Workshop Assignment 3

October 5, 2010

Sevasti Giamaras
English 379- Modern Protest Literature of the Pacific
Workshop Assignment 3
September 23, 2010

Literary Manifesto (9/23). Draft a few paragraphs outlining your personal manifesto of resistance literature. What are examples of resistance literature? How does one write it? What genre is most useful for resistance literature?

I was never really familiar with resistance literature up until now. Growing up, I was used to reading autobiographies and realistic-fiction novels, but I never actually realized until now that they can be seen as resistance literature as well. Upon reading a whole bunch of definitions, I compiled that this type of literature is inspired by someone trying to write a pure account of a personal experience, but their ideas have been poisoned by propaganda (or at least close to being poisoned). Aside from the stuff we’ve been reading in class by Pacific Island authors about the Pacific Islands, some of the novels that I’ve read outside of class are also very resistance literature-ish.
I, personally, am exceptionally familiar with a lot of Russian literature, which I see as a parallel to Pacific Island literature. They both essentially talk about the same issues, but just different climates. It’s especially clear to see how Russian literature can be resistant. Russia was under communist rule for way too many years, so a lot of the literature that was written was censored or prohibited. If someone wanted to write about the government or even just their personal views, they had to do it very cleverly, using images and mystery meanings to do so. But even with the secret symbolism, the reader knew that the author was writing, in his own way, a silent protest to the government. One of my favorite pieces of literature is Nikolai Gogol’s short story, “The Overcoat”. I think that the symbolism of the overcoat was a cunning way to convey the hardships of Russia and the Russian government. Leo Tolstoy’s War and Peace and Anna Karenina are just a few more examples of resistant Russian literature.

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2 Responses to “Workshop Assignment 3”

  1.   jk25 Says:

    I see that the topic of resistance literature has opened its eyes to most people in our class, including myself. The parallels you see between Russian literature and the literature our class has dealt with isn’t that mind boggling. Most cultures probably parallel to each other in some ways. Censorship and prohibition are two popular themes within resistance literature. Like we spoke about in class, authors have to find that certain technique to write in a way that won’t offend others or become apparent the intentions of the author. The Overcoat sounds like an interesting read and for a material item to symbolize the hardships of Russia is a great example of literature resisting and trying to overthrow the Russian government.

  2.   gvassaliko Says:

    like natalie, you captured the essence of resistance literature well and created a very cohesive piece here. Good job!

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