Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Prompts for Crumb's Genesis

Note: I intend to use these prompts both this week and next week. I might add an additional prompt next week if I think of it.

Prompt 1

This one is simple and obvious on one level, but may be demanding to execute. Identify one moment in Crumb’s Genesis where Crumb is clearly making a significant interpretation of his source text. First, explain what he is altering/adding/changing/interpreting. Most obviously, you might focus on a moment where his “illustrations” either seem to go counter to the text, or where they emphasize a particular dimension of the text. Then, argue that this moment of interpretation has a larger significance to the work as a whole - this moment of interpretation should matter!

Prompt 2

After having viewed the film Crumb (available from Amazon, iTunes, or the library), 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 the book of Genesis (not necessarily Crumb’s version); for instance, you might be interested in the motif of Jacob moving massive stones. I would recommend beginning your research at Hillman library, perhaps beginning with very mainstream sources like the Anchor Bible Dictionary, the HarperCollins Bible Dictionary, Robert Alter’s translation of Genesis, or some similar source which is scholarly yet introductory. 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 Crumb presents 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.

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