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作業


本頁翻譯進度

燈號說明

審定:無
翻譯:吳娉婷(簡介並寄信)
編輯:王晶(簡介並寄信)

書面作業

如果你讀過「研習資料」,你會看到有關分析作品、闡述分析「理論」,以及書寫分析報告的技巧。「分析」很重要。你的想法跟分析總是有關係,但卻不是主要的。我們關心的是,所讀的作品是用什麼方式掌握最基本的人性問題,而不在於符合你個人品味的程度。

你們必須定期在班級的網站上,上傳一篇分析報告短文(兩頁,約四、五百字),清楚地陳述某個作品所提出的問題,並指出此作品用什麼方式來面對這個問題。換句話說,我希望你們清楚地表達作品的理論,並說出該作品處理這個問題的幾個值得注意的方式。這個報告是「有導引性的」,我會提示一些希望你們該注意的問題或觀點。否則,你們自由選擇的範圍太大了。不要寫出某課堂上討論作品的中心主題。(除非你早在繳交報告前許久,就已開始處理此文本。)

利用班級網站可創造課堂外的討論圈。對於班上所提出的議題/問題,你們應該習慣對大家說明,或者回應(有禮貌地)你的同學。

說故事的人常會運用一些法則――容易辨認的情節模式。新的故事不需要老跟著太過簡單的流行「規則」――說故事的人也可以巧妙地避開範例。

報告「指導」:(你可以用你喜歡的順序來進行這些計畫)

  1. 我提出這個挑戰,做為探討故事觀點的一種方法。班上要有一個人將這學期我們要讀的各種故事――愛情故事、偵探小說、鬼故事的前幾段,上傳到班級網站上,其餘的人隨後參與。如果我們最後發展出各種不同的故事,那也沒關係――目的是要培養我們對故事範例的理解,並不是要能在《紐約客》上刊登或拿到電影合約。
  2. 啊,要從哪裡開始呢?針對你選的故事,清楚地表達這個故事所提出的理論,仔細思考故事的第一段。哪些字彙、視覺影像和句法結構,將問題呈現得最清楚?記住,短篇小說的故事進展必須非常緊湊,很快抓住讀者的注意力。
  3. 這就是結尾嗎?這跟第二項類似,但現在你的注意力必須放在故事的最後一段。敘述不像是說教,沒有義務提供智慧教訓(有的作家譬如霍桑,習慣去除故事中所謂的「道德」意味)。故事或許打算提出問題。無論如何,在最後一段,這個故事對最重要的問題,是提出了什麼樣的「結局」?
  4. 轉捩點:我們已經看了開頭和結尾――現在要找出敘述的高潮點,並說明如何在那個時間點上讓最重要的問題浮現出來。要注意,可別讀濃縮版。你應思考作者所使用的字彙和意象的含意和暗示,而不是把故事翻譯成你的話。

期末報告

基本上,我希望你們在班上做五分鐘的口頭報告,就我們所挑選的作品之一,提出理論。這是「關於」什麼的一組故事?以及這個問題是如何/在哪裡被呈現並發展出來?



Writing

If you explore the study materials section, you will find some advice about techniques of analyzing texts, formulating analytic "theses," and composing analytical journals. That word analytical is crucial. Your impressions are always relevant, but never central. We are concerned with the ways in which the texts we read grapple with fundamental human issues - not to what degree they measure up to your personal standards of taste.

At regular intervals, you will be expected to post on the class mailing list a short (two pages, or 400-500 word) analytic journal, which articulates an issue raised by a particular text and points out some of the ways in which the text confronts that issue. In other words, I will expect you to articulate a thesis about the text and then to demonstrate some of the most significant ways in which the text approaches that issue. The journals will be "guided," in that I will establish certain issues or aspects of the texts you write about I want you to focus on. Otherwise, you have a large degree of free choice. Please do not write about a text set as the primary discussion point of a particular session (unless you tackle a text from a date well beyond the date when you submit your journal).

The use of the class mailing list is an effort to generate a discussion chain outside our class meetings. You should always feel free to address issues/questions raised in class, or to respond (politely) to your classmates.

Story-tellers often make use of formulas -- recognizable patterns of plot. The new story need not always follow the "rules" in a simplistic fashion -- the storyteller can also subtly diverge from the paradigm.

Journal "guidance": (you may undertake these projects in whatever order you wish)

  1. As a way of exploring this aspect of stories, I offer you this challenge. One member of the class should post on the class mailing list the first few paragraphs of a story of the sort we will read during the term -- a love story, a detective story, or a ghost story. Then the rest of us will join in. If we end up devising a variety of stories, that's no problem -- the aim is to develop our understanding of story-paradigms, not to get published in the New Yorker or obtain a movie deal.
  2. Ah, where to begin? Having articulated the thesis raised by the story you select, consider in detail the first paragraph of the tale. What words, visual images, and syntactic structures present that issue most clearly. Keep in mind that shorter fiction must "hit the ground running" and teach its reader promptly what to be alert for.
  3. Is this where it all ends? This is parallel to item 2, but now your attention should focus on the last paragraph of the story. Narratives, unlike, say, sermons, are not obligated to offer packages of wisdom (and a writer like Hawthorne, who often seems to do so, has a habit of undercutting the stated "moral" of his stories). Stories may be intended to generate questions. In any case, what sort of "closure" of the fundamental issues of the story does the final paragraph offer?
  4. The turning point: We've looked at the start and the finale - now define the climactic point in the narrative, and demonstrate how that moment brings fundamental issues to the surface. Be very careful, here, not to let yourself succumb to the demon Summary. Your work is to consider the connotations and implications of the words and images the writer uses, not to translate the tale into your own language.

Final Presentations

Basically, I will expect you to offer a five-minute oral presentation to the class, offering a thesis about one of the collections we only sampled. What are the stories as a group "about?" And how/where is this issue presented and developed?