Italian American Literature and Film
Prof. Fabio Girelli-Carasi

   LECTURE 8  

   April 3  


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Email subject: assignment DATE (check previous assignments for the date format)



REMINDER: The blog IS your attendance. No blog, no points for attendance.




Here is the LINK to the outline of the lecture I give in class in my in-person course.

Just take a few minutes to open the links to get an idea of the ART WORLD CULTURE in those days, and the concept of "avant garde" in the 20th century.

I will post a special BLOG posting for your comment on Kandinsky, Gauguin, Chagall and most of all Mossolov and John Cage.

Trust me (I am a doctor): it's worth checking out this stuff just to challenge your notion of art (I am under no illusion that John Cage will become your most favorite rebel artist.)


task 1    WATCH John Cages' video of 4'33.

 Answer:  is it art?  
Is it a different concept of music? 
Or, could it be 'theater' (like mime theater?)
 Or is it joke and every pseudo-sophisto-intellectual that tries to explain it with grandiose words is just a sucker?

task 2:  Christ in Concrete   READ THE SECTIONS:  "JOB" and "TENEMENT"


the notes for this assignment will be different: instead of taking notes the usual way, COPY quotations from the book (with the page where they appear.)

Go back to the beginning of the book ("Geremio") and start from there.

MODEL:   p. 3 "Work! Sure! For America beatiful will eat you and spit your bones into the heart's hole."


task 3:  look over your notes from a distance:  what is the overall meaning of this book, based on the things that have made the deepest impression on you?

All good writing is about the meaning of life. And all good reading is about YOUR meaning of life and the meaning of YOUR life (which are two different things, by the way.)

task 4:   websearch:  The "Book of Job" in the Bible, the most imperscrutable, mind-bending account of god's unjustifiable conduct toward a human being.
  TASK 5:   Essay for grade OPTIONAL  A solid page of good writing. Take your time to think these matters through.

They turn to god for help.

They turn to their fellow human beings for help (grocer and butcher.)

They turn to ORGANIZED RELIGION (Father John) for help.

They turn to the system for justice and help (Compensation Bureau.)

But the conclusion seems to be always the same:
p. 42 "Already are we left alone and avoided  --for we have nothing to give--  except our need."


BLOG as usual