Monday, October 22, 2007

Rediscovering a New World in the USA

Traveling from my little country, Sierra Leone, on the State Department- sponsored 2006 Survey of the U.S. Institute on Contemporary U.S. literature in 2006 gave me the alone opportunity, amongst 17 other American Literature people from all parts of the human race to deepen my apprehension of U.S. society, culture, and values through examining modern-day American Literature. As we introduced ourselves.I first realized how much assortment in positions we were bringing into interpreting American literature as well as civilization and society We came from 16 countries: Togo, Democratic Republic Of The Congo Kinshasha, Tunisia, Cameroon, Sierra Leone. Palestine, Turkey, Serbia, Nepal, Philipines, China, Cambodia, Malaysia, Federative Republic Of Brazil and India. We all look also to have got varying grades of engagement in the instruction of American literature. Whilst some of us were instruction it as portion of a English as well as literature course, others were engaged in it as an independent discipline. One or two of us even admitted that they were more than involved in linguistics or linguistic communication studies. A peculiar participant's involvement in not only linguistic communication but also doctrine and religious mysticism look always to be forcing through her abstracts into virtually every treatment we were having whether in the seminars or out. One was a legal practician who strangely was also lecturing at the university in her state and another 1 was interested in course of study design. Some of us were upset because the programme did not include the name calling of well-known achromatic American writers, like Emerson, Longfellow, Hawthorne, Twain, Faulkner, John Steinbeck and Hemingway. But then as the programme went on we realised, that modern-day American literature must be re-defined to include voices of other communities in America: Black, Native American, Jewish, Hispanic, Chinese and other Asiatic minorities. And this was the greatness of the program: giving yo it a multi-cultural approach.

Contemporary American literature must in this manner circumferential the bounds of race and gender. But to absorb all the legal proceeding required adequate linguistic and literary competence. The programme was so versatile and rich in content that a wealthiness of University instruction experience and huge cognition of American literature and civilization with intensive as well as extended reading of the many textual matters as well as the critical theories to absorb and digest and take part in the discussions.

In very lively seminars we together with different professors with impressive array of credentials, awardings as well as publications examined how major writers, schools and motions both go on the traditions of the American literary canon, and at the same clip set up new ways for American Literature.

A broadening scope of cultural as well as racial and grammatical gender diverseness were seen in the textual matters and authors examined and discussed. These include African-American writers such as as Percival Everett, Tony Jim Morrison and Harriet Mullen, almost all of whom combined originative authorship with literary scholarship. In fact both Everett and Mullen were in session at some of our seminars and thus had to be at the receiving end of a series of inquiries and queries.

Morrison for her portion influenced the publication of many achromatic authors and got the inspiration for her ground-breaking work Beloved which faces the haunting memories of bondage whilst workings as an editor at Random House. Kingston's Woman Warrior demoes much of the uncertainties and cultural struggles that ensues as Chinese battle to acquire absorbed into United States whilst at the same clip trying to reserve their personal personal identity which is largely an impossibleness as the end point identity could no longer be the same as before. as they now go more than kindred to Chinese Americans. The same cultural battle is apparent in the Mexican-American novelist Cisneros' plant The House on Mango Street and Woman Hollerin Creek. The current reappraisal of American history with the growth acknowledgment of the original dwellers as Native Americans have given much space to their radical literature through authors like Silko and Vizenor. Through Lahiri's Interpreters of Maladies we also see the Indians struggling with accommodating two civilizations in a unusual land.

Science fiction looks to have got emerged as acceptable in the literary cannon with the inclusion of a broad choice of scientific discipline fiction authors such as as William Gibson, Neal Stephenson, Samuel Delaney, Joanna Russ, Octavia Butler and Ursula Leguin as worthy of studying . We also had a telling overview of the trading operations of the American theater. Overviews of modern-day American and African-American poetry were given along with a very comprehensive analysis of modern-day American literature with penetrations into critical and literary theoretical developments such as as post-modernism and the political relation of personal identity and mental representation especially with respect to minority American literature. The prevalence of post-modernism inch modern-day American Literature was most apparent through the seminars on Bobbie Ann Mason's 'Shiloh' which is put in Louisville itself and on Samuel Pynchon's The Crying of Batch 49 as well as on Don Delillo's decidedly post-modern fresh White Person Noise.

Diversity in culinary art reinforced the patterned diverseness in almost everything including race and ethnicity in United States as demonstrated in the varying types of eating houses at which we lunched and dined inclusive of African-American, Asian, Chinese, Indian, Mexican, Continental and American Texan Rodeo. Touring Louisville arsenic Type A POST-MODERN space was also exciting and revealing, reinforcing the many exhibitions in showing us the connexions between literature and space as well as clip and other revealing facets of life.

Down-town Louisville is mainly embellished preserving Victorian edifices and interspersing post-modernist edifices such as as the Humana through their alone architecture harmonizing with saving grace with the encompassing Gothic constructions thus beautifying the skyline so as to control and contrary the monolithic impetus of occupants to the suburbs. The metropolis is a thaw pot of all races,ethnic groupings and civilizations from all over the world. But still each individual develops a distinct individualism in the human face of all this. This endurance contest metropolis circuit took us in a autobus through many varying scenes and confronts oif Louisville from South through West and then east unto North seeing how they are metameric int countries for classes, races, societal and economical rankings with the varying state of the lodging speech production so much of the human condition.

Art exhibitions visited additional expanded the possibilities in mental representations and media. The Speed Art Museum was alone in many ways. Being right at the bosom of the University Campus it is just a few paces walk from our Kurtz hostels. It showcased not only American fine art and décor but African as well as British People and European Gothic and Victorian inside décor. But the high spot of our visit was to the exhibition of the avant-garde pictures of African-American Art Alumnus from the University of Louisville, Surface-To-Air Missile Gilliam. Together with another exhibition in the Bluegrass State Museum of Art and Trade in business district Louisville where we admired and wondered at a broadening country of fine fine fine fine fine art including toys, sculptors, carvings plastic art, glass art, as well as multi-media pictures and molds gave us a taste sensation of the lively art scene in Louisville, which is indeed a microcosm of art in America..

But what fascinated me most in the Americans is the astonishing manner they absorb within themselves and their routine, the extremes of life, working difficult and playing hard. There are many resorts, drama houses, merriment fairs, films and stadia of all forms and word form but mostly immense as is the pridefulness and fancy of the American who if it were not for the soaring terms of combustible could just have got gone on lounging and cruising in those grotesquely huge limousines. But still they are preserved for weekend sails or ceremonial occasions such as as wedding ceremonies and festivals.

Browse through the newspapers, some of which you could just catch from any street corner newsstand without losing a dime, you could happen a vacation spot or activity that would surely divert you once you have got what it takes to acquire there. But it is totally bewitching how a sport, Equus caballus racing have grown beyond just a fad to a whole industry attracting fans and fans and jockeys from all over the human race to encampment there thus transforming a staid Louisville to one boom rollicking and bustling metropolis for a calendar month or two with everything to be got on the marketplace including adjustment and transportation system doubling in price. A whole host of allied activities like betting, cafes, museums of horsing curiosities and baseball clubs have got all mushroomed around this whole craze.

Nothing shows the Americans' capacity to loosen up more than than the easiness with which they could acquire down and put down sometimes on greenish rugs of grass as they drink, sway and holler out out to the joyousness of being American on that glorious National Day with bangers metamorphosing into beaming mixtures of colours and sounds all to the exhilaration and attending of a whole land bedecked with multicolors in celebration. Almost all the houses uniformly achromatic could be easily misguided for every other White Person Houses as the star spangled streamer wavers excitingly on, as their inmates observe another twelvemonth added to the life of a land of chances and higher aspirations in scientific discipline as well as the arts. We were all awe-struck astatine the sum abandon with which Americans of all ages, colour and grammatical gender observe and affirm their nationhood and their ability to come up together en-masse and in droves to the waterfront parkland parking a immense figure of autos and billowy forward to the crowds of jubilating chap citizens sitting on blankets, grass, plastic or fabric chairs. Others simply stood or sauntered around the broad field with a unworried joyousness and vivacious cheerfulness munching immense pizza pies whilst chatting others, laughing, dancing, swaying and romancing in consonant rhyme with the tuneful beats emanating from the state and bluish grass music groupings on stage. Fleshiness which looks like the top societal and wellness threat here is no deterrent to a bulky American letting off steam and observes with his kinspeople the glorification and joyousness of belonging to a state that is both loved, hated as well as envied but that always obliges international attention.

America cherishes and continues history in respective ways. Books and films, historical, biographical and documentary, abound in the millions. So make museums, exhibitions, monuments, relics and the Restoration of slave plantations and slave houses for the uninterrupted trial of tourers as well as subjects thus ensuring that all are informed and educated on their past even with the uglinesses. At Bardstown, an outlying portion of Louisville, is the leftovers of a plantation with its slave house, Farmington, preserved as it was then with relics kept of the stay of Abraham Abraham Lincoln there, before he became president of course. Glimpses of life then were recalled through photographs, films, books, bedclothes equipments for farming, nutrient saving and a H2O well and a nutrient barn. A day's trip to Cincinnatti furthered our penetrations into bondage and its attender personal effects on life in America. This was at the Belowground Railway Freedom Center which have built a whole three-storey museum around the cardinal core of a wooden slave barn which used to hive away slaves on their manner to be resold. There, an synergistic multimedia system exhibition utilizes theater, ocular humanistic discipline of all manners and movie and tutorials to convey bondage alive for all to recognize its threat and atone for their guiltiness or complicity, depending on what side of the triangular trade they were on. We also followed with wonder the restored houses and implements of the chaste and priggish guild,of the United Society Of Believers In Christ'S Second Appearing who lived a life of entire abstinence, piety, charity and industry in a replication of the Garden of Eden in United Society Of Believers In Christ'S Second Appearing Village at Saddle Horse Pleasant.

It was with yearning that we awaited the flight to exciting San Francisco in malice of its well advertised expensiveness. But then I was almost about to board the airplane when I had to be driven back to be examined for some feeling of sickness which I feared could have got been malaria. But I was cleared and flew in to Oakland airdrome and was driven through bewildering scenes of architectural lusters onto the 40-plus floored Argent hotel. On entering the conference hallway for the afternoon Sessions I was surprised by a standing standing ovation followed by aglow words of citations by the Directors and the invitee writer, Percival Everett whose versatility in academe as well as literary creativeness I happen most astonishing. It was one alone twenty-four hours when one experiences proud and gratified at having fallen sick but to have got gotten up fast adequate on one's feet not to lose out too much. The day's treatment with Percival Everett turned out to be the most absorbing and most wide-ranging which I managed to lend to.

I had already missed the Golden Gate bridge,Martin Martin Luther King Memorial, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and Yerba Buena Gardens visits. But then I had to comfort myself with the remaining luster and magnificence of San Francisco, with the edifices all now built to last possible natural catastrophes as it is prostrate to. The enormousness of the edifices were arresting .Each 1 seemed to be in ageless competition with the others to touch the sky so much so that pickings snapshots demand so much on the inventiveness of the camera operator to capture the comprehensiveness of their luster against their natural background . Our metropolis circuit gave us uninterrupted flowings of luster in architecture in meandering roadways in coastal scenes and eminent enormousnesses all tinged with the nominal offers of Asian edifices in huge spaces Chinese have got held on to tenaciously even before the Gold Haste which attracted inundations of adventurers looking for the Golden fleece. Every other important grouping in the human race especially so Mexicans, Russians, Indians, Vietnamese, Italians held important sectors establishing a important presence here.

It was of historical as well as literary significance that we went to the City Lights Bookshop, the cradle of the Occident Seashore Beat Motion which had such as a important consequence on American poesy in the mid-sixties giving a Gypsy and avant-garde turn to poetry. Woody Allen Allen Ginsberg whose verse forms were first discussed in the seminar was an of import pillar in this movement. His books were published through this mercantile establishment which also became a circular publishing house as well as a locale for poesy readings as well as other literary jamborees. I marked the visit in a particular manner by purchasing three modern important surveys of William Shakespeare who looks to be very much alive everywhere in United States even on the stage. At Bishop Bishop Berkeley Iodine bought quite a big cargo of used books on a broad scope of American authors at Moe' s and was lucky to sell a few of mine which gave me further dollars to purchase more than titles.

Our two years trip by Baronet Metro for seminars at the University of California, Berkeley gave me the further chance of strolling unit of ammunition the expansive but historical campus with its preponderance of Gothic constructions and to look up the English section and the university library

This trip was very rewarding in broadening my apparent horizon giving me views of a broadening human race out there multiply and variedly advanced and where you larn and are thrilled, astonished and stimulated by varying sights and sounds every minute whilst awake.

The offering of an honorary citizenship of the metropolis of Louisville by its Mayor, a touching and most symbolical act, is still waiting to be amply exploited to my personal as well as national upliftment.

A four -day trip to American Capital Dc. with its breathless circuits of exhibitions, museums, monuments, the White Person House and the Library of United States Congress composite of edifices which were in themselves monumental and a history in themselves as well as a regular depository of the history of cognition and civilisation brought our U.S trip to its climax. This trip could only be justly recorded in two to three articles. But as I seek to program it as I convey this to its fitting end I could remember affecting down at the airdrome and drive through a long stretch of state route to Saint George George Mason University where we were welcomed by Marilyn Moblyn the exuberant and exciting Black Deputy Provost who led us through a well- informed and stimulating seminar on Tony Jim Morrison and her recent novel BELOVED. As we drove through the rambling contour lines of Baltimore's roadstead we contemplated how soon we would get at the nation's capital. Then our passing play the Pentagon, James Madison Square, Thomas Jefferson Memorial with a fleeting position of the staid but yacht- loaded Potomac River River announced our arrival. We went on to our Marriott Hostel just by the Capitol. Three years were just not adequate to quench my appetency for the physical objects sights and scenes seen in the webs of Smithsonian museums for American Art, for American History , of the Native American of the African American as well as African Art ,to add to the Library of Congress, THE Lincoln memorial and the Socialist Republic Of Vietnam Memorial.

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