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Apr. 11th, 2007

Last Entry

Well, amidst all the paper craziness, I forgot to post my blog in time, but here it is a little bit late...

I found our bad literature class to be a very enjoyable experience. I enjoyed the reading list because even though the books were "bad", most of them (except for Los Siete Locos) were fun to read. My favourite classes were probably the ones where we had debates because I felt it was when the class got most into the discussions, and there were a lot of interesting points made every time.

My favourite text was Mafalda. I loved that we got to read a comic in a literature class and that we actually discussed in a somewhat serious manner. I liked the way the course was structured to leave the lightest texts until the end, and stuffing Los Siete Locos in the middle... it left me thinking of the course in a very positive way because the last part was a bit more relaxing than the first few months.

Although I found that sometimes I didn't feel like writing the blogs out of sheer laziness, I do think that it was a really good idea because it allowed me to speak up about what I think when I usually don't in class. I also liked having other students comment on what I said and commenting on others. I find that exercises like these help save a lot of class time as well because a lot is said in the blogs rather than in class.

All in all, I found the course to be a great learning experience and fun at the same time. I would definitely recommend it to other students in the future.
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Mar. 26th, 2007

Corazon Salvaje and Embarrassing Confessions

Well, I am going not going to lie, I really enjoyed watching the soap opera in class the other day. Even though soap operas are incredibly melodramatic and silly, I would totally watch some of them during my own time. I'm not sure that Corazon Salvaje would be one of these, but I'm not going to pretend to be above it because I easily get hooked to television. I'm not going to deny that I felt curiousity at what Juan del Diablo was going to do now that he is a rich man coming off the ship. And I was pretty disappointed that I couldn't get rid of my shift at work to see what was to come at Jon's get-together today.

I find that the Mexican soaps tend to be extra cheesy compared to say the Colombian ones. Although these ones are cheesy too, I find that some of these are more like sitcoms in that they involve more comedy in the storylines and can be quite amusing... I'll admit I used to get my friend to tape Betty La Fea for me on Telemundo when it was playing, and I loved it. I haven't watched one in a while due to school, work, and other tv shows in my life, but it could be a possibility in my future :P
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Mar. 19th, 2007

Mafalda

I was really excited when I found out we were reading Mafalda for this class because I know my parents used to really enjoy these comics back in the day. I really like the fact that the author uses the point of view of a little girl to examine many issues because it gives it a different approach than we are normally used to. Aside from being a fresh approach, it also helps add a lot of comedy to the small stories.

I think Mafalda is great at representing the way that children can always throw adults completely off by asking the most unexpected questions, but I also like the unexpected ways in which the parents choose to deal with her questions. I think this is one of the things that adds so much humour to the text. My favourite of all was when Mafalda asks her mother why her baby brother can't be delivered via jet, and she goes back to Miguelito saying, "Mi mama tiene razon Miguelito, para que diablos quere ganar tiempo un bebe que no tendra nada que hacer en todo el dia?"

I also like how the text represents every day events that you can totally relate to. For instance, the mini story about Mafalda and her father hiding from her mother when it comes time for her to ask them what they want for dinner really made me laugh. It is definitely an even that has taken place at my house more than once. In instances like this I feel as though I am really getting the joke. There were a few jokes that I didn't quite understand however, and I think it is mostly because of the language used that I am not used to.

When it comes to judging this text as good or bad literature, I'm not really sure what to say. I am of the belief that everything written is a form of literature regardless of whether it educates or has depth or not, comics included. However, I think that comparing a comic to other forms of literature like novels will be very difficult because we obviously have very different expectations of the two forms. You cannot open a comic hoping that you will get the same from it as you would from a novel. You can't expect a comic to offer a complex plot or deep character development or anything like that. However, like a novel, a comic can comment on and poke fun of certain aspects of society, but without being taken too seriously. I am very interested to see what we will say about this text in class tomorrow.
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Mar. 12th, 2007

Los Siete Locos

I can't say I really enjoyed this book any more as I read on. I still continued to fall asleep (maybe I just need to sleep more?) and I felt dread every time I was going to pick it up. Jon is right when he says that Arlt really makes us work to understand his book. I think that sometimes working can be worth it when you are going to end up getting something from the book or you are going to feel like your time was well spent. Unfortunately, this is not the case for "Los siete locos". As I read on, I just found myself asking why am I spending this time reading this book... to which I replied, because I need to write my blog at some point. I think the main problem for me was that I really could not relate the the main character, and since the text is so focused on him it just failed to interest me in any way. I admit I usually prefer female protagonists to male protagonists, or even young-aged male protagonists, so right away I had a bit of a bias when it came to Erdosain's character. This being said, if I read a brilliant book about a middle aged Argentian man I could still enjoy it regardless of the protagonist. At the same time, as much as I tried, I really did find the text very difficult to understand. I looked up a few words in the dictionary, but really there were too many that I didn't know to spend time doing that. Well, that's it for "Los siete locos" I guess. Can't say I'll be too sad to move on to the next text...
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Mar. 5th, 2007

Los siete locos

Los siete locos me estan volviendo loca. No se que decir sobre este libro. Pero si se que no me gusta. Yo se que en mi ultimo blog dije que como Jon nos dijo, talvez los libros no pueden ser aburridos y somos los lectores que nos aburrimos. No se... no se como alguien pudiera encontrar este libro no aburrido, jeje. Me esta costando entender lo que pasa. Leo tres paginas y despues me doy cuenta que no tengo idea lo que lei. Tambien a cada rato me dan ganas de darle un "skim" a paginas enteras porque no pasa nada interesante. Oh, y tambien me dormi como tres veces ahora tratando de leerlo... Estoy interesada en ver lo que vamos a decir sobre este libro en la clase.
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Feb. 26th, 2007

Reflection on the course so far

I'm in an English mood today so I'm going to write in English. So far, I've really enjoyed this course. I like how it's different than my other courses; it's refreshing. Even though the books are "bad" I find that I have really enjoyed reading them... it's been a great break from a lot of the other stuff I'm been made to read in ubc literature courses. The course has definitely got me thinking about what constitutes "bad" literature and why, and how my expectations as a reader influence my opinion of a text. During the first week I really thought about what Jon said about how books aren't actually boring, it's more us who are bored when reading them. Since then I've really thought twice about calling things boring because it really is my personality that determines whether I find something boring or not. I've also thought a lot about who can really determine whether a book is good or not, and what gives people this kind of authority. I've also thought a lot about how other people's opinions of a text influence my own. I'll find that even if at first I think a book is okay, after coming to class and hearing why it is bad I start changing my opinion. This especially happened with The Alquemist. When I started reading it I thought it wasn't bad, but after having the class discussion on "Personal Legends" I started to see how some things about it were pretty ridiculous and my opinion was definitely affected.

All in all, I'd say that up until now I have found the course interesting and worthwhile. I also wanted to say that I think the blogs have been good because they make sure that I get the reading done. Also, I like that I can express my opinion without having to speak out in class because I'm not usually outspoken in group discussions, and this way I feel like I am somehow participating.
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Feb. 11th, 2007

Como Agua Para Chocolate

No he logrado terminar de leer el libro, pero creo que he leído suficiente para poder escribir un blog. Hasta ahora siento que no me molesta seguir leyendo el libro y estoy entretenida por lo que dice. Creo que tiene una trama más o menos interesante. También me gusta que no es muy difícil de entender lo que pasa porque el lenguaje no es muy complejo. Otra cosa que me ha gustado son todos los dichos que Esquivel incluye en el texto. Algunos he oído a mi mamá decir y me hicieron reír. Por ejemplo, en la página 37 cuando Mamá Elena le dice a Tita, “A mí no me engañas, cuando tú vas, yo ya fui y vine.” Me recuerdo que mi mamá me decía esto cuando me cachaba en una mentira cuando estaba pequeña.

Hay algunas cosas que no me gustan del libro. Entiendo que la comida es una parte muy importante de la historia, pero no mucho me interesan las instrucciones para hacer las recetas. Encuentro que durante estas partes me dan ganas de darle un “skim” al texto. También me molestan un poco las descripciones sentimentales exageradas. Por ejemplo, en la página 54 donde dice, “Esta mujer necesitaba imperiosamente que un hombre le apagara el fuego abrasador que nacía en sus entrañas. Un hombre igual de necesitado de amor que ella, un hombre como él.” Otra cosa que no mucho me gusta es que hasta ahora, no ha habido suficiente descripción de algunos personajes. Digo esto porque me gustaría saber un poco más sobre la Mamá Elena y porque es tan mala con su hija. Tal vez Esquivel dará más información más tarde en libro.
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Feb. 4th, 2007

The Alchemist Part 2

Aunque al principio de leer The Alchemist me gusto el libro, al seguir me gusto menos y menos. Creo que la razón mas grande fue que tuvimos discusión del libro en clase antes que lo terminara de leer, y al oír las razones por cuales es un "libro malo" empecé a ver al libro de una manera diferente. Creo que lo que me impacto mas que todo fue la discusión de las "Personal Legends" cuando me di cuenta que en realidad esto es un concepto muy ambiguo en el libro que no tiene mucho sentido. Creo que Jon tiene razón cuando dice que al libro le falta mucha lógica. Lo que me preocupa un poco es que yo no me di cuenta de esto hasta que lo discutimos en clase...

Entre mas pienso de lo de las "Personal Legends" menos me gusta la historia. No estoy segura porque Coelho le diera una "Personal Legend" tan superficial a su protagonista. ¿Por que no le dio una "Personal Legend" mas profunda, algo que le ayudara a la humanidad por ejemplo? ¿Que tipo de "Personal Legend" es encontrar mucho dinero... no es esto lo que todos quieren como "Personal Legend"? En realidad no tiene nada de personal.

Creo que otra cosa que afecto como leí el libro fue saber como iba a terminar antes de llegar (gracias Jon :P). Como muchos otros de la clase, pensé que el tesoro no iba a ser simplemente dinero. Al saber esto ya no tuve mucha motivación para terminar de leer el libro porque sabía que el final me iba a decepcionar. Aun así, lo termine de leer solo para ver so talvez Jon estaba mintiendo... pero no... el tesoro si era solamente dinero.
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Jan. 29th, 2007

The Alchemist Part 1

Hasta ahora me ha gustado lo que he leído de El Alquimista. Siento que la trama es muy fácil de seguir y no encuentro que el libro me haya aburrido. Tal vez se puede considerar malo porque está escrito de una manera muy simplista y no parece ser un libro muy profundo. Las oraciones son cortas y el vocabulario no es muy avanzado. Al mismo tiempo, los personajes no están muy desarrollados; por ejemplo, aunque el pastor es el personaje principal, el autor no nos dice mucho de su personalidad aparte de que es un pastor que le gusta viajar y seguir sus sueños.
A pesar de estas características que pueden hacer que un libro sea malo, no puedo negar que me está gustando mucho. Después de leer tantos libros complicados para mis clases de literatura, siento muy refrescante leer un libro como este de vez en cuando. Aunque la idea de “seguir los sueños” es una idea muy típica en la literatura y en películas, siempre es algo que me deja sintiéndome de una manera positiva. Es como ver comedias románticas… son historias típicas pero siempre me dejan sintiendo feliz. No he terminado el libro, entonces no se si Santiago va a encontrar so tesoro, pero espero que sea un libro que me deje con buenos sentimientos y no decepcionada.
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Jan. 22nd, 2007

Eva Luna #2

El otro día en clase cuando hablamos de Eva Luna hablamos de como hay muchos personajes que parecen ser irrelevantes en la vida de Eva y en la trama del libro. Al leer más me gusto que aunque sea muchos de estos personajes vuelven a aparecer en el libro y podemos ver lo que les paso. Por ejemplo, Eva se encuentra con Melesio (o Mimí), Huberto, y la madrina. Me gusta que al final se ve que los personajes terminan interconectados, como vemos que Huberto y Rolf se terminan conociendo. Si Allende no hubiera hecho esto, creo que sí, muchos de los personajes hubieran sido irrelevantes y útiles solamente para llenar espacio en las páginas.
Otra cosa que me gusto fue la historia del árabe. Encontré que esta parte de la narrativa fue la que más me entretuvo porque hubo otras partes cuando me encontré algo aburrida. Por ejemplo muchas de las partes de la política no me gustaron mucho. Creo que esto es solamente porque a mi no me interesa la política y no me gusta leer libros sobre este asunto. Al mismo tiempo, creo que ponerle esto al libro hace que parezca como una literatura más seria de lo que es, y talvez puede ser la razón que algunas personas vean a este libro como literatura buena.
Para concluir, solo quiero decir que aunque no creo que Eva Luna sea un libro de una gran calidad, tampoco dijera que es un libro malísimo. Para ser malísimo un libro tiene que aburrirme completamente y después tengo que sentirme mal porque he perdido horas de mi vida. Leyendo Eva Luna tuve momentos durante cuales estuve entretenida y no me sentí tan aburrida. También no considero al libro como una perdida de tiempo; no lo volvería a leer, pero sí tuvo ciertas cosas que me gustaron.
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