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Pattern Recognition Essay

I had to write an essay for a Columbia application on a novel written in the last ten years. It still needs some corrections. Comments are encouraged if you feel like reading the whole thing. It is about 1000 words.

Written by William Gibson in 2003, Pattern Recognition is a novel that demonstrates not only the acute paranoia which followed 9/11, but the way in which said paranoia may become a kind of post-modern teleology for a fractured American psyche. Gibson is not alone in this pursuit and Pattern Recognition finds itself paralleling Thomas Pycnhon’s The Crying of Lot 49 and helping to comprise a small micro-genre of literary fiction I have come to call Paranoid Existentialism. These are novels which purse a metaphor for man’s search for meaning by using conspiracy, apoheina, and other peculiar pathos singular to recent history America.

Gibson is best known as the man who coined the term “cyberspace” and as the writer who popularized the technologies that have come to comprise the world we currently inhabit here on the early side of the 21st century. But Gibson’s task has always been one apart from science fiction as a whole and his influences are indebted to the DNA of writers like Borges, Burroughs and Pynchon more than they are the looming, monolithic visionaries of sci-fi’s Golden Age. He is an author concerned with the ways in which culture is not merely influenced by technology, but is in fact a product of it. To this end, Cayce Pollard, the protagonist of PR finds herself as a “cool hunter,” a modern dowsing rod for the next great thing in marketing and her keen, nearly mystical talent, is purposed toward finding enigmatic footage that has begun to appear on the pre-YouTube internet.

This footage is no mere LonelyGril15, but is instead the work of a Gibson terms a “garage Kubrick,” a maestro, a master of an art perhaps never realized before and Cayce, together with an online forum, becomes dedicated to the discovery of the maker of this footage. Gibson goes so far as to refer to the unknown party or parties creating the film as “the maker” and it here that he divorces himself the genre’s in which he might otherwise be labeled. If the maker exists, if the film is a complete work and not the product of random samplings, then there is an overall purpose it, there is a shape that it must take. The watchmaker has been found and that fledgling query from the Age of Reason has been answered in the form of a pop-cultural footnote.

This is the brilliance of Gibson; he constructs a world in which the profound if mediated through the banality of the modern media. That which is beautiful, which makes a reader’s mind whirl is tempered by the preponderance of references to Tommy Hilfiger, Parco and the nauseating ubiquity f Starbuck’s All this is to be found amid references to French post-structuralists, an incisive dissection of post 9/11 America and an exploration of metaphysical themes cloaked in the guise of a spy thriller. Gibson is an author who has tasked himself with dealing with provocative, moving subjects without ever having forgotten the joys that make a reader turn the pages.

The result is a thoroughly modern novel in which the existential realities of the protagonist’s father’s death, the trauma of 9/11 and man’s search for meaning still take place in a world we recognize as our own. The existential confusion of modernity is pressed up against the often absurd mechanisms of pop-culture. Gibson is a cult populist, an oxymoron only recently engendered by the technology which preoccupies him. His purpose is not to reveal the technology itself, but to disclose its effects on people who interact with it, like most great novelists.

In our world of confusing, constant and inescapable media imagery, Gibson suggests that meaning will come from the same Jungian soup that besieges us. The footage is an analogue to the Trystero conspiracy in The Crying of Lot 49. Cayve, like Oedipa Maas before her, is either on the trail of something potentially momentous or the victim of a rather elaborate joke. The footage is a surrogate for God in a world which prostrates itself before the cult of celebrity, which proffers offerings to the altar of a Sony Flatscreen. In this, Gibson is a post-modern mythmaker, a cabalist encoding ciphers intro the script of the modern world: the ubiquitous media which has come to define us. The novel’s title reveals keen insight into the author’s position, meaning is that which we impose upon the world in our never-ending, biologically wired need to find patterns in our landscape. In the context of modern humans of the first world, that landscape is almost pervasively that which we view through the lens of our media.

For Gibson, as well as myself, media no longer reflects culture but manufactures it. We our products of an age where the bandwidth that used to be the sole domain of the Roman Catholic church has become flooded with a myriad of voices which constantly wash over us producing a kind of white noise, a numbing effect, by which everything seems mediated, everything seems somehow distant. When 9/11 occurred, it is no surprise that is was cleaved to, that it was, in some strange act of pathos, sought by a culture in which everything had ceased to matter in that way we believed events had mattered to previous generations. Yet the moment, as all moments must be, was terribly brief. Just as we sought to escape the mediation of everything, we found that the most tragic, shocking of events was itself already mediated, was, in fact, wholly the product of a world glued to their televisions sets, the goals of the perpetrators enabled by the very vapid connections of a wired world that we had become snared in.

The book now seems an artifact of those times. There is, only five years later, already a nostalgic quality about it. Cayce wanders through a landscape and population shocked by the event, a populace walking in a dream state, beleaguered by the weight of being in that terrible moment and yet simultaneously watching that moment copied to the point of meaninglessness on TV. Cayce’s moment, her genuine, portentous event of that day occurs just as she is looking into the window of a curio shop, the impact of the planes heard only through what might perhaps be the sonic transmigration of souls and anyway thought to be part of a movie. Those sounds disturb a single petal of a dead flower in a vase in that window heavy with the quiet poetry of objects. The petal falls, the moment is interrupted, the world intrudes, it is over. But it is her moment, in a way that it can never be for the world. We pretend to share in the tragedy, but, for most of us, it happened on a television screen. We watched it in a Baudrillardian hyperreallity twice removed from the world. Gibson uncovers this event from the saccharine repurposing it has come to be fettered by. He recognizes that there is something pure in that initial becoming, whatever it may be, and makes it his task to be there before the crowds come, before the commentators, before people such as like myself sit down to write an essay for an application which analyze him.

This, more than anything else, is what I hope to take from other writers: the ability to craft my stories as pure phenomena, as moments, as a reality that supercedes, or is occasionally removed from the ongoing interpretation that will come after. He has created a story in which meaning may be an elaborate form of contemporary paranoia and in which we ironically find the means to escape such ontological ills in the very thing that may have brought them on us. When I read him, I am immersed, in the phenomenology of his prose, that bracketed experience, comfortable, for a short while, in my own, implacable now.
 
Is this so all the people wanting help with their homework will now have an essay to steal?
 
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They could do that, sure.
 
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quote:
LonelyGril15


 
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I like your writing. Really not bad at all.
 
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Nice.

My initial response is to suggest a few things:

1. There are a significant number of typos you'll want to fix. Some sentences have words missing while others have simple misspellings (e.g. Pynchon in the 1st paragraph).

2. In the 1st paragraph, the use of the word "teleology" makes no sense in this context.

3. "man's search for meaning" sounds either a) very 1972 or b) grade 12. I'd suggest something more specific and fresh.

4. It sounds to me like, more generally, you're talking about paranoia as a mode of knowledge, which is a very cool idea (to me at least). If you are, you should probably say so more clearly so folks like me aren't stuck wondering if we're just imagining it.

Good luck with your application!
 
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I am talking about paranoia as a form of meaning. How does telology not make sense in that context?

I was not altogether happy with the man's search for... Frankel deal.

Gracias.

The Crying of Lot 40 substitutes conspiracy for meaning with a presumable end goal in mind becuase their is a design, that (and my argument with PR) seem to add up to teleology to me.

In the philosophical context anyway.
 
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quote:
Originally posted by ArkanGL:
quote:
LonelyGril15




That is a haunting, lonely, Grill indeed.
 
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If one of you professorial types would look, I'd be appreciative. I might even give you a Blikie.
 
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Would you mind being more specific about the brief for the essay? You only state that the essay is for an admission packet and that it has to be about a recent novel. Are you supposed to be tying the novel to what you intend to accomplish at the program?

If so, it seems to me that you need a two-fold thesis: first, that you see the need for a certain aesthetic (i.e., the Paranoid Epistemology), and, second, that you see Pattern Recognition (with Pynchon, etc.) as typifying that epistemology. Or vice-versa (whichever you think your main goal needs to be with this essay).

Your introduction needs work from that point of view, and your sentences need to be stronger; many of them rely on passive constructions.

Make sure your reader knows who you're talking about. In the last paragraph, you just say "He has created..." Who, again? You've mentioned Gibson and Pynchon, but for clarity, say "Gibson has created...".

This is probably me being a literary academic instead of a creative writer, but I often find myself wondering if I should believe you with regard to your assertions about Pattern Recognition in general, usually because you put your words in Gibson's mouth. "Gibson suggests that meaning will come from the same Jungian soup," for example. "Jungian soup" is absolutely your phrase; I remember you using it in 2003. I won't quibble with your interpretation, but it *is* your interpretation, and it's also perfectly okay to say that it's your interpretation rather than pretending that it's some sort of objective fact about the text, as we were all taught to do by our New Criticism-trained high school lit teachers. You see Jungian soup in Gibson's work. Argue that Gibson's work represents a Jungian soup, and presents possible ways of navigating it (which, now, is my argument leaking in, but bear with me) or representing it that you find useful, want to study further, etc.

There's something one of my undergraduate lit teachers said to me about application essays (letters of intent, etc.) when I was applying to graduate programs: "You have to know what you want to do that's useful beyond just getting to read a bunch of good books." I see that below the surface of this essay, but I'm not sure if that's quite enough, or if you've developed it adequately, or even (back to my first question) if your desires for your graduate experience are necessary for this particular essay...

It has promise, but I do think it needs quite a lot of tightening up. Hope that helps some.
 
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The total brief is: write an essay about a novel written in the last ten years. Nothing more.

This is separate from my personal statement which addresses what I am doing and why.

I will tighten it based on your suggestions. As an example, what should I write vis a vis Jungian Soup, like: I argue that Gibson is putting together a complex novel in the Jungian Soup... or what?

I don't know that they wil care that it is interpretive as I am applying to the writing MFA.

Thanks, Justy.

Give me an example of how to remove the passive in the first paragraph if you would.

To my mind, it is more important to project my "voice" here rather than an academic voice of neutrality.

By passive you mean words like seems and might be and the like, yes? Just as in prose?
 
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I only have time for a quick note:

Passive voice is how this sentence is structured (twice, even!). Where possible, restructure your sentences so they use active verbs. Don't worry about "neutrality"--worry about vigorous prose.

An example: "These novels use conspiracy, apophenia, and other pathos [ you're misusing "pathos" here; do you mean "strategies," or "pathologies"? ] to pursue new metaphors for man's search for meaning."

Also, since the essay's role in your admissions packet is more of a writing sample than a statement of intent, I would make it more clearly a short thesis about PR. Also, writing MFAs have a critical component, so showing that you have mastered "academic" writing may be useful.
 
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Pathos means this too though, yeah?


pathos
One entry found.


Main Entry:
pa·thos Listen to the pronunciation of pathos Listen to the pronunciation of pathos
Pronunciation:
\ˈpā-ˌthäs, -ˌthȯs, -ˌthōs also ˈpa-\
Function:
noun
Etymology:
Greek, suffering, experience, emotion, from paschein (aor. pathein) to experience, suffer; perhaps akin to Lithuanian kęsti to suffer
Date:
1591

1 : an element in experience or in artistic representation evoking pity or compassion 2 : an emotion of sympathetic pity


So, 9/11 and the like, that'd be American pathos. But I see your point. I need to separate that bit out if I want to make that point.

Thanks again.
 
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Those would be American events that can be used in an argument that uses pathos as a technique. They are not pathos themselves. Also, by writing "conspiracy, apophenia, and other peculiar pathos", with "other" as the connector implies that you are including conspiracy and apophenia in a set with "other pathos". Conspiracy and apophenia aren't pathos, though conspiracy can evoke pathos (i.e., aren't these conspiracies horrible, as we see all over the internet.)
 
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quote:
Originally posted by UberDog:
Written by William Gibson in 2003, Pattern Recognition is a novel that demonstrates not only the acute paranoia which followed 9/11, but the way in which said paranoia may become a kind of post-modern teleology for a fractured American psyche.


Not the fuggen difficult to change the passive voice to an active one - I could write a computer program that could handle it.


William Gibson's novel "Pattern Recognition" from 2003 demonstrates not only 
the acute paranoia which followed 9/11, but also demonstrates that this paranoia may become 
a kind of post-modern teleology for a fractured American psyche.


(Doesn't make any more sense than before - but there you go!)
 
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Hi again

1. Basic rules for passive voice are fairly simple:
a) When feasible, write "a does b to c" rather than "c is b'd (by a)." Passive voice makes it too easy to omit vital information and so can look evasive (which is why, when you cheat on somebody, you say "things just happened" and not "i made these things happen"). Also, passive voice makes for very wordy, inefficient, and confusing sentences.

b) if you can rewrite a sentence to minimize your use of the verb "to be" and its variants, do so as it will make the sentence shorter and clearer. "Pattern Recognition is a novel that demonstrates" vs. "Pattern Recognition demonstrates". "Boone Chu is being a dork when he plays 'Guitar Hero'" vs. "Dorky Boone Chu plays 'Guitar Hero'"

c) avoid -ing verbs when possible

2. The problem with "teleology" is precisely that it presumes an end. Apophenia cannot presume an end because there is no design to complete. The Crying of Lot 49 isn't teleological precisely because Oedipa Maas can never confirm that there really is a design to begin with--in many ways the novel is about an infinitely deferred telos that may or may not even exist. To me at least, Pattern Recognition problematizes teleology in two ways. First, while Cayce finds the makers, there's nothing particularly apocalyptic about it--nothing really ends so much as continues, with, as Magda says, the footage "out" and Russian oligarchs "in." Finding it actually exhausts it as a meaningful end, in some ways. Second and more simply, the whole discussion about models of history in which Bigend invokes the book's title of Pattern Recognition is very specifically about a history that's non-linear and therefore anti-teleological.

I'm just saying "teleology," here, obscures a lot of stuff--including the implications of the book's title--and unless you qualify it, it may look like you haven't read the book very carefully. More importantly, any examiner will be far less interested in your ability to use specialized language (pathos, teleology) than they will be in your ability to be clear. As has happened here, the use of specialized language begs for scrutiny, and when you use it, examiners will be sure to ask themselves whether you're using it correctly. If you aren't, your essay will make you look like you're trying to be something you're not and / or what you think they want you to be, rather than who you are. Hope that makes sense. And good luck again.
 
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quote:
2. The problem with "teleology" is precisely that it presumes an end. Apophenia cannot presume an end because there is no design to complete. The Crying of Lot 49 isn't teleological precisely because Oedipa Maas can never confirm that there really is a design to begin with--in many ways the novel is about an infinitely deferred telos that may or may not even exist. To me at least, Pattern Recognition problematizes teleology in two ways. First, while Cayce finds the makers, there's nothing particularly apocalyptic about it--nothing really ends so much as continues, with, as Magda says, the footage "out" and Russian oligarchs "in." Finding it actually exhausts it as a meaningful end, in some ways. Second and more simply, the whole discussion about models of history in which Bigend invokes the book's title of Pattern Recognition is very specifically about a history that's non-linear and therefore anti-teleological.


Please accept this in the form of a friendly debate, but...

I completely disagree. Apohenia implies teleology becuase the paranoid believes that there is a conspiracy which is well planned with an end result in mind. Perhaps I need to make this more clear. I have heard the argument you're making before, but I must disagree.

Again, as with Bigend's non-linear view of history, that doesn't necessitate an absence of an end result, just an inability to define the overall schema while within the pattern.

I do appreciate the comments but feel you are making a semantic argument that doesn't actually agree with the definition of teleology itself. I think you are adding clauses to the word which are not necessarily there by definition.

The very nature of apophenia is such that the victim thinks they see the end result that no one else can see.

A book doesn't need to have an "end result" in order for the possibility of an end result to be discussed. The debate which rages on F:F:F addresses this very thing. If there is a finished product then there is a design, an end result. If not, then it is piecemeal. But, neither potentiality negates the other until one knows for sure. So, in that sense, yes, the teleological end isn't there, but the search for it, the yearning for it is what matters to me.

I fixed the passive voice stuff, I always have those in my drafts. it is an old habit and a bad one.

I rewrote the paper. I will post it below. if you could read the intro at least, it would help, I attempted to clarify.
 
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RobOvLord: also, Aquinas' teleological argument for the existence of God (or was it first Anslem's?) rings rather resonantly, to me, with the debate on the F:F:F forums about the maker, completism, et. al.

Moreover, I do not think Bill was name tossing when he brought in French existentialists and the like in said debate. He was having a dig at the very paper I'm writing, and that, in itself, suggests to me the idea of teleology discussed by metaphor of the footage was certainly in the back of his head if only in an ironic way.
 
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Written by William Gibson in 2003, Pattern Recognition demonstrates not only the acute paranoia which followed 9/11, but the way in which said paranoia reifies as the possibility of teleology in a fractured American psyche. Conspiracy has become the new intelligent design and the clergy are the anointed paranoids who pursue the “truth.” Not alone in this pursuit, Gibson and Pattern Recognition find themselves paralleling Thomas Pycnhon’s The Crying of Lot 49 and helping to comprise a small micro-genre of literary fiction I have come to call Paranoid Existentialism. These novels pursue a metaphor for meaning and design in an ontological context by using conspiracy, apohenia, and other peculiar pathologies singular to contemporary America. It is my argument that Gibson uses these tools to drive his narrative toward a deconstruction of modernity through an examination of the media forces which propel it and the moments which lie, briefly, outside it.
Best known as the man who coined the term “cyberspace” and as the writer who popularized the technologies that have come to comprise the world we currently inhabit here on the early side of the 21st century, Gibson has traditionally been classified as a science fiction author. Conversely, his has always been one apart from science fiction as a whole and his influences are indebted to the DNA of writers like Borges, Burroughs and Pynchon more than the looming, monolithic visionaries of science fiction’s Golden Age. An author concerned with the ways in which culture is not merely influenced by technology, but is in fact a product of it, he lays out a unique methodology by which the reader navigates the media-saturated world. To this end, Cayce Pollard, the protagonist of PR finds herself as a “cool hunter,” a modern dowsing rod for the next great thing in marketing with a keen, nearly mystical talent, purposed toward finding enigmatic footage that has begun to appear on the pre-YouTube internet.
No mere LonelyGirl15, the footage is instead the work of what Gibson terms a “garage Kubrick”: a maestro, a master of an art perhaps never realized before, Cayce, together with an online forum, becomes dedicated to the discovery of this maker of heart-rending, plaintive footage. If the maker exists, if the film is a complete work and not the product of random samplings, then there is an overall purpose to it, there is a shape that it must take, that can be found and a meaning extracted from the medium. The perpetual questions about a teleological end to the universe have been recontextualized inside the viscous skein of pop-culture.
In a world of confusing, constant and inescapable media imagery, I believe Gibson suggests that meaning will come from the same Jungian soup that besieges us. The footage is an analogue to the Trystero conspiracy in The Crying of Lot 49. Cayce, like Oedipa Maas, is either on the trail of something potentially momentous or the victim of a rather elaborate joke. The footage suggests a surrogate for God in a culture which prostrates itself before the cult of celebrity, which proffers offerings to the altar of a Sony Flatscreen. In this, Gibson is a post-modern mythmaker, a cabalist encoding ciphers intro the script of the modern world: the ubiquitous media which has come to define us.
The novel’s title reveals keen insight into what I attest is the author’s position: meaning is that which we impose upon the world in our never-ending, biologically wired drive to find patterns in our landscape. In the context of modern humans of people living in the first world, that landscape is almost pervasively composed of that which we view through the lens of our media.
We our products of an age where the bandwidth that used to be the sole domain of the Roman Catholic church has become flooded with a myriad of voices which constantly wash over us. This produces a kind of white noise, a numbing effect, by which everything seems mediated, everything seems somehow distant. When 9/11 occurred, America cleaved to it, that it was, believed, in some strange act of pathos, that a culture in which everything had ceased to matter in that way we believed great events before resonated. In the context of the novel, the priests of this new faith are the footage seekers and conspiracy buffs, those who believe that connections lie deeply at the heart of the footage, 9/11, and the growing interest in a Russian Mafioso.
In disbelieving the mass conscious as disseminated on TV, the paranoid establishes that the truth is still a rare and scared thing that only the anointed may know. In the wake of 9/11 the conspiracy theories immediately began to lend a meaning to those events that would not otherwise be present. Gibson warns us of the dangers in such delusions at the same time he renders them banal, sterile in the light of that actual moment.
Cayce’s moment, her genuine, portentous event of that day occurs just as she is looking into the window of a curio shop, the impact of the planes heard only through what might perhaps be the sonic transmigration of souls and anyway thought to be part of a movie. Those sounds disturb the single petal of a dead flower in a vase in that window heavy with the quiet poetry of objects. The petal falls, the moment is interrupted, the world intrudes. But it is her moment, in a way that it can never be for the world. We pretend to share in the tragedy, but, for most of us, it happened on a television screen. We watched it in a Baudrillardian hyperreallity twice removed from the world. In recovering the pure, phenomenological moment, divorced from later attempts to ascribe it paranoid meaning, Gibson denies this warped purpose. The very importance of the single moment denies the conspiracy the right to co-opt the event for their ends. Gibson paints in blank verse. He presents moments, details and fragment which, in the beauty and banality become more meaningful individually than any aggregate intent of paranoid design.
 
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Fair enough. Just trying to be helpful.

One question though: what exactly do you mean by the stuff I've quoted below? Not sure I follow you.

quote:
Moreover, I do not think Bill was name tossing when he brought in French existentialists and the like in said debate. He was having a dig at the very paper I'm writing, and that, in itself, suggests to me the idea of teleology discussed by metaphor of the footage was certainly in the back of his head if only in an ironic way.
 
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quote:
Apohenia implies teleology becuase the paranoid believes that there is a conspiracy


I think you are turning a weak link into a strong link here. Paranoia may imply teleology and paranoia may involve apophenia, but that does not mean that apophenia implies teleology.

I expect the person reading the essay won't care though. They will probably have 100's of 1,000 word essays to read.
 
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quote:
Originally posted by Kradlum:
quote:
Apohenia implies teleology becuase the paranoid believes that there is a conspiracy


I think you are turning a weak link into a strong link here. Paranoia may imply teleology and paranoia may involve apophenia, but that does not mean that apophenia implies teleology.

I expect the person reading the essay won't care though. They will probably have 100's of 1,000 word essays to read.


You are right. I could go in and expand that argument, but I don't think I need to for this. It's an overview of PR, not my dissertation. I suspect they are looking for interesting ideas and a voice as well as how an author picks apart another's text rather than my delving into Cartesian fallacy vis a vis teleology and St. Anselm, and bringing in Foucault's Pendulum and the like all to strengthen the one argument.
 
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quote:
Originally posted by robotoverlord:
Fair enough. Just trying to be helpful.

One question though: what exactly do you mean by the stuff I've quoted below? Not sure I follow you.

quote:
Moreover, I do not think Bill was name tossing when he brought in French existentialists and the like in said debate. He was having a dig at the very paper I'm writing, and that, in itself, suggests to me the idea of teleology discussed by metaphor of the footage was certainly in the back of his head if only in an ironic way.


Oh, I mean that I believe he knew that what he was implying in the forum sections would cause literary critics or obsessed fans with their own apohenia to look at "the maker" and the conspiracy to hide the maker as an analogue for design in the universe with a purpose.

I am saying that, becuase he had Anarchia get into structuralism, he felt that people necessarily impose their own templates on art.

I believe he suggests that such interpretations are their own kind of apohenia and what we are left is the artifact of the book and the moments within.

If you take the whole "plot" of the novel, it never adds up to any sort of real conspiracy or teleology. Nora is doing her business becuase she is compelled to. It's being head becuase of routine security measures. No one hiding it really cares about the forum people or the footage as such beyond the fact that it might trace back to Nora. There isn't any grand vision for her film, there isn't any great plot behind her father's desire to protect her.

There is no conspiracy, there is no moment beyond being submerged in the moment.
 
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I disagree that there is no grand vision for Nora's film; the fact no one can know what it is until she feels she's finished in no way means that a vision doesn't exist. Which is why anyone wanting to associate her and her situation with the creation of the real world and/or the entities behind it aren't completely nutso.

Also, if you mean to apply to an MFA program I'd think learning more about literary terms, like "passive" vs. "active" voice might be important.

I do like the ideas in your paper Uber and I think you might want to consider in it how, in the case of paranoia, meaning and knowledge may very well be the same thing.
 
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quote:
Originally posted by Infinity_Circuit:
I disagree that there is no grand vision for Nora's film; the fact no one can know what it is until she feels she's finished in no way means that a vision doesn't exist. Which is why anyone wanting to associate her and her situation with the creation of the real world and/or the entities behind it aren't completely nutso.

Also, if you mean to apply to an MFA program I'd think learning more about literary terms, like "passive" vs. "active" voice might be important.

I do like the ideas in your paper Uber and I think you might want to consider in it how, in the case of paranoia, meaning and knowledge may very well be the same thing.


Ahem...

I know what passive and active mean. I wanted to learn from Justy whether there was any added meaning to the term in academic writing and for him to point out where I was doing it becuase I always read over my own mistakes and do not see them.

For example, I read over the LonelyGRILL thing half a dozen times and did not spot it until Arkan drew me a fuckin picture.

At any rate, I have found myself sliding into passive voice unwittingly of late. I do not know why. looking back at older papers, it wasn't much there. I do not typically do it in my prose. I think it may have to do with this last novel I wrote in first person with several young, uncertain characters qualifying their remarks.

If anyone spies more passive that I did not excise, please let me know.

I will give you a hat made of nano-paper that plays Raiders of the Lost Ark on a constant loop, and infinite circuit, if you will.
 
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Sorry Uber, that was rude of me.

And I'd love a Raiders of the Lost Ark hat, thank you.
 
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It's alright. I am burnt out from the last novel and personal statements and PR essays and all the other shit that goes into a single app.

Apps are ridiculous, now, for one school, I have to pay to fill out a form on another financial aid site. Not just FAFSa, they want you to sign up and pay for this other one as well. I would think, "Hey, that must be a fake college," but it's Columbia University in New York.

These application on their own average about 75 dollars, then 20 for GRE scores, then the transcript fees at your school, and now this.

Plus, the applications are contradictory and Byzanitine. It is little wonder academia is the maze of self-reference and cliques that it is.

I hope that in Obama's education plan he gets to straightening some of this bullshit out. True, they are not major issues, but they are emblematic of the major issues that seem to plague universities.

Our system of colleges needs to address their growing functional obsolescence or they will find themselves competing not only with foreign schools but with online universities.
 
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quote:
Originally posted by UberDog:
I had to write an essay for a Columbia application.


Do you mean Columbia, the movie production company?
Have you got the job?
 
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Columbia University (in New York), is one of the places UberDog is applying.
 
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quote:
Originally posted by Maas Biolabs CEO:
quote:
Originally posted by UberDog:
I had to write an essay for a Columbia application.


Do you mean Columbia, the movie production company?
Have you got the job?


I wish it were that easy to land a gig at a production company.

Dear Mr. Producer,

Here is an essay about why you should let me write your movies for lots of money...
 
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