to Act Right Now! And Please Watch This One Trade!!
GO IFLH!

All statements made are our express opinion only and should be treated as such. We may own,
take position and sell any securities mentioned at any time. Any statements that express or
involve discussions with respect to predictions, goals, expectations, beliefs, plans,
projections, objectives, assumptions or future events or performance are not statements of
historical fact and may be "forward looking statements." Forward looking statements are based
on expectations, estimates and projections at the time the statements are made that involve a
number of risks and uncertainties which could cause actual results or events to differ materially
from those presently anticipated. This newsletter was paid four thousand dollars from a party
(IR Marketing). Forward looking statements in this action may be identified through the use of
words such as: "projects", "foresee", "expects". in compliance with Section 17(.b), we disclose
the holding of IF LH shares prior to the publication of this report. Be aware of an inherent
conflict of interest resulting from such holdings due to our intent to profit from the liquidation
of these shares. Shares may be sold at any time, even after positive statements have been made
regarding the above company. Since we own shares, there is an inherent conflict of interest in
our statements and opinions. Readers of this publication are cautioned not to place undue reliance
on forward-looking statements, which are based on certain assumptions and expectations involving
various risks and uncertainties that could cause results to differ materially from those set forth
in the forward- looking statements. This is not solicitation to buy or sell stocks, this text is
for informational purpose only and you should seek professional advice from registered financial
advisor before you do anything related with buying or selling stocks, penny stocks are very high
risk and you can lose your entire investment.

14 August 2005 at 13:18  
Blogger edingals75849277 said...

Make no mistake: Our mission at Tip Top Equities is to sift through the thousands of underperforming companies out there to find the golden needle in the haystack. A stock worthy of your investment. A stock with the potential for big returns. More often than not, the stocks we profile show a significant increase in stock price, sometimes in days, not months or years. We have come across what we feel is one of those rare deals that the public has not heard about yet. Read on to find out more.

Nano Superlattice Technology Inc. (OTCBB Symbol: NSLT) is a nanotechnology company engaged in the coating of tools and components with nano structured PVD coatings for high-tech industries.

Nano utilizes Arc Bond Sputtering and Superlattice technology to apply multi-layers of super-hard elemental coatings on an array of precision products to achieve a variety of physical properties. The application of the coating on industrial products is designed to change their physical properties, improving a product's durability, resistance, chemical and physical characteristics as well as performance. Nano's super-hard alloy coating materials were especially developed for printed circuit board drills in response to special market requirements

The cutting of circuit boards causes severe wear on the cutting edge of drills and routers. With the increased miniaturization of personal electronics devices the dimensions of holes and cut aways are currently less than 0.2 mm. Nano coats tools with an ultra thin coating (only a few nanometers in thickness) of nitrides which can have a hardness of up to half that of diamond. This has proven to increase tool life by almost ten times. Nano plans to continue research and development into these techniques due to the vast application range for this type of nanotechnology

We believe that Nano is a company on the move. With today�s steady move towards miniaturization we feel that Nano is a company with the right product at the right time. It is our opinion that an investment in Nano will produce great returns for our readers.

Online Stock trading, in the New York Stock Exchange, and Toronto Stock Exchange, or any other stock market requires many hours of stock research. Always consult a stock broker for stock prices of penny stocks, and always seek proper free stock advice, as well as read a stock chart. This is not encouragement to buy stock, but merely a possible hot stock pick. Get a live stock market quote, before making a stock investment or participating in the stock market game or buying or selling a stock option.

23 December 2005 at 13:04  
Blogger shawnharolds1614 said...

I read over your blog, and i found it inquisitive, you may find My Blog interesting. My blog is just about my day to day life, as a park ranger. So please Click Here To Read My Blog

28 December 2005 at 19:44  
Blogger vuuk819grp said...

While you read this, YOU start to BECOME aware of your surroundings, CERTIAN things that you were not aware of such as the temperature of the room, and sounds may make YOU realize you WANT a real college degree.

Call this number now, (413) 208-3069

Get an unexplained feeling of joy, Make it last longer by getting your COLLEGE DEGREE. Just as sure as the sun is coming up tomorrow, these College Degree's come complete with transcripts, and are VERIFIABLE.

You know THAT Corporate America takes advantage of loopholes in the system. ITS now YOUR turn to take advantage of this specific opportunity, Take a second, Get a BETTER FEELING of joy and a better future BY CALLING this number 24 hours a day.
(413) 208-3069

3 May 2006 at 11:29  

Post a Comment

<< Home