Author: Nancy Chung

House of Leaves: Turning into Johnny

I don’t even know how to begin describing House of Leaves. It’s really disturbing, but not in the way I found Jhumpa Lahiri’s “Sexy” disturbing way back in January. It’s more like a super long episode of Unsolved Mysteries, down to the lack of any satisfying resolutions/conclusions. I guess Johnny Truant describes my feelings as a reader best when he… Read more →

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The World’s Wife MARBL Drafts: “Woman-Hater” in “Pygmalion’s Bride”

Going through drafts of “Pygmalion’s Bride,” I was shocked to see that in one draft, she characterized Pygmalion a “woman-hater.” While Duffy uses strong language throughout the poem, I was surprised that Duffy was so blunt with such a harsh description. I then found a memo she wrote to her self. In this memo she wrote a brief description of… Read more →

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Selling Manhattan MARBL Drafts: The Idea of Invention in “I Live Here Now”

When going through the drafts of “I Live Here Now,” I was struck by Duffy’s initial emphasis on “invention.” The finished poem is already based on the idea of “invention,” emphasized by the dollhouse/miniature descriptions like “doll’s mirror,” “cotton wool on pipe-cleaners,” and “Pincushion Hill,” and of course, the speaker admitting that he “invented” the world. Yet in the earlier… Read more →

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“Eurydice” and “Pygmalion’s Bride”

When reading the second half of The World’s Wife, I was surprised “Eurydice,” did not precede or follow “Pygmalion’s Bride.” To explain my surprise, I must first confess that I love Ovid’s Metamorphoses – in my opinion, it is the greatest work of poetry ever composed. Because of my love, I thought it was pretty clear that Duffy specifically draws… Read more →

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“Fear no more the heat o’ the sun”

Question 11 of the Reading Group Guide asks a very interesting question: what is the significance of the lines “Fear no more the heat o’ the sun / Nor the furious winter’s rages.” The lines come from Cymbeline, which is one of Shakespeare’s tragedies. When this quote first appears on page 9, Clarissa does not contemplate on it for very long. She… Read more →

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Blog Post for 1/22

After reading it twice, I found Jhumpa Lahiri’s “Sexy” to be a very disturbing story. As we discussed, for this class we are looking for patterns and “screwing around”. So I decided to go back and find the main instances I was “disturbed” (I’m defining “disturbed” as finding something so exceptionally weird/gross that I had to pause and think about… Read more →

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