Final exam: Monday, 1-3 p.m., our classroom

The final exam will be held on Monday, 12/14, from 1-3 p.m.

Place: our usual classroom, CUE 219.

Study Guide for Exam 2 is here:

http://public.wsu.edu/~campbelld/engl372/study2.htm

Blog Post Points are here: http://public.wsu.edu/~campbelld/engl372/blogpostpoints.htm

Extra Credit Movie Night and Nonquiz: If you asked for (or if it would benefit you more) the absences rather than the 10/10 quiz, they’ve been credited toward your total in Blackboard.  Blackboard won’t allow the 10/10 quiz credits to be posted easily, but those who chose that option have had the quizzes credited in my Excel gradebook.

Papers. I’m writing comments by hand on the papers this time. All the papers uploaded to Blackboard have been printed, and they and the paper versions some of you turned in will be scanned and turned back to you via Blackboard this week. (Virtually all the papers uploaded would have lost a point for incorrect file names,since they did not follow the Formatting Guidelines, so this is of benefit to most of you.)

Thought for the day: “Basil Hallward is what I think I am: Lord Henry what the world thinks me: Dorian what I would like to be—in other ages, perhaps.”
— Oscar Wilde in a letter to Ralph Payne (12 February 1894)

Reminders: Skype Office hours today; Office Hours tomorrow; Extensions

Just a reminder: I’ll be in my office from 9:30-1:oo tomorrow if you have some questions about your papers.

I’m also on Skype right now — dmcampbellwsu — and Gmail/Gchat dmcampbellwsu@gmail.com  if you want to talk about your paper today.

Another reminder: you have one extension in this class. If you (or someone in your group, if it’s a group project) would like to take the extension and haven’t done so, email me (campbelld@wsu.edu).

  • You have one 48-hour extension in this class. This extension means that your paper will be due on the next class day, which could be more than 48 hours, without penalty.You must request the extension ahead of time, and you should save it for a true emergency, since no other extensions will be granted for illness, funerals, weddings, or any other reason.

The House of Mirth

Link to The House of Mirth at Google books.

If you’re curious about the manuscript pages you transcribed, here are the first few pages of The House of Mirth: (You can read more of it online here: http://www.gutenberg.org/files/284/284-h/284-h.htm

BOOK ONE

Chapter 1

Selden paused in surprise. In the afternoon rush of the Grand Central Station his eyes had been refreshed by the sight of Miss Lily Bart.

It was a Monday in early September, and he was returning to his work from a hurried dip into the country; but what was Miss Bart doing in town at that season? If she had appeared to be catching a train, he might have inferred that he had come on her in the act of transition between one and another of the country-houses which disputed her presence after the close of the Newport season; but her desultory air perplexed him. She stood apart from the crowd, letting it drift by her to the platform or the street, and wearing an air of irresolution which might, as he surmised, be the mask of a very definite purpose. It struck him at once that she was waiting for some one, but he hardly knew why the idea arrested him. There was nothing new about Lily Bart, yet he could never see her without a faint movement of interest: it was characteristic of her that she always roused speculation, that her simplest acts seemed the result of far-reaching intentions.

An impulse of curiosity made him turn out of his direct line to the door, and stroll past her. He knew that if she did not wish to be seen she would contrive to elude him; and it amused him to think of putting her skill to the test.

“Mr. Selden—what good luck!”

She came forward smiling, eager almost, in her resolve to intercept him. One or two persons, in brushing past them, lingered to look; for Miss Bart was a figure to arrest even the suburban traveller rushing to his last train.

Selden had never seen her more radiant. Her vivid head, relieved against the dull tints of the crowd, made her more conspicuous than in a ball-room, and under her dark hat and veil she regained the girlish smoothness, the purity of tint, that she was beginning to lose after eleven years of late hours and indefatigable dancing. Was it really eleven years, Selden found himself wondering, and had she indeed reached the nine-and-twentieth birthday with which her rivals credited her?

“What luck!” she repeated. “How nice of you to come to my rescue!”

He responded joyfully that to do so was his mission in life, and asked what form the rescue was to take.

“Oh, almost any—even to sitting on a bench and talking to me. One sits out a cotillion—why not sit out a train? It isn’t a bit hotter here than in Mrs. Van Osburgh’s conservatory—and some of the women are not a bit uglier.” She broke off, laughing, to explain that she had come up to town from Tuxedo, on her way to the Gus Trenors’ at Bellomont, and had missed the three-fifteen train to Rhinebeck. “And there isn’t another till half-past five.” She consulted the little jewelled watch among her laces. “Just two hours to wait. And I don’t know what to do with myself. My maid came up this morning to do some shopping for me, and was to go on to Bellomont at one o’clock, and my aunt’s house is closed, and I don’t know a soul in town.” She glanced plaintively about the station. “It IS hotter than Mrs. Van Osburgh’s, after all. If you can spare the time, do take me somewhere for a breath of air.”

He declared himself entirely at her disposal: the adventure struck him as diverting. As a spectator, he had always enjoyed Lily Bart; and his course lay so far out of her orbit that it amused him to be drawn for a moment into the sudden intimacy which her proposal implied.

“Shall we go over to Sherry’s for a cup of tea?”

She smiled assentingly, and then made a slight grimace.

“So many people come up to town on a Monday—one is sure to meet a lot of bores. I’m as old as the hills, of course, and it ought not to make any difference; but if I’M old enough, you’re not,” she objected gaily. “I’m dying for tea—but isn’t there a quieter place?”

He answered her smile, which rested on him vividly. Her discretions interested him almost as much as her imprudences: he was so sure that both were part of the same carefully-elaborated plan. In judging Miss Bart, he had always made use of the “argument from design.”

“The resources of New York are rather meagre,” he said; “but I’ll find a hansom first, and then we’ll invent something.” He led her through the throng of returning holiday-makers, past sallow-faced girls in preposterous hats, and flat-chested women struggling with paper bundles and palm-leaf fans. Was it possible that she belonged to the same race? The dinginess, the crudity of this average section of womanhood made him feel how highly specialized she was.

A rapid shower had cooled the air, and clouds still hung refreshingly over the moist street.

“How delicious! Let us walk a little,” she said as they emerged from the station.

They turned into Madison Avenue and began to stroll northward. As she moved beside him, with her long light step, Selden was conscious of taking a luxurious pleasure in her nearness: in the modelling of her little ear, the crisp upward wave of her hair—was it ever so slightly brightened by art?—and the thick planting of her straight black lashes. Everything about her was at once vigorous and exquisite, at once strong and fine. He had a confused sense that she must have cost a great deal to make, that a great many dull and ugly people must, in some mysterious way, have been sacrificed to produce her. He was aware that the qualities distinguishing her from the herd of her sex were chiefly external: as though a fine glaze of beauty and fastidiousness had been applied to vulgar clay. Yet the analogy left him unsatisfied, for a coarse texture will not take a high finish; and was it not possible that the material was fine, but that circumstance had fashioned it into a futile shape?

As he reached this point in his speculations the sun came out, and her lifted parasol cut off his enjoyment. A moment or two later she paused with a sigh.

“Oh, dear, I’m so hot and thirsty—and what a hideous place New York is!” She looked despairingly up and down the dreary thoroughfare. “Other cities put on their best clothes in summer, but New York seems to sit in its shirtsleeves.” Her eyes wandered down one of the side-streets. “Someone has had the humanity to plant a few trees over there. Let us go into the shade.”

“I am glad my street meets with your approval,” said Selden as they turned the corner.

“Your street? Do you live here?”

She glanced with interest along the new brick and limestone house-fronts, fantastically varied in obedience to the American craving for novelty, but fresh and inviting with their awnings and flower-boxes.

“Ah, yes—to be sure: THE BENEDICK. What a nice-looking building! I don’t think I’ve ever seen it before.” She looked across at the flat-house with its marble porch and pseudo-Georgian facade. “Which are your windows? Those with the awnings down?”

“On the top floor—yes.”

“And that nice little balcony is yours? How cool it looks up there!”

He paused a moment. “Come up and see,” he suggested. “I can give you a cup of tea in no time—and you won’t meet any bores.”

Her colour deepened—she still had the art of blushing at the right time—but she took the suggestion as lightly as it was made.

“Why not? It’s too tempting—I’ll take the risk,” she declared.

“Oh, I’m not dangerous,” he said in the same key. In truth, he had never liked her as well as at that moment. He knew she had accepted without afterthought: he could never be a factor in her calculations, and there was a surprise, a refreshment almost, in the spontaneity of her consent.

On the threshold he paused a moment, feeling for his latchkey.

“There’s no one here; but I have a servant who is supposed to come in the mornings, and it’s just possible he may have put out the tea-things and provided some cake.”

He ushered her into a slip of a hall hung with old prints. She noticed the letters and notes heaped on the table among his gloves and sticks; then she found herself in a small library, dark but cheerful, with its walls of books, a pleasantly faded Turkey rug, a littered desk and, as he had foretold, a tea-tray on a low table near the window. A breeze had sprung up, swaying inward the muslin curtains, and bringing a fresh scent of mignonette and petunias from the flower-box on the balcony.

Lily sank with a sigh into one of the shabby leather chairs.

“How delicious to have a place like this all to one’s self! What a miserable thing it is to be a woman.” She leaned back in a luxury of discontent.

Selden was rummaging in a cupboard for the cake.

“Even women,” he said, “have been known to enjoy the privileges of a flat.”

“Oh, governesses—or widows. But not girls—not poor, miserable, marriageable girls!”

“I even know a girl who lives in a flat.”

She sat up in surprise. “You do?”

“I do,” he assured her, emerging from the cupboard with the sought-for cake.

“Oh, I know—you mean Gerty Farish.” She smiled a little unkindly. “But I said MARRIAGEABLE—and besides, she has a horrid little place, and no maid, and such queer things to eat. Her cook does the washing and the food tastes of soap. I should hate that, you know.”

“You shouldn’t dine with her on wash-days,” said Selden, cutting the cake.

They both laughed, and he knelt by the table to light the lamp under the kettle, while she measured out the tea into a little tea-pot of green glaze. As he watched her hand, polished as a bit of old ivory, with its slender pink nails, and the sapphire bracelet slipping over her wrist, he was struck with the irony of suggesting to her such a life as his cousin Gertrude Farish had chosen. She was so evidently the victim of the civilization which had produced her, that the links of her bracelet seemed like manacles chaining her to her fate.

She seemed to read his thought. “It was horrid of me to say that of Gerty,” she said with charming compunction. “I forgot she was your cousin. But we’re so different, you know: she likes being good, and I like being happy. And besides, she is free and I am not. If I were, I daresay I could manage to be happy even in her flat. It must be pure bliss to arrange the furniture just as one likes, and give all the horrors to the ash-man. If I could only do over my aunt’s drawing-room I know I should be a better woman.”

“Is it so very bad?” he asked sympathetically.

She smiled at him across the tea-pot which she was holding up to be filled.

“That shows how seldom you come there. Why don’t you come oftener?”

“When I do come, it’s not to look at Mrs. Peniston’s furniture.”

“Nonsense,” she said. “You don’t come at all—and yet we get on so well when we meet.”

“Perhaps that’s the reason,” he answered promptly. “I’m afraid I haven’t any cream, you know—shall you mind a slice of lemon instead?”

“I shall like it better.” She waited while he cut the lemon and dropped a thin disk into her cup. “But that is not the reason,” she insisted.

“The reason for what?”

“For your never coming.” She leaned forward with a shade of perplexity in her charming eyes. “I wish I knew—I wish I could make you out. Of course I know there are men who don’t like me—one can tell that at a glance. And there are others who are afraid of me: they think I want to marry them.” She smiled up at him frankly. “But I don’t think you dislike me—and you can’t possibly think I want to marry you.”

“No—I absolve you of that,” he agreed.

“Well, then——?”

He had carried his cup to the fireplace, and stood leaning against the chimney-piece and looking down on her with an air of indolent amusement. The provocation in her eyes increased his amusement—he had not supposed she would waste her powder on such small game; but perhaps she was only keeping her hand in; or perhaps a girl of her type had no conversation but of the personal kind. At any rate, she was amazingly pretty, and he had asked her to tea and must live up to his obligations.

“Well, then,” he said with a plunge, “perhaps THAT’S the reason.”

“What?”

“The fact that you don’t want to marry me. Perhaps I don’t regard it as such a strong inducement to go and see you.” He felt a slight shiver down his spine as he ventured this, but her laugh reassured him.

“Dear Mr. Selden, that wasn’t worthy of you. It’s stupid of you to make love to me, and it isn’t like you to be stupid.” She leaned back, sipping her tea with an air so enchantingly judicial that, if they had been in her aunt’s drawing-room, he might almost have tried to disprove her deduction.

“Don’t you see,” she continued, “that there are men enough to say pleasant things to me, and that what I want is a friend who won’t be afraid to say disagreeable ones when I need them? Sometimes I have fancied you might be that friend—I don’t know why, except that you are neither a prig nor a bounder, and that I shouldn’t have to pretend with you or be on my guard against you.” Her voice had dropped to a note of seriousness, and she sat gazing up at him with the troubled gravity of a child.

“You don’t know how much I need such a friend,” she said. “My aunt is full of copy-book axioms, but they were all meant to apply to conduct in the early fifties. I always feel that to live up to them would include wearing book-muslin with gigot sleeves. And the other women—my best friends—well, they use me or abuse me; but they don’t care a straw what happens to me. I’ve been about too long—people are getting tired of me; they are beginning to say I ought to marry.”

There was a moment’s pause, during which Selden meditated one or two replies calculated to add a momentary zest to the situation; but he rejected them in favour of the simple question: “Well, why don’t you?”

She coloured and laughed. “Ah, I see you ARE a friend after all, and that is one of the disagreeable things I was asking for.”

“It wasn’t meant to be disagreeable,” he returned amicably. “Isn’t marriage your vocation? Isn’t it what you’re all brought up for?”

She sighed. “I suppose so. What else is there?”

“Exactly. And so why not take the plunge and have it over?”

She shrugged her shoulders. “You speak as if I ought to marry the first man who came along.”

“I didn’t mean to imply that you are as hard put to it as that. But there must be some one with the requisite qualifications.”

She shook her head wearily. “I threw away one or two good chances when I first came out—I suppose every girl does; and you know I am horribly poor—and very expensive. I must have a great deal of money.”

Final Presentations Schedule; Picture of Dorian Gray Manuscript Exhibit

The final presentation schedule is available here:

http://public.wsu.edu/~campbelld/engl372/presentation.htm

If you had not previously signed up for a time, you’ve been assigned to one of the days.

Here’s an (optional) link to pictures of The Picture of Dorian Gray in Wilde’s handwriting:

http://www.themorgan.org/collection/literary-and-historical-manuscripts/120386

(P. S. For you Jane Austen fans, you can see her manuscripts at the same site.)

 

Who’s who in Pudd’nhead Wilson

roxy

More illustrations are available at http://twain.lib.virginia.edu/wilson/pwillshp.html

I’ve had a request to clarify the relationships of the characters in Pudd’nhead Wilson since we didn’t discuss them yet.  We’re introduced to a whole lot of characters in the first chapter.  If you Google some of these names (Percy, Northumberland, York, Leicester, etc.) you’ll see where Twain got them and what he’s trying to evoke. I put in a few links just to give you an idea.

Percy Northumberland Driscoll, brother of Judge York Leicester Driscoll and father of Tom (the real Tom).  His wife dies right after giving birth to Tom. He’s portrayed as distracted by business and lets Roxy, whom he frees in his will, look after Tom as well as her own child, Valet de Chambre (called “Chambers”). 

Judge York Leicester Driscoll, brother of Percy, and uncle to Tom. He is married but childless and takes Tom in after Percy dies.  He is “very proud of his old Virginian ancestry” and approves of duels. He and his wife dote on Tom and don’t see his faults. Mrs. Rachel Pratt is his widowed sister.

Pembroke Howard is a bachelor and Judge Driscoll’s best friend.  The judge confides in Pembroke about his distrust of Tom.

Colonel Cecil Burleigh Essex is “another F.F.V.,” which stands for First Families of Virginia. (Virginia is also called the “Old Dominion.”) The narrator says “with him we have no concern,” but later Roxy reveals that he is Chambers’s father.

Roxy is white in appearance, 1/16th African American but a slave by “fiction of law and custom.”  Noticing that her son Chambers and Tom are nearly identical, she switches them when they are five months old, so her son becomes the false “Tom” and the real Tom becomes “Chambers,” who endures beatings and bullying from the false Tom.

She is freed by Percy’s will and becomes a chambermaid on a steamboat, but she loses her money when the “bank” she trusted goes under. She returns to the false Tom (Chapter 8), her son, and although she knows he’s a thief, she sticks by him because he is her son.  She is the smartest person in the book, except possibly for —

David Wilson, called “Pudd’nhead Wilson,” who collects fingerprints as a hobby.

Luigi and Angelo Cappello are Italian noblemen (Count Luigi and Count Angelo) staying with Mrs. Patsy Cooper, a widow, and her daughter Rowena. In Twain’s original version of the book, called Those Extraordinary Twins, Luigi and Angelo were conjoined (or “Siamese,” as the phrase was then) twins. Twain writes that he pulled them out of that book in a “literary Caesarean section.” In some places in the book, you can see that he barely changed them. Here’s more on Twain and twins: http://twain.lib.virginia.edu/wilson/mttwins.html

By the way, if you’re looking for the questions we’ll discuss on Thursday, they are here:

http://public.wsu.edu/~campbelld/amlit/pwquestions.htm