Thursday, October 9 was the English Undergraduate Association’s first event of the semester (well, second if you count the Indoor Picnic). As Kenton mentioned in the last post, it was led by Linda Macri and Gerald Maa (Vivianne Salgado was, unfortunately, unable to make it) and revolved around the (related, unrelated, hyperbolic, polemic…) topics of War and Literature.
It was an absolute delight, and Linda Macri and Gerald Maa were two incredibly articulate and well-versed people. It’s difficult to encapsulate the entire conversation, because so much was discussed and it was all so interesting. I was particularly intrigued by the small tangent on Ursula K. LeGuin’s Carrier Bag Theory of Fiction. It’s interesting to think of the art of storytelling as a gendered idea. LeGuin is a big shot in the world of science fiction, so she is no doubt aware of the gender bias against female science fiction writers (not to mention the bias against science fiction as “literature” in general). From what little I’ve read of the idea, it seems that LeGuin takes a bit of a swipe against male narratives, saying they’re less interested in human narratives and more interested in events and “action.”
Some very interesting topics of thought that came up from the discussion:
- Can you think of a “comedic” war story that is not anti-war?
- How often do women write epic battle stories? Is there something to be said about the gendering of narrative that women reflect more on internal rather than external struggles?
- Why are people interested in war and it’s relationship to literature, anyways?