Close Encounters with Jane Eyre and The Monk

Close Encounters with Jane Eyre and The Monk

Derek Furr, Bard College MAT Program

Each of you should identify a scene from The Monk or Jane Eyre that you found compelling, and a scene, character or lines from any other novel or poem from the course that you could connect to The Monk or Jane Eyre.

Follow the procedure outlined below to begin writing your "close encounter" text. It is unlikely that you'll finish during class, so you should plan to meet with your partner(s) outside of class time.

Step One (15 minutes)

  1. Get into groups of three—this may mean you'll have to subdivide your project group.
  2. One group member reads his/her JE or M selection and connected text. Say a little about why you chose the connecting text. Note that you may also need to provide some background about the text.
  3. Repeat this procedure until everyone has read.

Step Two (60 minutes)

Together, choose one group member's texts (Jane Eyre or The Monk and connector) to re-make in the following way:

  1. Imagine that the connecting scene or passage was actually a part of Jane Eyre or The Monk, or imagine the opposite (i.e., that the JE / M scene was a part of the connector text.) Re-write one to include the other. This is kind of like "morphing" with language, and could take any of the following forms:
    • Write the connector scene's character into the Jane Eyre or The Monk scene.
    • Make Jane Eyre or The Monk part of a flashback or thoughts in the connecting text's scene.
    • Cut and paste actual language from one text to the other.

Anachronisms and fantastic flights are welcome, as are strange pastiches. In other words, you do not have to create a realistic narrative, though you may if you like. The point is to create a new text from these two, a text that literally connects them.

  1. Please write your creation, even if it means writing yourself cues to particular lines in Jane Eyre or the connector text, to which you can turn readily in performance.

We will perform these aloud in our final class meeting. Multiple voices are encouraged.