Thursday, April 17, 2008

New Rough Draft

Quick explanation:  I want to use the comments on the side as an essay.  Basically they will be a broken up essay being critical of the specific parts.

The highlight I plan to implement more.  I haven't decided exactly how yet, but its just there to demonstrate now.

1 comment:

Adam Johns said...

My comments, like the project itself, are going to be fairly freeform...

1) He needs structure, which he finds in math. This invites us, of course, to find the structure in his piece - I think a good strategy. You've been worrying about a 3d character. As someone who minored in math, I'd really like to know _what_ math he likes so much - loving Calculus vs. Discrete Math vs. Topology vs. Linear Algebra - these are startlingly different fields. My guess? He loves Topology and/or Knot Theory (one of my best friends has a Princeton Ph.D. in Math, specializing in knot theory. He's managed a sandwich joint for several years).

2) What made the lunch with the friend interesting? This would help make him 3d.

3) I like the idea about the comments so far.

4) I think the theme of the media is very effective, even early on, with good fake quotes and good marginal comments. I like the early deployment of the notion that the internet is the first (and last) place to go for information - it's a joy and a curse for me for this very reason.

5) Interesting use of the Tool video.

6) I like your chemistry analogy, but he's a mathematician. I've never known a chemistry major who was really very mathematically inclined, or vice versa - your experience may vary.

7) I love the facebook/cliffnotes comparison.

8) About making someone 3d - a philosophy major from Yale, I'm guessing, is likely to be a little weird, a little hyper-intellectual. Maybe some classical/jazz/world music? Maybe something really weird on her facebook page - a list of quotes from Immanuel Kant mixed in with all of the stuff about partying? What I'm saying is - make her engagement with philosophy have traces even on her facebook page. Philosophy majors are stereotypically otherwordly - that could work for her.

9) It matters if she majored in philosophy or communications. Do they even have a communications major at Yale?

10) I like the thoughts about the gap between her and her family.

11) Are you trying to make Malley a complex character? While I think you do a good job of portraying him and his conversation with O'Reilley, he'd be a more powerful character if he was at least contemplating a major change.

Overall: The project remains both very large and very promising. I do approve of all the changes and refinements you've made (some of the marginal comments are more interesting than others). The natural tendency of this kind of complex piece is to pull us in multiple directions - who do I most care about? Who do I most focus on? While in principle, the purpose of an innovative project like this may well be to confuse those issues, since this all needs to be wrapped up in a week or so the thing I most want to know is - who is going to change or develop in this story? Is our narrator going to discover something substantial? Re-evaluate some part of himself? A good conventional definition of the short story is "a short piece of prose fiction in which someone changes." I like the form here, but I want it to have at least a hint of direction, at least by the end. Is someone, presumably the narrator, going to change in some way?