17 nov. 2005

in class discussion today, a poem that sent mixed emotional signals. A description of an interior patio in an apartment building with noises of vacuum cleaners, saxophones played by children, Mingus's "Pork Pie Hat." The tone is whimsical and so some students took the mood to be basically contented. Yet there were also images of a black cat jumping into the void, babies crying, the setting sun committing suicide on the television antennas, as other students noted. There is an ominous melancholy tone but also a lightness of touch. Melancholy rather than desperation. Students tended to want to see it one way of the other, define its tone as either optimistic or pessimistic.

In another text read recently, a mayor of a town decides to start a municipal band. The town is devoted to the raising of chickens, and for some reason the chickens are averse to music; several chickens sicken and die. After a series of improbable events, all the townspeople have become musicians, but play out of town in order not to kill the chickens. The mayor lives in town alone and has become owner of the all the chickens. In the last paper I got a few readings of this story as a fairly straightforward denunciation of the abuse of political power. As if the story had been only: the mayor devises a scheme to steal all the chickens. Even many fairly good students want to read texts in a fairly literal-minded way. Of course, they may be right. That is, the capricious abuse of power is one thing brought into play here. Why music, though? Why chickens?

1 comentario:

Henry Gould dijo...

Clearly, the students identified with the chickens.

I don't know what this says about your chicken coop, Jonathan.