My final project was a collaborative one with cr88, in which we created word clouds of the full texts of The Plague and The Origin of Species to look at 1) the differences and commonalities between scientific and literary texts, as embodied by this bizarre representational form, and 2) different forms of literary analysis outside of the ones we are used to and how they can be useful. These were the images we produced:
The Origin of Species
For our presentation, my group conducted a barometer exercise similar to those that may be seen at the Posse retreat or in education classes on campus.
What I like about Borges's "Library of Babel" is idea of randomness and connectivity that permeates the story and the construction of the library. In a real library, we organize everything based on their genre: fiction, travel writing, childrens stories, etc. However, these are superficial relationships. True connections between literature are much more random (maybe a writer of childrens literature found inspiration in a science textbook, like Lewis Carroll being influenced by mathematics and producing Alice in Wonderland. Borges is an author who is very involved in genre, and the evolution of genre. Part of what's great about the evolution of genre is that one must accept random connections beneath the surface, going across all the genres. This
In Anne Dalke’s discussion section, we discussed the role of humor in Adaptation and in evolution as a whole. We started off with the idea that maybe Adaptation is telling us that humor is key in evolution because it makes us more resilient. Charlie Kaufman is depicted as anxiety-ridden, miserable, constantly suffering from an existential crisis, and unsuccessful. He is obsessed with creating the perfect movie and drives himself nuts with it. Donald Kaufman is depicted as a much more carefree, fly-by-the-seat-of-his-pants guy, and (ironically?) it is his ridiculous screenplay that is successful. Perhaps it is Donald’s humor that helps him be so much happier and more resilient than his brother.