Don't major in English unless you mean it...


Jolly McJollyson
Chick Magnet
Joined: 09/07/03
Posts: 5,457
Jolly McJollyson
Chick Magnet
Joined: 09/07/03
Posts: 5,457
12/11/2006 3:42 am
"Write an essay on the 'Mahood' concept of language and things in the Unnamable: take a passage that helps you define the attempt to define an essence (of man) that separates a higher self that fixes or defines a lower world of more and less stable, worm-like things or defines a stable hierarchy of physical experience: "Pupil Mahood, repeat after me, man is a higher mammal" (337). How is this "my-ness" connection and difference between (lower) essence and the (higher) name, a problem in the Unnamable? Name two similar patterns of imagery that play out the "Mahood" problem in The Trilogy--one each from Molly, and another from Malone Dies--and show how these explorations of naming and essence are different from, and connected to, the world of The Unnamable. In your conclusion, reflect on how "Clov" in Endgame, and his symbols of naming and reason--"magnifier," "insecticide," "wheelchair," or other implements--comment on the problem of naming in Beckett."

I. LOVE. THIS. STUFF. Beckett, prepare for destruction.
I want the bomb
I want the P-funk!

My band is better than yours...
# 1
earthman buck
Registered User
Joined: 10/15/05
Posts: 2,953
earthman buck
Registered User
Joined: 10/15/05
Posts: 2,953
12/11/2006 4:23 am
Yikes. I guess the English language is not for me.
# 2
Jolly McJollyson
Chick Magnet
Joined: 09/07/03
Posts: 5,457
Jolly McJollyson
Chick Magnet
Joined: 09/07/03
Posts: 5,457
12/11/2006 4:31 am
Originally Posted by: earthman buckYikes. I guess the English language is not for me.

It's ok, I've got a whole 8-10 pages to do it in.

This is all I have so far, haha:

In Beckett’s The Unnamable, the figure of “Mahood” conceptualizes an idealized, intellectual approach to the problem of naming that ultimately abuses, falsifies, obscures, and destroys the very language it wishes to perfect. By constantly hounding the narrator with ideas such as fixation of essence, linguistic idealism, and having ones own voice, Mahood allows the text to further explore the binary between labels and things that the first two sections of The Trilogy began developing.
I want the bomb
I want the P-funk!

My band is better than yours...
# 3
acapella
Registered User
Joined: 12/08/05
Posts: 1,617
acapella
Registered User
Joined: 12/08/05
Posts: 1,617
12/11/2006 4:39 am
I wish I was smart. That will make it happen, right?
You go outside and practice screaming. We'll play music while you're gone.
# 4
Jolly McJollyson
Chick Magnet
Joined: 09/07/03
Posts: 5,457
Jolly McJollyson
Chick Magnet
Joined: 09/07/03
Posts: 5,457
12/11/2006 4:46 am
Originally Posted by: acapellaI wish I was smart. That will make it happen, right?

Hasn't worked for me yet.
I want the bomb
I want the P-funk!

My band is better than yours...
# 5
R. Shackleferd
Gulf Coaster
Joined: 12/13/04
Posts: 1,338
R. Shackleferd
Gulf Coaster
Joined: 12/13/04
Posts: 1,338
12/11/2006 5:02 am
English major eh? Do you plan to go further to graduate school? Become a professor? Write solo? Just curious. It's great that you're passionate about it. It should show through whatever you do.
[FONT=Palatino Linotype]"Bust a nut!" - Dimebag
"Imagination is more important than knowledge." - Einstein
[/FONT]
# 6
Jolly McJollyson
Chick Magnet
Joined: 09/07/03
Posts: 5,457
Jolly McJollyson
Chick Magnet
Joined: 09/07/03
Posts: 5,457
12/11/2006 5:04 am
Originally Posted by: R. ShackleferdDo you plan to go further to graduate school? Become a professor?

Yes and yes. I'm too in love not to.
I want the bomb
I want the P-funk!

My band is better than yours...
# 7
R. Shackleferd
Gulf Coaster
Joined: 12/13/04
Posts: 1,338
R. Shackleferd
Gulf Coaster
Joined: 12/13/04
Posts: 1,338
12/11/2006 5:08 am
Originally Posted by: Jolly McJollyson...I'm too in love not to.

That's awesome...not everyone can find a profession they're passionate about, or perhaps even mildly care about.
[FONT=Palatino Linotype]"Bust a nut!" - Dimebag
"Imagination is more important than knowledge." - Einstein
[/FONT]
# 8
Jolly McJollyson
Chick Magnet
Joined: 09/07/03
Posts: 5,457
Jolly McJollyson
Chick Magnet
Joined: 09/07/03
Posts: 5,457
12/11/2006 5:29 am
And I care almost too much... Haha, yay, my thesis is drafted!

In Beckett’s The Unnamable, the figure of Mahood represents the world of the mind, and conceptualizes an idealized, intellectual approach to the problem of naming that ultimately abuses, falsifies, obscures, and attempts to control the very language it wishes to perfect. Mahood, along with his antithesis, Worm, acts simultaneously as a part of the narrator and a separate entity, and speaks for, of, and through the narrator while constantly attempting to harness him with fixity and stability. By hounding the narrator with linguistic ideals such as wholeness of language, fixation of essence through naming, and having ones own unique voice, Mahood, rather a concept than an actual being, represents an elevated, intellectual system of naming that allows the text to further explore and explicate the binary opposition between labels and things that the first two sections of The Trilogy began developing. Through Mahood, the reader discovers the flaws and obstacles that make the attainment of these linguistic ideals impossible, but understanding Mahood alone reveals nothing; The Unnamable inextricably links the concepts he represents with those of Worm, and ties both figures to the narrator. Once he has scrutinized Mahood, the reader can then decode the narrator as language itself, opening the gateway to fully understanding the problem of naming as it appears in The Trilogy.
The idea of Mahood symbolizing the mental realm litters The Unnamable as the text constantly identifies him with the concepts of naming, abstract thought, knowledge, and idealism. These concepts, however, are continuously associated with the theme of domination. When speaking of those adhering to “Mahood” ideas, the narrator refers to the word “think” as “one of their words,” indicating a possessive and tyrannical approach to the issue of words and naming as well as that of thought (335). These figures of the mind prompt the narrator into “asking [him]self questions,” in order make him intellectual, in other words, to have him learn (334). As an incarnation of such knowledge and learning, “pupil Mahood,” recites the phrase, “man is a higher mammal,” associating the world of the mind with hierarchical notions of existence that place thinking man in an idealized, superior position to the rest of the world (337). When prompting the narrator to learn, then, the Mahood-ites attempt to force him to adhere to their own idealistic conception of existence. Also, the narrator speaks of Mahood’s tendency “to note...certain things, perhaps I should say all things, so as to turn them to account, for his governance,” which not only aligns Mahood with intellectualism, but again intellectualism with a desire to manipulate and control (339). Mahood, by his very name, attempts self-definition, “mahood” denoting “my-hood,” or “my-ness,” the idea of drawing from an object itself a name that captures the essence of that object. However, Mahood’s wish to control the world by forcing upon it ideas of hierarchy belies the legitimacy of the idealistic “my-ness.” Through the attempt to force correspondence between words and concepts, Mahood ceases to be “my-hood” and becomes “my hood,” or that which covers and conceals the truth of non-correspondence.
I want the bomb
I want the P-funk!

My band is better than yours...
# 9
acapella
Registered User
Joined: 12/08/05
Posts: 1,617
acapella
Registered User
Joined: 12/08/05
Posts: 1,617
12/11/2006 4:43 pm
I'm not going to lie to you, I have no intention whatsoever of reading that. But you should consider it a compliment. :)
You go outside and practice screaming. We'll play music while you're gone.
# 10
Jolly McJollyson
Chick Magnet
Joined: 09/07/03
Posts: 5,457
Jolly McJollyson
Chick Magnet
Joined: 09/07/03
Posts: 5,457
12/11/2006 4:53 pm
Originally Posted by: acapellaI'm not going to lie to you, I have no intention whatsoever of reading that. But you should consider it a compliment. :)

The Trilogy or the thesis?
I want the bomb
I want the P-funk!

My band is better than yours...
# 11
BLS33
Registered User
Joined: 05/28/06
Posts: 77
BLS33
Registered User
Joined: 05/28/06
Posts: 77
12/11/2006 6:52 pm
Good stuff, its nice to see someone that can articulate and express thoughts clearly while using an advanced vocabulary. Just beware of getting a bit pedantic here and there. I'm going into the medical field so all my reports are extremley pedantic becuase of the great attention to detail I need to pay, which can get pretty damn boring :p

Well written thesis though, easy to read and intelligent.
# 12
Jolly McJollyson
Chick Magnet
Joined: 09/07/03
Posts: 5,457
Jolly McJollyson
Chick Magnet
Joined: 09/07/03
Posts: 5,457
12/11/2006 7:08 pm
Originally Posted by: BLS33Good stuff, its nice to see someone that can articulate and express thoughts clearly while using an advanced vocabulary. Just beware of getting a bit pedantic here and there. I'm going into the medical field so all my reports are extremley pedantic becuase of the great attention to detail I need to pay, which can get pretty damn boring :p

Well written thesis though, easy to read and intelligent.

Haha, thanks! Yeah, Sammy Beckett is a lot like a scientific report in that it needs to be very detailed. You're right, avoiding pontification can be a pretty big strain.
I want the bomb
I want the P-funk!

My band is better than yours...
# 13
acapella
Registered User
Joined: 12/08/05
Posts: 1,617
acapella
Registered User
Joined: 12/08/05
Posts: 1,617
12/11/2006 8:15 pm
Originally Posted by: Jolly McJollysonThe Trilogy or the thesis?

The thesis. But that's probably I never read the Trilogy and therefore have no idea what you're talking about.
You go outside and practice screaming. We'll play music while you're gone.
# 14
earthman buck
Registered User
Joined: 10/15/05
Posts: 2,953
earthman buck
Registered User
Joined: 10/15/05
Posts: 2,953
12/11/2006 8:43 pm
I remember back before I knew Jolly when I thought I knew stuff about word-stuff. *sigh*
# 15
Jolly McJollyson
Chick Magnet
Joined: 09/07/03
Posts: 5,457
Jolly McJollyson
Chick Magnet
Joined: 09/07/03
Posts: 5,457
12/11/2006 8:51 pm
Originally Posted by: earthman buckI remember back before I knew Jolly when I thought I knew stuff about word-stuff. *sigh*

I remember back before I knew James Joyce and Samuel Beckett, when I thought I knew stuff about word-stuff.

If it's any consolation, I only ended up getting seven pages out of it (double spaced) which was one short.
I want the bomb
I want the P-funk!

My band is better than yours...
# 16
acapella
Registered User
Joined: 12/08/05
Posts: 1,617
acapella
Registered User
Joined: 12/08/05
Posts: 1,617
12/11/2006 8:53 pm
Originally Posted by: Jolly McJollysonI remember back before I knew James Joyce and Samuel Beckett, when I thought I knew stuff about word-stuff.

If it's any consolation, I only ended up getting seven pages out of it (double spaced) which was one short.

That's no consolation whatsoever. That's just seven double spaced pages of examples of how I don't know a damn thing.
You go outside and practice screaming. We'll play music while you're gone.
# 17
Jolly McJollyson
Chick Magnet
Joined: 09/07/03
Posts: 5,457
Jolly McJollyson
Chick Magnet
Joined: 09/07/03
Posts: 5,457
12/11/2006 8:57 pm
Originally Posted by: acapellaThat's no consolation whatsoever. That's just seven double spaced pages of examples of how I don't know a damn thing.

How about this for consolation:

The fact that my knowledge is wholly useless.
I want the bomb
I want the P-funk!

My band is better than yours...
# 18
acapella
Registered User
Joined: 12/08/05
Posts: 1,617
acapella
Registered User
Joined: 12/08/05
Posts: 1,617
12/11/2006 9:01 pm
Originally Posted by: Jolly McJollysonHow about this for consolation:

The fact that my knowledge is wholly useless.

I know that already. That doesn't make me want it less. It's pretty much the only hope I have at a legacy, since it's been established that my musical endeavors will never be remembered.
You go outside and practice screaming. We'll play music while you're gone.
# 19
R. Shackleferd
Gulf Coaster
Joined: 12/13/04
Posts: 1,338
R. Shackleferd
Gulf Coaster
Joined: 12/13/04
Posts: 1,338
12/11/2006 11:49 pm
Originally Posted by: Jolly McJollyson...my knowledge is wholly useless.[/QUOTE]
[QUOTE=acapella]I know that already. That doesn't make me want it less. It's pretty much the only hope I have at a legacy, since it's been established that my musical endeavors will never be remembered.

That's where the quote in my signature shines true. Not that knowledge isn't important, but imagination is more important. Jolly's mostly right...he could memorize every line of his favorite authors and their styles, but it's only useful if it sparks his own imaginative abilities further. This is also evident here in our little community, say like how a guitarist could play "Eruption" note for note, but not have any soul in their playing.
[FONT=Palatino Linotype]"Bust a nut!" - Dimebag
"Imagination is more important than knowledge." - Einstein
[/FONT]
# 20

Please register with a free account to post on the forum.