Monday, August 14, 2023

ENG 102: Fall 2023 Resources #1

 Borden Carol. "Unabsolved Transgressions, Surrealism, and a Chorus of Furies: A Wounded Fawn (2022)." The Cultural Gutter (December 22, 2022) ["Travis Stevens’A Wounded Fawn (USA, 2022) is entirely my thing. It’s a nice mix of art house and genre, which is one of my favorite things. It blends fine art—in this case the art of Surrealists (and friends) Leonora Carrington, Remedios Varo and Kati Horna—1970s horror/giallo, Classical Greek tragedy, themes involving snakes and dogs, glorious art and costuming design, saturated colors, and excellent cinematography. It probably has too much gore for many art house audiences and too much looking at paintings and sculpture for a lot of horror fans. I love A Wounded Fawn and maybe even the vision of future movies of that it presents. In short, I would love more thoughtful, creative and fun films that consciously examine generic conventions. Films that playfully bend, blend, or even burst out of increasingly rigid generic film conventions and categorizations—and I don’t just mean “genre” film. I like a movie that sidesteps expectations of not only what a movie should be about, but how a movie should be about it. And A Wounded Fawn successfully makes a serial killer pathetic in comparison to his victims."]

"Breath." The Book of Symbols: Reflections on Archetypal Images. Taschen, 2010: 16-17. ["Breath animates the clay of our being. It is the lusty cry of the newborn, and the essence of the wind, spirit, muse, sound. Our feeling states manifest in changes of breath, from the panicky shortness of breath to the sighs too "deep for words" of intense sorrow. Breath carries other things like diseases, harsh words and rank odors. Everything 'breathes.' Think of woods on a spring day, the susurration of leaves, the rippling grasses, the trembling of dappled light. 'The Tao is the breath that never dies. It is a Mother to All Creation,' says the Tao Te Ching (37). Classical Greece perceived breath as something vaporous within, dew-like, sometimes visible, blending and interacting with the air (Onians, 48). To hear, see, smell or speak was to send out breath, something as a ray or as fire; the breath mixed with the 'intelligence' in the breath of others, and taken back in, added to one's knowledge. Breath was identified with consciousness, locating both thought and feelings in the lungs, which interacted with the heart, blood and pulse. "In men of understanding the eyes and tongue and ears and mind are rooted in the midst of their breasts' (ibid, 70). And the gods as inspiration, Latin inspirare, 'to breath,' might be experienced in a sudden influx of love, courage, wrath, prophecy or brilliance.
    That breath is imagined as essence and exchange is consistent with its chemical reality. Breathing is the taking-in of oxygen and the release of carbon dioxide from the body by a complicated internal pumping mechanism that changes the air pressure inside the body, and so causes oxygen-filled air to enter. Breath links animal and plant life: Animals require oxygen and release carbon dioxide, while plants need carbon dioxide and yield up oxygen. The body stores up almost no oxygen, so that breathing is an urgent matter; death is literally, as in the Inuit language, 'losing your breath.' Because breath is what quickens the body, it is equated with soul, which is thought to take wing on the last breath of life. Do we breathe or are we breathed? The Sanskrit prana, 'breathing forth,' refers to the source and force of life and vibratory energy of all manifestations (Eliade, 483-485). The sacred texts of India describe the vital breath of the living being, rhythmic and pulsating, as the microcosmic form of the alternating day and night, activity and rest, of cosmic time. In the interval between successive creations, the god Vishnu, having withdrawn the universe back into himself, sleeps, floating on the cosmic ocean in the coils of the serpent Ananta, 'Endless.' His breathing is deep, sonorous, rhythmical, 'the melody of the creation and dissolution of the world' (Zimmer, 35). It is the song of the immortal gander, the soft ham-sa of divine life-breath within the body within the body of the universe and the nucleus of the individual. 'Just as spokes are held together in a wheel-hub, everything is held together in the breath' (Roebuck, 189). The yogi, in controlled inhalation-ham, exhalation-sa, hears the same melody as the inner presence of the Atman, or supreme self, being revealed."]  

Dhont, Lukas. "Close — Lukas Dhont's Quietly Powerful Coming-of-Age Movie." MUBI Podcast (April 20, 2023) ["In his Oscar-nominated CLOSE, filmmaker Lukas Dhont uses the sparest dialogue, the gentlest music, and the most pastoral of tell a shattering story about the brutal ways society turns boys into men. We're taking a mid-season break from our series on movie music to bring you this candid interview with Dhont—in which he tells host Rico Gagliano how he writes like a dancer, why this quiet film is intended as a loud political statement, and what it has in common with James Cameron's TITANIC."]

Doctorow, Cory. "How Chokepoint Capitalism is Strangling Creative Industries." Darts and Letters (December 19, 2022) ["Many of the creative industries look like an hourglass. On the one side, you have creators; on the other, the rest of us. In the middle, Rebecca Giblin and Cory Doctorow say there's often a 'chokepoint.' Corporate behemoths -- be they streaming apps, publishers, tech giants, or others -- put on the squeeze, exploiting their market power to extract rents, push down wages, and push up costs. But Cory and Rebecca have solutions to break the stranglehold, and in this episode of Darts and Letters Cory helps Jay explore various chokepoints, from concert tickets to audiobooks, and how we can open up the industries and get workers paid."]

Dorian, MJ. "Marina Abramović • IMMATERIAL • Part III: Sublimation." Creative Codex #38 (April 19, 2023) ["This is the final part of a three part series about the legend of performance art: Marina Abramović. In this episode we explore Marina & Ulay's hypnosis inspired performance pieces, we follow them into the Australian outback for their six months living with aborigines, and finally explore what leads to their last performance–walking the Great Wall of China."]

Ellinger, Kat. "The Beast (1975) and The Company of Wolves (1984)." To The Devil a Daughter #2 (April 17, 2023) ["Kat Ellinger explores the intersections between Polish director Walerian Borowczyk and British feminist author Angela Carter; especially their shared interest in shapeshifting, fairy tale, eroticism, and female empowerment through embracing the animal within. The main focus of the episode is a discussion of Borowczyk’s 1975 film The Beast and Neil Jordan’s filmic adaptation of Carter’s The Company of Wolves (1984) — the latter co-scripted by the author herself."]

Kelly, Annie, et al. "The Hearts of Men." Darts and Letters (April 12, 2023) ["Online masculinity is getting weirder and weirder. We’re way past mere misogyny and sexual predation (though, that’s still certainly there). Now, we’ve also got bro science, ball tanning, ball eatin,’ piss drinkin,’ and who knows what’s next. Eat your hearts out, Hugh Hefner and the old kings of male revolt–in fact, these kings of this new manosphere will literally eat hearts. However, perhaps these mockable male influencers are onto something, in a roundabout way. There is just something broken in the hearts of men, as Barbara Ehrenreich once put it. If there wasn’t, male influencers wouldn’t be as popular as they are. This new mansophere offers a simple remedy for whatever ails: yearning for old gendered hierarchies, obsessing over self-improvement and dieting, and ceaselessly grinding under capitalism. In response, we ask: what’s really wrong with men, and how might we fix it?"]

Lapointe, Tanya. The Art and Science of Arrival. Titan Books, 2022. ["Official retrospective companion book to the Paramount film Arrival starring Amy Adams, Jereny Renner and Forest Whitaker, featuring concept art, sketches, behind-the-scenes photography and interviews with key creative and scientific team members. Since its release in 2016, Denis Villeneuve’s Arrival, based on the Hugo-nominated short story Story of Your Life by Ted Chiang, has embedded itself firmly in the minds of moviegoers around the world. The film garnered many accolades, including nine BAFTA nominations and eight Academy Award® nominations, proceeding to win an Oscar® for Best Sound Editing and a BAFTA for Best Sound. Since then, the film has generated larger conversations within the cultural landscape of academia including film, philosophy, and linguistics. In The Art and Science of Arrival, author and producer Tanya Lapointe revisits the film and its legacy with the production’s key team members. This lavish hardback volume recounts the genesis of this modern classic, from Ted Chiang’s short story The Story of Your Life to its premiere in Venice and its subsequent eight Academy Award(R) nominations. It explores the film’s concept of non-linear time, and showcases the remarkable concept art that brought the aliens, their ships and their startling logogram language to life."]

Rohr, Richard. "Christianity and Unknowing." Sounds of Sand #28 (March 30, 2023) ["Richard Rohr, as a Catholic priest and Franciscan Friar, offers a concise history of how Western Christianity once had, soon lost, tried to retrieve, and now is roundly rediscovering its own traditional understanding of unitive consciousness (which was our word for non-dual thinking). The Christian contemplative mind was usually a subtext, and yet it was always clearly there too, and much closer to the surface, but only for those exposed to the mystical base that was revealed in the Gospel of John, the Desert Fathers and Mothers, the Celtic and monastic traditions, and what was generally referred to as the apophatic or wisdom stream of Christianity. These were our many saints and mystics. This possibility was brought to the fore by Thomas Merton in the middle of the last century, and is now flowing in many positive directions. It is now our task to rediscover the pre-Enlightenment Christianity that reveled in "the cloud of unknowing", what some called "learned ignorance", and the very notion of Mystery itself. Only when we got into competition with rationalism and secularism, did we adopt this rather recent mania for certitude and a very limited kind of scientific knowing. Almost the entire history of Protestantism emerged in this period, and thus the contemplative mind is an utterly new revelation for them, and frankly for all of us, as we again learn to be comfortable living on the edge of both the knowable and the unknown. Fr. Richard Rohr is a globally recognized ecumenical teacher bearing witness to the universal awakening within Christian mysticism and the Perennial Tradition. He is a Franciscan priest of the New Mexico Province and founder of the Center for Action and Contemplation (CAC) in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Fr. Richard’s teaching is grounded in the Franciscan alternative orthodoxy—practices of contemplation and self-emptying, expressing itself in radical compassion, particularly for the socially marginalized. Fr. Richard is the author of numerous books, including Everything Belongs, Adam’s Return, The Naked Now, Breathing Under Water, Falling Upward, Immortal Diamond, and Eager to Love: The Alternative Way of Francis of Assisi."]

Sidorsky, Kaitlin and Wendy J. Schiller. "Inequality Across State Lines: How Policymakers Have Failed Domestic Violence Victims in the United States (Cambridge University Press, 2023)."  New Books in Policy Studies (April 16, 2023) ["In the United States, one in four women will be victims of domestic violence each year. Despite the passage of federal legislation on violence against women beginning in 1994, differences persist across states in how domestic violence is addressed. Kaitlin Sidorsky and Wendy J. Schiller's book Inequality Across State Lines: How Policymakers Have Failed Domestic Violence Victims in the United States (Cambridge UP, 2023) illuminates the epidemic of domestic violence in the U.S. through the lens of politics, policy adoption, and policy implementation. Combining narrative case studies, surveys, and data analysis, the book discusses the specific factors that explain why U.S. domestic violence politics and policies have failed to keep women safe at all income levels, and across racial and ethnic lines. The book argues that the issue of domestic violence, and how government responds to it, raises fundamental questions of justice; gender and racial equality; and the limited efficacy of a state-by-state and even town-by-town response. This book goes beyond revealing the vast differences in how states respond to domestic violence, by offering pathways to reform."]

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