Writing on Literary Topics

Though I have been prompted several times in the past few weeks, I find myself empty on the topics I could address in my near-future research paper. I have been reading through the prompting of my English class, though it has mostly been works of Shakespeare or spinoffs of it (Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead). Each of the books we have read in English this year have addressed death, and I feel like this is some omen for the ending of my High School years, but it is a topic I like to write about. The Things They Carried, Hamlet, and Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead are all books that address this topic, and the philosophies of life, free will, and what death could be like. Not to mention, the things that surround death and how it affects those who knew the deceased.

Honestly, I feel as if ‘Death’ is such a broad spectrum that it would be hard to pin it down in a paper, basing it off of one literary work would be difficult in a research paper. I’m disappointed in myself because I can’t seem to pin down a couple of good topics aside from this one, but perhaps that’s because I’m completely burned out and stress has ruined my trains of thought and ability to focus. ‘Literary Topics’ is such a broad spectrum anyways, and I find it almost impossible to write without a set of guidelines to lead me in the right direction, if it’s not writing creatively or in a¬†fashion meant to entertain. Research papers are the bane of my existence, and pinning down a topic has been nearly impossible this past month.

I wish that prompting me would work.

Jackson Pollock

As I look at the painting above, without even having to do any research, I know by the distinct style of splatter across the page that it must be a Jackson Pollock painting. His mind and artist’s hand work in incredibly complex ways to create a piece of art, and with the extravagant use of abstract dribbles and splatters of paint, Jackson Pollock has made himself a household name in the art community and has been for quite some time. The way in which he works is incredibly interesting, and that he has been able to get so intricate while standing over the canvas really helps for me to picture the way in which his mind must be working.

I’ve only been able to study art for two years, and I can already see the complexities behind this piece and many of the other pieces that Jackson Pollock has produced over the years that he has become popular. I’m not a huge fan of his style, because I find abstract art hard to really understand and work with, but I’m sure he has his reasons and how he’s been so successful.

A poem written by Nancy Sullivan about ‘Number 1’ (the piece pictured above), was a reaction of hers to the painting itself. She, too, shares my awed reaction to Jackson Pollock’s work and describes the art as ‘trickles and valleys of paint’. Just as I do not understand the way in which Pollock works, Sullivan states a question that I, too, find myself asking when I view his work. ‘How to realize his question / Let alone his answer?’. If you have no read this piece, I highly advise you to do so shortly after viewing Number 1 and see how you feel in relation to Nancy Sullivan’s observations.