I'd like to thank each of you for a wonderful summer! I hope all of you were able to follow Fitzgerald's original edict over the past few weeks, and that you take everything you learned to continue doing what you love doing!
Thanks for the cake and card as well! Rest assured that the card's going to an honored place in my "student box."
For Jeffrey and others who wanted it, the essay PowerPoint lies here; it will undoubtedly undergo some more revision and streamlining in the future, but this version is the current one!
Have a wonderful August, and I'll see you in a few weeks!
For those of you still having trouble with the song – the lyrics of which can be found here – it’s important to differentiate the characters from one another.
“She” refers to a wife, middle-aged, who’s been married to a man for thirty-five years. We’ll call them “Wife X” and “Husband X.”
Wife X saw a note from Husband X’s assistant – a note meant only for Husband X’s eyes. It says, “Kylie is calling from Connecticut. She says you know the number.”
Wife X has no idea who this “Kylie” is, nor what this stranger wants with Husband X.
The song takes place after Wife X has found the note, charting her thoughts before she decides to “close her eyes” (with everything that symbolically implies).
1) Who is Kylie? Why is she calling from Connecticut? Come up with an explanation – whatever makes sense to you – for who she is and what her business is with “Husband X.” (This is a way of providing background for the song.)
2) The middle section of the song features no words, relying instead on a number of different instruments to convey what it wants to say. Each note, each instrument, represents something different in Wife X’s head – some memory, some emotion, some thought. What’s going through her head? Narrate this sequence from her perspective. Afterwards, explain how you would “direct” this sequence in a music video – which images would you show? Which colors, settings, etc. would you use?
3) What happens after “she closes her eyes”? What happens the next day? Does she ask her husband about it? Does she bury her thoughts? Does their relationship change? Consider everything you know about these people, as well as what you know about interpersonal relationships. What’s the aftermath?
You may respond to at least two of the three, although you’re allowed to respond to all of them. You’re also allowed to take the “Ambrose approach” – to combine all of your responses into a single narrative.
For an example of the things we've talked about - voice, style, coherence, reliable vs. unreliable narration, focusing on characterization, etc. - take a look at the first few pages of the first major book Dave Eggers wrote: A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius.