All entries for November 2005

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'.


November 2005

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