Lit 80, Fall 2013

Author Archives: Joy

Final Project Abstract: Joy

November 11th, 2013 | Posted by Joy in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)


– The purpose of my project is to explore ideas of self, the body, and embodiment, particularly as it relates to the continual integration of technology within our daily human lives. Does our co-evolution with technology merely allow us to understand these concepts in an augmented manner, or does it leave us less capable of differentiating between real and imaginary? How does technology as a medium transform how we interpret and interact within these different realms, and what are the potential social, personal, and political implications or repercussions of this transformation? I will utilize Lacan’s theories on the real/ symbolic/ imaginary and self-identification through the “Mirror” stage as tools for critical analysis of Neuromancer,- as well as the pertinent articles we’ve read to forward discourse about the “real-life” implications. I will posit that by analyzing Neuromancer through the speculative lens of the “Mirror Stage” theory – specifically the character’s interaction with technology as it relates to the body/ an extension of the body – that technology replaces Lacan’s “mirror” as a medium for self-recognition and understanding. This realization, one that is displayed within Neuromancer, plays a critical role in making sense of the seemingly ambiguous nature of the real world vs. the virtual world, and can allow one to more readily differentiate between the real, the symbolic, and the imaginary.

Media Element:

As far as my media element is concerned, I’m still brainstorming – there were some good ideas presented to me in class, such as making a timeline or map of the evolution of bodies as technology continues to advance. Since my paper will have a heavy literary component, re-imaging Neuromancer in a way that augments my thesis would be interesting – then I would be able to incorporate electronic literature analysis as a component instead of merely using traditional theories and forms of analysis. I will continue to edit this as I come up with more ideas!

Daytripper Response

October 28th, 2013 | Posted by Joy in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)

When does life tuly begin? Does it begin at birth? The pursuit of our aspirations and dreams? A major event that changes who we are? Or does it begin at the point in our lives when we face the reality of death, and accept it? These are just a few of the questions that Daytripper – a captivating, enigmatic, yet guardedly optimistic graphic novel – invites its’ audience to ponder. This brilliantly crafted narrative explores themes about life, love, loss, memories, family, change, and death – themes that in literature easily become boring and cliche – in a refreshing way.
Daytripper strikes me as unique both in the style in which it is written, and the use of the graphic novel template as a medium. The first several chapters of the book itself chart a year of the fictional protagonist’s life, and each end with his death – it isn’t until the end of the book that one realizes that Bras’ deaths were merely dreams, and that he has indeed lived a long life. As soon as it became evident that death was inevitable in each chapter, I paid more attention moment by moment to the life of Bras page by page – the intricate details of the illustrations, and every single word of text suddenly took on new relevance and importance. I believe that this is the essence of what the authors want to convey to their readers – the sentiment that death could happen at any moment, at any chapter of our life – if we really internalize that, how will that change how we live and view life? The written obitiuaries that accompany each of his deaths are also a question and answer within themselves – how would we be remembered, who would we be at any particular moment that death would claim us? This book
Another intriguing element in this novel is the chronological disorder of the chapters – the book begins at Bras’ life at 34 – yet the very next chapter introduces us to his 21 year old self, and it isn’t until several chapters later that we are introduced to 11 year self, and later still, we witness his “miracle” birth. I believe this stylistic approach serves several purposes; one of them being to de-emphasize the “big picture” long enough for the reader to focus on Bras’ life moment by moment.
Using the the graphic novel as the medium through which to tell this story allows its’ authors, Fabio Moon and Gabriel Ba, to bring Daytripper to life in ways that would not be possible otherwise. Although it contains considerably less dialogue than the standardnovel, the visual component augments the narrative in a way that is just as poweful. The scarcity of text and the accompanying illustrations in the moments that they are saying them makes each word that much more powerful and less convoluted. Some examples include the use of these elements:


The use of scale captures the idea and power of life as a collective experience, without losing meaning in the more intimate moments of day to day life that could easily get overlooked.][IMG]


The sequenced illustrations in the book put words into motion in a way that text can’t.

Visual Symbolism:

Athough text anaysis is limited with phic novel, iluminate symbolism and symbolic meaning without diluting or clouding up the message. This is a particularly interesting element in Bras’ dreams, which contain literary symbolism in art form. For example, Chapter Two is filled with various sketches of a turbulent storm, which provide insight into the conflict that still possess the the subconscious of Bra’s mind, and is manifested through his dreams.

The illustrations of Bras with Jorge in the desert are symbolic of the isolation Bras feels once his best friend abandons him.

In many of his nostalgic dreams about family, there is a large tree, his father’s tree, in the background. This is representative of Bra’s close ties to his family roots.

(Still editing)




Than of your graces and your gifts to tell;
Which borrowed from this holy fire of Love,
That they elsewhere might dart their injuries:
I do believe her though I know she lies,

Sap checked with frost, and lusty leaves quite gone,
But when she saw my woeful state,
How like Eves apple doth thy beauty grow,
Therefore my verse to constancy confined,

That they elsewhere might dart their injuries:
Loves fire heats water, water cools not love.
Reserve them for my love, not for their rhyme,
With Times injurious hand crushed and oerworn;

Nay, if you read this line, remember not
That thy unkindness lays upon my heart;










Lady EllaMaxwell



Google NGram/ Wordle

September 15th, 2013 | Posted by Joy in Uncategorized - (1 Comments)


Here are my results for the tools I explored for class discussion last wednesday:



For my first tool, I used  Google Ngram, as pictured above. I chose the word “cyberspace”, because I wanted to see how Gibson’s use of the term may have influenced its’ use in literature. I had initially expected the word to be used more consistently during the 80’s, due to  the popularity of Neuromancer and his subsequent cyberpunk novels, but the use of the term actually declined after 1984 until the 1990’s. It wasn’t until the late 1990’s that there was a sharp upward trend in its’ use, peaking in the year 2000. My speculation for this is the internet and what it entailed did not become widely-discussed in the U.S. until the Y2K scare – it created a frenzy that seems to coincide with increased usage of “cyberspace”. Interestingly enough, after the threat of Y2k passed, there was a sharp decline in the use of “cyberspace” shortly after.





The second tool I explored was Wordle  ( I inserted text from Neuromancer – more specifically, a quote defining “cyberspace” – into the program, and this was the end result ( I did change the colors to reflect my personal color preferences, haha).  Although sometimes the word clouds created take on a shape relevant to the text it brings to life, mine was amorphous, which I thought was kind of interesting.


Neuromancer Response

September 6th, 2013 | Posted by Joy in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)

One of the  most intriguing questions that  Neuromancer implicitly invites the audience to ask is: What does it mean to be free? What impact do technological advancement and increased interaction with the “cyber world” have on our definition of freedom? Gibson insinuates that the notion of freedom  extends far beyond the tangibility of one’s human body. Moreover,  as society continues to integrate the abstract “realities” of cyberspace with the natural world,  and as technological advancements burden  us with new sources of confinement, true freedom becomes more and more elusive.

The Oxford Dictionary has several definitions for the word case , including  ” an instance of a disease or problem”, and  ” a container designed to hold and protect something”. Ironically enough, Case – Neuromancer’s protagonist- seems to view his body in this light. After he was poisoned with mycotoxins that affected his nervous system, he transitions from having a “contempt for the flesh” , to feeling imprisoned and entrapped in his physical body, and therefore, unable to find true freedom in the cyberworld like he used to. The incident seems to be more psychologically damaging than physically, and that it is his own conscious that is truly hindering him from experiencing freedom. Even after his body is repaired, he is still being  confined externally by those around him in and out of cyberspace, and internally. He is also not able to break his fleshly drug habit, despite having the physical means of doing so. Another striking example of this narrative on freedom is when Case says, “None of this was real, but cold was cold”. His psychological response to the pseudo-reality of cyberspace transcends his physical inability to experience the cold.  The virtual aspect of his existence – at once a source of escape –  becomes a place of entrapment and confinement when Case is under the influence of  Wintermute.