Thursday, February 22, 2007

Terms from Lecture: Discussion Space

Use this post as a central point of reference and discussion for specific terms that I introduce and define in lecture during my explanations of the course texts. An example is "metaphysical modernism": being Margaret Avison's use of the concrete language of modernist literature to express ultimate meaning beyond physical nature.

So, if you have any questions about any particular term from lecture, or if you are unclear about any of the meanings, leave your question in the Comments section to this post, and a classfellow -- perhaps even a TA or the Lecturer -- can give his or her answer. In turn, consider checking back here regularly and see if you can provide a helpful answer of your own. (I have made this post a permanent link in the "Pertinent & Impertinent" section to the right.


Monica Carino, et al... said...

I'm having a hard time figuring out how to upload photos in our class blog, and I do believe visual stigmas are helpful in undertsanding the concept (can also be the only way i could put humor in my entries). Can anyone assisst me with this?
Million thanks.

Dr. Stephen Ogden said...

Dear Monica:

Under the "edit post" function, click the little blue-ish picture icon, second from the right on the menu bar. There is a detailed description at blogger Help. (

PS: ("Stigmata" is the plural of "stigmatum")

Monica Carino, et al... said...

Thank You, it worked.
Can some (if not all) of you, my classmates, send me links for your respective blogs? So we can share ideas as well. It will be helpful for everybody to be familliar with every point of view we tackle fiction. Thanks. Email:

Anonymous said...

Dear Dr. Ogden,

In regards to the theme of "doubt-faith" in "Hey Nostradamus!" if having doubt means to be openminded and having cynicism means to be closeminded, wouldn't having TOO many doubts eventually lead to cynicism and therefore, closemindedness? For example, if someone had doubts about the kindness of strangers that accumulated over time, wouldn't that be considered as cynicism? To what degree can you have doubt and still remain openminded? As well, are you including "self-doubt" in you definition of "doubt" when you discussed this theme in lecture?


Dr. Stephen Ogden said...

Very much! Wednesday's lecture put in the foreground how Cheryl is portrayed very favourably by virtue of (a.) her on-going re-calibration of her spiritual state in relation to her attitudes to her friends & family ("Am I being a hypocrite?" "Am I being judgemental?" "Yes, Jason is right. Miss Priss." etc.); and (b.) the quiet, non-showy way that she goes about this: she keeps her doubts to herself, so that she doesn't come across as being self-righteous.

For your first question, recall that Coupland's Belief-Doubt concept means sustaining active doubt about your own position & certainties, not doubt about, or judgementalism toward, the good-intentions of others.

The former is a state of shared humanity, the latter would be mere cynicism.

Anonymous said...

Dear Professor Ogden:

What is visual amplitude? I have nothing on it in my notes.

Please Help!

Dr. Stephen Ogden said...

Visual amplitude is a term used to descibe the literary use of spacial words to intensify the verbal representation of visual experience, such as colour. Review you notes on Avison, but applicable to prose genres.

Imemythisguy said...

I am curious as to the aspects of "mise en abyme" in "Hey Nostradamus!". Could the four seperate stories that relate to the frame story of the columbine shooting be regareded as stories within a story? Also, could the relation between the four part biblical stories of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John be an intertextual reference? In addition, could Cheryl's liminal state be akin to a dream within a dream? And Jason creating his own hell and lost in the swampy abyss of the forest be a material representation of this concept?

Dr. Stephen Ogden said...

Dear "Imemythisguy":
1.] You could make the case that H.N.! is four mises en abyme, but I would not myself.
2.] I can't find any stable enough correspondance to the gospels in the four H.N.! sections to make a case for intertextuality, but I might if I were doing a doctorate on the topic. The association that I did find I gave in lecture.
3.] I would need a more comprehensive metaphysic than I have now before I interpreted Cheryl dreaming within a dream.
4.] I think Jason's Hell was created for him, and the second part I answer 'no' consistent with #3 above.