Let Your Words Fly: Submission Bonanza 2015

photo (7)Do you have stories that have been hibernating over winter in the caves of your computer files? Poems that have sleepily spent the dark months hiding from the cold snuggled between the pages of your notebook? Blog posts or essays that are destined to fly in the summer breeze and see a new audience?

It’s time for a Submission Bonanza, and I’d love for you to join me!

Here in Alaska, the new, green life is taking shape. The air feels fertile and full of possibilities. Birds are sending their songs out into the world and all this makes me feel like I should follow suit. With the start of summer, there’s the reminder of the possibilities that exist and the importance of our art seeing the light of day, stretching in the sunshine and basking in the warmth of the outdoors.

Two years ago at this time, I began a Submission Bonanza. It was an attempt to start getting my work out in the world, which I had been terrible about doing. It had been a long time since I had submitted anything anywhere, thinking of myself as not-a-real-writer, as someone who just wrote to make myself happy. At some point, I realized that writing, for me, is actually about connection and the real reason I was not submitting my work anywhere wasn’t because it was “just for me” but because I was afraid of the rejection. I mean, this poem is my soul; how could I stomach someone saying it wasn’t good enough?

Two years and hundreds of rejections later, I am stronger. I know now how to take the rejection letters. Being an editor of a magazine myself, I see how subjective the process can be and I know that it’s not a reflection of the worth of my soul.

I also have quite a few publications under my belt, because as subjective and harrowing as the process can be, there will also be moments when your work falls into the lap of someone who gets you, someone who connects with what you are trying to say. And they’ll want to share that with other people. Which, honestly, is kind of magical.

I have to say, I’ve fallen off the wagon a bit, been remiss in keeping my work flying out into the world and, thankfully, nature has reminded me that it’s time again.

submission bonanza logo 2 copySo, I’ll be doing another Submission Bonanza this year, 30 submissions in 30 days. For the whole month of June, I’ll be keeping a running list of literary journals that I submit to, and I’ll highlight some of the best ones so that you can submit to them, too.

If you’re new to submitting, check out my Guide to Creating Your Own Submission Bonanza, Choosing and Selecting Submittable Pieces, Finding Literary Magazines, and Six Tips for Perfect (Professional) Cover Letters.

Feel free to use the Submission Bonanza logo and join up. I’ll keep you posted with how things are going. Keep me posted as well!

Advertisements

The People in Our Stories: Thomas Lynch’s The Undertaking

.lynchUndertaking

 

 

Thomas Lynch’s The Undertaking: Life Studies from the Dismal Trade is an examination of death and life through Lynch’s experiences as a funeral director. The book is structured as a collection of essays which range from a meditation on toilets to embalming his father to an essay against assisted suicide to instructions for Lynch’s own funeral. Throughout the book, Lynch asserts that funerals and all the things that people do surrounding death are really for the living.

The book is strongest when Lynch goes deeply into his own personal experiences. The experience of actually embalming his father and sorting out his own father’s funeral is a poignant one, which resonates deeply with the reader. Likewise, Lynch’s instructions for his own funeral, in which Lynch tells us “It’s yours to do – my funeral – not mine” (199), acts as a parting gift from Lynch, a reminder to be good to each other and that the details of the funeral – in February on a cold day, with no party – are really not the dead’s concern. It is also strong when it is being most straightforward – describing the processes surrounding death or the details that the living don’t think about. The route to the cemetery and why this matters, for instance, gives the reader a lot to think about in terms of how we think about death and its relationship to life and ourselves as individuals.

The book strives to look at the acts and ideas surrounding death in order to come to greater insights about life. This is a very ambitious goal and, unfortunately, many of the essays in this book fall short of that. The topic of death is so deep and meaningful and is ripe for insight and universal truths, especially considering the level of knowledge that Lynch has on the subject. I was so ready to love this book. However, instead of sticking to personal experiences and embracing the questions surrounding life and death, Lynch nudges his essays toward the pulpit. Some of the best books leave their readers with questions to ponder and things to ruminate on. Lynch is not shy about answering the questions he brings up.

Lynch takes the tone of a curmudgeonly old man as he bemoans kids these days and their technology and the way that they think about death. Instead of allowing the reader to come to the insight about how and why old ways were important, Lynch jumps straight to insulting possibly young readers by attacking the way things are done nowadays. He uses an incredible amount of “we” and “you” phrases assuming that his reader is on the same page with him. This reader certainly wasn’t and so these turns of phrase became incredibly alienating.

It was difficult not to question Lynch’s uses of other people’s names and stories in the book. The death of a loved one is an incredibly sensitive and intimate thing. Throughout the essays, Lynch tells the frightful details of the deaths that he’s undertaken, sometimes naming names and often giving enough detail to know who he must be writing about. I found myself wondering time and again if he had permission to write about people in this way.

It was especially egregious in his essay Uncle Eddie, Inc. in which he uses the gory details of a grizzly suicide to begin a rant against assisted suicide and abortion. This is, for me, was the point at which Lynch really lost me as a reader. He gives the details of the widow, who was suspected of having an affair, waking up to the spray of her husband’s blood covering her. He gives plenty of detail for the townspeople to know who he is writing about, but seems unsympathetic toward the widow, who he seems to think must have had it coming anyway. He uses this messiness to assert that assisted suicides should not be legal, because they, like abortions, are humans trying to play god. Lynch seems to think that it is fine for humans to play god by extending life, for he’s not against medication, but not shortening it. It’s hard for me not to commiserate with the widow in this story, to think of the way it would feel reading the details of her husband’s death for all the world to know, these details being used for a political essay, and then to even possibly wish that assisted suicide had been an option for the husband, instead of the terrible way that things had gone. Whether or not you agree with Lynch’s stance, the way it is written about feels off. It is hard to imagine that Lynch had permission to talk about this death in that way and for those purposes. It made him a questionable narrator, for sure.

There are moments in the book where Lynch certainly hits his mark, where the details and meaning that he makes about death and funerals give the reader new insights about life. However, these moments are so overshadowed with Lynch’s politics, his arguments and overexplaining, and the way that it feels like he’s using people that they lose their poignancy. This book is definitely a lesson in thinking about the assumptions that we make about our readers and as well as a lesson in the ways that we treat people as subjects.

 

*This post is part of a series on the craft of writing called Reading for Writers.  This series examines a variety of authors to ascertain the choices they’ve made in their writing and the effects of those choices so that we as writers can make better decisions in our own writing.

How to Make Memoir Meaningful: Patricia Hampl’s I Could Tell You Stories

hampl

 

Patricia Hampl’s I Could Tell You Stories: A Sojourn into Memory is a thoughtful, compelling book. Twice as I was reading it, I felt an overwhelming urge to put down the book and write. Both times the writing and feelings were so moving that I was brought to tears. It is a gathering of thoughts and questions on memory and memoir.

 

I will admit, I am skeptical of memory and wary of memoir. To me, memories are so malleable, so constructed (See Radio Lab’s episode on Memory and Forgetting.) that I’ve never felt that I could trust them as a source of truth in writing. And as much as I’ve been wanting to write more nonfiction, I cringe at the idea of writing memoir. Isn’t it just navel-gazing? Aren’t there some truths that are better portrayed through fiction?

 

Hampl’s Stories addresses both these points directly. In fact, these are the themes that the essays in the book pivot around. The book opens with an iteration of one of her childhood memories, which Hampl then examines for accuracy. In doing so, she points out the several lies in her story and allows herself to explore why her memory would make such deceptions. This sets the tone for her essays, which do not claim a factual, historical truth but instead dig for something deeper.

 

She follows this up with ruminations about why people write memoirs and the importance of memory. She presents the possibility for memoir as a political act, a witness to the world in which it takes place. Instead of memoir as a focus on the self within a larger picture, Hampl offers the option to think of memoir as a focus on the larger picture through the lens of the self. She uses the Vietnam War, communist Czechoslovakia, St. Augustine’s Confessions, and Anne Frank’s diary to illuminate the different ways that constructing memories can be political acts. This connection of the personal to the political is one way that memoirs can rise above navel-gazing and become relevant throughout history.

 

She also addresses one of the biggest problems that memoir writers have: how to fold people you know and love into your stories. In her poignant last essay of the book, she leaves her readers with a question mark. She examines the ways that she has dealt with this issue especially in regards to her mother.  In the end, the reader leaves feeling that Hampl is still wrestling with how to understand the tension that exists between her relationships and her writing.

 

One of the most compelling things about this collection is Hampl’s stunning honesty. One might think that a memoir about memoir (a meta-memoir, even) might be the consummate act of navel-gazing. But Hampl’s honesty keeps the book from veering off into that realm. She points out the lies in her own memories, examines herself under glaring light, and writes openly about her struggles with various topics. It is this honesty that allows her to connect her own stories with the larger world.

 

*This post is part of a series on the craft of writing called Reading for Writers.  This series examines a variety of authors to ascertain the choices they’ve made in their writing and the effects of those choices so that we as writers can make better decisions in our own writing.

Reading for Writers: Dino Campana’s “The Night”

200px-Dino_Campana1909

 

There were a lot of interesting things happening in Dino Campana’s essay “The Night.” There were some incredible metaphors and exquisite language which made me wonder about the expectations that we usually have for nonfiction in terms of style and language. Another stylistic component of note is that Campana does not use any names to refer to the characters in this essay. Instead, the only names that he uses are those of famous artists and writers. Campana also has a really arresting way of changing the pronouns that he uses for the characters, including himself, in his work. The effect of this is jarring but also captivating.

The first thing I noticed about this essay was the language being used. It is incredibly poetic and lyrical. There are a number of really striking metaphors, for example, “broken hovels like old bruises, dead windows.” Or, even more gripping: “the white Mediterranean night joked with the huge shapes of the women while the flame’s bizarre death-attempts went on and on in the streetlamp’s cave.” Language like this, though interesting and beautiful may be jarring for a reader who is looking for a straightforward account of Campana’s escapades. It made me think about the expectations that readers bring to nonfiction and whether essays have an obligation to live up to these expectation. Is it factually true that the night was joking (Or, put another way, can that be fact checked?)? How does metaphor come into play in essays? Or, more directly, what is the place of metaphor and lyrical, poetic language in nonfiction? If the reader is coming to the piece looking for truth and accuracy, how far can the writer go with metaphors and poetic language? In general, I think that if it is clear that the writer is using metaphor and clear what the writer is intending to express, this kind of language can greatly enhance creative nonfiction pieces. However, in this piece the metaphors were so dense and thick that it may have obscured some of the reader’s understanding of the truths behind the language. It made me question whether that was intentional. Perhaps Campana’s experience was so dreamlike that he wanted to convey that to the reader. Or maybe he did not want his reader to have a clear sense of what was going on. Perhaps he wanted his reader to experience the feel of the situation more than the events surrounding it. Is this authorial prerogative?

The esoteric, dreamlike quality of this narrative is pushed further by Campana’s refusal to use the names of characters populating his essay. It’s interesting that he doesn’t ever refer to anyone in the narrative by their name, only by their physical description. This can make it difficult for the reader to follow at times, but it also is especially interesting given the subject matter. Perhaps Campana did not know the name of anyone with whom he interacted that night. This is made even more peculiar by the constant name-dropping that he does with famous writers and artists. The lack of character names in the essay is even more stark next to the names of Faust, Dante, Leonardo, and Michelangelo and the names of saints. It’s as if he is drawing the distinction between these exalted, nameable people and the people in his narrative.

In addition to not giving his characters names, he also switches the pronoun that he uses to refer to them. In one section of the essay, he refers to the amber-bodied girl as “she” and later he seems to be addressing her as”you.” The most striking instance in which he does this is when he goes from using a first-person perspective of his experience to speaking about himself in the third person briefly. He refers to “the person I had once been” as “he” for two sections. This gives an interesting effect of distancing himself from the events of the night, making it his former self and not him who had these experiences. However, he only can keep this distance for a short time before going back to “I” and owning the experiences again.

All of these things made this essay difficult to decipher, as if the reader were decoding the text instead of reading it. The use of metaphors and lyrical language obscured some of the concreteness of the experiences that he was ruminating on.   The failure to use names of characters often made who he was actually talking about ambiguous. Even his pronouns when talking about these people (including himself!) were not consistent. The combination of these things gave the essay a dreamlike, nearly impenetrable quality. However, for me personally, these things added an interesting depth and dimension to the essay as well as giving a peak into the possible obfuscation that Campana was attempting. It made me ask a lot of questions, mostly unresolved, but also very interesting.

 

*This post is part of a series on the craft of writing called Reading for Writers.  This series examines a variety of authors to ascertain the choices they’ve made in their writing and the effects of those choices.

Reading for Writers: Joan Didion’s Slouching Towards Bethlehem

didion

Slouching Towards Bethlehem is a collection of essays by Joan Didion, all based on the theme of things coming undone. She looks at this theme from a variety of angles, both personally reflective and also commenting on society at large. In this collection, Didion makes very interesting use of narrative structure when retelling events, adding to the feeling that “the center cannot hold” (xi).

Didion begins her book with the famous poem by Yeats in which he examines things coming undone. She also titles her book after the last line of this poem, “Slouching Towards Bethlehem.” In her Preface, which is quite strange, Didion explains her collection. In rather defeatist, pessimistic terms, she presents us her work. She says that it is representative of her coming to terms with “the evidence of atomization, the proof that things fall apart” (xiii). Throughout the book, the reader can feel this sense of crumbling and a loss of groundedness or centeredness. We see it in the way that her rock-like ideal of John Wayne falls apart with cancer and the way that she struggles with ethics in “On Morality.” Didion wrestles with ideas of a world coming undone, both the larger society and on a more personal, individual level.

However, this effect is most interesting when it comes out in the structure of her writing. This is apparent from her very first essay. In “Some Dreamers of the Golden Dream,” Didion does, in fact begin at the beginning of the story. “This is a story about love and death in the golden land, and begins with the country” (3). However, after a bit of background about the place and the history of the place, the linearity of the essay begins to fall apart. Like the falconer losing hold of the falcon, the essay almost seems to get away from Didion. She jumps from the background of the land to the death of the husband, to the funeral. She starts a new section with the birth of Lucille Miller through to her unhappy marriage and then brings her lens in close on the day in question before recounting Lucille’s arrest, jumping back to the night of the accident and then to the building of the case. The next section recounts her affair starting with a generalization and jumping straight to the end, before explaining more. Then Didion recounts a litany of events that happened the same day as the Miller trial began before recounting the trial and bringing us up to the present day at the time of writing. In this present day, she focuses in on the house left behind, the child of Lucille, and the inmates that Lucille is surrounded by instead of focusing in on the main character of the essay itself. The essay then returns to the past, ending at Arthwell Hayton’s second marriage. This jumping and twisting of time, structure and focus mirrors Didion’s words of things falling apart. Not only is the time not linear, but the lens of the narration moves too, sometimes focused on Lucille, sometimes the place, sometimes those whose lives mirror hers, such as her fellow inmates, others in the news the same day, or Arthwell Hayton’s new wife. This poignantly gives the reader the effect that the center, cannot, in fact hold. We can feel the way that Lucille must feel, that her world is unravelling, and also the way that those watching the story must feel: what is becoming of our society?

This is most powerfully shown in her essay after which the collection is named. In “Slouching Towards Bethlehem,” Didion gives us a picture of San Francisco in the 1960s. However, she does not explain it to use as much as she makes a pastiche of vignettes to give us a picture of the chaos and disorder of that place and time. She tells us from the get-go what she is getting at: “The center was not holding” (84). She tells us what is missing and how the reality is not meeting expectations. She gives us an array of sources to show us the disparate voices: a sign trying to find a missing person (almost perversely in verse), communiques from Chester Anderson, song lyrics, an excerpt from a newspaper, questions asked to her by other people, fliers. The weaves these throughout vignettes of stories of people she’s met in her time in the Bay Area. Even when telling the stories of these people, she jumps: from Deadeye to Max to little girls to runaways to Debbie to Officer Gerrans, back to Max. And that is just the first quarter of the essay. It’s not even clear that the vignettes are arranged chronologically. This cut-and-paste of the stories she experiences in San Francisco serve to further the feeling that things are coming apart: people are not acting as they should, time is not moving as it should, the narrator is not recounting as she should. Instead, the people are out of control, time is set spinning, and the narrator’s hold on the gyre is slipping.

 

 

*This post is part of a series on the craft of writing called Reading for Writers.  This series examines a variety of authors to ascertain the choices they’ve made in their writing and the effects of those choices.

Reading for Writers: “The Laugh of the Medusa”

Birth Write:

The birth of the author, the reader, and the text in Hélène Cixous’s “The Laugh of the Medusa”

Part manifesto, part poetry, part call to action, part theoretical treatise, part psychoanalysis, Hélène Cixous’s “The Laugh of the Medusa” is a philosophical essay that defies genre and convention – and rightly so, because this is exactly what Cixous is writing about.  Around the same time that Roland Barthes is theorizing about the death of the author, Cixous is trumpeting the birth of the author.  Is this backwards and old-fashioned of her?  Were these two theories so at odds as to be opposites?  No. While Barthes is approaching the subject as an either/or binary distinction in which the interpretation and agency of the reader necessitates the fall and death of the author, Cixous sees the same rise of the reader, though it is not at the expense of the author because for her their differances are not in opposition.  For Cixous, it is possible for the reader and the writer to be born within a text.

Cixous’s work is difficult to summarize.  It is a call to arms, or if you will, a call to pens for women, who she defines as in an “inevitable struggle against conventional man” (1943).  This definition of woman includes not only those with female bodies, but all those who are engaged in this struggle against the traditional hegemony. Throughout the work, she uses images of the female body and motherhood to explicate a new kind of writing, one which is not bound by the hierarchical structures that are imposed on language.  Instead, she advocates for writing with and through the body.  In writing in this way, those whose voices and bodies have been repressed by the dominant establishment may come into their own and begin to realize their selfhood.  “Write your self. Your body must be heard” (1946), Cixous urges her readers.  She uses the biological functions of the female body to pinpoint that which is dictated by the laws of nature and that which is governed by culture.  Biologically, woman can think, write and speak.  It is the phallocentric culture which will not allow her to do these things.

But The Laugh of the Medusa” is more than a feminist manifesto.  It also goes into great depth about the theory of language and writing.  She calls for the birth of the author through the text: “Write! and your self-seeking text will know itself better than flesh and blood” (1956).  Cixous seeks to encourage those whose voices have been repressed to take back their words and their bodies through writing, allowing them to come fully into being. Unlike the rigid, structured language of Saussure and Lacan, the language of woman is not beholden to the rules of the signifier and the signified.  The language of woman is more fluid and immediate.  The distinctions of the symbolic order, the imaginary order, and the Real do not hold in this ecriture: “We are ourselves sea, sand, coral, seaweed, beaches, tides, swimmers, children waves… More or less wavily sea, earth, sky… We know how to speak them all” (1956) Cixous’s vision of ecriture feminine is a writing that surpasses the traditional binary opposition of I and Not-I, but instead leaves room for connection with the multitudes of Other.  Feminine writing is “a process of different subjects knowing one another and beginning one another anew… a multiple and inexhaustible course with millions of encounters and transformations of the same into the other and the in-between” (1948).  It is not a language based on the separation of parts and the creation of boundaries but instead tries to encompass the whole. Woman “has never ceased to hear the fore-language. She lets the other language speak… Her language does not contain, it carries; it does not hold back, it makes possible.” (1955)

Cixous seems to divert from many of her contemporaries by upholding the role of the author in a text. However, this is because ecriture feminine is not founded on the same assumptions as traditional writing.  Roland Barthes writes “Death of the Author” in critique of the writer as one who seeks to control and own his text.  Unlike Barthes, Cixous does not assume that the author is one who has had access to the modes of writing, speaking, and dissemination.  Cixous’s writer has a newfound voice and is creating her self through her writing. She does not fit the mold of the privileged “conventional man” and therefore must give wings to her own ways of meaning-making.  She has been silenced by the traditional conventions of writing and language as a form of self-expression.  Indeed, she has not had the opportunity for self at all. This is why Cixous sees writing as an empowering act for the writer.  The writers Cixous is writing to and of have agency precisely because they haven’t had it before.  These woman writers are engaging in revolutionary acts through writing.  Cixous writes, “We are at the beginning of a new history, or rather of a process of becoming in which several histories intersect with one another” (1955).  This writer must give birth to her writing because it is the only way that this multiplicity of voices and histories can come into being.  Cixous maintains that writing is an act of empowerment for the author.  She calls on woman to “Write! and your self-seeking text will know itself better than flesh and blood” (1955).  Here the author and the text come into being together.  This is not as far from Barthes’ argument as it would at first seem.  He writes, “the modern scriptor is born simultaneously with the text” (1324).  Cixous’s writer takes the same relationship with her text, coming into being as she is writing it.

For Barthes, the writer is in opposition to the reader and therefore must die so that the reader and text may be free.  He maintains that the author tries to dominate and restrict readings of his work and therefore must be separated from it.  However, the distinction between Barthes’ author and Cixous’s woman as writer is that woman is giving. The woman as writer is not trying to restrain or constrict the writing the way that Barthes imagines the traditional writing to do. Instead of being the traditional “father” of the work, who knows and restricts all its interpretations and intentions, Cixous’s writers are different: “They observe, they approach, they try to see the other woman, the child, the lover – not to strengthen their own narcissism or verify the solidity or weakness of the master, but to make love better, to invent” (1958).  Cixous envisions a writer who is not stingy with the text or its meaning in relation to the reader, but instead is moved to give.  Of course, the writer is present in the text, but because Cixous and woman writers are not working within a system of binary oppositions in which they see writer and not-writer, they are free to allow the writer to exist alongside the reader and the text.  When the world is not divided into I and Other, all these things can come to fruition together.  The act of writing not only gives voice to the writer, but also to the readers whose voices have also been stifled.  In this way, the author gives birth not only to herself but also to the text and the reader.

There are possible problems with Cixous’s text.  For one, its portrayal of woman in some ways is very one-dimensional, nearly mythological.  She speaks of the experience of women as if all feminine experiences are the same.  However, upon closer examination, Cixous mitigates these concerns at the outset of the essay.  She writes that there is “no general woman, no one typical woman” (1943).  She writes of the individual and multiple variations of woman’s experience.

When she speaks of woman in terms of body, she seems to be upholding traditional gender stereotypes of a binary, biological gender system.  However, in looking more closely, we can see that Cixous is aware of this when she defines woman as in conflict with “conventional man” and states that there is an “infinite richness of individual constitutions” which make up woman’s experience.  She asserts that “each body distributes in its own special way, without model or norm, the nonfinite and changing totality of its desires” (1957).  These passages are inclusive, calling all of the individuals who do not conform to society’s idea of “conventional man” to speak out.

One may see this style of writing and this essay as nonlogical, proof that women cannot write and theorize.  However, Cixous must write in this way in order to break free of the constraints of traditional writing.  There are inconsistencies and places where the essay are unclear, but these only serve to give Cixous’s writer an example, a possible way to break out of the conventions of language so that she might give herself voice.

The implications of this essay for literary theory are manifold.  For one, it is an encouragement for female writers.  It opens the door for a variety of voices, ways of making meaning, and interpretations.  It calls on us, as readers, writers, and citizens, to abandon the old system of binary oppositions, to understand that there are more useful interpretations of the world than A and not-A.  It allows for more room to play with language, embracing nontraditional grammatical forms.  It also calls on us as readers and writers to give.  Instead of holding on to our interpretations and view points as the only right way, we can become Cixous’s woman writer and act with “a love that rejoices in the exchange and that multiplies” (1959).

This essay is also calling on the literary establishment to understand the cultural and societal implications of writing.  Cixous writes that we “confuse the biological with the cultural” (1942), that we are upholding as natural a hierarchy which is completely constructed by society.  Cixous’s use of the body here represents, in part, a call to understand what is “natural” and what is imposed by tradition.  Her use of the body in this essay is on one hand to be taken literally, but functions even better as a metaphor.  Throughout the essay, Cixous uses metaphor and figurative language to make her points and add weight to her arguments.  She is direct about doing this: “The mother, too, is a metaphor” (1948). The body represents the self and the text of the person: “Text: my body” (1948).  She is not only talking about the biological flesh of the writer, but the writer’s very self.  It is only in this context, separate from the control of the imaginary and symbolic orders, that those whose voices have been marginalized can begin to write themselves.  Writing is a historical act.  It creates history and we, as writers and readers, must be cognizant of the history we are creating.  Cixous is asking us if we want to live in a world controlled by the master-slave dialectic, where the author must die so that the reader and the text may live.  Perhaps instead we can live in a world where the author, the reader, and the text may all be born through the act of writing.

Works Cited[1]

Cixous, Hélène. “The Laugh of the Medusa.” The Norton Anthology of Literary Theory and

Criticism, Second Edition. Ed. Leitch, Vincent B. New York: W.W. Norton and

 Company, 2010. 1938-1959. Print.

Barthes, Roland. “The Death of the Author.” The Norton Anthology of Literary Theory and

Criticism, Second Edition. Ed. Leitch, Vincent B. New York: W.W. Norton and

 Company, 2010. 1322-1326. Print.


[1] I understand that it is traditional MLA Format to alphabetize the works cited page by author’s last name, however, I feel that “Laugh of the Medusa” is so much more important to this critique that I have chosen to put it first.  Also, it’s my tiny nod to breaking out of the constraints of the literary establishment.