A walk down a Montreal backstreet.
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To me, literature is profundity. It’s
about exploring the human spirit, the desire of humans to communicate
to other humans what it is to be human in all its forms. It’s about
escaping from your own life and diving into someone else’s, or even
into another world, and then coming back to your own life with a new
perspective, a new sense of being, or gratitude for your own life.
What are your personal reasons for
studying English Literature?
In 2010, I came to study English
Literature with the intention of working in the literary field. I
thought of perhaps becoming a translator or an editor. But as time
wore on and my studies progressed, I realized that I missed the messy
creative process of painting very much. It was around this same time
that I had a poetry class which, ironically, was pivotal to finding
my new path to writing. That class opened up my mind to new ideas
about the creative process. I saw that though I could not paint, I
could still externalize my creative impulses using words. I noticed
that the words the teacher used to describe or talk about poems were
not that different from those I’d use to talk about the visual arts.
Once that notion took root in my mind, I opened up my creative
impulses to flow through a new medium, the art of story telling.
I came back to study English Literature
in 2017 with the same idea I had about the diploma in 2010, it was a
means to an end. But now, especially these last two weeks, I’m
seriously wondering if I might be deluding myself again into thinking
I could be anything other than a creative. I mean, I know most
creatives are also teachers or in other professions connected to
their field of practice. But for me, it is abortive to think this
way. And every time I’ve tried it, I’ve failed.
So why study literature? To better my
chances of success? To seem more credible? To pass for good enough? I
don’t know. What I do know is that this new way of expressing myself
is good for me, and that in itself is good enough.
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The Library Visit
For the library visit, I was expecting to walk around the place for an hour while a guide told the class about all the services and things that are available to students there. Though there was no guided tour, the presentation explaining all the tools at our disposal was more to the point for new students than I expected.
My expectations were also challenged by having to go on a scavenger hunt in the library. This was a useful activity to show the students how the library is set up and where to go to find what we need.
The most useful thing I learned during the library visit is that the MLA is updated yearly and that assuming you know what is the correct way to do things can lead to problems down the road. Also, during the scavenger hunt, I discovered the library has a vast collection of magazines. I was surprised at how extensive it is.
After this visit, I feel more confident using the library and its services.
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Tulip Fever is a tragic love
story set in the Netherlands around 1634-36. The film adaptation
deviated from the novel in several major plot and character points
most likely due to the natural time constrains of a film’s run time.
The first key difference is
that Maria is the narrator throughout the film, whereas in the novel
most of the key characters have a viewpoint. The next key difference
relating to the plot is that Sopia is an orphan in the film. In the
novel, she has a family living in another town. The addition of the
abbess to the film, which is another major change. This conflation of
two secondary characters, Sophia’s mother and Claes van Hooghelande
the tulip grower, into one was probably done to cut filming time.
Another major plot change is where in the book Jan goes to talk to
Sophia in her hiding place after he has lost everthing, and tells her
the truth about their situation. In the film, Sophia cannot wait for
Jan’s return, and runs off never to be seen again. This was probably
done to heighten filmic tension and not run on too long, but it cuts
out too much information. It is odd to have her running away in the
film before she even knows what’s really going on. This truncation of
the story is also apparent at the end of the film when the abbess
reveals to Jan what happened to Sophia instead of him spotting her in
town after a gust of wind blows her habit away from her face.
There are also many
important character changes made when adapting the novel to a
screenplay. As I’ve mentioned before, Claes the tulip grower was cut
from the film. But Jacob, Jan’s apprentice is also non-existant in
the film. The next difference is that in the film Sophia finds the
physician through her seamstress. In the novel, Jan is the one who
finds the man and arranges everything. Another interesting character
difference is that in the novel, more especially in the second half
of the book, Cornelis has a crisis of faith. By the end of the book
he stops believing in God altogether. Though this might seem like
minor difference, it’s quite crucial to the plot and helps the reader
understand how he could leave everything to the same maid who
conspired with his wife to decieve him. Another interesting
consequence of Cornelis’ loss of faith is his clear plan to pay to
have Jan murdered on the journey to the colony, something which is
never alluded to in the film.
The last difference I’ll be
pointing out relates to Maria and her children. In the film she and
her husband are shown surrounded by six children in Cornelis’ house,
still looking as grateful about their good fortune as when he first
left everything to them twelve years earlier. But in the book, the
reader is left with a more ambivalant feeling about them. Maria and
her husband have grown accustomed to their new wealth and expect to
be respected because of it. Though they are not ungrateful per se,
they are also not so humble about their new station in life as was
shown in the film.
Moggach, Deborah. Tulip
Fever. London: Vintage Books,
Dir. Justin Chadwick. The Weinstein Company, 2017. Film.
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