Professor Guerrero's Blog

mguerrero@gmail.com

Co-author of East of Tiffany's, 13 short stories of a Latino immigrant's success in USA; a journey from West Harlem to Sutton Place and Park Avenue. Check out the reviews in Amazon.com and in Barnes and Noble.

on KINDLE on NOOK

My best seller as of now is

Titanes de la Filosofia

Professor Guerrero's Blog: Flawed Beauty: Women and Literature Professor Guerrero's Blog: Book Reviews, Human Interest Articles, Accounting Lessons, and Writing Techniques

Book Reviews  

Books

Sentence Openers Book: FREE Lessons

Jane Austen  

Boethius: Consolation of Philosophy

How to Become a Writer  

Personal Finance  

Self Help, Wealth, & Learning

Greeks Romans Trojans  

Feminism  

Great Gatsby: Is Nick Gay?

All my books are now in NOOK

Ideas About the Novel is a prophetic book that all writers must own.

Ideas About the Novel by Ortega y Gasset - my translation $0.99


Next to Cervantes, Benito Perez Galdos is the most beloved Spanish writer of all times.

Torquemada at the Stake by Perez Galdos- my translation $0.99

Lazarillo of Tormes - my translation $0.99
Read it in contemporary English -- No Thous, Thees, or King James' Bible language. Transliterated into easy language for enjoyable reading pleasure. Because The Lazarillo of Tormes pointed a new direction, European and American literature benefited with titles that today are considered classics: Cervantes’ Rinconete and Cortadillo; Daniel Defoe’s Moll Flanders, Henry Fielding’s Tom Jones and Joseph Andrews; Tobias Smollett’s Roderick Random, and Peregrine Pickle; Voltaire’s Candide; Charles Dickens’ David Copperfield. And many others to include American works ranging from Mark Twain to Saul Bellow.

Dehumanization of Art by Ortega y Gasset - my translation $0.99
The Dehumanization of Art— is now a constant in music, literature, aesthetics, and philosophy, having come to mean that in post-modern times human-shaped mimesis (representation of the human) is irrelevant to art. According to Ortega, the arts don't have to tell a human story; art should deal with its own forms—and not with the human form.

Sentence Openers
How writers open their sentences makes prose agile, interesting, and athletic. This e-book teaches how to break the pattern Subject-verb-object--and discard openings that begin with nouns, articles, and pronouns.

East of Tiffany's - bestseller $5
With the city as its backdrop "East of Tiffany's" is filled with earnest tales of love, loss, faith, success and morality. While business terminology is interwoven throughout these short stories, it's not business lessons that I take away with me, but life lessons. The circumstances and the characters' profound humanity are relatable despite their zip code . "Luke, Postmodern Man" offers a new vista into faith, suffering, and love of neighbor. Way after you read this book you'll find yourself thinking about the various characters throughout the series of stories and will find solace in their unwavering faith. The narrators' ability to reflect on their hardships with such serenity is inspiring.



My writing was as flat as a sidewalk. And then I downloaded ...

Mary Duffy's Toolbox for Writers
After I purchased Mary's e-book I started to get 'A's in my essays and term papers! Every page is filled with great writing tips, training lessons, and wonderful useful writing skills! Not only do I write essays for college, but also short stories!
--IVONNIE Indrawan
College student
Sentence Openers on KINDLE

Sentence Openers on NOOK













All my books are now in KINDLE


Ideas About the Novel by Ortega y Gasset - my translation $0.99
Torquemada at the Stake by Perez Galdos- my translation $0.99
Lazarillo of Tormes - my translation $0.99
Dehumanization of Art by Ortega y Gasset - my translation $0.99
Sentence Openers
East of Tiffany's - bestseller $5


The most beloved short story from Spanish literature
All my books are in NOOK $0.99 or in Amazon KINDLE $0.99








All my books are now in NOOK

Ideas About the Novel is a prophetic book that all writers must own.
Ideas About the Novel by Ortega y Gasset - my translation $0.99

Next to Cervantes, Benito Perez Galdos is the most beloved Spanish writer of all times.

Torquemada at the Stake by Perez Galdos- my translation $0.99

Lazarillo of Tormes - my translation $0.99
Read it in contemporary English -- No Thous, Thees, or King James' Bible language.

Dehumanization of Art by Ortega y Gasset - my translation $0.99
The Dehumanization of Art— is now a constant in music, literature, aesthetics, and philosophy, having come to mean that in post-modern times human-shaped mimesis (representation of the human) is irrelevant to art.

Sentence Openers
How writers open their sentences makes prose agile, interesting, and athletic.

East of Tiffany's - bestseller $5
With the city as its backdrop "East of Tiffany's" is filled with earnest tales of love, loss, faith, success and morality.



My writing was as flat as a sidewalk. And then I downloaded ...

Mary Duffy's Toolbox for Writers
After I purchased Mary's e-book I started to get 'A's in my essays and term papers!
--Ivonnie Indrawan
College student
Sentence Openers on KINDLE

Sentence Openers on NOOK





Available in KINDLE $0.99


Available in KINDLE $0.99

Monday, April 12, 2010

Flawed Beauty: Women and Literature

Cover of "The House of Mirth (Oxford Worl...Cover via Amazon

Edgar Allan Poe's Gothic tale "Ligeia" is a study of the supernatural and of feminine beauty. In exploring Ligeia's physical beauty, Poe quotes Elizabethan politician and scholar Francis Bacon: "There's no exquisite beauty," says Bacon, Lord Verulam, speaking truly of all the forms and genera of beauty "without some strangeness in the proportion."

In James Joyce's A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, we find that Stephen Dedalus' translated Aquinas model of beauty using the following words: wholeness (integritas), balance (consonantia), and radiance (claritas). 'Balance' is often translated as 'proportion' by others. So, if something is lacking in any of the above three elements, then the beauty observed will be flawed.

In Ligeia, Poe's narrator is determined to find out that 'strangeness' that was so disturbing to him: "I was possessed with a passion to discover." After examining in great detail Ligeia's hair, skin, nose, lips, teeth, smile, chin, and eyes, he concludes that her eyes carry the unmistakable light of strangeness: "They were, I must believe, far larger than the ordinary eyes of our own race. They were fuller than the fullest of the gazelle eyes ..." And in the end it is the eyes that convinces him that the revivified corpse is Ligeia and not Lady Rowena Trevanion of Tremaine.

As part of his study of the glittering Russian society, in Ana Karenina, Leon Tolstoy explored Ana's physical beauty: face, arms, neck, hair, feet, hands, and even her dress and accessories:

"Some supernatural force drew Kitty's eyes to Anna's face. She was fascinating in her simple black dress, fascinating were her round arms with their bracelets, fascinating was her firm neck with its thread of pearls, fascinating the straying curls of her loose hair, fascinating the graceful, light movements of her little feet and hands, fascinating was that lovely face in its eagerness, but there was something terrible and cruel in her fascination."

But it is not from any particular part that he finds fault in Ana. Nothing is flawed. It is the whole --wholeness of fascination-- that gives off the odor of cruelty, destroying therefore the balance of her beauty.

Not only did Scott Fitzgerald create a wholesome American beauty in Daisy Buchanan --the belle of The Great Gatsby-- but a mentally challenged and morally flawed American beauty. Understanding doesn't come easy to Daisy, and when she offers an opinion, it is always a trivial opinion that often verges on absurdity. Notice how Daisy deals with one single idea by repeating the very same idea three times: "In two weeks it'll be the longest day in the year." She looked at us all radiantly. "Do you always watch for the longest day of the year and then miss it? I always watch for the longest day in the year and then miss it." If you count the pronoun "it" you will realize that she has mentioned the longest day of the year five times. And throughout the novel, Daisy keeps stuttering and repeating herself; a problem --mannerism is perharps a better word-- that Nick Carraway (the narrator) calls "echolalia."

For the reader of fiction nothing can be more poignant than the fall of a beautiful, intelligent, and honorable character; but when the character is a female and from the upper crust, the situation becomes pathetic. Edith Wharton's The House of Mirth chronicles the demise of an old New York society beauty. Of all the beautiful women portrayed in novels by male and female authors, Lily Bart remains the epitome of exquisiteness and elegance. Beset by financial problems left by her bankrupt husband, Lily's mother hopes for a brighter future through her daughter:

"Only one thought consoled her, and that was the contemplation of Lily's beauty. She studied it with a kind of passion, as though it were some weapon she had slowly fashioned for her vengeance. It was the last asset in their fortunes, the nucleus around which their life was to be rebuilt."

When Lily poses for a tableau vivant, she dazzles the viewers with her beauty. Yet readers gasp and shudder at the anticipation of impending doom. Selden --Lily's sedated paramour and the most insipid character in the novel-- detects the strangeness in Lily's beauty: she is ogled rather admired; that "she was so evidently the victim of the civilization which had produced her that the links of her bracelet seemed like manacles chaining her to her fate."

Hidden (more often than not) from easy detection are the strange traits of beautiful female characters. Thanks to Edgar Allan Poe, armed with Lord Bacon's axiom, "There's no exquisite beauty without some strangeness in the proportion," readers perhaps will seek out the strangeness --lack of balance-- that makes a particular character beautiful.
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Professor Guerrero's Blog

Co-author of East of Tiffany's, 13 short stories that will warm your heart - See 101 reviews in Amazon.com and 37 in Barnes and Noble.

on KINDLE on NOOK

BROWSE: MORE THAN 560 ARTICLES

Book Reviews   Accounting 1   How to Become a Writer   Personal Finance   Self Help, Wealth, & Learning

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