paper outline workshop

Hands On Paper Outline Workshop

Below is Kate’s rough outline for her final paper. Her Text is in blue. Earl’s feedback and suggestions are in red. Please write an outline based on Earl’s comments. Send them to him and he’ll go over them with you by Thursday, June 5, if not by Wednesday June 4. But these will be invaluable to you, so the effort will reward itself.

Rough outline for my paper on Crash and VIDEODROME

[Define your texts – Crash the novel and Videodrome the film, right? Be specific, and address the issue of Cronenberg’s film version of Crash – especially if you’re not considering it here. The fact that the film you’re looking at is a Cronenberg film, increases expectations that Crash is also refering to the film.]

Beginning: I want to use conventional definition of hysteria
from FREUD…out of Studies on Hysteria
BUT I want to update that definition of hysteria to be able to
use it in examining the ideas presented in the two texts.

–hysteria as presented in Freud (SOH ) [SOH is technically, Breuer and Freud – always listed that way everywhere, so if you’re using a Freud text from that, specific that in the citation form, as if you’re getting an essay from one author in a multiple-author collection.]

–hysteria as gendered [part of the above]

–paranoia as presented in Lacan (SemIII) [WOW! A leap -of pathology type and seven decades! Need to explain what paranoia has to do with your definition of hysteria. Stay within the same time period/writer as much as possible in intro – but steer it toward the segue to Lacan (but a leap as it stands now wont do anything but confuse]

–disclaimer about Freud’s male hysteria (WHICH IS NOT WHAT I AM
WORKING WITH WHEN I SAY MALE HYSTERIA) [Disclaimer about what about Freud’s male hysteria? {even outline of outline needs to be clear enough for an educated reader to follow}]

–paranoia as gendered [too much dancing. Keep this with „hysteria as gendered.“ I think the Lacan on paranoia should come much later, but i’m not convinced you need it at all here. That doesn’t mean don’t do it – it means lay out your moves AND THERE RATIONALE clearly here]

–a new male hysteria that comes out of a paranoid history [this you might need in body of essay – it’s a little idiosyncratic for the outline as it stands]

–paranoia as fear [??? – this doesn’t look like a contribution to the conception but a reduction of it]

–inability to fit into the paranoid category [this fragment series is TOO fragmented – i can’t follow it. make sure when you have noun phrases in an outline that they all conform to the same grammar. I.e. „Paranoia as fear“ is one pattern – if that’s the first one all of them this section should be in that form (of course this isn’t a fortunate example). But here „Inability to fit into paranoid category“ – who? what? can’t fit into it. Do mean the category of paranoia? A paranoid category is something else – like „Boogie Men,“ i. e. any category that reflects a paranoid worldview.]

–need a new designation

–this new designation is what I call MALE HYSTERIA [well you’ve had it twice before up above, and rejected it both times, so you can’t pull back in and call it a new category. Freud insisted on in back 1896.]

–involves loss of ego in a kind of jouissance [syntax of these phrases makes it impossible to follow]

–Lacan Jouissance [ Lacan’s Jouissance? Lacanian Jouissance? Jouissance according to Lacan? Choose whichever makes more sense, but you probably need a more general subhead above this – like Jouissance. Do you know about headings
Headings 1, 2, 3, etc.? Use this system in the outline and make sure the paper matchese it exactly.]

–how Lacan Jouissance needs to be modified to
acccoomodate masculinity [distinguish between descriptive writing and prescriptive. Avoid prescriptive.This essay is about how texts, signifying systems function, NOT how they „should“ function.]

–discussion of CRASH (should be mostly close reading, etc)

–Ballard’s initial CRASH [be sure to distinguish between Ballard the author and „Ballard“ the character – here you could mean an early version of the novel, or the author’s car accident too.]

–Vaughn’s nighttime ride [this is not on the same levels as your other breakdown topic.s Doesn’t work as is.]

–the focus on the crash, not on dying (the chiuaghua crash) [??? whose focus? syntax continues its death rattle too.]

–the implications of crashes [where? for whom? how does this fit int with the previous section? how will it fit in the whole essay? Both of these questions should be answerable by lookiing at your outline.]


–discussion of VIDEODROME (close reading again) [what do you mean? there’s no such thing as a general „close reading.“]

–original impulse to find the „rough stuff“ [your’s ? Ballards‘ ? the film viewer? Deborah Harry? ]

–his first episode [who is „he“]

–piercing the woman [evocative but not organizationally sound]

–the vagina dentata (it’s beginning where he sticks the gun
in, then the fact that he becomes a human tape machine)

[this is syntactically nightmarish, and neither of the phrases in the parenthesis actually support the designation of the image as a „vagina dentata“ – furthermore, this is obfuscatory since the vagina dentata in question is located in the body of the man who „sticks the gun in“ – clearly a deformation of that gynophobic fantasy – but you needn’t go into such detail in the outlien, but every element in the outline must make sense, be accurate, and contribute clearly to the develop of the argument and the structure of the essay.]

–the implications of television

This is not an analytic essay.

[KATE, I sincerely hope it will be an analytic essay. That’s the assignment. You’re taking my example too literally. (Not to mention the inadvertent plagiarism this maneuver represents here. My similar claim at the opening of my *Atrocity Exhibtion* paper is deliberately provocative for reasons that will be clear in the body of the paper, but it’s a highly idiosyncratic move, whose only value to you guys is as an example of the disclaimer. You needn’t have the same thing to „disclaim“ – or even anything for that matter, but you should be mindful of the ways in which you want to circumscribe, delimit and demarcate the scope of your essay in this opening section.]

I will not make any claims that
the characters in this paper are hysteric, or paranoid [There are no characters in your paper – there are characters in the novel and the film. Please rewrite].

I do not believe they ever went through the oedipal conflict, or anything remotely resembling that [Wow – mine field:

  • (1) „They“ – antecedent?
  • (2) Characters don’t go through anything; they’re fictional.
  • (3) Why bring up the oedipal here? Where was it up to now?
  • (4) How does any one raised in late capitalist Euro-american 20th Century patriarchal culture manage not to go through some form of the „oedipal crisis.“?
  • (5) On what grounds will you lay out the new masculinity if you reject the oedipus out of hand like this?

You need to address all five of these points – but you can save yourself a long afternoon by clarifying your project here – not in terms of what your not doing (alhtough that’s important too) but more in terms of wha tyou are doing (and i bet you a dollar you’lll need the oedipus in some capacity for that)].

I make no attempts to analyze them [antecedent?] so
as to „cure“ their „problems“. This paper is a commentary about
the ways the subject is constructed in these two texts [commentary? it’s an analysis isn’t it? A commentary is what newscasters do.].

hysteric conveys meaning through the body, and I use this means
of production of meaning to examine the ways these two authors
are trying to convey meaning about the subject through their
portrayal of the body. [Reread the previous sentence. Syntax is transfiguring. „This means of production“ is the hysteric’s hypercathexis of some area of the body. Thus you claim you intende to examine these two texts by producing an hysterical symptom in your own body. I dont‘ think you mean that. And remember, we got to the other implications of hysteria through critically reading the Freudian texts, and recontextualizing them through later psychoanalytic thought, semiotics, feminist theory, and Marxian philosophy. The depathologized speculative model of hysteria was the product of that process – it wasn’t a foregone conclusion and can’t be simply announced as if self-evident.]

This is a specific kind of reading about
two specific texts.
[This sentence is true but true in a way that says nothign. This only says what the title say – „This is a paper about Crash and Videodrome .]

Go To Kate on „The Unconscious“.
Go To Kate’s Intervention
Go to Paul S. Bauman’s outline for his Hysteria and Paranoia project [excerpt]