April 30, 2006

Sunday, 30 April

Two weeks have gone since I finished Chapter III, and preparations for IV insist on progressing at a tortoiselike rate. I should have come to expect that by now; every successful advance is followed by this disorientated vagrancy.

But surely, I am starting now to regain my bearings. What I've written of a plan is somewhere between two–thirds and three–quarters [seven–tenths?] of what it needs to be: I lack still a strong conclusion but I do believe that as I go along I will discover my expression. Have enough now to start writing as and when…

The first half of the Chapter should focus on Petrarch's theories of poetic imitation and of poetry generally, to establish how the Bucolicum Carmen relates. The objective is to try to sketch out the themes of Petrarchan pastoral — the dryness and humourlessness [relative, I should say, when you compare with Virgil's] that has kept it at the back of bookshelves for centuries.

Sounds riveting, no?

I've also had the idea of using — to really boil down the comparison between the two — the theme of loss and consolation in both the Carmen and the Eclogues as a kind of "case study". There is a big section of [I think, good] work on this topic in my preparatory essay that I haven't fitted in as yet; with some sprucing up — perhaps, more focus on Virgil's poems — it could be very illuminating. Kind of pure textual engagement that appeals to Andrew at least.

The only snag for now — and it's only a small one — is that I'm down to offer a half–hour presentation on the subject of my research for the Department's PG open day on Thursday, 25 May [Beats' Birthday]. Going to give it on Servius as an intermediary between Eclogues and Carmen. Still have to write it, anyway: 10 pages. Shouldn't take long.

- 2 comments by 1 or more people Not publicly viewable

  1. There's been an odd spate of Anonymous postings in the last hour. Its like a floodgate opened.

    Do you know who else is speaking at the PG Open day? Is it worth going to if you're completely unsure if you want to do Postgrad?! Sounds like you've been working hard, anyway.

    01 May 2006, 00:22

  2. Easy enough to delete them, anyway.

    All the Research Postgraduates are scheduled to present at the Open Day on the topic of their research; so the PhD students and me. You can find a list of who they are and what they're doing on the Classics Department Homepage The Material and Visual Culture students were initially going to do 10 minutes on their upcoming dissertations but that's fallen by the wayside.

    I'm afraid I don't know too much about the Open Day itself but my instinct is that it's aimed more at prospective students looking to come to Warwick from elsewhere — other universities, or wherever. Of course, if you want to come along then you'd be very welcome but in terms of deciding on further study I'd suggest seeing Zahra.

    As ever, Eleanor, I haven't really been working hard. But very kind of you to say.

    01 May 2006, 09:10

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