Monday, May 21, 2007

Study Questions for Wednesday's Lecture

In this Wednesday's lecture, you will have opportunity to discuss a couple of questions that will help make sure of a clear understanding of main issues around The Amber Spyglass.
  1. How was the film clip shown in last Wednesday's lecture relevant to the course?
  2. What is the importance of the attention being drawn in lecture to the 'loadstone resonance' between Philip Pullman's Amber Spyglass and Sam Harris' Letter to a Christian Nation?
  3. What is your judgment of Phillip Pullman, specifically in terms of literary artistry?


Anonymous said...

So as you requested, my answer to question 3 on Pullman's litterary artistry:
I definitely think it's art, because the way in which The Amber Spyglass is written it makes me live myself into the story. Reading it you become part of the action and forget your surroundings. Any form of art whether it be a painting, a piece of music or as here a novel that can move you is definitely art. It doesn't matter if it moves you in a way where you love it or hate it, agree or disagree with it the fact is that it moved you!! It provoked a response from you. If it wasn't art then it would not have the ability to move you emotionally.
That's my opinion!

Dr. Stephen Ogden said...

Dear Monica:

That is as servicable and creditable a definition of art as I have come across. My respects, and gratitude.

Now, my dialectical response is, and in line with the lecture material, what is the difference between art & non-art? I can be powerfully moved by many things, only some of which are art. To give the present example, Harris and Pullman's texts share effectively identical passages. Are they both (literary) art?

Anonymous said...

Dr. Ogden
Well, I have yet to read Harris' book so I can't really comment on it. Although you have given us some quotes from that book it is not enough for me to say whether his work is art or not. A part of me would like to say that most books are. I mean even my Biology book have the ability to inspire me, not necessarily in the same emotional way as Pullman, but still....the question of art vs. non-art is a difficult one. I see some sculptures that are world famous and to me they look like piles of recycling or worse, and yet the entire art community praises the artists inginuity. Those things aren't even artful enough in my mind to raise dislike, they're just a pile of junk! Remember a few years back, some kids had skinned a cat and put that on video tape? That raised a huge debate about art vs. non-art and although it made me physically ill to even contemplate it, I would never in a life time call it art!! I guess the definition of art vs. non art is a very personal choice. Some things might be more clearcut than others, but for the most part, maybe it's the intention behind it!? Did the artist/writer intend for it to be art, teaching material or simply informational like the phonebook. Just some food for thought.