Monthly Archives: September 2014

Becoming a Member of the Club

In highschool, I once had an English teacher who was known throughout the school for her love of cats and Margaret Atwood. I’m serious, her bookshelf was guarded by kitten plush dolls and her window had written in stickers, “MARGARET ATWOOD FANCLUB”. Now, I’m probably the farthest thing from a crazy cat lady (I’m allergic), but I think after reading the Penelopiad I can understand where her fondness of Atwood derives from.

Upon my initial reading of the novel, I found myself perplexed by the characterization of Penelope. In Homer’s epic The Odyssey, she is depicted as poised and self-sufficient, modest and admirable. In Atwood’s spinoff, however, I discovered a completely different Penelope, one fraught with insecurities, secrets, and even desires (gasp, desires that were NOT pertaining to Odysseus). I didn’t know how to feel about this foreign figure appealing for my acceptance, and then I realized why. Atwood’s Penelope may not be the stoic heroine I had so admired in the romantic epic – in fact, she may not be worthy of praise at all – but she has something she was denied by Homer: Atwood’s Penelope has a voice.

In The Penelopiad, we as readers are afforded the opportunity to listen to the appeal of a woman, who, in her death, attempts to relay all the things she could not say while she was alive, with a contemporary voice. I think in Tom’s post, he asked whether it is necessary or useful to go back and scrutinize such an ancient text with such modern criticism. I’m thinking about that… and I think it is. Because when we do so, we are not telling Penelope to go back and change the way she conducted her life (she’s dead, anyways), we are just giving her a chance to speak.  After all, isn’t that how progress is made? By revising the things we did wrong in the past?

Post #1 – INTRO

Hi!

My name’s Jenna and I’m from Langley (about an hour away for those of you who aren’t familiar with the GVA yet). I was fortunate enough to be assigned a room with one heck of a view, so I’m currently writing in front of a window overlooking the ocean. It’s absolutely gorgeous outside right now and I’m really distracted so if this post turns out to be all over the place, that’s why.

Uhhhhhhhhhhh okay. Well I chose Arts One because I absolutely love literature and I was hoping to find other like-minded people. I’m hoping to become a stronger writer and ultimately a better critical thinker through this program. Before school started, I was stoked to finally tackle The Odyssey……………. lol but that was before I found out that we’d be reading it within the first two weeks. Still, I’m up for the challenge.

My other love (and first, actually) is film! If you’re ever up for a movie but can’t find anyone to go with, definitely hit me up. I’m always up for anything, all the time. A few of my all-time favourites would probably be: Lawrence of Arabia (1962), In the Mood for Love (2000), and Bright Star (2009) (because I’m a sucker for anything Keats).

For music, I’m not terribly picky but I’ve spent considerable hours of my life grooving to like, late-70’s, early 80’s synthpop/glamrock. Currently I’m really into edm. Basically anything that makes you dance, I guess.

Other than that, I like feminism, coffee, puppies, game of thrones, and breakfast foods.

Let’s be friendssssssssssssss