Sunday, April 18, 2010

more faux academia...

Me (thought): Do you think that perhaps reason we start to see more of an awareness of the problems inherent in Othello when we attempt to place it in a modern setting, and that maybe race isn't really the crux of it, not in ways we 21st century beings conceive of it anyway. And couldn't we argue that Iago isn't a sociopath or psychopath, that he's instead displaying some sort of repression crisis emblematic of the stifling society Shakespeare lived in?

Me (out loud): Oh god. Othello hurts my head. Oh look, I need new socks.

I wish my brain had a better connection to my mouth.

I do have an issue with people "diagnosing" Iago though. I think it's stupid. When people say "Iago's a sociopath" what they mean is "I watch SVU religiously and therefore have a deep understanding of mental illness". Iago is a nasty person, beset with jealousy and insecurity. End. Shakespeare didn't put thoughts of mental illness into his characters. I'm sure someone has written a convincing paper about how Iago is a sufferer of mental illness, but until I read that, I'm sticking with my Professor's viewpoint, which is "think not what you think of Shakespeare, but what Shakespeare thought of Shakespeare", reason being, that viewpoint lets me be a hellion during class, allowing me some sort of revenge for not originally following the viewpoint in the first test. Because apparently Shakespeare didn't have a deep understanding of mental illness, but he had a deep understanding of how important youth apprentices were in his portrayal of women.



We finally got to watch the first episode of the new Doctor Who. I'm impressed, but I'm slightly underwhelmed. More explosions would have been good. Matt Smith certainly has energy (and custard and bow ties!!), and it's a different energy to Tennant's. I'm reserving judgment until at least Episode 3, but I've got my fingers crossed that Eleven doesn't turn out to be as sentimental as Ten. I may be the only person who was irritated by Ten's last few episodes, muttering "get on with it" as my mother sniffled over his angst torn face.
I fully expect legions of Tennant fans to garrote me tomorrow morning.


Even after spending too much time drinking Coopers last night, talking about the politics of Lady Gaga, singing along to Bon Jovi and Joy Division (god help me), in the back of my mind I was still thinking about this essay I'm writing for History of Sexuality. Normally, if this happens, it's because I know I should be home working, but last night it was because I'm actually really excited about writing this essay. It's only a few thousand words, but I'm looking at the emergence of gay and lesbian Literary Subcultures in the early 1900s, which means looking at the Bloomsbury set (Woolfe, Isherwood, Forster) and The Americans (Stein and Radclyffe Hall). It's completely awesome that during a period when national identity was being fully shaped, literary people began to move their manuscripts out of the closet. Anyway, all that probably solves the mystery of this morning: "Why I woke up with the words check antiquity chapter and climb state library written on my hand.

For a moment there I thought I was planning a heist, but when the morning fog cleared, I realised that no, no I was drunkenly planning to visit the State Library. Because I have no consistent social life to distract me from becoming emotionally invested in my work.

Thursday, April 15, 2010


I have a love hate relationship with libraries. I love that they are free, full of books and that there's always one stereotypical snarky librarian. But I intensely dislike that all the books are hardbound so they look the same, half the books seem to be missing because other people have the audacity to borrow them, these 'learning spaces' keep popping up which disturbs the quiet peace of the library, they make me sneeze and everything is electronic.

So I was mildly surprised to discover that the library had the book I wanted. I was slightly surprsied when the only version of it on the shelves was written in French. (This happens a lot at my library.) But I was positively shocked when a librarian walked past and asked me if I was looking for anything. When I explained, she looked over her cart, and presented me with the book I was looking for. I had a brief duel with the self-borrowing machine, and went home, surprised at my success.

Now I just have to read the damn thing.

Friday, April 2, 2010

five hundred in twenties

It felt slightly sacrilegious, but I spent Good Friday writing about Onanism and Early Christian Sex, but there you go. It's not like I'm particularly attached to religious convention or thought anyway. But we live two doors from a very loud church that always seems to have bad music coming out of it. So while they were Crooning for Christ, I was writing about Onanism, and that people just couldn't stop desire. It's all so silly, how scared of desire people were...are, even. I want to be able to talk about these things, about why we're so scared of our bodies when nowadays science has largely explained them to us. But the people in my tutorial just want to talk about how they've had sexual encounters in art galleries.


"It's like, they couldn't see, y'know, how the Church was like, taking away their like, freedoms and like the concept of like human rights was like, totally alien. Y'know?"

I've started counting how many times people say "like" and "y'know" when they open their mouths in tutorials, because that's far easier than trying to work out if they're saying anything or just Valley Girl-ing.


And everything here is the usual drama-that-isn't-really-drama. My Grandparents are on the mend, and the Gray's Anatomy vibe that's been hanging about is ebbing away. Liz and the Beard are abandoning me, sorry, heading off on a European Adventure tomorrow morning. Lottie is bigger everyday and is terrified of ducks. I am trying to write an Analysis of the so-called "Crises" of the 17th Century, an essay+annotated bibliography on Freud and Dora and an essay on Othello/Antony+Cleopatra/Sex. I'm moving into the library next week, and I'll be dropping breadcrumbs behind me, otherwise you'll never hear from me again