Contemporary Literature


34 thoughts on “Contemporary Literature

  1. Well after seeing this collage of images representing the expansion of information media I have come to the idea that it has won not just a place in the net, in our minds, but in the real world and in everyday activities. With this I mean that maybe we don´t realize the extent to which we depend on having all kind of information at hand24 hours a day- Internet and media technologies are enabling this.
    I don´t know if this is related to the theme but it was just the first thing that came into my mind after watching the video….

  2. Amazing video, isn’t it?

    Well, my opinion is quite neutral… I am completely convinced in the power of the world net. Even in special groups, Internet is getting more and more important. You almost need to be on line if you want to write better assignments. It’s like an “open door” to the world, with access to a lot of information sources… , like having a library for your particular use. However, I think, I always have and I always will, that a computer cannot replace human action. Sorry about my English.

  3. This video emphasizes, in my opinion, that even though a lot of things have indeed changed in the world of the information search, the seeker of this information has to have the same skills as before, i.e. just like the one who does it “on shelf”. Finding useful articles or Webpages is not always as easy as it seems: the Internet is useful in order to get a vast overview of the theme that you´re dealing with, or digging deeper if you´re sure about the specific details that you need; but if you need something in between, you need to be sure of the sources that you´re using. An accurate search is always difficult, in a library or in the net, because its success depends not only on the nature of the shelf (digital or material), but on the skills and (in a less percentage) on the luck of the person who´s searching.

  4. I’m not sure but I guess new technologies, seen on a day by day context (not only on a literary, informative, etc… one), could, in some way, be understood, not only like a mere instrument of comunication but also like an “ecological”, cheap, easy and international way of storage even tho we haven’t reached yet the level of knowledge enough that would be required to make the most of it.

  5. In my opinion I think that this video tries to emphasize the expansion of the Internet nowadays. First of all, few years ago the only way to find some information was looking it up in books, reading journals or watching TV news. Nowadays everything is completely different. We have in our hands a lot of information about everything and also we can give our personal opinion in almost all Web pages, and that is a great step forward. To sum up I think we should learn the best way to use this; we have to learn how to take advantage of this wonderful thing that Internet is.

  6. As you all said, Internet has changed our lives, and I strongly believe that this is one of the most fascinating things we have done in this century. Most of us book tickets to shows on the internet, speak to friends on the internet, get telehone numbers on the internet, READ books on the internet, etc. I agree that not all the information on the internet is reliable but that’s because we are in a fast and democratic invironment in wich authority does not matter too much. But I also think that we can get lots of veritable information in books and essays written by expert authors that have been scanned and put on the net.
    In my opinion, creating and working with our PCs is much better than taking notes on paper. Working on your laptop allows you to rewrite as many times as you wish; it allows you to read texts more closely and to enlarge, for example, the material that you are watching on your screen…
    Related to the Internet question , I hope it will improve little by little in a way to become more reliable so that people will be able to use it even more than now. I hope that one day, for instance, we will speak to our doctor on the internet instead of having to go to the hospital.
    I have tried to show with this example how long Internet may go and also its borders.
    I would also like to show you a link as an example of how useful internet is. In this website we can access MOST of the books of the French National Library. A year ago more or less almost all books of the french national library were put on the internet in their original version. You can download them from: GALLICA database.

  7. I guess iit ss “the end of the paper” ’cause internet has no limited space and it can lodge ALL the information you want. So much it’s awesome and we don’t need any videos to show us; we’re doing something big. But it has a problem ’cause how can we find specilialists to trust? Anyone can make a webpage and put information there. I don’t know what you would prefer but, would you go to a clinic where instead of doctor certificates on walls you see a piece of paper that has written “I read a lot” or something like that? I wouldn’t. Fortunately, there exist software that protects copyright. A bit of criticism is good because nothing is perfect.

  8. Cool! That video is simply amazing, isn’t it?

    After seeing it, this video has made me think about how the ways of transmitting information have evolved throughout the centuries and about how we have moved on from having to look for information in large encyclopedia volumes to just having to click our mouse in order to give free rein to the great source of information that we have today: the Internet.
    I have also thought about how the majority of the encyclopedias are already computerized since, as in the case of the British Encyclopedia, all those large volumes are reduced to a simple CD-ROM. Also, little by little public libraries are beginning to have digital catalogues that facilitate a most rapid search for books instead of with the bibliographical cards used before.
    In conclusion the forms that we use to exchange information and to preserve it change every day and nowadays it is easier to have access to all kind of information.

  9. To be a student of literature, here and anywhere, implies the fact of having a creative and imaginative mind as well as interest in finding out what literature hides: new worlds and exciting lives and experiences that maybe otherwise you wouldn’t experiment. It also involves reading of course (because if you don’t read … then what are you doing here?) but the most important of all is try to find what a book means to you, what it makes you feel…and expound it to the rest of your classmates and your teacher so you can see the huge amount of different interpretations the same book can produce.

  10. At university you are given the gift of knowledge. Do you think that this implies responsibilities?</cite>
    Of course it does, each and one of us should be smart enough to share his or her knowledge with others, so you avoid it getting lost in the dephts of your brain
    How can your attitude modify class routines?
    The way you explain things and the way you listen to the others will affect learning. If everyone shows respect for what other students say, even if you don’t agree, everything flows better. In the process of learning tolerance matters a lot, you should not expect to impose your point of view, to know the truth about everything. It is neccesary to understand that, in the case of literature, there can be as many views and interpretations as readers, and any of them can be as valid as the others’.
    Are there any cultural differences between the teaching of literature at Bangor and at your institution (i.e. UCM)?
    That, I can’t say, I am unable to watch the video in youtube. 😦
    How could we make learning fun?
    What a difficult question! Students’ participation make lessons funnier, or at least more interesting. You cannot expect one single person to know EVERYTHING. There will always be something the instructor doesn’t know (he/she is not God) and you do, and sharing it may make it less boring.
    A monologue is always more boring than a dialogue, even humorous monologues 😉
    Normally you look for videos in youtube and you choose one, and while you are watching it you can find two pieces of information, the url to link to the video, and a code to put it in a blog or a web page which says … When you put this code in your blog post you can see it “pasted” in the post as you publish it. This way everybody can see it easily without going to I have sometimes used this tool of youtube to paste videos in my blog, which is highly interesting to avoid sending readers towards other sites. Youtube has so many stuff surrounding the video you are watching that you are tempted to watch other things that take you away from the focus point. To sum up, I would really appreciate it if you embed this videos in the blog so I can see them once and for all.

  11. Hi,I just saw the video in youtube that you linked on the new class blog, first of all I wanted to say how original it is, its creative and really gets to the point, I wasn’t expecting something like that. In reference to the topic, in my opinion new hypermedia spaces give not only new opportunities in various aspects but also the chance of making everything easier, it’s a way of getting to places and people who in other circumstances perhaps wouldn’t even thought about it. What concerns me most is plagiarism. I went to an american school in Madrid and it is well known that American educational sistems are very practical, always doing proyects, class presentations, we always needed resources I remember we use to spend hours in the library, but I don’t remember using anybodies ideas or works, everything was 100% our job. Internet is a temptation to get help from others I don’t think this is bad but I certainly find it as a dangerous temptation, I think that the perfect solution would be to take more care of proyects that look after copyright elements.What I do find as great benefit is the facilities that are given now to style up documents make them look fancier. It’s easier for me and less slopy to give in a typed work than hand made, but I still miss my slopy book reports and using colored pencils in our covers. Maite U.

  12. Studying literature means to be able to read in a full sense: not only to enjoy the plot, but also to analyse the historical context, the stylistic devices and altogether the spirit of the author. At the university, we get to know how these aspects are related to each other and the techniques with which we can find out about them. I think that it´s interesting to know how a book makes you feel, but also why it makes you feel like that, and how the author achieves it. That is what I enjoy the most in class, to learn the techniques that I mentioned above and how each author plays with them differently, and therefore plays with our perception and our feelings.

  13. The internet is a very good thing but not always.We cannot trust everything there and we have to be sure of what we are looking for and what kind of information we need.It is a good way of communicating with the people and to have a lot of information information at our disposal.We could speak about this and discuss the pros and cons but i’m sure that none of us can imaginate life without internet.

  14. In my opinion Internet is the best and faster way to obtain information. I know that in books you can be certain that the information you are using is reliable, but depite that I think that the Internet is very convenient because you can stay at home and you can do any class work there, and also you have access to information all day. In other words, you don´t have to go to a bookstore to buy the book you need and you don´t have to go to a library. Another very good thing is that you can obtain information from any year or past times, anything you want or need.

  15. In my opinion,this video is really good, because it shows step by step the process of the informative revolution. Nowadays, Internet is someting common for everybody, but only few years ago it was considered really a miracle.
    The Internet was created in 60th by americans in order to improve their military protection and national security, and was called at the beginning “Arpanet”.This idea was used lately by information scientifics and this way Internet was born.
    I consider that it’s really great that we may use such amount of information anymoment and in anyplace.Besides, Internet cut the distances between any part of the world, making the communicationmuch more easier.

  16. I think this block is showing a certain responsability. Responsability for every information first invented, discovered and transmitted in the books(in the library), printed in newspaper, said on tv and radio and nowadays added, enriched and proved on Internet. It`s unbelievable how fascinating idea it is! I am not going to repeat all advantages of the Internet as many of you mentioned it in yours articles, only would like to express my opinion. The world is influenced by tecnology, it´s spining around billions informations from everywhere. And we are a component part of it. The tecnology will improve even more and very quickly and we have to adapt ourselves.

  17. Personally, I find this video very interesting , because it makes us to think about the huge number of connectors that link the human beings in modern society.
    With difference, the technology is the most important one. Today nearly nobody can imagine his life without technology, because we depend on it and can’t survive without it’s help. The Industrial Revolution of the beginning of the XX-th century has changed complitely our world and till than we unconsciously were turned into the technological slaves. The technology presents a lot of advantages, because it makes our life easier, but also it may be problematic.
    Finally, I would like to say that technology isn’t neither good nor bad, it’s just neutral and depends on the use we make of it.

  18. I just wanted to say a couple of things about the second topic. Obviously we are given the gift of knowledge at university but.. it isnt really a gift for all the students, under my point of view because I can get this same gift by many ways, we just need a little bit of motivation and curiositY, So i dont really think its needed to go to university to specializes in some topics. It would be a gift for somebody who is really interested in a topic and enjoys the lectures but lots of university students just care about the exam so it is impossible to enjoy lectures when you just think about passing your exams.

    Moreover, I think the way the lectures are given may help or not to make students love the subject and make them more open to study the subject. That connects with the idea of practical lectures. It’s not the same taking notes all the time (you don’t even know what you are writing! than making a little discussion about something that every student in class knows for sure. In my opinion, another kind of practical way to learn literature would be reading some novels (or just some parts of them) and then comparing them to its version in the cinema (if there is any)

    I think lectures in the video are quite different to the lectures at UCM. First because most of teachers in Spain teach like they were taught at school. In my case, I have a couple of subjects which are taught as in the video, but the other 5 are too theorical and for me the importance is not learning by heart but comprehending

    I would also like to quote Skinner about his theory about knowledge “Education is what survives when what has been learned has been forgotten”.

    This quote is from his book WALDEN 2 (which I actually recommend). In walden 2 Skinner shows us his theory about how things must be learnt so that they remain in our mind for longer than learning them by heart(theorically). For him, we must learn practically,instinctively, in a funny way and taking advantajes of our own natural faculties.

    I would also like to attach some video from youtube which have to do with the topic of how lectures must be (small class sizes,participation, relevant infomatiton not necessarily focused on exams but in getting culture)



  19. Theme I
    Nowadays, finding information on the Internet became an extremely popular fact. For this purpose, I propose myself to define the steps which this requires:
    1. What? Defining a search.
    2. Where? Selecting an information resource.
    3. How? Constructing queries from search terms
    4. How well? Critical evaluation of retrieval.

    Theme II
    a. As a participant in the making of a class on literary studies, what do you think the other participants (your classmates, your instructor) expect from you?

    As far as I am concerned, I believe that my colleagues expect me to pay attention, to express my opinion freely (in a respectful us way), to read the bibliography, and to be sensitive to other needs.

    b. At university you are given the gift of knowledge. Do you think that this implies responsibilities?

    I consider that the gift of knowledge is like any other gift one is given. The person who gives it, expect the other to take care of it and to use it for his/her best. Besides, the receiver should use it in such a way that his gift becomes useful to the others surrounding him/her.

    c. How can your attitude modify class routines?

    I consider that we, (the students from 1st year), are still vulnerable to what others think of us. So, one is quite influenced be the others behaviour. However, I believe that the teacher should be the one who leads in a classroom. If the teacher would praise and encourage students to be more active, they would begin to be much more cooperative and the atmosphere in the classroom would change dramatically.

    d. Are there any cultural differences between the teaching of literature at Bangor and at your institution (i.e. UCM)? How could we make learning fun?

    The mainly difference may be the fact that at Bangor, after the course, students are deepening the subject at seminar. Furthermore, in East countries, at universities, having a seminar after each course is a habit.
    Learning is fun when each student makes it fun for him/herself and enjoys what he/she is doing.

    Theme III
    a. The sea voyage in ¨Robinson Crusoe¨ symbolizes the cure for the protagonist´ s disease. By going to the sea, Robinson Crusoe assumes the risk to be exposed to many vicissitudes and also to the possibility to lead a miserable life. ¨I was most inexpressibly sick in body and terrified in mind¨. However, this voyage does nothing but crystallize better his conceptions about life. The terrible storm which he and his friend encounter in their way to London is a scene from the miserable future that would follow (flash-forward).
    As in Daniel Defoe’s novel, Jonathan Swift’s character, Lemuel Gulliver is adventuring to the sea voyage. Here, sea voyage is a door into a fictive world where Lemuel finds tiny creatures, giants, academicians incapable of logic thoughts, important figures from history such as Julius Caesar, senile immortals , and, finally, rational-thinking horses. The entire voyage brings in him outrage against humankind, and the idea that the ideal world is that of horses.
    The only connection I find between the novels above mentioned and ¨Mrs. Dalloway¨ is that in all three books is followed the consciousness of the main character, in last one being Clarissa Dalloway.

    b. As in ¨Moll Flanders¨, William Hogarth begins his art satire, called ¨Harlot’s Progress¨, displaying an inferior girl looking for a way to continue her existence. Both of them are, Moll Flanders and Moll Hackabout, are ensnared be a procuress who leads them into the most unpleasant situations. The mainly difference between them is that while Moll Flanders becomes rich and successfully overcomes all barriers, Moll Hackabout goes to Bridewall Prison, where her situation is associated with a slave’s one, and finally dyes infected with syphilis.
    London in 1700-1878 period is characterized as having corrupted, immoral and indifferent citizens. The more financial power we find, the more depraved are its dwellers.

  20. The video represents internet in a very interesting and truthful way. I think nowadays we are really lucky because any kind of information is accessible at the tip of our fingers and in one place: a computer. As it is shown in the video there is a wide variety of sources to our disposition. It´s really great that we can use internet in any place in the world and whenever we need to. Another advantage is that we can also share information with others through pages like Wikipedia: as well as benefiting from the internet, we are also giving something in return, and we contribute to its growth. Although this advantage can be risky because any person can be the author of the text so we can’t be sure if the information they are giving us is true or false, and it´s hard to know if we are reading from a neutral source or a biased one. There is also a copyright matter, people are being comfortable and copying images or texts written by others and are using them as their own. The nature of the internet creates another problem considering the particularly easy way in which we can replicate and distribute image and sound in the digital medium: the music and film industry, for example, have been deeply affected by the illegal free distribution of music and movies.

  21. Well, first of all, I would like to say that this video has a great importance for all of us,the students of the inglish literatura in this case.
    Literature is not just only reading, as many common people may think,it includes a lot of many other sides, such like: criticism, analisis of the writings and the most important one- communication. The study of literature materials is very deep and it demands a great effort and personal commitment of each pupil. That’s why it must be treated in same way as any other science.

  22. Having finally watched the first video I can just say that it is really right about information, I could not agree most with it.

    Concerning the second, I don’t get the point, is it about firing images at us via TV? I watch it less and less everyday because it’s just too stupid, the broadcastings are worse than ever.

    And finally, the one about technology is just frightening if you make the same reflexions as the off voice. We take too much technology for granted (this blog for instance) and it can be dangerous if we are unaware of the great deal of hi-tech surrounding us.


  24. Well, after having seeing the first and the second videos, I can say that new technlogies, specially Internet, have more and more power. I think Internet is a really good advance: not just for having fun (msn, listen to music or watching funny videos), but also for studies because you can get information easier and faster.

    About the authority question, I think that even if the information is not publish on a book, we have to quote it and say the web and the author; it’s just ethic. you just can’t plagiarize, because that’s not right and no matter if it’s a book or a website.

    the second video has a good point because medias are really good but we have to be careful about things taht we are said as the truth. What I mean is that we have to make up our mind, not just think what they want us to think:truth is a concept hard to define. For instance if you read a newspaper and then another, the information given will be completely different.

    about the second theme, I think dialogue is very important, not just hear what the teaher says but also giving our opinions about a topic. this make the classes much more interesting and richful. I think working in small groups contributes to that point but that is not always possible.

    the video about connections: In my opinion we would have to be more conscious about the people and things that surround us but, nowadays our lifestyle doesn’t help. we live so quick that we didn’t realize what is surrounding us. I think we should look at the things with another perspective and listen to other’s opinions.

  25. Theme 3: Connections

    Actually, I don´t think that you could generalize as much as to say that we don´t realize how much and in which manner we depend on technology. We all have suffered breakdowns in the underground or blackouts (especially the latter tends to make us aware of our excessive dependance on electricity -we can´t neither read, nor watch tv, nor cook [sometimes]…-) and, even if it´s only in those precise moments, we do realize the important role that technology plays in our lives. Moreover, I´d say that we are specially fond of highlighting the magnificience of our achievements in the technological field, and we forget that our own nature (our body) relies even more effectively in connections and “team work”. Our very own structure is smaller and more precise in its function as any technological device, and usually we aren´t aware of it until something goes wrong.

    Theme 4: Narrative Gaps and Structural Disconnections

    In my opinion, these gaps and disconnections shouldn´t necessarily be mended: writers may rely on them in order to achieve a more universal text. This may be contradictory, but I think that universal human features are understood by everyone because they go beyond the text, it doesn´t matter if by “boat” one reader understands a yacht and another a fishing boat. The writer tries to reach the human side of the reader and not his/her context-depending personality. Therefore I don´t considere a lack or even absence of “consensus” to be a failure: disconnections maybe only superficial, the human net that connects us all runs deeper in the text.

  26. Videos one and two:

    After seeing the first video my opinion about internet has been strengthened. Internet is a good source of information but I think it limmits imagination and creation since all information about any topic is in internet. It was so interesting looking for it in books…

    In relation to the second video I really think we are seriously influenced by media since people buy what they don´t want and what they don´t need.

  27. In my opinion, everything is connected and it’s quite logical. Even in our life, day afer day, we can find those connections.

    I dont know if what I am going to say has much to do with the topic, but, I personally feel that I have not been able to learn something (school things especially) unless I have related what I am trying to learn with other different aspects. For example: I would not learn/understand Elliot’s masterpiece if I do not get some historial information first (world wars)

  28. Hello everybody:
    I just want to say that internet, as many of you said,has changed our lives, but not only in sense of literature but shoping. I’m triying to say that you can do everything you want to without going out of home, I read the history of Pedro and Ordep and u think that it will be imposible because if you got stuck in your house, you ask for food, clothes or everything you need on the internet. It maybe be the future life but the boring one.

  29. Theme two:

    Answering the questions in theme two…

    1.I think the other participants, students and teachers, expect that I express my opinion in order to give new perspectives or views about themes we have in class.
    I like hearing what other people have to say because it helps me to open my mind to other opinions.

    2.The gift of knowledge gives us the responsbility of showing other people what we know, we learn about literature and life in general.

    3.I think we should participate more in class in order to do them fun and make more practical classes as going out to parks, museums…

    Thanks, and sorry for my English.

  30. Well, I’m very surprised with this video. Truly, I liked it a lot. Before watching it, I have to recognise,I thought it would be boring but it isn’t at all. Just the opposite Vladimir Nabokov seems a rather artistic lecturer and I found his lecture very interesting. Most of all I liked the affirmation that he does about the beauty; he said that the beaty is pity,and he’s correct because everything in this world is temporal and will get to the end some day. It’s something that we usually forget about.
    Besides, his analisys of Kafka’s work is very complite and approachable. I don’t know much about this czsech writer, but this video has awoked in me the desire to read his books.
    As a conclusion, I would like to say that each book is like an unknown world which we have to discover ourselves and this labour is always very curious.

  31. Disconnections and connections are the words that we can heard rather frequently nowadays. Althought it seems very simple, it’s often difficult realise it`s impotance : All our life is about connections.
    Since the begining of the literature, the authors used to look after the different kinds of connections and that’s why, the compositions were composed by a logical order and structure. However,on the 20th century a lot of things changed, because of the wars , revolutions and the change of mentality on the own people. The anxiety of new sources of art were settled. This way the attention was turned over the contrary: the disconnections started to be the aim of the artists. The standarts of the art were changed and the way of writing literarture,too.That is how appeared new movements, as modernism , post-modernism, etc.
    There are many people that don’t like these new manifestations of art(as we can observe in this page above), but I think that they are really important as they show that the humanity isn’t estatic otherwise is making a satisfactory progress.

  32. ‘What is literature?
    You can define it as ‘imaginative’ writing in the sense of fiction – writing which is not literally true. But even the briefest reflection on what people commonly include under the heading of literature suggests that this will not do (…)
    In English, in the late 16th and early 17th-centuries, the word ‘novel’ seems to have been used for both true and fictional events.
    Perhaps on needs a different kind of approach altogether. Perhaps literature is definable not according to whether it is fictional or ‘imaginative’, but it uses language in peculiar ways. Literature transforms and intensifies ordinary language, deviates systematically from everyday speech. If you approach me at a bus stop and murmur ‘Thou still unravished bride of quietness’ then I am instantly aware that I am in the presence of the literary.

    Terry Eagleton, Literary Theory, second edition, Blackwell Publishing.

  33. Hello!
    I find the approach to literature and culture from the concept of ‘connection / disconnection’ very interesting. Although a theoretical understading of connections in culture might be rather complex, at least for me, it becomes a highly useful procedure in practice. What I want to express is that this course doesn’t deal exclusively with theory about literature (studying books, authors and learning facts by heart), but it also provides helpful methods which can be applied to almost any subject. Thinking about relations has helped me when trying to understand books and their perspectives, because now I tend to compare and link their perceptions to mine, or to other books I have read. Finding a common thread or similar motives in novel written in different periods, that is what we are asked for in our projects, helps our brain to develop this way of thinking, and this can be applied to any area in our lives to solve successfully many kinds of problems!
    Thank you!

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