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.


Chris Stokes said...

With you on being a little underwhelmed with episode 1 despite thinking it was great. Episode 2 is about the same. Not seen 3 yet. But Matt Smith is outstanding. And the feeling I got when watching Tennant's final ones was, because we'd known he was leaving for so long and they were underway with Smith, that I was watching repeats.

lizzle said...

I caught the end of an episode with the new fellow the other night, but only saw about 5 mins, so no conclusions drawn as yet.

That essay sounds pretty interesting to me too. Let me know how it goes!