June 2011

The day started out like any other day. I was on my morning bus (Q112) that takes me to Jamaica Avenue. I usually get off at Suphtin Blvd and then transfer to the the Q44 that takes me to Queens College. Anyway, I got off at Sutphin and was waiting to cross the street. I had my IPOD on boppin along to SWV as I waited for the light to change. When the walk sign appeared, I began to cross the street. Before I was able to blink a black cab turned the corner quickly and barely hit me. My hands were on the hood of his car with my feet in the air if you can imagine that. He abruptly stopped so there was NO impact but you can imagine how shaken I was. I stated screaming and cursing that man out. I think I called him every single name in the book. He completely swing the corner and did not see me because he was talking on his cell phone. He immediately got out of the car where I continued to curse him out. He asked me if I was hurt but I could not hear him because I was furious. Luckily enough a cop was in the corner store and ran out to see the commotion. A crowd had gathered and they were all telling the cop that he almost ran me down. The cop asked me if I was hurt and I said no. He then gave the man a ticket, a tongue lashing and a I had to fill out a police report. I started to feel bad for the cab driver because he did not mean to hurt anyone but he was not paying attention. You really need to be 100% alert when you drive because you are responsible for your life and others. When I think back. I still get angry but now I pay way more attention to cars that turn corners too quickly.

One of my favorite books of all time is The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison. The book is split into four seasons and a prelude. The first section of each book is narrated by Claudia who is retelling events from a tumultuous year. She is nine years old. The setting is Lorain, Ohio and the year is 1939. The novel’s main focus is on a girl named Pecola. The reader notices internal focalization because we witness the point of view from several characters. In the prelude, we learn that the story will end tragically and and we will follow Pecola and her friend’s lives over a year’s span. When Claudia is not narrating, a third person takes over and gives insight into the thoughts of characters and into the mind of this troubled child. The last section of the book is italicized because Pecola is speaking to the reader. It is sort of like a dream sequence and the reader learns more and more about the protagonist. This book is definitely a classic and has been taught in many high schools.

For the most part, I liked the short story “She Lived in a Story” by Guillermo Samperio. This was a my first time reading an “experimental text” so I did not know what to expect. Samperio creates another world for the reader and demands the reader to pay attention to follow the story. The story started off very interesting. We were introduced to the pompous professor lecturing his students. When he returned home to his wife Elena and sat down to write a story– I thought: “OK this is will be a simple story.” Samperio took the story in an entirely different direction then what I though it would be. Ofelia is a character writing about another character . They are both aware that they are characters toward the end of the twisted story.

I think that Samperios’ concept is good but he should have executed it better. Using the same name as the author confused me greatly. The reader should NOT have to struggle to follow the story or they will give up. You can make a story complicated but you cannot abandon your reader so they have no clue of what’s going on. Doesn’t he know that? Or does he think it is worth hanging on until you reach the end? For me it was not. The two characters hugged and I rolled my eyes and said “Finally the end.” I was kinda over it at that point.

In the short story, “She Lived in a Story” by Guillermo Samperio, the reader is introduced to Ofelia. Ofelia is a character that is stuck in an imaginary world created by Segovia. Ofelia says: “I write that he writes a story that I live in.” (Samperio 60) This quote proves that Ofelia is aware that she is living within a story. She is apart of a game and is not in control of her own actions. Funny enough, she realizes this toward the end of the story. Samperio basically set out to write a story of a character that who creates a character from within. He then creates Segovia who then writes a story of Ofelia. Ofelia then writes a story about Segovia. The fact that Ofelia turned the tables on Segovia proved that she was also a character and noting was real. They became aware of each other towards the end of the story. Ofelia is just carrying out the orders of the text because she is only a character. In Narratolgy: A Guide to the Theory of Narrative,”Manford Jahn states that ontological creation means that the character “belongs to a different world, a fictional world” (NI.6) This definition fits perfectly with Ofelia because she is trapped in an fictional world. She cannot control her actions nor the narrative.

On June 7, we began to read the short story “She Lived in a Story”, by Guillermo Samperio. The reader is immediatly introduced to the pretentious professor Guillermo Segovia. On the drive home, Segovia is mulling over thoughts on how to write a story about a woman that lives INSIDE of a story. He states: “In one way or another actors live the text; they do not embody anyone at all. In the theater they live in literature for a brief moment. In motion pictures, some of their moments endure with a tendency toward the infinite. Dramatists have written plays in an attempt to approach the ancient dream of the fiction writer: that human beings live in their texts. Thus, artistic creation transcends the imaginary level in order to achieve reality. In regard to my own concept, the movement is reversed; that is, reality moves toward the imaginary”.(Samperio 56)

Segovia explains that actors live in texts. Actors play characters that are only on paper. They “live in the text” in that sense. The actors job is to make the character come alive. Actors must embody their lines and completetly submerge themselves inside of the text. Human connection is very powerful, so if the actor is able to captivate the audience then it would be a powerful perfomance. The actors must be able to merge imagination and reality to make the character come alive and breath life into the reader. In theatre performances, the character is brought to life right in front of your eyes which makes the experience even more magical. You can observe mannerisms, mistakes of the actor which will evoke human connection for the reader. Only exceptional actors can bring a character to life and not sway from how it was originally written.

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