Time Influencing Identity Through Various Literary Kinds

nk0825's picture

 Our group's intent was to incorporate a variety of literary kinds in order to satisfy the different interests expressed through other students's online posts. It was obvious that many other groups also wanted to achieve the same thing. The proposal we came up with questioned how time travel gets handled in different forms and how this travel influences the identity of main characters. We were also curious in exploring other questions: how technological and platform changes affect the same topic (time and travel), how the placement of a reader in time effects the novel, continuing questions of platform vs. genre, and how does one's identity change with time. 

From this we concluded that if dealing with time the most useful mediums would be an American canonical classic of some sort, a graphic novel, and a movie. We felt that each form would be able to pursue a different aspect of time travel and how it effects identity; this study would also relate to the technological questions we asked about blogs in the first half of the course. In pursuing the latter, we thought it best if the class began with the classic novel, studying it for approximately 1.5 weeks. We discussed using Mark Twain's Connecticut Yankee and King Arthur's Court because of its conceptual use of time travel. In between our study of Mark Twain's novel and the graphic novel (proposed: Neil Gayman's 1602 ) we believe that a critical study of the digital humanities should bridge the divide between classics and graphic novels. Finding some sort of online archive of Mark Twain's work would not only connect the critical approaches we used during our time with blogs but would also show how the classics evolve and become more accessible over time due to technological change. We estimated a one week time frame for this critical discussion and another week and a half in order to study the graphic novel. After the graphic novel it was discussed that another critical assessment needed to be done for one week. Whether it was a critical analysis comparing classic novels to graphic novels, graphic novels to movies, or movies to classic novels, we determined that it was again important to delve deeper into the gray zone of interpretation. Finally, we felt that a movie study for one week would complete our course study for Literary Kinds. The movie in question was Time Traveler's Wife, however someone also suggested the Butterfly Effect. Following the evolution of "time travel" through various literary mediums and how these mediums ultimately shape character identity would provide an interesting and complementary workspace to our earlier genre case study. 

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