What does Olson mean when he talks about "the thing itself" and how can this influence the way we perceive reality?
1. Journal: "The Thaw"
Write for 10 minutes.
2.) In one paragraph (no less than five sentences), answer the following question:
What is reality?
3.) List three things that might disengage you from what you’ve described as reality, and explain how they could disengage you.
4.) From "The Human Universe" by Charles Olson
Click on "File" and "Make a Copy" (Create a folder in your GoogleDrive named "English Texts, so you have a place to file all of our in-class readings.)
5.) Cold read. Just read along and "absorb."
6.) Highlight and look up all the words you don't understand or that are confusing to you. Copy/paste their definitions into a comment in the margins of your copy of the text.
- Highlight the part that most confuses you about this text in a shade of red.
- Highlight the part where you feel like you know what Olson is talking about in blue.
8.) Olson states that analyzing things by their likeness and differences only accomplishes a description of the thing and does not allow us to come to grips with what really matters.
- In your own words, write out what Olson’s opinion is of what really matters.
9.) In your groups:
The last sentence of the paragraph discusses the relevance of things themselves to us, “who are the experience of it.”
- 1. What does Olson mean when he says, “Not the thing’s ‘class,’ any hierarchy, of quality or quantity, but the thing itself”?
- 2. What does Olson mean when he says that the thing itself, not a metaphor about it, needs to be relevant to us?
- 3. How are we the experience of the thing itself?
10.) Olson is asking us to see things “as they are;” in order to do this we must abolish our prior conceptions about that thing.
- How could seeing things “as they are” enhance one’s experience of the world?
11.) Connection: How are Abbey and Olson’s ideas similar?
- Culture and Civilization
- Metaphor and Reality
12.) Looking back...
Look at the answer you provided to the question about reality at the beginning of class. Would Olson agree with you? Why or why not
Would Olson agree with your reasoning about what disengages us (humans) from reality? Why or why not?
In your GoogleDoc include the following:
- Notes and answers to questions on Olson