FC: Joyce Carol | Obsessive Anachronism Teacher Entirely open to Social turmoil | Oates
4: Major Works by Joyce Oates | "Where are you Going, Where have you Been" "The Secret Mirror" "Fatal Woman" "The Murder" "Night-Side" "On Boxing" | Foxfire A Garden of Earthly Delights Them We Were the Mulvaneys Bellefluer Dear Husband You Must Remember This
5: Joyce Carol Oates was born on June 16, 1938 in Lockport, New York and continues to write and critique works. She was raised on her grandparents' farm where she enjoyed the peaceful environment of the country. She displayed signs of being a writer at a very early age, and when she was | given a typewriter at 14, she began seriously writing. She even submitted a novel to a publisher at the age of 15. She started out in a one-room schoolhouse that her mother attended, but by the age of 14 she was moved to a bigger school in Lockport where she graduated as the class valedictorian. | Biography | After earning a master's degree at the University of Wisconsin, she married Raymond Smith who was also gifted in the English department. Her and her husband later moved to Detroit where she was a professor at the University of Detroit. Living in the midst of
6: violence in the big city gave her inspiration, and she began to write and publish her first novels, short story collections, and poems. In 1969 Oates was invited to become a teacher at the University of Windsor in Ontario, Canada. There, while juggling teaching and writing, she managed to publish on average two books a year. In 1978 she was named a writer-in-residence at Princeton University where she later taught in a creative writing program. In 1996 Joyce Carol Oates received the PEN Award for a lifetime of literary achievement. Raymond Smith died in 2008 after complications from pneumonia.
7: In her lifetime, Joyce Carol Oates, also known by the pseudonym Rosamond Smith, wrote 56 novels, over 30 short story collections, and eight volumes of poetry. She is still living in Princeton, New Jersey where she continues to write and is a Distinguished Professor of Humanities at Princeton University
8: As a writer, Oates focuses on what she views as the spiritual, sexual, and intellectual decline of modern American society. Usually Oates's main characters are females faced with cruel situations such as rape, abduction, murder, abuse, and suicide. Her writing style allows the reader to sympathize with the protagonist and get access to the thoughts and feelings of solitude and immense fear the protagonist experiences. While normally sticking to these topics, she occasionally wonders away from her standard to work on a completely new idea. In 1987 Oates published On Boxing, a novel that sparked her interest in boxing from years of her own father's fascination with it. After publication of this book, Oates was invited to commentate a televised boxing event. She also became interested in plays in the 1990s and produced many of her own playwrights at regional theaters.
9: Most critics praise Oates's versatility and depiction of underlying tensions of modern American society. She is sometimes compared to nineteenth-century writers Charles Dickens and Honore de Balzac. Few critics downgrade her for her "less is more" theory for not writing as long and complex works as they expect great literature to include, but she is still deeply respected and became honored at the early age of thirty.
10: A Look at What Critics Have to Say | "Single-mindedness and efficiency rather than haste underlie her prolificacy; if the phrase 'woman of letters' existed, she would be, foremost in this country, entitled to it." -John Updike | "Like the best of Oates, it probes the deeper recesses of personality, illuminating the way with flashes of eroticism and psychological mystery." -Peter Ross, Detroit News on Solstice | "[Oates] particular genius is her ability to convey psychological states with unerring fidelity, and to relate the intense private experiences of her characters to the larger realities of American life." -Greg Johnson in Understanding Joyce Carol Oates
11: "Foxfires is a wonderful book. It illuminates the importance of passion; of being passionately involved...The message is formidable--as formidable as Joyce Carol Oates' perceptive understanding and continuing adventure with language." -Barbara Rich, The Women's Review of Books on Foxfire: Confessions of a Girl Gang | "She does not look like the author who will unmask the evil of everyday life, who will see allegory in the backyard and real darkness among the metaphoric daisies. But she is." -Laura Kalpakian, The Southern Review on "Where are you Going, Where have you Been:" Selected Early Stories
12: "Where are you Going, Where have you Been?" | Joyce Carol Oates is a genius at writing short stories and can easily capture the reader's feelings through her exquisite details. The reader has access to the main character's thoughts during their terrifying experience allowing the reader to fall into the same world as the protagonist. Oates has a way with words that makes someone want to keep reading so he or she can figure out what happens to the character. In "Where are you Going, Where have you Been" Oates describes Connie as a young ignorant teenager that most people can relate with someone they know. Her description of Connie is what drew me in when reading this story because it reminded me of someone I am very close to, so I kept reading to see what would happen to this familiar character.
13: Oates's build up of suspense through the duration of the story adds to the attraction I have to her works. If the author of a piece of literature can pull readers in and create a whole new atmosphere around them so that all of their emotions are linked to the piece they are reading, then that author has created something astounding. That is exactly what Oates does to me when reading her works. She is able to toy with my brain to the point of actually forcing me in the protagonist's place and making me contemplate what I just read for days.
14: Oates writes about common everyday girls that have certain flaws that lead to a tragic event in their life. Generally these are younger girls around the age of 15, and they represent the theme "coming of age." | Oates matured very early, submitting a novel to a publisher at coincidentally the age of 15. This occurrence could be Oates way of expressing a belief in maturing quickly or just her representing herself somewhat in her works.
15: "Her name was Connie. She was fifteen and she had a quick, nervous giggling habit of craning her neck to glance into mirrors or checking other people's faces to make sure her own was all right. Her mother, who noticed everything and knew everything and who hadn't much reason any longer to look at her own face, always scolded Connie about it. 'Stop gawking at yourself. Who are you? You think you're so pretty?' she would say. Connie would raise her eyebrows at these familiar old complaints and look right through her mother, into a shadowy vision of herself as she was right at that moment: she knew she was pretty and that was everything. Her mother had been pretty once too, if you could believe those old snapshots in the album, but now her looks were gone and that was why she was always after Connie." -excerpt from "Where are you Going, Where have you Been" by Joyce Carol Oates This passage is the first paragraph from "Where are you Going, Where have you Been." This paragraph is what drew me in to this short story. I could relate Connie to real people I know, so I wanted to continue to read to figure out what happens to this character.
16: "She put out her hand against the screen. She watched herself push the door slowly open as if she were back safe somewhere in the other doorway, watching this body and this head of long hair moving out into the sunlight where Arnold Friend waited. 'My sweet little blue-eyed girl,' he said in a half-sung sigh that had nothing to do with her brown eyes but was taken up just the same by the vast sunlit reaches of the land behind him and on all sides of him—so much land that Connie had never seen before and did not recognize except to know that she was going to it." -excerpt from "Where are you Going, Where have you Been" by Joyce Carol Oates These paragraphs are the last two of "Where are you Going, Where have you Been." Oates never tells for sure what happens to Connie, but the reader can imagine only the worst through the clues of rape earlier in the story. Oates describes most events of abduction and rape as "out-of-body experiences" like she does in the first paragraph. The last sentence, "..so much land that Connie had never seen before and did not recognize except to know that she was going to it," is a great example of Oates's "coming of age" theme by creating a metaphor for Connie's future.
17: "I'd been forcibly abducted at the age of fifteen. It was something that could happen to you, from the outside, forcibly abducted, like being in a plane crash, or struck by lightning. There wouldn't be any human agent, almost. The human agent wouldn't have a name. I'd been walking through the mall parking lot to the bus stop, about 5:30 p.m., a weekday, I'd come to the mall after school with some kids, now I was headed home, and somehow it happened, don't ask me how, a guy was asking me questions, or saying something, mainly I registered he was an adult my dad's age possibly, every adult man looked like my dad's age except obviously old whitehaired men. I hadn't any clear impression of this guy except afterward I would recall rings on his fingers which would've caused me to glance up at his face with interest except at that instant something slammed into the back of my head behind my ear, knocking me forward, and down, like he'd thrown a hook at me from in front, I was on my face on the sunheated vinyl upholstery of a car, or a van, and another blow or blows knocked me out. Like anesthesia, it was. You're out. This was the forcible abduction. How it might be described by a witness who was there, who was also the victim. But who hadn't any memory of what happened because it happened so fast, and she hadn't been personally involved." -excerpt from "The Girl with the Blackened Eye" by Joyce Carol Oates
18: This selection also gives the reader a sense of an "out-of-body experience" happening to the narrator. Oates's syntax throughout this particular paragraph is extremely long. This shows how the narrator is constantly pausing to try to remember exactly what happened and it is her way of expressing the situation. It is probably impossible to easily talk about such a life-changing experience so there are not many complete thoughts in this paragraph. Reading this allows someone to picture the person telling the story of what happened to her in a forceful and splotchy way. One could actually see the narrator's expressions, or how that one would image it like, while trying to explain the unimaginable as best as she could.
19: Joyce Carol Oates enthusiastic, femanistic writing, thinking, teaching author, critic, medalist, destroyer contemplating, turning, changing sinister, thrill Joyce Carol Oates
20: Works cited | Photos: | algonquinbooksblog.com. Web. 5 April 2012. bombsite.com. Web. 5 April 2012. bookpatrol.net. Web. 5 April 2012. converse.edu. Web. 5 April 2012. flavorwire.com. Web. 5 April 2012. harpercollins.com. Web. 5 April 2012. listal.com. Web. 5 April 2012. lovecraft1890.wordpress.co m. Web. 5 April 2012. nndb.com. Web. 5 April 2012. notablebiographies.com. Web. 5 April 2012. nytimes.com. Web. 5 April 2012. | princeton.edu. Web. 5 April 2012. self-life.ew.com. Web. 5 April 2012. sf.blog.nu. Web. 5 April 2012. ted=burke.com. Web. 5 April 2012. theloudcloud.com. Web. 5 April 2012. thesicklytaper.com. Web. 5 April 2012. unwrinkled.tumblr.com. Web. 17 April 2012. weblogs.sun-sentinel.com. Web. 5 April 2012. wisdomportal.com. Web. 17 April 2012.
21: "Joyce Carol Oates." albany.edu. n.d. Web. 17 April 2012. "Joyce Carol Oates 1938-." enotes.com. n.d. Web. 16 April 2012. | Text: