Thursday, August 19, 2010

Movie Poster Assignment

As per request, here is a rubric for the movie poster/creative project due this coming Monday, August 23rd at the beginning of class:

No less than 1/2 a sheet of posterboard (larger is acceptable)
color, at least 1 quote from the text, brief synopsis, at least 2 characters cast with actors/actresses of your choosing, title and the name of the author.

Other than that, be creative.

Creative projects are 10% of each quarter grade and provide us the opportunity to do something with the text other than questions, quizzes, tests, writing assignments and such.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Online Text

This is a link to a pdf (adobe acrobat reader) file that contains the full text for A Clockwork Orange.
For those of you who wish to begin reading ahead of schedule, the book in its entirety is included.
There is even an appendix/dictionary of the fictional language used by Alex and his droogs: known as Nadsat.

If you wish, save the file to your laptop or send it to your email for future use. You can also print out sections/pages if you like so that you may read ahead/when you don't have access to a computer, and you may do this in lieu of actually buying the text, so long as you bring the requested chapters to class for usage in group work or classwork.
If you carry a book/text with you, you'll be surprised how much reading can be done throughout the day in 10-15 minutes installments: waiting for a bus, a haircut, in line at the DMV et cetera. 

Interesting to note, is that this original UK edition of "A Clockwork Orange" includes a 21st chapter not originally published in the United States until a number of years later. This final chapter puts a considerably different spin on the controversial work as a whole.

For any of you familiar with the film, this also adds a different feel to the close of the work than the film's ending as well. 

Remember, keep an eye out for elements of our own society that resonate, feel familiar. All insightful, dystopic fiction uses elements of our time that we can relate to in order to pose questions and ideas that we might otherwise overlook.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Anthony Burgess on Pop Culture, Literature, & Controversy

Anthony Burgess on pop culture/media:

Burgess on his literary hero, D.H. Lawrence and the notion of controversial literature:

Keep these words in mind as we read "A Clockwork Orange": the notion of literature to unsettle, subvert the status quo and bring about questions.

Without questioning, there can be little to no progress in the world. If we accept everything around us, simply as it is, civilization would be a far cry from the world we see today.

Questions for discussion in class: 

Question 1: How would you characterize Burgess's attitude toward pop culture?

Question 2: How would compare this attitude with much of what we define as pop culture in our own current time, or in other words has pop culture changed much since the 1960's?

Question 3: Provide an example of a TV show and a movie which you define as pop culture.

Question 4: How does Burgess address the notion that many people regard literature which is violent or sexual in nature as somehow more controversial?

Question 5: In music, film, television and on the internet, how accessible is violence/sexuality?

Question 6: Why does Burgess believe that being controversial has its place/is a powerful tool for progress?
Do you agree? Why/Why not?

Have a great weekend everyone, be safe.
   -Mr. McNamara