“The Stars on the ground”

The Monotony of everyday life is presented the same as with Tagore, taking an above average stationed occupation and describing the supernatural.

” all the same, it was as much an honest man’s labour as any other, and he deserved the wages he carried home at the end of a day.”

This story does it a differently, however, it masks the ‘everyday-ness’ of the astrology become “lessened” by making the him susceptible to gambling, and other base vices, we do not expect from a man of this standing. But they are people to and that it the point.

The Stones of the Post Man

Having been really moved by Tagore this blog is dedicated to both of the short stories, hopefully.
” After that comes the misery of awakening, and then once again the longing to get back into the maze of the same mistakes.”

Having gone over multiple meanings/endings to the Postmaster, I decided to share the ending I read from my edition which was a scan online and the source is this link- http://www.online-literature.com/tagore-rabindranath/stories-from-tagore/7/

So Why I like this ending the most is because of the language of the translator, as I feel the other endings leave so much to ambiguity, this one sort of, metaphorically straightforward, as it gives words to the feeling of Time consistently flowing.

” I took out a bank-note, and gave it to him, saying: “Go back to your own daughter, Rahmun, in your own country, and may the happiness of your meeting bring good fortune to my child!”

Having made this present, I had to curtail some of the festivities. I could not have the electric lights I had intended, nor the military band, and the ladies of the house were despondent at it. But to me the wedding feast was all the brighter for the thought that in a distant land a long-lost father met again with his only child.”

This ending to “The Hungry Stones”
Gives off the same kind of perpetual nature of life, a life that is not “happy” for lack of a better word. something to be expected, or lost, the UN-natrual-ness of something coming to a conclusion…

Extra Post cornering Toomer

Jean had a unique way of expressing modernity in the black social and economic sphere, or as it once was considered the “New Negro” way of life by calling on past tropes of negro song or spiritual, but that spiritual-ness may now be considered, in Jeans time, nature or natural like.

Georgia Dusk except

“Their voices rise . . the pine trees are guitars,
   Strumming, pine-needles fall like sheets of rain . .
   Their voices rise . . the chorus of the cane
Is caroling a vesper to the stars . . “
This is simply a way for Toomer to express the insatiable need for Negros and for people to understand in part, the way of song and how powerful songs are and inherently sad they always are/were. The sorrow songs although, years removed, still resonate within Toomers poem and he makes the relation that singing is as ethereal as a tree acting as the guitar, because while working in a Cane field, as a slave or not a slave, all music would have been sung without the use of a real instrument. The instrument would have been their mouths and the tempo of the work they were doing and the nature around them. It could be even said that the negro is nature, or better natural and are one within and of natures true essence.

The Mules are Women Part II-Revenge of Solomon

Quote -Pg.42 “”Ah thanks you all for yo’ kind welcome and for extendin’ tuh me de right hand uh fellowship. Ah kin see dat dis town is full uh union and love. ”

This is ironic because, as discussed in class the community is always not always a union and filed with love, but one that will undermine peoples own goodness or “well-to-do-ness”. By well-to-do I mean blacks trying to improve their own station. For example when the town is curious to all the bad things that happen may or may no have happened to Janie. Fellowship has a double meaning here, it could be a reference to a church family or simply unity of being like everyone else.

The Mules are Female

Nanny is a character that always appears in black literature, the strong grandmother type, who has been around and is really unconcerned with love, but more so with family, respect and hard work. i.e “incidents slave girl..Mules and Men-Big sweet-
“Honey, de white man is de ruler of everything as fur as Ah been able tuh find out. Maybe it’s some place way off in de ocean where de black man is in power, but we don’t know nothin’ but what we see.” pg 17
when concerned with Janie’s pear tree of youth, and instead marrying brother Logan. This back and forth got violent, got tearful and all.

In Spades

Sam Spade elevates and degenerates the detective narrative by taking the ‘manly man’ of the early 1900’s and making him motivated by selfish desires, understandably due to the greed and overall death ‘vibes’ of the era.

“Blood streaked Spade’s eyeballs now and his long-held smile had become a frightful grimace. He cleared his throat huskily and said: “Making speeches is no damned good now.” He put a hand on her shoulder. The hand shook and jerked. “I don’t care who loves who I’m not going to play the sap for you. I won’t walk in Thursby’s and Christ knows who else’s footsteps. You killed Miles and you’re going over for it. I could have helped you by letting the others go and standing off the police the best way I could. It’s too late for that now. I can’t help you now. And I wouldn’t if I could.”

This quote, however lengthy, shows that Spade is different from a Holmes, or a Lord Peter type of detective, in that he will make certain sacrifices, but not sacrifce everything to meet his ends. This also touches upon, literal murder which was taboo for many detective fictions, well this is America and post the great war, so it is only natural that we would have a character who walks on the fringes of morality. Even though this quote doesn’t encompass both ideas greed and and the ‘manly man’ it does show that Spade is not adverse to violence, nor is welcoming to helping ‘bad people’ unless it can benefit him, in this case overall the money he will or should receive from finding this elusive Maltese Falcon artifact.

“Whose Body?”, My Body, Your body, Our body

Preface- I am deciding to do Sayers because last week I did Holmes, so I thought it fair to give Sayers a blog post as well.

Idea- The concepts in Sayers are familiar yet, trendily new to the genre of the detective fiction novel, given that it is 30 years post Holmes.

Quote -“Y’see,” said Lord Peter, balancing a piece of duck on his fork and frowning, “it’s only in Sherlock Holmes and stories like that, that people think things out logically. Or’nar’ly, if somebody tells you somethin’ out of the way, you just say, ‘By Jove!’ or ‘How sad!’ an’ leave it at that, an’ half the time you forget about it, ‘nless somethin’ turns up afterwards to drive it home.”

-The point is that, while I do believe that “Whose Body?” is a Parody of the Holmes formula, because of its obvious comedy, it is also working to progress the detective narrative to a high art form, due to its many classical literary references, simultaneously making a commentary about the tumultuous times of the 1920’s and 30’s, it being one of social upheaval and exemplifying a misguided idea of justice – who can be apart of justice, who are the enforcers, who is to be trusted and so forth.

Quote-“In fact it was a proverb that Sir Reuben was as well loved at home as he was hated abroad. I don’t mean in foreign countries, you know, dear—just the proverbial way of putting things—like ‘a saint abroad and a devil at home’—only the other way on, reminding one of the Pilgrim’s Progress.”

-The reference to “Pilgrims Progress” would only be understood if one has read that narrative and can use critical thinking skills to equate that to this book, in Holmes this extra thought is not really present due to its strict adherence to be relate-able to the broadest audience possible. This is why, as well with other references, that Sayers is trying to make this genre more elitist and “edgy”, considering Sayers is also playing with the “taboo” of a “Murder mystery genre”. In short, Sayers has created a sub class under detective fiction, made the art-form elevate by ‘playing off’ of the classic repeatable, Holmes Detective fiction.

Detecting the ‘Modern’ in Holmes

On Page 3 of Chapter 1 in “A scandal in Bohemia”
-My own complete happiness, and the home-centred interests which rise up around the man who first finds himself master of his own establishment…”
On Page 13 of chapter 3 in “…”
“He used to make merry over the cleverness
of women, but I have not heard him do it of
late. And when he speaks of Irene Adler, or when
he refers to her photograph, it is always under the honourable title of “the woman.””

These two quotes chosen show the hints of modern ideas and themes in Conan’s’ story “A Scandal…”. To point this out from the first quote would be the concept of the ‘modern’ home, and one being a master of it, controlling all aspects financially and familial. These would all be goals of the middle class whom Doyle is specifically targeting with his use of colloquial language. The second case is his acknowledgement of the ‘modern’ woman, who is smart and cunning, even more so than the main protagonist, Holmes whom is supposed to be the “manliest man” of them all. This is also social commentary on how women can do more than previously and have a kind of social mobility with all of the advancements in education and overall literary genres coming into prominence. How he reacts to being bested by a woman is another case entirely, but the moment when Watson says “the woman“, in italics no less, is to bring attention to how they function in this middle class area alongside the men and denotes that his readership is also a majority of women, so he must also target their sensibilities.

Restricted World of Addie

How Addie and Stephan D. are similar? Or maybe something else.
“I would hate my father for having ever planted me. I would look forward to the times when they faulted, so I could whip them.”..when it welted and ridged it was my blood.” (page 162-Addie) “the reason for living was to get ready to stay dead a long time.” Page 161 – Addie)
Addie is making it seem through metaphor to be a plant. Addie stays within mental capacities in most of the sections devoted to her because she dies in chapter or section 12 and is speaking now in 40. The plant is alive however, as most of us would think of plants as inanimate objects with no soul, or thought or feelings. The second quote is the one that makes me think that her and Stephan are very similar due to the high level of existentialism found with the language. It is a “long sleep” not an eternal one, so leaving hope for something after… again it is hard to decide who is speaking or what about in the first quote, is she referring to her own father or Anse, there is an odd past tense happening, considering she is dead. She only takes Anse as a husband, or for life, when she knows she is pregnant, so this hints at, as well with the quotes, that she never really enjoyed living and that children might be her tie to life or her escape from it. However brief and pessimistic about life she may be Stephan goes through the same kind of ideas when he likens his whole life to Religious Overtones and how death could be easy and welcomed.

As I Read Confused for a Moment

“the next moment a hideous, grinding speech, as of some monstrous machine running without oil, burst from the big tele screen at the end of the room.” (pg. 6)

Bringing attention to the phrase the “next moment”, as if to denote some kind of time frame for an event to which happens to the individual speaking at that specific time…well what is a moment… the whole novel could be a series of moments? It is obvious from the start that, as readers, we are supposed to think of time as being relative to the character, a moment could last a life time, and could literally be a second, a minute, an hour or be;
-and this upcoming idea/statement is highly conceptual but it
“A Moment “could function as some kind of way/tool to judge a physical or metaphysical ( distance ) between the character speaking, the action that which is going on and how that tells a story, relays a theme/concept to the reader.

What or who are they talking about?

Quote 1
‘Come in and stay the night here. You’ve no call to be frightened. There’s no one in it but ourselves…’ I didn’t go in, Stevie” (pg.186)

Quote 2
-did you hear what I said? Asked Stephan, bending towards her. I told you I had no money. I tell you again now.
-Well, sure, you will someday, sir, please God, the girl answered after an instant.
-Possibly, said Stephan, but I don’t think it likely.”(pg.187)

The first quote is the main focus of this blog. The second quote provides some insight into how Stephan may feel about himself or his surroundings and “possibly” be the reason why he answers so ominously to the first quotation. Stephan even refers to himself in a more childish manner in this instance “Stevie” and almost pauses after the comma, as if speaking to himself, relaying an answer he gave to a call girl, in the past tense, yet oddly with a feel of the present? It is quite intriguing and that is before dissuading what the “in it” means that the girl is referring. Whatever, “it”, is, it all seems okay to her, anyway, because it is just “ourselves”? What selves? Our real selves? Physically meaning two people? It is all so beautifully confusing. What we do know, however, is that in the second quote on the next page, he doesn’t have a sense of high value, even though he has been through good enough schools, has a good familial structure.  “I don’t think it likely” when asked about making money, having 1 penny, to provide context, in the future is supposed to take aback the reader, and I think to re-analyze what they, the reader, think of Stephan or this Stevie characters differences and similarities.
Could this, reversely, be Stephan showing ‘adult-like’ prowess in the gritty streets by not giving people money or buying into what they are selling, and not even giving them a clue as to his future plans, or sense of self worth? Then why set it up as almost a question for the reader? It seems at first glance, after all that has happened up to this point, rather sad, he doesn’t think he is worth money in the future…

Critically Acclaimed!

To set the landscape:

Oscar Wilde and the inner-workings of “The Critic as Artist” could be considered the walkway leading to the “old churchyard” in James Joyce’s “A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man”, due to their paradoxical nature.

Joyce-” How sad and how beautiful…he wanted to cry quietly…so beautiful and sad, like music. The bell!”

Grownkid-“Almost melancholy by design, the reader is apt to wonder what makes themselves want to “cry silently” or wonder what is “beautiful and sad” at the SAME time”

Both works serve the function of setting up two different ideas and then combining them to make the reader feel the same unease, the same neutrality of emotion the protagonist feels when discussions on the value of Art vs. Nature arise. This “nature” and “art” conundrum are not exclusive to their general meanings, but in this case is more so that the “art” of language and the ” nature” of people, as I describe it is the true motivation for reader, critic and characters. Almost melancholy by design, the reader is apt to wonder what makes themselves want to “cry silently” or wonder what is “beautiful and sad” at the SAME time.



As for the title of this post, Well, what you do is grab;

“a great many Tudor clay pipes, a piece of Roman pottery, and the wine-glass that Nelson drank out of –proving I really don’t know what. No, no, nothing is proved, nothing is known.”

Virginia Woolf, “Mark on the Wall” pg. 87


To be a good writer is to do a great many of things that are ‘fancy’ and undefinable, so people can talk about them and sound smart.

A.K.A——–‘sweet nothings’————