icepixie: (Default)
Okay, either I have just discovered a completely untapped vein of literary criticism, or the new MLA database search algorithms really are that bad.

*checks other databases*

Wait. Seriously, no one has written anything connecting Chopin's Awakening to Woolf's A Room of One's Own? Not a single person? Okay, yes, it probably wouldn't make up a whole journal article by itself, but no one's even made it part of a chapter or article or anything?

Darn. Now I almost wish I were going on, just so I could write that paper. 'Cause it's that obvious.
icepixie: (Default)
This lack of e-mailed comments is really starting to get annoying. [livejournal.com profile] lj_maintenance claims it's fixed, but as yet I have nothing in my inbox. Did the snowflake cookies break LJ permanently?

*

Interview meme from loneraven )

I know I'm supposed to keep the meme going by telling you all I'll give you questions, but I'm still deep in the thesis cave right now. You can ask, and I'll get back to you eventually, but it may take a while.

NERD.

Jun. 3rd, 2009 01:24 pm
icepixie: ([Doctor Who] Nerdy Doctor)
You know how "text" has become the de facto short form of "text message"? EVERY TIME I see it used in a sentence, I think "literary text." Which is what leads me to incidents like reading number six on this list, and spending several seconds wondering if Chris Pine is a fan of D.H. Lawrence or something.
icepixie: (Never hearts and flowers)
An exceptionally cool poem: "Beach Climbing," by Elizabeth Barrette. Science fiction and poetry, the best things ever, combined into one! Lots more at the Strange Horizons site.

*

I was watching one of my favorite episodes of Northern Exposure tonight. It's from near the beginning of the third season, and is called "Oy, Wilderness." The reason it's so close to the top of my favorites list is because of the absolutely beautiful extended metaphor involving hearts and airplanes contained within it.

English majory goodness. Also, music! )
icepixie: (Peter Pan)
I finally got around to watching the 2003 live-action Peter Pan.

WOW, that was Freudian. Wow. It's like shooting fish in a barrel when one applies Freudian analysis[1] to texts about puberty and growing up, so generally I try not to do it. (To those kinds of texts or anything, really, because usually someone doing that makes me want to scream, "It's just a sword, okay?!") AND YET, for various reasons, this version made it pretty much impossible not to.

Freudian Pan )
icepixie: (Book)
I finally finished A.S. Byatt's Possession last night. I saw the movie when it first came out on DVD, but was only dimly aware that it had first been a book. Picked it up from the library a little while ago.

Longish discussion with many spoilers; blather about postmodernism and deconstruction within )
icepixie: (Assumpta sparkly)
Remember how I said I wanted to do a paper on how a similar premise is treated by two different TV programs?

Er, yes. I got another disc of Ballykissangel episodes from Netflix today.

Really, really long treatise on Ballyk and Northern Exposure, with related 'ship comparisons and some babble about differences between America and Ireland. Spoilers for everything. )

Ballyk episode comments, season two, first half )

*

Hmmm. Well, I meant to read another hundred or so pages of A.S. Byatt's Possession tonight, but my meta ramblings ate up my evening. Whoops. More on that book when I finish it...
icepixie: (Sarah/Four scarf)
'The Hand of Fear' and some general Sarah Jane ramblings )

*

Somewhat concomitant with that last bit, this entry from [livejournal.com profile] nostalgia_lj and the comments on it are really quite fascinating. I don't agree with everything said there, but it's interesting to think about. (Obviously, I am missing academia today.)

Speaking of academia, a link in the comments to that post led to [livejournal.com profile] whileaway, which led to this "seminar" on Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell. The articles are not always the most well-written, but Susanna Clarke's response to them is really interesting.

*

Can someone explain this to me? (Scroll down on the page a bit and click on "Background Explanation.") I...okay, I've run into weird fic before, but this is just utterly bizarre. Doesn't taking away the whole idea of regeneration and having each incarnation of the Doctor be split up into separate people, called by the names of the actors, some of whom are evil and some of whom work for Gallifrey, contravene essentially everything about the show? And then an extended plotline with a romance between Peri and Legolas (yes, that one)? I...WTF?

I mean, AUs are all well and good, but even the AU-est AU is generally not as...different...as these. In this case, I think fiction is very much stranger than truth could ever dream of being.

*wanders off, boggling at the bizarreness of it all*
icepixie: (Thames)
BWAH!

Post-modernist deconstruction of a grocery list, as seen on metaquotes.

Sheer brilliance. And people wonder why I don't want an advanced degree in English...
icepixie: (Rebecca snerk)
For my Linguistics paper, in which I'm doing a linguistic analysis of scenes from Elizabethtown, I'm supposed to include a section on the "communicative effect" of the "speech event," which as far as I know, basically means "describe the interaction."

So of course I have a whole paragraph on how Drew and Claire talking on the plane and her offering to draw him a map from Louisville to Elizabethtown is foreshadowing of the fact that she will be his key to understanding his family (his translator, even), and that she's playing Virgil to his Dante in the dark, dark wood of northern Kentucky.

I am SUCH AN ENGLISH MAJOR.
icepixie: (Cupid)
Hey, [livejournal.com profile] asinpterodactyl, do you think our Linguistics professor would correctly interpret "Claire's offer to draw him a map further emphasizes her position as Virgil to Drew's Dante"? 'Cause I'd have no qualms making that reference in an English paper, but Linguistics...I dunno.

(And despite not actually taking the Dante class, this is the third paper I've written since sophomore year in which I've made reference to the Divine Comedy. What gives?)

*

In other news, I'm apparently interchangeable with [livejournal.com profile] laserhead. Does this mean I get to use my sudden chem knowledge to blow up the world?
icepixie: (Rebecca snerk)
So in a fic I'm reading, Weir is "the first to reign [sic] in her amusement." The sentence isn't meant to be funny, but it's conjuring up images of Lizzie marching around a carnival or circus or something in queenly robes that are too big for her, wearing a crown and waving a sceptre, making the circus performers cringe into the shadows. This is way funnier to me than whatever it was she was laughing about in the story.

It is so time to go to bed.
icepixie: (Finding Neverland)
Hmph. Get me home, and I hardly update at all. (Although I haven't been doing too well over the last month or two, really, I suppose.) Mundane RL things: Um, actually, there's really just one, and it's how very nice it is not to be sleeping in a cement hammock anymore. It still feels strange not to have a giant hole in the middle of my bed, but believe me, I'm definitely getting used to it.

*

I watched the BSG rerun on Skiffy last night, one called "Flesh and Bone." A few general comments, not really related to the ep but more to the show in general )

I just realized from a visit to TWoP that season one was only thirteen episodes long. Or they only have thirteen episodes recapped, anyway. Hooray, my chances of catching up on all of them (well, if they quit with the nausea-inducing camera work) at some point this summer just doubled!

*

I also rented the first two episodes of Carnivále on DVD from Blockbuster. Babble )

*

And I watched "Before I Sleep" on a much larger screen than the last time, which was lovely. I think I might finally be getting back into Atlantis after not even bothering to read fic, much less write it or make icons or anything, for months now, so yay! I should do something about those Vorkosiverse crossover and McKay babysitting fics...

That is, when I finish the nine thousand books I got from the library today...absolutely none of which have anything to do with my comps. Oops. I need to order them off Amazon sometime soon, so I can mark 'em up and remember what they're about come March and the Giant Test O' Horrible.
icepixie: (Wax Lion)
I realized today what was missing from the English classes here: they have very little concept of the close reading. All the discussion, such as it is, rests on very broad, general topics. Nobody quotes the book or even points to passages to back up their point. Strangely, just after I realized this, Mack decided to have our one and only close reading in Satire, and the first I've seen here. It was actually interesting, for the first time all year. Too bad it was the last class.

See, Kenyon's English department is built on this type of criticism, as it's the kind developed and espoused by our most famous professor, John Crowe Ransom. (Okay, it's a bit more complicated than that; the style he and others developed in the 1940s or so, called "New Criticism," basically treats any work as a self-contained piece, studying it more through close readings of various parts and concentration on relationships between various characters, events, sounds or rhythms (in poetry) and other bits of the work, rather than concentrating so much on its relation to the outside world. It's a fairly rigid type of formalism.) The Exeter English department is way, way more into something that seems like a fanatic form of New Historicism, where they study a work practically exclusively in relation to historic events at the time of its writing, the life of the author, other books written around the time, other examples of the genre, etc. etc. (This is, if course, when we have any discussion at all. But anyway.)

I'm somewhere in the middle between the two schools of thought. I'm sure there's a name for the type of criticism I like, but I don't know what it is and can't be bothered to look it up at the moment. ;) When I write papers, I perhaps lean a little towards the cultural studies side, although I do a good amount of formal critiqueing, too. However, I get the most out of a class where the dominant style is some form of formalism, where discussion is centered on relationships amongst the pages of the book and thorough dissection of small chunks of prose or poetry, so I'm beginning to see part of the reason why this year hasn't been so academically satisfying. (I maintain that a larger part of the reason is that the classes here are CRAP, but anyway.)

And I'm a little shocked that I've managed to absorb enough about litcrit over the past three years to write all that. Huh.

*

In other news, I'm over the minimum word count for essay #1! Just need to tie up a few loose ends and write a conclusion, and then I can move on to essay #2, the Wonderfalls essay. :)
icepixie: (headdesk)
In one of the articles I'm reading for my film essay, the author makes the brilliant observation that one of the conventions of romantic comedy is its "idealisation of the couple."

...

DUH. It's ROMANTIC. COMEDY. That's not the entire point or anything.

Behold one of the many reasons I'm running far, far away from academia as soon as I graduate.

*

Once I wade through all these books I have to take back to the library tomorrow, I'll reply to stuff. Just you watch. I will...
icepixie: (humans are superior)
Okay, so did my flat get the gimpy router or something? The entire flat's 'net connection went out between 5 and 7 PM last night. At least they fixed it this morning, but this is the second time in as many weeks it's been out for more than twelve hours. Um, £60 ResNet fee? Grrr.

So of course, since I couldn't get online to research for my papers, I did other forms of...research. Heh. Okay, I did some legitimate work by watching Farscape, since it seems my paper is going to at least have a significant section on "Revenging Angel," and it may turn out to be best if I structure the entire paper around the episode, describing how it takes Looney Tunes tropes personas and transfers them into a larger plot context that manages to say things about love and identity and power through hermaneutic references to said tropes and personas.

I swear to God, that is the kind of sentence you would read in a postmodernist essay.

So, yeah, two solid pages of notes on that episode. And then I had to go help Ellen watch three Wonderfalls episodes after I finished the Farscape. Of course... Heh. Am still contemplating writing my next Satire essay (the one due in June) on that show. There must be a way.
icepixie: (Mulder - Bored Now)
There must be a way in which I can write about Wonderfalls for my Satire paper. Really, there must. Okay, so it's rarely ever satirzing anything (at least not to the point where I could get 3,000 legitimate words out of it), but since when have facts ever stopped a determined English major?

(Yeah, so this is my way of pretending I actually did something productive this weekend...)
icepixie: (Sasha Abt)
1. I totally have an essay topic for my comedy film class. Oh, yes. I shall be writing about the similarities between Bugs Bunny and Groucho Marx and how they manipulate language to get their ways. Or maybe I'll just dump the Marx brothers and write about Bugs and company. Either way, Serious Academic Work on CARTOONS, wheeee!

2. I uploaded a bunch of photos that have been piling up. They're in the "Nashville Over Winter Break" and "Exeter in January" galleries. Almost entirely of flowers and streams and sunsets and stuff, with a few of the dogs and the cat thrown in for laughs.

3. I'm about 95% sure that my sinus infection has returned. ARGH.
icepixie: (Rebecca snerk)
And I've somehow managed to drag Dante and his dark, dark wood into my essay on William Morris and W.B. Yeats. Brilliant. I am so going over the word count on this one.

Postmodernist buzzword count: 1 ("Trope of the journey" made it into the introduction. I'm sure "liminal" will be along sometime in the near future. "Hermaneutic" probably ought to show up soon, too.)

Deadline: Um...not thinking about that!

Cups of tea: Only one so far. But I have all weekend.
icepixie: (miles to go)
1900-ish words on the essay, but I haven't really said a whole lot. And I don't want to finish it. I want to crawl into a hole and not come out until June.

I think I may have offically reached the "burnt out with school" part of my higher-education career. Any vague thoughts I ever had of grad school are in the process of dying quick and silent deaths.

In addition to just being burnt out on academics, I'm really missing taking classes besides English right at this moment. If one of the two essays coming up in a few more weeks was just a history essay, or an anthro essay, or something, March 18th wouldn't look so depressing. Heck, I'm starting to miss tests. Oh, yes. What I wouldn't give for a Bio test right now, man. And to think in freshman year I was looking forward to taking all English classes--what was I thinking? Never shall I whine about distribution requirements again. (Well, there's the fact that I got all mine done last year, except for a quarter-credit of choir. Details, details.)

*

Found out this evening from a girl in my flat that Cornwall is actually pretty difficult to get around without a car, especially if one wants to go to Land's End, and also that my mom's suggestion of the Isles of Scilly would be far beyond our limited budget. I see a third of our spring break plans disentigrating before my eyes. *sigh* Oh well; we have a week to really firm up our plans before we need to start ordering plane tickets and booking hostel/hotel rooms and stuff.

*

Quote from [livejournal.com profile] laserhead: "Well, along with the rest of Kenyon, I have lost the ability to spell. Which means, of course, that it is Phling this weekend."

It may be the lateness of the hour, but I'm cracking up at that. *cackles* Our collective Phebruary illiteracy is always good for a laugh.

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