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January 13, 2006

I remember when..

This is what essays do to you or maybe it's just the final year. Spent the day in the library, eight hours straight, trying to write my essay and yeah, I did 2/3 of it and still managed to procrastinate – I was soaking up the libraryness… honest…

It was when my housemate said 'it was fun today in the library with you' that I think we both looked at each other and realised what she'd said. This is what it's come to.

Our social lives have been officially put on hold. Haven't been out since NY and really fed up of essays, applications, reading.

The depressing thing is none of my reading is going to be done for next week: 3 films, 900 pg novel, 300 pg novel, 4 plays…

However, I am very much looking forward to Monday when I have time to sort everything out and I'm pretty happy with everything else in my life.. the end is near and I'll be out Monday!!!!


January 10, 2006

Too much Shakespeare?

Just in case I had any doubt that this was the final year and that it all gets harder in the last one, I can most positively ascertain that I'm there. It can't get crazier than this, I hope.

Was supposed to go back home on Friday as my presence had been requested, nay demanded, for a night of drinking and dancing on Saturday night. Unfortunally, six hours of driving really wasn't appealing and deadlines and applications kept me here. Think its the first weekend I've not been out. My social life has been officially put on hold until at least Monday!

I have two essays in for Monday 5,000 and 3,000. The first is nearly done, the second isn't. It's all planned, its going to be great. Just need to find some time to write the thing.

Have however completed two applications today and will get another signed and sent tommorow hopefully. It's proving quite hard to juggle applications, essays, films and reading. Ugh.

Watching Chimes at Midnight. Everyones talking about it and had to watch it for Special Topics. Not a bad production. Could tell it was Orson Welles. But, it was black and white. I'm a colour junkie, what can I say? Its just not the same. Caught myself writing inspirational notes such as "Falstaff looks like Father Christmas" and "Long battle Scene" five minutes later "Very long battle Scene" .. you get the picture. Think the tiredness is having its effect.

On a positive note, I'm looking forward to my seminars from 10 to 5 tommorow with an hours break in which I'm meeting friends. I really don't have a moment to spare at the moment. Even housemates are commenting that I'm working hard…

Wednesday I've got some training in Birmingham. I'm hoping its going to be useful. Least it'll be a break from the Shakespeare.

NYE, although a while ago now, was a really good night. Noone was around at home, all having swanned off abroad or to various other parts of the country, so decided to come back to Cov and celebrate instead. We donned medical uniforms, think Doctor and Nurses and the eight of us looked quite the part. Overall a good night!

Adieu


December 22, 2005

£7,000 ring, all in a days work…

Was in Chelmsford shopping last week in Goldsmiths and a man stole a £7,000 ring. Just grabbed it from the assistants hand and ran out. I just cannot understand what state of mind someone must be to do that. Theres security cameras everywhere, and the tapes were running in store, so how does he expect to get away with it? Surely, he will be caught…. ?

December 09, 2005

Shakespeare

Writing about Team Shakespeare from Fluff And Nonsense

This is possibly the funniest (and most accurate) entry on how I feel about Shakespeare. I only wish I'd written it myself!! :)

November 26, 2005

God only knows what I'd be without you..

As it sit drinking my Ernest & Julio Gallo Sirerra Valley California White and waiting for my housemates to finish straightening, makeuping, and dressing, I can't help but reflect how different each year at uni is. It's frustrating, but also part of the fun of it I guess – I lived in JM one year, Leam the next and Cov this year. Yet it keeps getting better and better. Only to end in not much time at all – half way through the final year :( … Saying that I'm pretty excited about next year, although I can't even imagine what its going to be like, except more work than I've done in my life and very, very expensive.

November 24, 2005

Othello: let them use us well…

Sitting in front of the third and final version of Othello that I have to watch this week. Somehow I managed to watch the worst one first and the best one last – which is nice. Although, I'm slightly bored with watching the same film three nights running.

I love this line, it sums up Emilia well … and is perhaps more fitting to our contemporary lighter hearted views to singledom/sex:

"Nor I by this heavenly light, but I might do it in the dark."

After this we're going to Tesco – late night shopping trip, reminiscent of the first year. Feeling quite nostaglic about the first year. Would love for everyone to move back into JM for a fortnight to live together again – it would be fun, if not very strange. Would love to start again uni from the beginning. Realised we were halfway through the final year last night – scary feeling. It's almost time to start applications; I've been putting it off till the holidays but we're almost there!! Three days left of uni!!

Anyway, Othello's about to "put out the light" – I should watch this scene. Adieu.


Taboo

So this week, we've read The Merchant of Venice (Sh.) and The Jew of Malta (Marlowe). I guess the thing that got me thinking about the seminar today was, what right do we have to censor?

The texts have, apparently, been banned from being taught in the US, and many teachers refuse to teach the texts worldwide. In this, are they also refusing to recognise Shakespeare as an anti-semitic? Or perhaps more importantly, can we recognise, and should we recognise Shakespeare in this way? It would be pretty damning to accept this for our national playwright, the legend that is Shakespeare. Can we discard his views as merely fitting to the contemporary popular ideologies, and erase all blame?

If yes, why is it that we change the offensive words/actions/phrases in his plays? Why is 'villian' thrown in place of his prejudices?

Sure, I understand that this is done so as not to offend and to fit our modern viewpoints. Fair enough. But, if we truly accepted Shakespeare's views as merely contemporary, why are we so keen to erase them? It was suggested that Shakespeare is thought of as a humanist and as so this was done so as not to confuse the less educated general public. Surely we cannot exercise so much intellectual snobbery as this?

It is true that the plays do not need the racism and offensive stuff, but do we have the right to edit to censor? I don't know. Who tells us what is offensive? The way women are treated is pretty offensive, the Christians are mocked also – why is it that we do not censor this?

We can therefore only have difficulty when confronted with Merchant or Malta – you cannot avoid the racisim there, its the play itself. It is almost certainly problematic, particulary given what has happened between Shakespeare and today. If its 'ok' to put on these plays, why is it that we feel the need to censor Shakespeare in other places?

(Avoiding reading Pamela…)


November 22, 2005

Reading and Writing Ourselves

Follow-up to Destined to Witness from Meanderings of a wandering mind..

Yeah, I think a lot of people would agree about men not finding the same thing in writing. In that case, maybe its the reading. It's more 'active' in allowing us to react to what we read, rather than simply writing our own thoughts down..

As for the water.. I think its the frozen water in the air – how cold is it at the moment?! Apparently its going to be -10*c at the weekend. It's lovely being back in England.

Snowstorms on the way ..


Destined to Witness

Every diary ends with a death. This doesn't have to be a human life, though it often is, but it invites an end. Doesn't everything. We were given a presentation on Children's Wartime Diaries in WW2 today and its incredible to think of the scars the innocent, vulnerable children had to bear growing up and trying to make sense of the confused world. Many talk about a sense of purpose and perhaps thats why we write.

Macha Rolnikas:
"In order to feel my powerlessness a bit less and not to think of the torture that is caused by each step, I go on mentally writing my journal."

Perhaps thats what we all do, write our journal, as we go through life. We write, mentally and physically, just as the world writes onto 'us'.


April 06, 2005

Reading Update

Reading Schmeading

Finally finished Middlemarch, one of the few "adult novels" according to Virginia Woolf, but what does she know? And does "adult"define boring? Does boring mean its a more mature type of novel?? Maybe the longer it takes to read, the more adult it gets – a bit like cheese. It was a good novel, in parts, but the length just made it impossible. I think its the kind of novel you need to read when you're 30, sitting down on a Sunday afternoon, in desperate search of mental stimulation when you still haven't decided to make the plunge and get yourself some kids. Anyway, I finished it, but couldn't help thinking maybe it would have been better if I hadn't been studying it right now. Its this bizarre way that we've, or maybe just I, have taken to reading. The page-turner way and not in a good way.. the way when you know exactly how many pages you have left to go and how many you need to read to get to (a) the end, (b) the next part, (c) the next chapter, (d) the next 100th page, (e) the next 10th page, (f) the next even number page… And when you, or again, maybe just I, am sitting/lying there trying to read.. you can't help thinking that this page turning/counting .. isn't quite the way that I thought I'd be reading for my degree. These are major and brilliant novels, and I can still appreciate them, but I wish I had an infinite amount of time to read them.. Anyway I finished Middlemarch this week. And I'm starting The Red and The Black, and the next week I'm going to be reading Orlando. The first week of the hols it was Germinal, brilliant book, and second week, Crime and Punishment .. so I'm doing a novel a week, and almost sticking to it.. we'll see. Then I'll have finally got this module up to date.. and i've done my LCT reading.. Just then need to do 10,000 of essays * ouch * and catch up my reading for PS and C17th.. sigh..


March 29, 2005

Banned Books

Writing about web page /maxhammond/entry/banned_books/

Writing about an entry you don't have permission to view

From the OCLC, here be a list of the titles that have both made it to the OCLC Top 1000 list and been banned according to the 4 volumes in the Banned Books: Censorship Histories of World Literature series.

1) Put in bold the ones you've read completely.
2) Italicize the ones you've read excerpts or abridged versions of or which you recall having started to read and never finished.

#1 _The Bible_

#2 Huckleberry Finn (Mark Twain)

#3 Don Quixote (Miguel de Cervantes)

#4 The Koran

#5 Arabian Nights

#6 Tom Sawyer (Mark Twain)

#7 Gulliver's Travels (Jonathan Swift)

#8 Canterbury Tales (Geoffrey Chaucer)

#9 Scarlet Letter (Nathaniel Hawthorne)

#10 Leaves of Grass (Walt Whitman)

#11 Prince (Niccolò Machiavelli)

#12 Uncle Tom's Cabin (Harriet Beecher Stowe)

#13 Diary of a Young Girl (Anne Frank)

#14 Madame Bovary (Gustave Flaubert)

#15 Oliver Twist (Charles Dickens)

#16 Les Misérables (Victor Hugo)

#17 Dracula (Bram Stoker)

#18 Autobiography (Benjamin Franklin)

#19 Tom Jones (Henry Fielding)

#20 Essays (Michel de Montaigne)

#21 Grapes of Wrath (John Steinbeck)

#22 History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire (Edward Gibbon)

#23 Tess of the D'Urbervilles (Thomas Hardy)

#24 Origin of Species (Charles Darwin)

#25 Ulysses (James Joyce)

#26 Decameron (Giovanni Boccaccio)

#27 Animal Farm (George Orwell)

#28 Nineteen Eighty-Four (George Orwell)

#29 Candide (Voltaire)

#30 To Kill a Mockingbird (Harper Lee)

#31 Analects (Confucius)

#32 Dubliners (James Joyce)

#33 Of Mice and Men (John Steinbeck)

#34 Farewell to Arms (Ernest Hemingway)

#35 Red and the Black (Stendhal)

#36 Das Kapital (Karl Marx)

#37 Flowers of Evil (Charles Baudelaire)

#38 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (Sir Arthur Conan Doyle)

#39 Lady Chatterley's Lover (D. H. Lawrence)

#40 Brave New World (Aldous Huxley)

#41 Sister Carrie (Theodore Dreiser)

#42 Gone with the Wind (Margaret Mitchell)

#43 Jungle (Upton Sinclair)

#44 All Quiet on the Western Front (Erich Maria Remarque)

#45 Communist Manifesto (Karl Marx)

#46 Lord of the Flies (William Golding)

#47 Diary (Samuel Pepys)

#48 Sun Also Rises (Ernest Hemingway)

#49 Jude the Obscure (Thomas Hardy)

#50 Fahrenheit 451 (Ray Bradbury)

#51 Doctor Zhivago (Boris Pasternak)

#52 Critique of Pure Reason (Immanuel Kant)

#53 One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (Ken Kesey)

#54 Praise of Folly (Desiderius Erasmus)

*

#55 Catch-22 (Joseph Heller)*

#56 Autobiography of Malcolm X (Malcolm X)

#57 The Color Purple (Alice Walker)

#58 Catcher in the Rye (J. D. Salinger)

#59 Essay Concerning Human Understanding (John Locke)

#60 Bluest Eye (Toni Morrison)

#61 Moll Flanders (Daniel Defoe)

#62 One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich (Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn)

#63 East of Eden (John Steinbeck)

#64 Invisible Man (Ralph Ellison)

#65 I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Maya Angelou)

#66 Confessions (Jean Jacques Rousseau)

#67 Gargantua and Pantagruel (François Rabelais)

#68 Leviathan (Thomas Hobbes)

#69 Talmud

#70 Social Contract (Jean Jacques Rousseau)

#71 Bridge to Terabithia (Katherine Paterson)

#72 Women in Love (D. H. Lawrence)

#73 American Tragedy (Theodore Dreiser)

#74 Mein Kampf (Adolf Hitler)

#75 Separate Peace (John Knowles)

#76 The Bell Jar (Sylvia Plath)

#77 Red Pony (John Steinbeck)

#78 Popol Vuh

#79 Affluent Society (John Kenneth Galbraith)

#80 Satyricon (Petronius)

#81 James and the Giant Peach (Roald Dahl)

#82 Lolita (Vladimir Nabokov)

#83 Black Boy (Richard Wright)

#84 Spirit of the Laws (Charles de Secondat Baron de Montesquieu)

#85 Slaughterhouse Five (Kurt Vonnegut)

#86 Julie of the Wolves (Jean Craighead George)

#87 Metaphysics (Aristotle)

#88 Little House on the Prairie (Laura Ingalls Wilder)

#89 Institutes of the Christian Religion (Jean Calvin)

#90 Steppenwolf (Hermann Hesse)

#91 The Power and the Glory (Graham Greene)

#92 Sanctuary (William Faulkner)

#93 As I Lay Dying (William Faulkner)

#94 Black Like Me (John Howard Griffin)

#95 Sylvester and the Magic Pebble (William Steig)

#96 Sorrows of Young Werther (Johann Wolfgang von Goethe)

#97 General Introduction to Psychoanalysis (Sigmund Freud)

#98 A Handmaid's Tale (Margaret Atwood)

#99 Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee (Dee Alexander Brown)

#100 A Clockwork Orange (Anthony Burgess)

#101 Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman (Ernest J. Gaines)

#102 Émile (Jean Jacques Rousseau)

#103 Nana (Émile Zola)

#104 Chocolate War (Robert Cormier)

#105 Go Tell It on the Mountain (James Baldwin)

#106 Gulag Archipelago (Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn)

#107 Stranger in a Strange Land (Robert A. Heinlein)

#108 Day No Pigs Would Die (Robert Peck)

#109 Ox-Bow Incident (Walter Van Tilburg Clark)

#110 Flowers for Algernon (Daniel Keyes)

I guess studying english means that you look at a lot of parts of things.. go have a look at this passage, this section etc..

I feel a bit offended about being able to only put The Canterbury Tales in italics after all the blood, sweat and tears we went through last year in med-ren.. oh well…


March 05, 2005

Poetry and Society ..

Ugh

So, its saturday night, i have one day left to write my essay and ive got 2000 out of 3500 words, not worried about finishing it, cause my plan is pretty much telling me what to write.. in fact think ill be going over the word limit.. no surprise there..

taken a bit of an unconvential, well for me, approach to this essay.. think its either going to make it a lot better, or a lot worse. Done way more reading for this than any other essay… and know a lot more about what im trying to talk about than usual, but not sure im getting this across. and worried ive kind of forgotten about the poems.. in other words ive not narrated the events and even though i know thats not remotely necessary, it feels a little strange. I cant work out if im writing a better essay or not.. shouldn't really be taking this kind of chance with an essay worth 35% .. anyway thats enough rambling.. procrastinating… etc .. ill go write some more…


February 08, 2005

gender as a performance

Judith Butler, Exerpt from Gender Trouble, pp. 121:

" Gender is, thus, a construction that regularly conceals its genesis; the tacit collective agreement to perform, proudce and sustain discrete and polar genders as cultural fictions is obscured by the credibility of those productions…"

"collective agreement to perform" .. its funny how cultural practices arrive and are unquestionably acted out. Reminded me of that HSBC advert – the way certain things are rude in certain cultures.. where do these notions come from??


December 31, 2004

Reading update..

Just finished Great Expectations, it took me under four days to get through it.. aiming to read just 100 pages a day.. if I take this approach to the other novels this term then I should get along fine.. now moving onto Middlemarch - its a pretty long book.. but hopefully if I read it in one go, rather than stages like Tom Jones it'll pass quickly enough.

Great Expectations was a much easier read than Tom Jones , and I probably enjoyed it more due to the lack of huge addresses from the author.


December 28, 2004

Finally; Fielding to Dickens..

I finally finished Tom Jones last night, all 971 pages of it, and had a dilemma… to start either, Red and the Black (from last term) or Great Expectations (for next term).

Dickens won, and in contrast to Fielding its proving to be an easy read, page 75 already.. out of 443.

Reading these so many novels in this way, you can't help but realise im counting the pages till i finish them, not cause im not enjoying them, but that i know theres about ten more to read… and i haven't even started on the other modules..


December 26, 2004

wow

Writing about web page http://blogs.warwick.ac.uk/wsia/entry/the_stupid_white/

who'd think that one single event could affect so many people..

December 23, 2004

It's been a while..

So, she begins, its been a while..

..yeah, I have no idea where the last two and a half weeks have gone, well… perhaps I do, I spent the first week packing, unpacking and appointment-ting.. the second and a bit weeks skiing (and if we don't mention the 'little accident' everything will be ok) and then the last few days seeing friends – ie. Iz's 19th, shopping in Col, and meeting up with Sarah, Nick et al. (Simi, Emma, Ian, Yves) today in London.

With one day until the festivities _officially _begin (they don't till Dad finishes work, apparently) that only leaves the pile of uni work left to begin, to reflect on. Ugh. I'm still trawling through Tom Jones, yes, that was supposed to be read for Week 3.. and on page 587, i can't help but feel im being cheated out of the 'I've finished that book' feeling, at least twice... I mean just how many novels can you say, yeah page six hundred, of pretty small print, and I'm almost two thirds of the way through. Ugh ugh ugh. It's a good novel and all, but I wish Fielding would quit explaining the most ordinary of things in quite so much detail. One can't help but feel that the introduction chapters of each book, for which he half apologises, half explains, could just have been cut out. And if they all quit stopping at every inn they went to, and stopped talking to random people everywhere they went, I can't help but think that they would get on their journey quicker, and get together quicker, which lets face it has been obviously from at least pg 100, thats 500 pages ago.. and still 300 pgs to go!! You can see I'm just counting the pages… if i had the leisure to read this (arguably I've taken my time, but leaving a few novels seemed the only way to keep afloat this term) then perhaps it would be a more enjoyable reading experience.

Anyway, enough whinging about it and more reading .. if only it didn't make me feel sleepy everytime i sat down to read it…


December 05, 2004

Bleurghing .. what is it??

"and if i am i'm bleurghing or doing some form of work…"

M: and whats bleurghing?"
oli:its a word, i invented it (obviously)

its when you feel really tired or whatever and you just chill out when feeling bleurgh)

so in summary, a dictionary definition would be "a time period assigned to recover from a bleugh like state, see also de-bleugh"_

M:i like that

So there you have it, courtesy of Oli H. (..hello..!)


November 28, 2004

Only on essay days..

Its only on essay days that printers decide to go crazy and print the bits below the line, ie. the tail of the g the y, the bottom bit of p, in PINK, in PINK!!!

GRR.. trying to stay calm and get it sorted..


The Essay Avoidance Tactic with a Kick of Conscience

I thought i created an entry earlier, and then i realised i started to but deleted it. I'm doing that a lot this morning. I've typed out an email to my tutor twice now, and each time i get half way through, decide I already know the answer and delete it. It's a pretty logical process actually, its called the Essay Avoidance Tactic with a Kick of Conscience .. so i start doing something, realise I have a 2,500 word essay for tommorow to write and then stop. Repeat ad fin..

I started writing this essay, huh, no, entry for a reason, but now it escapes me and i feel a need to write about Kant's stance on religious reasoning, or maybe not quite but nearly, so i need to find something less _scary _to do before i start…

Proscratinating again.. hmmfff ...