Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Prompts for this *Friday*

You get until Friday this week, to compensate for my own lateness.  Also note that I intend using these same prompts again, possibly with an additional one, next week - and I expect *everyone* to incorporate Crumb (the film) either this week or next week.

Prompt 1:  This one is simple and obvious on one level, but may be demanding to execute.  As I did, for instance, with the story of Cain, identify one moment in his comic of Genesis where Crumb is clearly making a significant interpretation of his source text.  First, explain what he is altering/adding/changing. While his images are the most obvious thing to focus upon, you might also (very carefully) choose a moment where he moves to a different translation than Alter's.  Then, argue that this moment of interpretation has a larger significance to the work as a whole.

You must use a passage from the reading for this week - no going back to Cain, etc.

Prompt 2:  After having viewed Crumb, write a short essay which argues that Crumb's Genesis should have an impact on our understanding either of his earlier work, or on our understanding of his life/family. One rather extreme way of approaching this (I'd be tempted to try it, myself, but it might be risky), would be to understand his Genesis as a response to the portrayal of the "neurotic" "perverted" "genius" from a "damaged household" which we might argue that the film shows us.  What do I mean by that?  It could be an attempt to establish himself as a less neurotic/perverted/brilliant artist, or it could be an attempt to extend his own neuroses/perversions/brilliance to the "sacred" text of Genesis itself.

Note:  I put certain words in quotes as examples of the kind of word that you should always be careful and precise when using - because they are so loaded, and carry so many assumptions.

Prompt 3:  (Research)  Research a topic of interest to you in Alter/Crumb; for instance, you might be interested in the motif of Jacob moving massive stones.  I would recommend beginning your research at Hillman library, either by pursuing something in one of Alter's wonderful footnotes, or by doing more far-ranging research, perhaps beginning with very mainstream sources like the Anchor Bible Dictionary, the HarperCollins Bible Dictionary, or some similar source.  These are possible beginning points - you can choose others.  You must, however, use an academic source (good guidelines:  it has footnotes/endnotes, it is printed by a university press or is in a peer-reviewed journal).

Present research which adds to, or challenges, how Alter and/or Crumb present things at the moment(s) of interest to you in the text, and begin to develop an argument from that research.  Note that I do not expect an essay for this one:  I expect a presentation of research with some indication of what it might turn into as an essay.

This topic does not need to relate to this week's reading.

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