Notes on The Death of the Author

Some passages that struck me as I reviewed the influential Roland Barthes essay. [I]n ethnographic societies the responsibility for a narrative is never assumed by a person but by a mediator, shaman or relator whose ‘performance’ — the mastery of the narrative code — may possibly be admired but never his ‘genius’.T he author is a modern figure, a product of our society insofar as…it discovered the prestige of the…

London’s Big Ben is leaning, parliament sinking: reports | Reuters

Note headline; here is the only time this Reuters article refers to the “parliament was slipping into the Thames” issue: [Professor John Burland of Imperial College London]¬†dismissed concern in the media that parliament was slipping into the Thames, while the commission’s spokesman denied the walls around the palace were suffering from a particularly bad subsidence problem causing Big Ben to lean. –via London’s Big Ben is leaning, parliament sinking: reports.…

(Don’t Let Her Be) The One That Got Away — Stage Right Greensburg

Ensemble number from Stage Right Greensburg’s opening night of an original musical version of The Little Mermaid. (Script adapted from Hans Christian Andersen by Anthony Marino; music by David Mahokey and Greg Keresten; lyrics by Greg Keresten; choreography by Renata Marino; musical director Cindy Baltzer; set design by Mark Kissner; construction by Mark Cole; costumes by Lori Layton, Becky Shirey, and many others; props by Becky Bouille) My daughter is…

Revisiting ‘Zork’: What We Lost in the Transition to Visual Games – Atlantic Mobile

In my mind, the house is clapboard, with a black, precisely shingled roof and shutters in a bit of disrepair. The sky is always an intangible, faded blue, and the forest surrounding the clearing is dark green. In other words, it’s always summer — and hot, since I imagine the house surrounded by long, tan, untrampled grass. The front door is boarded — I pictured some plywood, though I didn’t…

Should We Really Abolish the Term Paper? A Response to the NYT

Students learn to evaluate one another’s thinking and challenge one another–and, far more important, they learn from one another and correct themselves. I cannot think of a better skill to take out into the world. By blogging and responding to one another’s posts, my students aren’t learning how to write for an English professor. They are learning how to write for the world they are about to enter, in their…

Blogs vs. Term Papers

While I’m not quite ready to ditch the traditional term paper, students in most of my classes use blogs for brainstorming, prewriting, reflection, and synthesis; I encourage students to post new media artifacts as part of a “creative criticall presentation” in lit and media classes. For freshman writing, I stick fairly closely to a shared syllabus that does not make new media composition a core part of any assignent (though,…

Opening Night: New “The Little Mermaid”

I was thrilled to be in the audience for another Stage Right / Mahokey / Kerestan collaboration. My daughter is one of four talented young people who share the role of the fish sidekick, called “Tailfin” in this version. The story line is similar to the Disney-movie version of the story about a mermaid who braves the forces of a sea witch to win her prince. Stage Right artistic director…

Why A Teen Who Talks Back May Have A Bright Future

When my daughter was five or six, and she got into trouble along with her older brother, she would overhear me explaining to my son why I would punish him more severely than his sister. Pretty soon, when they both got caught, my daughter would shriek, “You have to punish Peter more than be, because I haven’t reached the age of reason!” I told her that the more accurately she…