191 Matching Annotations
  1. Nov 2022
    1. the mice


    2. The prehistory of human society accordingly closes with this social formation.


    3. consciousness must be explained from the contradictions of material life,

      "consciousness must be explained by the conditions of material life" - what is literature if not expressions of consciousness?

    4. ideological forms

      material transformation of economic conditions comes into conflict with the ideological conditions

    5. property relations

      material productive forces come into contact with existing relations of production aka property relations

    6. totality of these relations of production constitutes the economic structure of society, the real foundation, on which arises a legal and political superstructure and to which correspond definite forms of social consciousness

      Althusserian model articulated here: totality of economic relations produces the base which gives rise to political superstructure to which social consciousness corresponds.

    7. critical re-examination of the Hegelian philosophy of law;

      Hegelian philosophy of law - not spirit or mind

  2. Oct 2022
    1. Nevertheless the culture industry remains the entertainment business. Its influence over the consumers is established by entertainment;

      Re: the Brechtian/Jamesonian model: that because of monopolized culture industry, all entertainment (if unconsciously) entertains and indoctrinates/passifies (versus entertains and informs)

    2. .

      similar to arg. of Lukacs Theory of the Novel

    3. radio

    4. former


  3. Sep 2022
    1. Richard Howe

      I dont know anything about richard howe

    2. Roland Barthes

      Roland Barthes was a major figure of the French "Post Structuralist" movement. This essay discerns between a work of writing, a text, and a Text. In this piece, he defines the value of a "Text" as being derived from the labor and quality of writing and thinking evoked from its reader.

  4. Jan 2021
    1. hese stalwart virgins had no men to fear and therefore no need of protection.

      Men are what they need protection from

    2. As to wild beasts—there were none in their sheltered land.

      I don't like this as part of why they don't need men...why can't they just also be skilled at trapping or something lol

    3. and they decided to live

      agency, will

    4. They were “white,” but somewhat darker than our northern races because of their constant exposure to sun and air.

      he puts white in quotes - 1915

    5. Jeff, who was never without reading matter of some sort, had two little books with him, a novel and a little anthology of verse;

      jeff is the least developed of the three, he's beginning to become one of the women

    6. a mother dog

      syntactical hesistation, then replaces the word 'bitch'

    7. “And do no men wear feathers in their hats?” “Only Indians,” Jeff explained. “Savages, you know.” And he sketched a war bonnet to show them. “And soldiers,” I added, drawing a military hat with plumes.

      "savages" and "soliders" paradox

    8. By the most prolonged and careful selection and exclusion they had developed a race of cats that did not sing! That’s a fact.

      This is interesting because Cats actually only meow to communicate with humans

    9. So there we sat, at ease; all in similar dress; our hair, by now, as long as theirs, only our beards to distinguish us. We did not want those beards, but had so far been unable to induce them to give us any cutting instruments.

      they don't want the only thing that makes them men

    10. punk

      homophobic slur

    11. “Yes,” we said eagerly, “that’s it! Please—” We had learned quite a bit of their language, you see.

      "please" doesn't exist in a lot of languages...

    12. The long rest and penetrating dry heat were good for us, and that night we covered a considerable distance, keeping always in the rough forested belt of land which we knew bordered the whole country. Sometimes we were near the outer edge, and caught sudden glimpses of the tremendous depths beyond.

      why are they never afraid of/threatened by animals?

    13. On the other hand, what they lacked in experience, they made up for in genius. Such subtle understanding, such instant recognition of our difficulties, and readiness to meet them, were a constant surprise to us. Of course, we were willing to meet them halfway. It was wholly to our advantage to be able to understand and speak with them, and as to refusing to teach them—why should we? Later on we did try open rebellion, but only once.

      teaching the language

    14. and thank goodness, our watches

      time as value

    15. A big room, high and wide, with many lofty windows whose closed blinds let through soft green-lit air; a beautiful room, in proportion, in color, in smooth simplicity; a scent of blossoming gardens outside.


    16. There were cities, too; that I insisted. It looked—well, it looked like any other country—a civilized one, I mean.

      new paragraph for cities

    17. enterprising savage


    18. clamshell.

      fem imagery as protective

    19. “long way—all day.”


    20. the savage could have done it alone much quicker.

      concession to indigeneity?

  5. Oct 2020
    1. the real homestead of the concept "good" is sought and located in the wrong place: the judgment "good" did not originate among those to whom goodness was shown. Much[Pg 20] rather has it been the good themselves, that is, the aristocratic, the powerful, the high-stationed, the high-minded, who have felt that they themselves were good, and that their actions were good, that is to say of the first order, in contradistinction to all the low, the low-minded, the vulgar, and the plebeian

      goodness has been defined by those whoa re empowered

    2. All honour, then, to the noble spirits who would fain dominate these historians of morality. But it is certainly a pity that they lack the historical[Pg 19] sense itself, that they themselves are quite deserted by all the beneficent spirits of history.

      Psychologists as historians of morality

    3. imply a case of old frigid and tedious frogs crawling and hopping around men and inside men, as if they were as thoroughly at home there, as they would be in a swamp

      frogs and swamp

    4. issue for me was the value of morality, and on that subject I had to place myself in a state of abstraction

      abstraction of self from issue of morality/objectivity vs reflexivity

    5. 3.

      Nietzsche personal relationship/background to book subject and to morality

  6. May 2019
    1. In 1939, the Times film critic compared him to James Joyce: “It is now almost impossible to form any idea of what he is trying to say.”

      Perhaps could make a good introduction to my conference paper

    1. We can imagine a homosocial triangle, in which the former colonizer and new nationalist elite mutually gain strength at the expense of the continued oppression of the former colonized body.



    1. The binary terms of the novelís symbolic geography collapse into a uni-versal masculinist tyranny. Colonialism, anticolonial struggle, and tradi-tional society are all sustained by a foundational misogyny.

      ***use this

    2. For Ann and Sheila, Mustafaís body metonymicallyencodes exotic landscapes like those depicted in Orientalist paintings, evokesmental associations with the primitive and the obscene, and representstransgressive desire directly related to the construction of black sexuality

      connect this to the homoerotics of Orientalism

    3. depictsituations in which colonial and gender hegemony do not coincide and effec-tive power is bestowed by colonial, rather than gender, relations

      I would argue instead that they are coupled, and that because gender power is dually between separate (Western/Non-western) notions of masculinity, the women are always the primary victims because they are the focal point of this violence

    1. My general consciousness is only the theoretical shape of that of which the living shape is the real community, the social fabric, although at the present day general consciousness is an abstraction from real life and as such antagonistically confronts it. Conse­quently, too, the activity of my general consciousness, as an activ­ity, is my theoretical existence as a social being.
  7. Apr 2019
    1. that!

      pg 20 in the book

    2. I will not scratch it out on purpose!)

      suggests that he can do it by accident, or unintentionally, or without scratching

  8. Mar 2019
    1. First, my son, you must fear God, because in fearing Him lieswisdom, and if you are wise, you cannot err in anything. Second,you must look at who you are and make an effort to know yourself,which is the most difficult knowledge one can imagine. When youknow yourself, you will not puff yourself up like the frog whowanted to be the equal of the ox,504 and if you can do this, the factthat you kept pigs at home will be like the ugly feet beneath thepeacock’s tail of your foolishness.”

      to know one's self is the most difficult knowledge one can imagine

    1. English women are the symbolic and physical manifestations of the pleasant outcome of the fictional experience of England

    2. ecognizes the limitations of emotional distance for consolidating the notion of home

    3. Madelaine Hron (2009)

      find source


    1. "garden" of the classroom and its Imperial representations of place-sense and a place-relation (22)

      the classroom becomes a location of the west; garden as a sexual/fallen trope?

    2. Sa'eed—literally and figuratively—marries himself into the society

      marriage and geography

    3. Erica L. Johnson


    1. n applying these general considera tions to the different sciences, we shall find examples of successive advances in each that leave no doubt regarding the certainty of those we must expect

      Seems dangerous and eugenic-y

    2. n answering these three questions, we will find that past experience, observa tion of the progress made so far by the sciences and by civilization, and analysis of the advance of the human mind and the development of its capacities yield the strongest grounds for believing that nature has set no limit to our hopes.

      Nature has limits to enlightenment



    1. John Mowitt’s remarkable book Percussion: Drumming, Beating, Striking

      think about this with finnegans wake - rythm and body

  9. Feb 2019
    1. This (‘it is really a little book in itself’) is an important statement in that it makes explicit how Joyce saw the double status of his works: on the one hand as preliminary sections of a work in progress; and, on the other hand, at times as autonomous books. In the particular case of Anna Livia Plurabelle, Joyce’s reading of the newest version of this piece around 17 November 1927 seems to have convinced him that the episode had now reached a form of completion.

      Joyce also saw each chapter as metonymous fort he greater novel—particularly as he reached completion of the ALP chapter

    2. ‘The extract in “Transition” No.8 is the ANNA LIVIA episode forming the end of Part I; it is really a little book in itself.’45

      Sylvia Beach says this

    3. Joyce sent her more emendations.

      Joyce's history of emendations to Beach, and her accomodation. Gives a metatestual reading of the feminine crossed with fluidity.

    4. The Fluid Text,

      So the fluid text is a principal invoked in the instability of every text as only a physical approximation of thought. Diverges from Genetic criticism because that is instead centralized around writing process, whereas fluidity addresses slippery meanings beyonf authorial intent/control.

    5. This essay investigates to what extent this form of enactment also has a textual dimension, and how the cognitive ‘riverrun’ relates to the ‘fluid text’ of Joyce’s Anna Livia Plurabelle.

      Also thinking about water's historical linkage to women, the eternal feminine, and female gods

      Anna is linked with Athena, Aphrodite, and Artemis

    1. this work of yours intends only toundermine the authority and wide acceptance that books ofchivalry have in the world and among the public, there is no reasonfor you to go begging for maxims from philosophers, counsel fromHoly Scripture, fictions from poets, orations from rhetoricians, ormiracles from saints; instead you should strive, in plain speech,with words that are straightforward, honest, and well-placed, tomake your sentences and phrases sonorous and entertaining, andhave them portray, as much as you can and as far as it is possible,your intention, making your ideas clear without complicating andobscuring them.

      The book is wholly unprecedented and it is aware of that

    2. only has to make use ofmimesis in the writing,

      influence, simulacra, modernism

    3. And

      this who paragraph is about citation and annotation lol

    4. Non bene pro toto libertas venditur auro.

      freedom of speech, and intertextuality (per footnote)

    5. Mybook will lack all of this, for I have nothing to note in the marginor to annotate at the end, and I certainly don’t know which authorsI have followed so that I can mention them at the beginning,

      an ode to influence, and intertextuality

    6. without notes in the margins or annotations at the endof the book
    7. deficient in style

      Beckett says he writes in French to eliminate style

    8. ou can sayanything you desire about this history without fear that you will bereviled for the bad things or rewarded for the good that you mightsay about it.

      some sort of commentary on censorship/monarchy/autonomous thought under the rule of certain leaders?

  10. Jan 2019
    1. You have never heard me, have you, utter an unfit word before others.

      Performative nature of his letter writing

    2. When I got your express letter this morning and saw how careful you are of your worthless Jim I felt ashamed of what I had written.

      Martha Clifford

  11. Dec 2018
  12. muse.jhu.edu muse.jhu.edu
    1. Murphy happens to possess the novel’s other most memorable post-card, the one depicting “savage women” from Bolivia, and is thus associated with postcards generally.

      one post card doesnt create association

    2. Robert Alter calls a “transhistorical textual community,” in which “knowledge of the received texts and recourse to them consti-tute the community, but the texts do not have a single authoritative meaning.”
  13. muse.jhu.edu muse.jhu.edu
    1. temura (rearranging letters)
    2. Joyce composed and addressed his own Hellenic-Hebraic love letters to his homeland, it would seem that he was keen to take the Hibernian to heart from the outset.

      letters in the book mirror Joyce's own letters

    3. Bloom’s secret love letters, then, written in English to and from his Irish confidante, but written in a boustrophedonic, vowel-free code that echoes Greek and Jewish patternings, may hint at the broader intertwining of Hellenic, Hebraic, and Irish strands in Joyce’s novel. We might see Bloom’s letters as another instance of his willing-ness to bring Ireland into dialogue with other cultures and races.

      amplifies the heteroglossia of the text

    4. In the “Ithaca” episode of the novel, as part of the answer to the question, “What did the first drawer unlocked contain?” we are told that Bloom has three letters from Martha “in reversed alpha-betic boustrophedonic punctated quadrilinear cryptogram (vowels suppressed) N. IGS./WI. UU. OX/W. OKS. MH/Y.IM” (U 17.1774, U17.1774, U1799-1801). To crack the code, one writes out the alphabet, then writes directly beneath it the alphabet in reverse, assigning A to Z, B to Y, C to X, and so on. When the above message is decoded, we get “M.RTH./DR.FF.LC/D.LPH.NS/B.RN.” Once the vowels have been added to these surreptitious avowals, we see: “Martha Clifford [the surname has been reversed for extra protection] Dolphin’s Barn.” This much, of course, Joyceans know.

      The letters in Ulysses are written in codes - the codes are a language devised by Joyce himself

    5. “put his lines together not word by word but letter by letter”

      metonymy, that the epistolary "letter" encompasses letters

    6. toyed with the shapes and correspondenc
    1. ut abandoning the straight (auto-)biographical tale required inventing a new narrative structure.

      letter writing then becomes Joyce's tool for his own entrance into the novel

    2. the same time, although it is adequately signalled, the intertextuality here remains largely an ingenious game and virtuoso performance.
    3. no awareness t

      there is a dramatic irony imposed by intertextuality, where the literal narrators are unaware of their foils, or the others who speak with them in chorus

    4. universalise the stories being told. B
    5. ntertextual patterning,

      interetextual patterning

    6. rategy of re-telling stories bec

      this is also the nature of letter writing

    7. stories for Dubliners were written in swift succession, e

      the stories in Dubliners serve as sort of letters back to dublin - earlier mention of homesickness, he uses the pen name of Stephen which ads layers to authorial importance and fragmentation

    8. to name himself James Joyce, that novel's author, signalled further a decisive advance in reflection an

      I can argue that it is less-so "artistic distancing" and moreso artistic fragmentation - plus heteroglossia

    9. early Stephen Daedalus novel are notes dateable to late winter of 1904 at the back of a copy-book. Prospe


    1. (10). Heap

      Heap's law - useful annotation

    2. s, where innovation means the adoption for the first time in the text of a given wor

      is innovation important to social annotation? does it foster innovation by nature of fostering collaboration?

    1. Here, I seek to set in motion a discussion of the black digital humanities by drawing attention to the “technology of recovery” that undergirds black digital scholarship, showing how it fills the apertures between Black studies and digital humanities.

      how does Genius function as a site of critical recovery, and how is that undermined by its primary white creators?

    1. history frames thepassage of time by marking up certain events and processes for attention

      history is an annotatiion

    1. individuals in happy moods do show high numbers of false memories – atendency that is significantly reduced in sad moods

      stress and sadness validate the truth of Nat Turner


  14. Nov 2018
    1. ut will future exhibitions, regardless of theme, incorporate the experience of African Americans

      integration of sorts

    2. Wilson showed the handicrafts of enslaved African Americans

      Whereas Wilson newly shows essentially-black art, The Carters claim the "high" european art

    3. covert heritage of African-American blood in those persons society perceives as Caucasian.

      not just persons, but art and archival

    4. that languish in storage

      storage/archival as categorization

    5. the registration system has eclipsed the object registered.

      registration as categorization

    6. experienced a frisson of surprise when encountering Wilson's contemporary critique within the stereotypically fusty context of an historical society.

      the disruption of museum categories through this work is destabilized for viewers when they are confronted with the context

    7. beyond the visual language of display to include a real institution's acquisition history and collections managemen

      the idea that contextualizing displays and categories of exhibitions participates with the art itself

    8. Using fabricated objects together with museum-style labels, lighting, wall color and display cases, he addressed the issue of how museums consciously or unwittingly reinforce racist beliefs and behavior.

      important summary

    9. "mock museums" in a variety of non-museum venues

      categorization of spaces - as all spaces hold historical weight aren't they all archives of sorts for events and experiences?

    10. nstitutionalized racism

      institutionalized racism is obviously embodied in exclusionary institutions of art



    1. to her appearance


    2. her smarting eyes a man toppled over and became an inert crumpled heap on the scorching cement.

      What is this symbolizing? what makes her eyes "smarting"

    3. Sheets upon thin sheets of it.

      This passage is homoerotic, the image of sheets evokes the image of a bed

    4. Catlike

      Cats are a feminine motif; how may this play into the homoerotic elements of the story?

    5. She glanced quickly about the bare room, taking everyone in, even the two policemen, in a sharp look of flashing scorn. And, in the next instant, she had turned and vanished through the door.

      how does this mirror the final scenes of the book?

    1. Don't implicitly trust annotations that you read; author, content, or both could have been interfered with without the real author's consent or knowledge.

      Authorship/agency is not inherent on a platform with no structures or hierarchies

    2. be nice

      how does this rule reflect a greater issue of the internet, of social thinking, and of abuses of authoritative power

    3. Group Annotations in NCSA Mosaic

      As of today, this website (according to an engine that dates websites) is 21 years and 8 months old

    4. There is no security in place: anyone may edit or delete annotations that anyone else posts.

      all authors have equal footing and power to create and write upon a text with others, giving way to a sort of anarchic expression and practice of writing

    1. an alternative to the MTA’s train-schedule website he had built

      misplaced modifier is annoying me: *a search engine he had built as an alternative to the MTA's train-schedule website.

    1. “double consciousness.”

      double consciousness is tied to the image Douglass creates of the "veil" at the beginning of Narrative of the Life

    2. Nevertheless, we suggest that something vital has been overlooked in the effort to de-lineate photography’s repressive functions

      major argument of the book

    3. We know more about the imagery of racism than we do about what Afri-can American men and women did when they took photography into their own hands.

      Unlike slave narratives, there can't be a meta-claim of that inscriptive power (the learning to write scene), but the picture itself is evidence

    4. ystems of surveillance, how enthusiasti-cally early race scientists adopted it to survey and catalog people into new categories of “types.”

      this reflects the scrutiny of the auction block from earlier int he semester; wider spread of images means more means, modes, methods to scrutinize

    5. The photographs thus did much more than simply reflect in substance and shadow the wider social, political, and material calculus of the Atlantic world. They conditioned a modern way of seeing, physically conveying the new visual code in their material circulation be-tween persons and places as if themselves in search of an ideal philosophy and form.

      photography does not just create the image but redefine the circulation and comprehension of knowledge and fact

    6. It was opposed visually—pictorially contested

      This changes the power balance of slave narratives; credibility and "proof" can be framed in the image rather than in the writing



  15. Oct 2018
  16. allred720fa18.commons.gc.cuny.edu allred720fa18.commons.gc.cuny.edu
    1. this appearance was modified, and the true character of the vessel was plain–a Spanish merchantman of the first class, carrying negro slaves, amongst other valuable freight, from one colonial port to another.

      In this sentence the vessel is personified as having a “character” based on the “appearance” of its transportation of slaves. The implication of “appearance” would have a great deal of visual weight for Melville’s audience during the fraught period just before the civil war, when images of the slave ship often circulated as an abolitionist tool. Images—such as the one below—served as a means to quantify the and evoke sympathy for the very human struggle experienced during the middle passage.  

      The subjective qualifications through Melville’s language, and personification of the boats plays in contrast to the objective, quantified, and highly circulated images of the slave ships but to a parallel descriptive effect. Comparatively, both the images and the text from Melville serve as rhetorical objects to discus a moral and factual idea. Interestingly, the slave ship is Spanish, not British, which would have been generally atypical for an American audience; this would conversely create a foreign or exotic relationship to the ship rather than the familiar English slave trade model.

      Wood, Marcus. Blind Memory: visual representations of slavery in England and America 1780-1865. Manchester University Press. Chapter 2.

    1. An individual annotator may choose a subjective approach, but the teamwork of collaborative annotation is in need of principles that make the approach more objective.

      truth in numbers

    2. idea of how annotation becomes most trustworthy and authoritative will influence how we organize its practice.

      I have never thought of the annotation as something that needed to be "trustworthy" or "authoritative" - it seems this would make it a method of reading more or less unaccessible to the non-expert lay-annotator

    1. delight in reading and re-reading Proust

      RB is George Sr. and I'm Michael: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yrIuWU9RH_g

    2. integrally symbolic nature is a text. Thus is the Text restored to language

      Is there friction between language and signage? Text seems to evoke the critical questions and difficulties of the symbolic signifier while living in the beautiful explicability of language in use

    3. Text should itself be nothing other than text, research, textual activity

      reading is writing

    4. legality of the relation of author to work

      A very cold way to comprehend the symbiosis of language, text, and authorship as he next calls it an "organism", and yet it is the only way we define it - a failure of signification

    5. Text in the musical sense of the term

      Also thinking about literary texts planted into Genius like I commented on the Blog

    6. structurally, there is no difference between 'cultured reading and casual reading in trains

      Text is Text is Text is Text

    7. I cannot re-write them (that it is impossible today to write 'like that'

      Three thoughts on this:

      1. Maybe writing "like that" is exactly why something should be re-written. Also: re-writing could be mean semi-translating, like No Fear Shakespeare; re-writing the content, like a movie remake; or transcribing the same words into a new medium, like typing up a handwritten document
      2. What actually constitutes "re-writing"? Can't criticism be re-writing when it permanently alters the way readers approach a text?
      3. Fun Fact: Nabokov hated Dostoyevsky and hoped to fully re-write Crime and Punishment
    8. The Text, on the contrary, practises the infinite deferment of the signified

      In an ironic turn of events, chrome decided that my laptop would type backwards just when I began commenting on the signifier and the signified. I'm going to leave it as is because (ha ha) signage of Text is slippery, undefinable, and ultimately arbitrary and meaningless

      eno evcisule na si stniap BR txeT eht ,eromrehtruF .sreifingis rehto fo noitalumucca eht yb deifingis eb ylno dluoc txeT

    9. involves a certain experience of limits

      I like this idea of Text as a paradoxical object that operates within limits but across categories, genres, social function, etc., while defying a snobby insularity. It's like a metaphysical, literary easter egg.

    10. reader and observe

      Noteworthy that as separate categories, reader and observer become distinct parameters or roles within and without a text's theoretical boundaries. Is it in the era of Freud and Marx that there is such thing as the observer-ly text? or observer-ly language?

      Or did Barthes forget his oxford comma?

  17. Sep 2018
    1. Its length, multiple story lines, 19th-century allusions, and teeming cast of characters helped me to test the functionality of different formats

      I like her suggestion that the complexities of the text, matched with destabilizing/fragmented reading modes come together as synthesis, but what's the result? New interpretations? Novel (pun unintended) fun?

    2. Sadly, so is the editorial intervention that authenticated and improved content

      This stuck out to me as being against the grain of her positive outlook on various forms of reading; the editorial process as it relates to the differing mediums/tools Kirschner uses is unaddressed for the most part of this text, leaving instead a question of the reader-side of this participation. I also disagree—or at least don't believe enduring editorial prowess and multimodal readings have to be mutually exclusive. It seems to me that in the vein of reading as writing, it is when we can dynamically "intervene" with a text that the content is "authenticated and improved." (Or did I read this sentence wrong?)

    3. I love books as much as anybody. But I love reading more.

      Separation of form and content works for her here, but I think it's more compelling to try to figure out how form changes content - just as she did earlier when pointing out the common threads between elements of Little Dorrit and her varying reading methods.

  18. Feb 2018
    1. “W’en Tenie see so many things

      The perspective has changed from being primarily of Sandy to primarily of Tenie

    2. ‘I kin turn you ter a tree

      The tree becomes lumber, the lumber is still destroyed by an apparatus and put to work

    3. huge pine log was placed in position, the machinery of the mill was set in motion, and the circular saw began to eat its way through the log, with a loud whir which resounded throughout the vicinity of the mill. The sound rose and fell in a sort of rhythmic cadence, which, heard from where we sat, was not unpleasing, and not loud enough to prevent conversation

      Evokes Kafka's apparatus, comfort in machines, technology as an organic element/participant in their discourse

    4. lumber

      The word lumber has been used a significant number of times in the first few paragraphs, perhaps meant to signify a reference to American idea of 'building" things (literally and symbolically) and the idea of resourcefulness.

    1. if something an African American wrote in the mid-19th century didn’t get published at the time, it had much less chance of being preserved

      Interesting to think about how digital platforms are changing the preservation of work that is not published through traditional means. New platforms and means of inscription mean new reservoirs of history.

    2. The substitution of “told” for “took” is less intuitive than “buy” for “by,” and therefore harder to explain but also more intriguing. She used “told” correctly just a few words earlier and, starting to write “t-o” again, perhaps half-consciously repeated the motions she had just made. It makes me think that she is straining a bit at this point in the letter, or is feeling more deeply her fear and anxiety and becoming a little less focused on an act of writing that must have been challenging and affecting.One whip-smart colleague who read a draft of that chapter looked at that line and said, Maybe she really did mean told — but was trying to write tolled, the past tense of a now-archaic verb meaning to lure or trick into going someplace. It was entirely plausible that Perkins’s owner might have taken her to a slave auction on false pretenses.

      Interesting example of the faults and ambiguity linked tot the physical act of inscription

    3. that’s not literature

      To say this would be to uphold the elitist literary tradition that continues to delegitimize marginalized voices

    4. fairly widespread awareness among black southerners that you could make ink out of walnut bark — which in turn tells me black southerners were talking to each other about how to make ink.

      When writing is contraband, there cannot be plethora of physical, written records. This communal knowledge of how one makes ink is able to fill in the gaps by indicating an underground inscriptive tradition, and thus represent a history that had no means of being permanently recorded. It disrupts the Hegel-ian principle that without writing there is no history.

    5. When I was a sophomoric graduate student, I made a decision not to focus on African American literature, even though I wanted to, because there was (and is) a dearth of scholars of color in the academy. As I matured somewhat, I realized this was flawed thinking: my not writing about African American subjects wasn’t going to increase the number of black PhDs.

      This is an interesting perspective that is articulated often and brings to mind other white academics who have concentrated their work on race—Jane Elliot, TIm Wise, and others. It presents an interesting ethical question of who has the power to discuss blackness. Can educated, well meaning white people organically be part of the conversation without infringing, or diminishing the agency of the Black people who experience it first hand? Is there a line to tread between taking up others' space while trying to positively contribute to their battle/be an ally? I think in this moment especially it's a crucial discussion.

    1. apologize for slavery

      The church of Scotland in part upholds this believe in order to politically side with Britain's historic occupation, oppression, and enslavement of the Irish. (My family is from the boarder of the Republic and Northern Ireland and there is a long established grudge against the Scotch Presbyterians for this matter.)

    2. Free Church of Scotland

      Interesting anecdote to compare/contrast to Douglass' view of the American religious institution

    3. In a letter to Mr. Greeley, of the New York Tribune, written while abroad, I said:

      Douglass inserts letters he has written to others within his writing, seems significant in that it rids the passages of a mono-tonality and reminds us that what Douglass is saying is part of a larger discourse.

    4. “I don’t allow niggers in here!”

      Repetition here with noted tonal difference employs a level of humor to the injustice of this rejection. Douglass' candor reflects the confidence he gains from the humanity with which he is treated in Ireland and the UK.

    5. he must prove himself equal to the mass of those who oppress him

      Connects to Gates' idea that Black people are forced in their writing and by the practice of writing itself to constantly prove their humanity

    6. The life of Frederick Douglass, recorded in the pages which follow, is not merely an example of self-elevation under the most adverse circumstances; it is, moreover, a noble vindication of the highest aims of the American anti-slavery movement. The real object of that movement is not only to disenthrall, it is, also, to bestow upon the Negro the exercise of all those rights, from the possession of which he has been so long debarred.

      The goal of the writing, is, in short, to give rightful inscriptive power

    7. who, despite the depressing influences surrounding his birth, youth and manhood, has risen, from a dark and almost absolute obscurity

      This is often a dangerous train of logic—it simultaneously displays Douglass as an extraordinary person who beat all the odds, while leaving it open to demand why other enslaved people cannot do the same.

    1. A PARODY

      Could this parody be an example of a sort of agitprop? His recreation of a southern hymn is an exposure of hypocrisy, and thus a call to arms.

    2. slaveholding religion

      This term "slaveholding religion" is powerful, not just in distinguishing christianity from the practices of slave-holders, but of identifying a specific culture and re-naming the structure of slavery.

    3. I spoke but a few moments, when I felt a degree of freedom, and said what I desired with considerable ease

      The power of community on agency - the ease with which he can speak when he knows he is being heard.

    4. But in spite of him, and even in spite of myself, I continued to think

      Thought as a weapon for freedom and the means of escape

    5. I deem it proper to make known my intention not to state all the facts connected with the transaction

      Inscriptive power means to him, the ability to not share certain information. In not telling everything, he denies those who may want to do wrong to those involved the information to do so - almost like pleading the fifth amendment, in staying silent for this reason he does not comply with the demands of persecutors.

    6. among the more ignorant slaves

      interesting that FD makes a clear distinction between him and the "ignorant" slave like Sandy. In a narrative seeking to argue for the abolishment of slavery and the equality of races, he others another slave. Is this counter intuitive? It reminds me of respectability politics today.

    7. It would astonish one, unaccustomed to a slaveholding life

      It seems that FD here addresses his audience here, specifically those who either are unaware of slavery or those who are apathetic to what goes on within it. It is persuasive, it clues in the outsider to the "accustomed" misery of the slave.

    8. master had deceived us into a belief was freedom, back to the arms of slavery

      Again the idea of deception

    9. deceived himself into the solemn belief

      The idea of deception, the idea that one can deceive himself into believing one thing or another, or deceive others into trusting such beliefs, is strong, because it questions the basis of morals within the white power structure.

    10. Ha, ha! Come, come! Dash on, dash on!

      Douglass, yet again inserts quiet irony to subvert our ideas of power. Covey's behavior and rhetoric is almost childish or playful. "Ha, ha!" and "dash on!" sound more like cries of a kids game than of a figure of authority. Furthermore, they are and far less articulate than Douglass' words.

    11. lashed me till he had worn out his switches, cutting me so savagely as to leave the marks visible for a long time after. This whipping was the first of a number just like it, and for similar offences.

      For the first time, he is inscribed upon through whipping.

    12. “nigger-breaker.”

      Dehumanizing in every way. The dual-meaning of "breaking" references training animals (horses specifically) as well as the act of physically (or symbolically) damaging something.

    13. he would quote this passage of Scripture—”He that knoweth his master’s will, and doeth it not, shall be beaten with many stripes.”

      Again, the literal application of scripture to justify abuse.

    14. stupid as we were, we had the sagacity to see it.

      Interesting choice of words - it seems that he is calling himself and the other slaves stupid ironically, to present the (incorrect) assumptions of the master and ministers. It also calls into question what qualifies as intelligence; emotional awareness? literacy? piety?

    15. he found religious sanction and support for his slaveholding cruelty. He made the greatest pretensions to piety. His house was the house of prayer. He prayed morning, noon, and night. He very soon distinguished himself among his brethren, and was soon made a class-leader and exhorter.

      Without presenting himself as being anti-religion, Douglass exposes the hypocrisy of Christianity as the master practices it to reaffirm his treatment of slaves as opposed to using it to be Good. This goes back to the question of agency - who has the power to ascribe meaning to something as culturally imbedded as the bible? And what happens when the bible is inscribed on by evil people?

    16. I have now reached a period of my life when I can give dates

      It is significant that he has control of his own timeline moving forward, as opposed to going off of the time as he could figure it out from white masters.

    17. without being gratified with the small privilege of a single word

      After using her life to care for this family, his grandmother isn't afforded the agency of a single word.

    18. They gave tongue to interesting thoughts of my own soul, which had frequently flashed through my mind, and died away for want of utterance

      Shows how reading of a different culture's emancipation gave agency to him for his own

    19. lamblike disposition gave way to one of tiger-like fierceness

      Reminds me of Blake's Songs of Innocence and Experience. Not sure if there's anything there to consider it a serious allusion.

    20. He is a desperate slaveholder, who will shock the humanity of his non-slaveholding neighbors with the cries of his lacerated slave. Few are willing to incur the odium attaching to the reputation of being a cruel master;

      Interesting how the idea fo reputation and decency within society affects the narratives urban slave-owners will portray of themselves. The yelling and noise of whipping a slave is not undone in the city because they are morally righteous, but because the noise tells a story. It gives humanity to the brutalized slave and paints the slave holder (rightfully) as a monster.

    21. marked my life

      Here he is inscribed upon

    22. There was very little said about it at all, and nothing done.

      Even here there is very little said of the matter. Does he hold back a wider analysis of the story because he doesn't want to repeat it or because he doesn't know how?

    23. barbarity

      Douglass repeats different forms of the word "barbaric," subverting the colonial usages of the word which was to primarily to dehumanize slaves brought from Africa as well as Native Americans.

    24. The colonel also kept a splendid riding equipage. His stable and carriage-house presented the appearance of some of our large city livery establishments. His horses were of the finest form and noblest blood. His carriage-house contained three splendid coaches, three or four gigs, besides dearborns and barouches of the most fashionable style.

      I am wondering if anyone has ideas as to the importance of this passage, and as to why it is contained in its own paragraph. It seems that form would reflect content, but I'm not sure I'm seeing the significance? Perhaps it is to juxtapose his treatment of animals over that of slaves?

    25. This garden was probably the greatest attraction of the place. During the summer months, people came from far and near—from Baltimore, Easton, and Annapolis—to see it. It abounded in fruits of almost every description, from the hardy apple of the north to the delicate orange of the south. This garden was not the least source of trouble on the plantation. Its excellent fruit was quite a temptation

      This passage seems to go along with the sort of theme that in writing, Douglass is inscribing his own creation. The discussion of the garden can be read as an allusion to Eden.

    26. breathed the prayer

      The word "breathed" makes the expression of the songs synonymous with life itself.

    27. revealing at once the highest joy and the deepest sadness. They would compose and sing as they went along, consulting neither time nor tune. The thought that came up, came out—if not in the word, in the sound;—and as frequently in the one as in the other. They would sometimes sing the most pathetic sentiment in the most rapturous tone, and the most rapturous sentiment in the most pathetic tone.

      This instance is the first where the slaves have inscriptive power, to tell their own stories through song and in a group untainted by the white power's influence.

    28. His course was characterized by no extraordinary demonstrations of cruelty. He whipped, but seemed to take no pleasure in it. He was called by the slaves a good overseer.

      The internalization of their enslavement is evident in believing that because he is not extraordinarily evil, he is "good."

    29. The same traits of character might be seen in Colonel Lloyd’s slaves, as are seen in the slaves of the political parties.

      This serves to re-humanize the slaves who have accepted their subjugation in this passage by implying the question, who is more pathetic? the enslaved man who wants better work or the free man who enslaves himself? It is a reminder that all humans are beholden to some sort of power structure.

    30. Mr. Severe, the overseer

      This name almost feels made up, but it's so obvious that I would be surprised if it was. I think there's something to be said when someone's name fits with their persona—sort of like they have been inscribed with a self-fulfilling prophecy.

    31. I had therefore been, until now, out of the way of the bloody scenes that often occurred on the plantation.

      This begs us to question how the sense of peripheries and otherness affect narrative and agency. Douglass, up until now, is on the outskirts of conflict because of physical location, age, and race.

    32. whip upon her naked back till she was literally covered with blood

      The act of whipping evokes inscription akin to Kafka's apparatus. In physically marking the human body, it reaffirms the ascribed identity of "slave" and the inscriptive power of the slave-holder.

    1. tear down that veil

      The image of the veil, even as a child, allows him the double-consciousness he elaborates on in the next paragraph - of individual self awareness of his potential as well as awareness of the traits and opportunities he is ascribes by the other side.

    2. Freedom, too, the long-sought, we still seek,—the freedom of life and limb, the freedom to work and think, the freedom to love and aspire.

      The freedom he describes in this paragraph reflect the need for Black Americans to uplift and define themselves, i.e. gain inscriptive power over their history and identity

    3. For the first time he sought to analyze the burden he bore upon his back, that dead-weight of social degradation partially masked behind a half-named Negro problem

      He directly addresses the concept of the "negro problem" here when he says it is "half-named." It seems to suggest both that the other, unnamed half of the problem is the "white" half, and that the words "negro problem" were devised only by the side of white oppressors, and the POC half did not get a say in the defining of their own repression.

    4. bought

      I think his choice of verse is telling - to be free is still to be "bought," even if by God. Reinforces the question of agency black people have over their bodies and stories.