A Walk in Park Güell — During my high school days, I took a strong interest in Antoni Gaudí, the famous architect from Barcelona. My father bought me a book about Gaudí that included color photographs of Gaudí’s buildings, and I spent many hours studying the book and marveling at the images of Gaudí’s astonishing works of architecture. I dreamed of visiting these buildings in person, and this Thanksgiving that dream finally came true. My wife and I traveled to Barcelona where our son is spending the fall semester studying architecture. Together we visited several of Gaudí’s buildings, including La Pedrera (https://www.lapedrera.com/en/home) and the Sagrada Família (http://www.sagradafamilia.cat/sf-eng/), but we spent the most time exploring a park he designed called Park Güell. Located in a hilly area on the outskirts of Barcelona, Park Güell was constructed between 1900 and 1914. For more information about this park, please click on the following link: http://www.parkguell.cat/en/
Gaudí’s passion for nature, Greek mythology, fairy tales, and the teachings of Catholicism can be seen throughout the park. Nearly every structure in the park involves a narrative element, so the act of walking through this park is akin to immersing oneself in stories. In the not too distant future, my son and I plan to write an article about the narrative elements that Gaudí incorporated into the design of Park Güell. Like several other members of the English Department, I am interested in the ways in which narrative elements enter into modes of expression outside the standard forms of literature. The scholar in me approached our visit to Park Güell as a research trip, but visiting this park meant much more to me than most of my research trips. The experience of exploring this special place with my family resonated with me on deep emotional and aesthetic levels. For me, Gaudí’s Park Güell transcends everyday reality and provides visitors with an opportunity to enter a playful, whimsical, and sometimes spiritual realm.
Kudos— As you know, I like to use my Monday Missives to share news about recent accomplishments by members of our department. Here is the latest news:
Susan Gardner and Vail Carter (UNC Charlotte’s first Native American Graduate, and a member of the Alumni Hall of Fame) gave an invited presentation to the 19th Annual Indian Heritage Celebration at the Raleigh Museum of History on Nov. 22nd. It was an introduction to the Native Carolinas Indian Elders Collection in Atkins Library.
Kirk Melnikoff had his essay “From the Talbot to Duck Lane: The Early Publication History of Robert Wilson’s The Three Ladies of London” accepted for inclusion in a new Queen’s Men Editions website dedicated to the play The Three Ladies of London.
Marty Settle, a retired member of the English Department, has a book of poetry coming out in February called The Teleology of Dunes. It is being published by Main Street Rag. For those interested in purchasing it or pre-ordering it, please click on the following link: http://mainstreetrag.com/bookstore/product/the-teleology-of-dunes/.
Upcoming Events and Deadlines— Here is a date to keep in mind:
December 2 — The Writing Resources Center’s Midnight Madness event will offer support for students preparing for final exams, on Tuesday, Dec. 2 from 8 p.m. to midnight in Cameron 125.
December 4 — The English Department Holiday Party will take place on December 4 from 12:00-2:00 in the Faculty/Staff Lounge. The pot luck sign-up sheet is in the front lobby.
Quirky Quiz Question — While we were in Barcelona, we enjoyed an appetizer called pan a la catalana. It is toasted bread with a particular topping. What is this topping?
Last week’s answer – The horse knows the way, To carry the sleigh, Through the white and drifted snow