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Bibliography by Jeremy Cowan

Page history last edited by jeremy_cowan@... 14 years, 11 months ago

Bibliography by Jeremy Cowan

 

By Jeremy Cowan, Heart of Darkness Team

 

1. Conrad, Joseph. Heart of Darkness. 4th ed. New York: Norton & Company, & Inc., 2005.

 

 

The fourth Norton Critical Edition of Heart of Darkness provides not only Conrad’s original text, in unabridged form, but also over fifty additional essays and other related materials to supplement the reader’s understanding of Conrad’s work. Everything from maps of the Congo to texts on King Leopold’s policies and practices in the Congo to writings of Darwin or Virginia Woolf provide varied responses as well as set up a framework within which one can gain some perspective on the book.

            This cohesive text is split into three sections: “The Text of Heart of Darkness”, “Backgrounds and Contexts”, and “Criticism”. While the first section deals with the primary source, providing appendices on the editing of it as well as on alternate versions of it, the second two sections are riddled with subheadings depicting “contexts” from different periods of different points of view for the former and “criticism” from different periods. Specifically, “Backgrounds and Contexts” provides information relating to “Imperialism and the Congo”, “Nineteenth-Century Attitudes Toward Race”, first and second hand accounts of “Conrad in the Congo”, as well as further insight into Conrad’s analytical process with “The Author on Art and Literature”. “Criticism” provides not only “Contemporary Responses” to Conrad but additional “Essays in Criticism” that have since been written as well as a section dedicated to comparing “Heart of Darkness and Apocalypse Now”.

 


2. McMaster University. TAPoR. 2008. 14 February 2008 <http://portal.tapor.ca/portal/portal>.

 

 

TAPoR, or the “Text Analysis Portal for Research” is a service that can readily analyze text from various angles so as to ascertain information regarding the text as well as information regarding stylistic choices that the author has made in his or her construction of the text. The use of such a potent tool would readily allow for the discovery of relationships between words and concepts that, although not necessarily impossible without such analysis, may readily reorganize the text so as to create an analysis of a given text at a rate much faster than would otherwise be possible. This is not to say that TAPoR functions only do what may already be done by hand, as TAPoR is readily capable of constructing analyses that can only be constructed within a hyper-real space. Although there is much potential in the various tools provided by TAPoR, what our project will most likely focus on using are its text analysis capabilities, allowing for the identification of what themes and words are used more or less often and in relation to what other words and themes allowing for a comparison or contrast to be made from the website to other, real, corporate websites or even to Heart of Darkness itself.

 


 

3. Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart Stores. 2008. 14 February 2008. <http://www.walmartstores.com>.

 

 

As a company that dominates the average American way of life, Wal-Mart by necessity must maintain a public image. Regardless of what critics say about Wal-Mart, the maintenance of a corporate website for use not to promote the goods provided by a Wal-Mart store (as walmart.com does) but to provide an air of familiarity regarding the culture and attitudes adopted by  the corporation as well as an insight into the people who run and manage Wal-Mart, letting the common consumer know who exactly it is that runs such a successful conglomerate at a personal level with a degree of intimacy. Almost obligatory are references to Wal-Mart’s dedication to the preservation of the environment as well as to Wal-Mart’s eagerness to “give back” to the local communities that have supported it throughout the years. Even topical subjects such as Black History Month are discussed which, while having no direct relation to any service that Wal-Mart provides creates an air of familiarity, that the company cares about its consumers. At the top of the website, alongside tabs for prospective employees and investors is a tab labeled “Journalists” which links to Wal-Mart Facts, a repository of miscellaneous facts concerning Wal-Mart and its every expanding business.

 


4. Five Stones. Wal-Mart Watch. 2008 14 February 2008. <http://www.walmartwatch.com>.

 

 

Conversely from the above, Wal-Mart Watch is an organization that provides a counterpoint to Wal-Mart’s corporate website. The design layout is not unlike that of the Wal-Mart website’s which, while giving Wal-Mart watch a somewhat professional aesthetic creates something of a visual irony that in all likelihood is intended by its webmaster to be there. On the main page of the website there are two areas below the subheadings that link to news articles concerning unfair practices of Wal-Mart: “Explore the Issues” and “Breaking Stories”. An additional link to the website’s blog shows even more news stories but, those are hosted on the site itself. A search function provides an easy way to navigate to past articles while the option to enter one’s email address into a database at the top of the page allows for one to be notifies immediately when a new article appears.

            The “About Us” subheading provides information regarding the exact reasons for why Wal-Mart Watch exists as well as providing information about the leaders of Wal-Mart Watch, a stock ticker on the right hand side tells the status of Wal-Mart on the NYSE. “Issues” provides a more in-depth look at the issues being raised by Wal-Mart Watch while “Networks” lists allies to the site’s cause. “Publications” and “Press” both provide accounts of the denouncing of Wal-Mart while “Battle-Mart” informs individuals on what they can do to counter Wal-Mart in their own communities. “Contribute” allows for one to donate to Wal-Mart Watch (while there is a disclaimer at the bottom of the page that contributions are nondeductible from income taxes) while “Español” brings the user to a Spanish language version of the website.

 


5. Semantic Light. "WordsEye." WordsEye. 2007. Semantic Light, Inc. 14 Feb. 2008 <http://www.wordseye.com>.

 

 

WordsEye is a text analysis tool that creates visual representations of a given text. While it may be argued that WordsEye eliminates the use of imagination in its constructing of a visual representation of a given text the tool is not aimed at reducing the effort used in appreciating a work of literature but rather it is helpful for creating a singular vision of a literary utterance that can be understood and analyzed on its own as a supplement to the understanding of a work of literature. As the caption at the top of the website, “Watch Your Language,” the use of such a tool would be useful in quickly gaining an aesthetic understanding of the visual motifs used in a work of literature. With the program divining an observable representation of the visual aspects of literature (presumably as the aspects of literature pertaining to interiority may confuse such a tool into mixing the real and the imaged circumstances of a given work, creating an entirely new aesthetic, if possible) it would be possible to transplant the visualization’s aesthetic properties to another visual project so as to allow for a stronger continuity within a visual representation of a given work.

 


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