Finding My Way Out of the Mind

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Feminism emerges? April 18, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — ksuttie @ 1:35 pm

I was tasked at looking at Elizabeth Montagu for the Library assignment, and while doing my research found that Montagu was in fact highly involved in this bluestocking society that has been mentioned a few times during the course. I had a difficult time at first to really get a handle for what this group was in essence trying to promote but eventually came to the conclusion that although it had originally been intended for both genders it appears as though women really took over the shaping and also the associating of the term. The bluestockings were a group of intellectual women dedicated to making a difference in educating society. It’s amazing the sheer amount of the writers contained in the course that associated themselves with this movement. The bluestockings are definitely a term that will not be forgotten as they play such a pivotal role in establishing women as respected writers, giving voice to the opinions and concerns of women. Many of these women were outspoken and boisterous in their opinions. In many way the bluestockings could be considered at least in my own mind as a proto feminist group, although they weren’t marching on government they were promoting women to voice themselves and get education in order to make a difference.

Hazzah to the bluestockings! – ha I must be a loser…


Science Fiction – created by women?

Filed under: Uncategorized — ksuttie @ 1:13 pm

For my presentation, I was pretty excited to find out that my assignment was to study look a women who is considered to be one of the earliest proprietors of the science fiction genre, Margaret Cavendish’s “The Blazing World” is a very early form of science fiction similar in fact to some of the fantasy sci-fi novels of today with a main character whisked off to a new world to learn about the failings of earths society. I think it is supremely interesting that two of the founders of the genre are in fact women. The reason and second example I would give for this is Maary Shelley’s Frankenstein. Although it is firstly considered to be a gothic novel, Frankenstein also greatly influences later works.

Part of what makes both of these considered Science fiction is their attention to the scientific elements. Within the genre of science fiction there are both examples of hard and light science fiction. Light science fiction doesn’t not concern itself as thoroughly with the aspects of how the science works, it just works but hard science fiction is more technical and devles into the why and the how these things could happen. If the apocalypse is coming hard sci-fi wants to know why, where as light wants to know how people are coping…

Shelley works to explain much of how the doctor creates his monster, and so to does Cavendish strive to explain how this alternate world works and why it is superior to earth.


Masque of Blackness

Filed under: Uncategorized — ksuttie @ 10:54 am

Lady Mary Wroth

I was quite intrigued when I read the bio of this author on the link provide in the class schedule. Wroth was a woman of nobility and most interestingly she was cast in the original production of Johnson’s Masque of Blackness. A few years ago I took a course in Fredericton called Shakespeare predecessors and contemporaries. In that course the Masque of Blackness was actually one of the plays that we looked at in detail. The fact that Wroth was one of the actors in the production is supremely interesting. Unlike most plays the plot of the masque was somewhat inconsequential. A masque was a sort of court affair, or display just for the nobles. The masque turned many heads because the women portraying the African characters were not masks and instead white women’s skin was painted black. People were really concerned and even appalled by this. Wroth being a part of this performance really makes me wonder if she herself, a lady of the court had her face painted black as though she was African?


The Heretic

Filed under: Uncategorized — ksuttie @ 9:52 am

The Heretic

It’s interesting the amount of controversy that some of these writers instigate. Even 50 years ago from our present day writers were pushing the envelope with more edgy books and threats of censor, going so far as to be banned. I feel like the banning of a book in today’s society is so foreign. Especially with series like the walking dead and some of the other mainstream series that are very graphic.

Many of the writers on this course I feel are in that same sort of category of pushing the envelope. Many of them garner quite a bit of controversy surrounding them. In my previous post I examined some of Margery Kempe’s work. Among the notes that I read on Kempe she was also was accused of being a heretic, she caused quite a bit of controversy, and appears to have been rather outspoken.

Similar to Kempe Was Anne Askew, she also caused quite an upstart as we saw on the video of her being burned to the stake…. witch craft, heretic? She definitely garnered enough interest to make people pretty upset. She preached her beliefs and wrote writings to match. Askew had an intellect that was far beyond the majority of people of her time, as some of the material I read along with the clip from class showed that she was very adept in logic catching people in their question and turning logic on its head…


Margery Kempe – the conversationalist April 17, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — ksuttie @ 12:09 pm

It’s interesting that Margery kempe felt that her story was worth being told. She writes what the encyclopedia Britannica calls one of the first autobiographies. Kempe is a strange sort of literary figure. Kempe writes her life in a way that is strictly personal and religious. Kempe’s writing is almost as if a diary detailing her relationship with god. Much of what I read was written in a personal conversational way with god. The encyclopedia describes Kempe as a sort of mystic and that she was involved in pilgrimages to Jerusalem and many others. Reading about Kempe’s life reminds me of what I have learned in the past about Geoffrey Chaucer and the Canterbury Tales. In Chaucers story, the narrator is traveling on a pilgrimage with a host of interesting characters. It sounds judging from the various entries about Kempe and her biographical writing Kempe could have joined Chaucer’s journey as a strange sort of religious mystic.

It is amazing the distance that Kempe would have traveled in her lifetime. She would have seen more than so many others in her society as many people would have lived and died in the same town, while she did more traveling than some do even in today’s society



The Unkown Writers

Filed under: Uncategorized — ksuttie @ 10:58 am

The Unknown Writers.

I always find this era and time for writing is exceptionally interesting. Anything that has survived from this time must have either been written by such a privileged person or maybe it was superbly possible but either, these existing scraps of literature were written by someone close to the writer or commissioned to be transcribed by a monk. Its amazing that these exist after so many years, not to mention that they are written by women… Most women would not have been formally educated let alone capable of writing prose and poetry.

I have read Lanval a couple of times in the past and I always find it interesting as it tells a story that is so famous and popular in society. Although it’s not the traditional sword in the stone Marie de France an Arthurian tale that is vastly different about Guinevere’s seduction of a new knight Lanval.

The wife’s lament is intriguing in a vastly different way what I found to be the most compelling about the lament is not the actual writing as its is sometimes difficult to read such old texts but the fact that the poem is from an unknown author. Marie de France’s exact identity is a mystery but academics believe they know a good deal about her place in society and background. The wife’s lament has no indication of its authorship. During the class I argued that this piece could even have been written by a man. The speaker of the store appears to be conflicted on one hand she is upset with her situation but what seems contrary is that she says little in opposition to her husband. She is far from home; she feels alone and alienated but still seems to praise her husband. It seems fundamentally flawed that the man who has brought her to this alienating environment but is also loving. I would argue that too much influence is present in this piece from outside forces causing this to be skewed example of this time period.

Despite how rediculously hard it is for me to read this I do on one hand love the way it looks


New Beginnings, and the power of women in literature April 3, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — ksuttie @ 10:31 am

I’m not even going to try and apologize but this semester has been rediculous…

Getting back to the matter at hand my hope is to take some of my class observations and post them in the coming week or two in hopes of making my blog much more complete and comprehensive.

This post is in response to the post written on the class blog.

At the first of the course we looked at the extended essay by Virginia Wolfe. In the essay Wolfe suggests that women need to have both money and functional space to become writer and those men have dominated the field of literature due to the other duties and stereotypes against women.

I feel as though While Wolfe’s assessment of women’s literature is mostly true and that women have had a lot of adversity during the timeframe that we examined. We even looked at some of our writers with a grain of salt even questioning if a woman could actually have written what she did based on the time period and what we know about history. I kind of feel that through both the presentations and the course lectures Prof. Jones wanted to show the class that despite the adversity of the past against female writers. Many of the writers on the course fought against the stereotypes, working into prominent positions in society and utilizing their writing to influence society. The bluestockings and their prominence as well as the queens’ speech and even Ann Askew, despite their limitations as women worked hard to influence the society that they lived in through their education and knowledge.

I really feel as though these poets and writers have paved the way for the women writers of today’s time period. Today I would suggest (without the stats) that the number of women writes compared to men would be close to equal within 10 percent either way and some of the most prominent and influential writers of the past several decades have been women. Going all the way back to writers like Sylvia Plath and the emergence of the feminist movements women have began to emerge as a force to be reckoned with in today’s society. Even the last 20 years women have made leaps and bounds as the three huge literary crazes that have broken through barriers in pop culture have all been women writers.

The works I’m referring to of course is Harry Potter which was so successful and culture changing its hard to even imagine a world without it. Despite my own aversion to this series it has had an amazing impact on culture, Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight series, and even more recently the amazing trilogy written by Suzanne Collins The hunger Games have exploded in pop culture, and are to the new generation what Harry Potter was to mine as the franchise is bursting in the public scene right now as we speak with the movie premier just a few short weeks ago.