Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Questions on Ware/Marcuse

Try to make sure you pose at least one actual question today.


RJ said...

"When Husserl revived the idea of an apophantic logic, he emphasised its original critical intent. And he found this intent precisely in the idea of a logic of judgments—that is, in the fact that thought was not directly concerned with Being (das Seiende selbst) but rather with "pretensions", propositions on Being. Husserl sees in this orientation on judgments a restriction and a prejudice with respect to the task and scope of logic."

This is the only time Marcuse brings up Husserl in the essay, and I'm having trouble understanding what he means by the last part. The first two sentences are saying that Husserl brought a kind of return to the elements of classical thought which were dialectical and dealt with "contradictions" or "negativity" (I think??) but what does the last sentence mean? What is the "restriction and prejudice" he's talking about, and does it have to do with pre- or post-classical logic?

Caia Caldwell said...

I don’t read comic books/graphic novels, but being familiar with the basic plots of Superman, Spiderman, etc., I know that Jimmy Corrigan does not follow the traditional subject matter of graphic novels.

The story itself is not even linear, instead jumping between different man in the Corrigan family, and Jimmy Corrigan’s fantasies. From what I can gather, Jimmy Corrigan is an ordinary, boring man, trapped in a mundane life, hounded by his mother, and desperately lonely. He gets a letter from his father he has never met, and flies to meet him.

Since the book has no page numbers, it’s difficult to reference a specific section. Instead, I want to look at the different symbols that appear throughout, regardless of whether it’s Jimmy, his father, or his grandfather. Horses appear throughout. There is the toy figurine, as well as the actual horse Jimmy’s (grandfather??) is attached to. Peaches made several appearances in the story. Racism seems to be a common theme, from the abusive and racist great-grandfather, relating all the way down to the adopted African-American sister. Birds are also found throughout. Many of the scenic showing time passing are drawings of a bird on a branch. The U.S. mail truck symbol also showcases a bird.

All-in-all, the story is complex, confusing, but seems bound together by these symbols. So, I guess my question is whether or not the symbols have some sort of deeper meaning to the tale. What is the author trying to convey through these seeming random symbols?

Dana Edmunds said...

I am wondering about the purpose of the parallel story of Chicago and the World Fair encroaching on Jimmy's grandfather's home. It is hard to tell what is reality and Jimmy's fantasy, but this flashback narrative and the depiction of each generation of Corrigan seem to repeat themes of failed father-son relationships and awkward dinners at fast food restaurants. Why do we see so much of Jimmy's grandfather's childhood, but only see Jimmy as pseudoadult throughout the novel?

There's a part in Marcuse that discusses the "continuity of the Western tradition," and "[t]he closed operational universe of advanced industrial civilization with its terrifying harmony of freedom and oppression, productivity and destruction, growth and regression." These opposing terms and specifically the idea that productivity is destruction seem to comment the cyclical nature of western tradition and Jimmy's oedipal issues, but I'd be interested in discussing how Ware uses images of anti-superheroes, chain/fast food restaurants, and peaches as a depiction of operational language.

Patrick Kilduff said...

While reading Jimmy Corgan, i thought that I was on an acid trip or something (just kidding, but the extent of the book is really confusing). I had trouble following along at some parts, cause it just seems that the author skips around, even though that is the style that the book is written in. The question that I have is what is the authors goal in writing in this style. I just found it very difficult to follow. Also what is the technical name for this style, cause I have never read a book like this before.

Julia Carpey said...

I never really read comic books growing up. The most I did was look at the illustrations of the comic books and graphic novels that my older brother left laying around (my brother just started calling them graphic novels as he got older to sound more "sophisticated," even though they're the same exact thing essentially). Regardless, I found them significantly easier to follow, even simply from the pictures. Over break when I was reading Jimmy Corrigan I had him pull out one of his old comic books for me to compare and as I was reading them, even the written dialogue and story line were significantly easier to follow. I understand that Jimmy Corrigan is for a more mature and more mentally developed audience, but even so, it took me some time to get a grasp for the transitions, or lack thereof, between the fantasies and reality of Jimmy. The parallels were there, yet unclear.

As an unrelated side note, I'm not crazy about the character of Jimmy either. I find him nebbishy and annoying, but I guess that's the point. But again, I generally was not crazy about this graphic novel.I've read both volumes of Maus in high school and did not find it nearly as difficult to follow. Maybe because the general story of the Holocaust was familiar to me at that point in addition to the actual writing not being difficult. Regardless, I had a difficult time connecting the dots with Jimmy Corrigan and it only became increasingly frustrating.

Ben Fellows said...

I found myself very frustrated while reading Jimmy Corrigan, but the "braggadoccio" in the beginning gave me enough motivation to continue. Thus far I still feel like I haven't been reading anything that is really narrative at all. While this book does present some events, the order is a little jumbled and I don't feel as though I have gained much from reading this thus far. The summary given partway through was greatly appreciated though, and after rereading the section that came before, it was better understood. I guess part of the reason why it is so confusing is that it is hard to tell where the dreams begin and reality ends.

It seems to me like the author puts certain events in this book simply for the reader to see Jimmy's reaction to them. One example is when he finds the note on his desk, sees the man jump off, and then the reader sees how Jimmy reacts while he is on the phone with his mom. (while rereading this section I appreciated the small details the author included, like the bike thief hiding behind the corner before the man jumps, and riding away with the bike afterwards).

While reading this, I thought about how everything is laid out, and was thinking of how this would ever work in the form of a film. Would it be more understandable? I don't even think it would be possible to make a movie-version of this just because it is so scattered and dependent on it's form of media.

I wonder, what is the significance of having so many dreams intersect with reality? Is this to show how Jimmy wants to be? The dreams are certainly as random as actual dreams can be at times.

Margaret Julian said...

I also had a really hard time following Jimmy as he jumped in and out of dreams and flashbacks. I think that there must be something to the structure that adds to my confusion because I have always had a really hard time following comics in general. I spent a lot of time reading non-fiction books this semester for another class and we talk a lot about how authors tend to work out their personal lives on the page in almost selfish way. I was wondering if anyone got the sense that by writing this kind of story the author was able to navigate some more touchy issues that occurred in their childhood, and if Jimmy isn't some giant symbol of the freedom most kids lack to escape their own situation?

Amy Friedenberger said...

I'm not a huge graphic novel or comic book reader, but I found the story of Jimmy Corrigan to be really fascinating (I actually read the entire book in one setting, but I'll refrain from spoilers). I appreciated the way the narrative was told through different time periods, all of it relating back to how Jimmy Corrigan is just a man desperate for people's acceptance of him. It wasn't just a traditional comic-style of essentially the same-sized boxes. It had different elements -- some of which I wasn't sure what the actual purpose was -- although I'm sure there was one. For the one page that was loaded with panels of restaurants, gas stations, and stores, I interpreted to mean how such mundane aspects of life are loaded with history.

I was actually curious about the purpose of the 3D cut outs the comic book employed. I kind of took it as something that was a respite from the novel by offering something unique to the story. Was it to really push to make people realize the interactive capabilities of a comic book by making it really obvious? Or is Ware trying to make the mundane architecture something worthy to readers by making them interact with it? I can tell I'm extrapolating a bit much on that now as I struggle to find the purpose.

Overall, the the multiple time travels and and even small movements such as different table settings makes the graphic novel difficult to follow.