highlyeccentric: Minerva Mcgonagall sometimes thinks Hogwarts would be better with no kids (Potterpuffs - McGonagal thinks Hogwarts)
There once was a student presenting
The Green Knight's poetic beheading
From experience he knew
it's a hard thing to do
to cut off a head without hewing




There are poems like cats, a prof said,
that are pretty too look at, or read,
but more complex by far
when you take them apart -
but then cats, unlike poems, are dead.
highlyeccentric: Garden gnome reading - text: can't talk. dorking. (Garden dork)
As with the previous instance, most social-media using persons have probably got the general idea, but here I present a summative post for friends, relations and the terminally curious, covering the period Halloween-Christmas 2013:

What I did in Europe, by Amy, Age 26 )
highlyeccentric: (Sydney Bridge)
I had thought about writing summative posts every month, but my housing situation was too precarious and stressful at the end of September to even think about it. I might aim for bi-monthly instead? Those following me either on DW/LJ or Facebook have probably got a reasonable idea of what my life has been like since I got here, so feel free to skip or skim - part of the purpose of this post is that I can fling links at non-social-media-using relatives if it seems useful.

Dear friends, family, internauts, and terminally curious persons, It may have reached your notice that I have moved to Geneva )
highlyeccentric: Book on a shelf, entitled "Oh God: What the Fuck (and other stories)" (Oh god what the fuck (and other tails))
People wearing black Balaclavas should not:

- wear large black sunglasses
and then
- ride bicycles very swiftly down the main pedestrian concourse of the uni.

Because it is not reassuring to start your working day with a BLACK FACELESS THING cycling toward you at a great rate.

TODAY I...

May. 3rd, 2011 08:06 pm
highlyeccentric: Slightly modified sign: all unFUCKed items will be cleared by friday afternoon. FUCK you. (All unfucked items will be discarded. Fu)
- acquired eighty-five dollars in library fines
- discovered that my email forwarding wasn't working (see library fines) and I'd missed some emails from students
- acquired sixtyish essays to mark
- still can't find the last book I owe back to the library

On the other hand, I found out that I inspired one of my students to mainline three seasons of Merlin over the break. I HAVE PURPOSE AS A TEACHER.
highlyeccentric: Literature: words that think they are too clever by half. Mostly written by men. (literature (too clever by half))
- Doing English (2000) is primarily aimed at an A-level audience, with first-year tertiary students being its secondary audience
- It provides an interesting survey of the history of English as a discipline (eg: I now know that the study of English literature was pioneered in India... as part of the British govt and East India Company's efforts to civilise and pacify the natives. Whoo), and a nice simple explanation of the failings of a 'traditional' (for the Eaglestone's purposes, 'traditional' means following the practical criticism approach of the Leavises and subsequent scholars) approach to literature.
- Despite being strongly in favour of 'theory' generally and giving a good account of why 'theory' was needed, the book doesn't actually give you much in the way of concrete examples of why 'theory' is useful.
- Its 'Death of the Author' chapter is the kind of thing which turned me *off* the Death of the Author to begin with. It more or less convincingly argues that meaning is created between reader and text... but doesn't give any framework for deciding what's a 'good' reading for critical purposes and what's not. Given this is designed for A-level students, how are they supposed to know what they're being marked on?
- Likewise, while making a nifty distinction between 'intrinsic' and 'extrinsic' approaches to literature, the book seems to work on the aggravating assumption that 'intrinsic' readers (close readers, etc) all take a practical criticism approach and look at the text in isolation; and that 'extrinsic' readers all want to read the text as evidence of historical, cultural or other contemporary phenomena. Eaglestone does hint that some extrinsic or historicist critics use contextual evidence to construct new readings of the text, but then proceeds on to talk about extrinsic readings going out from the text into the context.
- He doesn't try to tie the intrinsic/extrinsic dichotomy into the dead/alive author thing. You can do either brand of criticism with a dead author or an alive one!
- The chapter on metaphor, narrative structure, and closure seems to be fairly basic (and traditional!) but useful.

Conclusion: Probably more useful for high school students than university students (and possibly outdated for A-levels by now?). I can see how this textbook would have been very applicable to the HSC English curriculum, but I can also tell that if you'd given this book to me, age 15 (or indeed, anywhere up until my fourth year of uni) it would not have convinced me that 'theory' is good and practical criticism bad: it would have convinced me that 'theory' was a load of waffle, practical criticism stuffy but comprehensible, and History a better use of my time than English. Which, oh, wait, is what first-year English did for me anyway! So perhaps this would be a perfect complement to first-year courses?

What I will do with this book: I think I may photocopy his chart of intrinsic/extrinsic approaches and save it for classroom use, mostly for the purposes of talking to students about why this is a bollocks dichotomy. I may also recommend it, with caveats, to students who feel they need a really basic primer to literary study. But then I may not, since it doesn't seem to provide any argument for a *point* of literary study.
highlyeccentric: Book on a shelf, entitled "Oh God: What the Fuck (and other stories)" (Oh god what the fuck (and other tails))
You know what I just found, in the history-of-male-homosexuality section of the library?

COCKS.

HARRY G. COCKS, historian of homosexuality.

HARRY G. COCKS. Is an actualfax scholar of 19th century male homosexuality. My life is immeasurably happier for this knowledge.
highlyeccentric: The pevensie siblings in the sun (Four pevensies)
Not that it was hard, but I mean, I finally got over the thing where I've been panicking whenever I think about going to the library*, and had an enjoyable time when I was there.

And I acquired the Allegory of Love.

BRB, LOLING FOREVER.

I am torn between "why, CS Lewis, why?" and "oh, you poor darling man, everything would've made so much more sense to you if you had some basic gender theory in your life". There's this adorable section where he's trying very hard to articulate concepts about homosociality which Simon Gaunt has got down pat half a century later, and it's both hilarious and endearing.

Possibly my favourite part, though, is where he dismisses the (low-brow) romantic literature of the 20th century as containing nothing but 'sheiks, 'Salvage Men' and marriage by capture', apparently without having noticed that medieval romance contains an awful bloody lot of marriage by capture, and also apparently without noticing that, except for the 'Salvage Men' part (whatever THOSE are) he might as well be describing The Horse and His Boy.

~

* Seriously, it's been horrid. Imagine being scared of LIBRARIES. Especially Fisher. There have been many times in my life when Fisher has been the Last Safe Place In The World, and now the thought of going there makes me panic? WOES.
highlyeccentric: Arthur (BBC Merlin) - text: "SRSLY" (SRSLY)
Paper: written
Terrible jokes: scripted
Length of time it takes to read aloud 4500 words: apparently only 25 minutes. And I don't THINK I'm speaking stupidly fast. I'm speaking as slowly as I can, anyway.

Successfully tied serious scholarly conclusion to the conclusion that Yvain is more of a twit in French than any other language.

GO ME.
highlyeccentric: A character from silentkimbly.livejournal.com, hiding under a lampshade (hiding)
Today is: Tuesday
On Friday I am: giving a paper about Yvain, Owain and Ewan (ie, the same person)
In front of: various people INCLUDING NORRIS LACY
Total amount of paper written: 300 words
Total amount of Lacy's book read: 1/2 a chapter
Amount of my argument which relies on Lacy's work for methodology, or would, if i had finished reading said work: MUCH

How stupid am I: VERY
highlyeccentric: girls cuddling - Imagine Me And You (girl cuddles)
Still feel crappy. Stupid head cold. Desperately wanted to sleep in this morning - probably should've, it's not like I can't learn the passive voice from a grammar crib. But I went in to uni anyway.

Good: spent the afternoon lounging around in the sun with Lucymonster

Better: also we went shopping and I obtained both Decent Jeans and two new pairs of underpants for a total of forty dollars. I LOVE TARGET THEY ARE MY DEITY.

Bad: due to said headfog, forgot to hand in latin assignment. It is due at 10am tomorrow.

Good: have bribed Lucy - she's coming here, and in return for foods and assistance with her assignment, i make her get up and go in to uni early and hand both our assignments in. Mwahahah.

Glaaaargh

May. 3rd, 2010 05:23 pm
highlyeccentric: Literature: words that think they are too clever by half. Mostly written by men. (literature (too clever by half))
Things which are weird: taking notes in English from an article in french
Things which are ugly: direct translations from french rendered in English while taking said notes. Observe: "allegorie is a general category in which are arranged diverse more specific classical tropes" And, hah, I've spelt allegory wrong, and although I've fixed it here, I keep putting the adjectives in the wrong order, and it's generally hideous.
Things which are surprising: how much french I apparently understand! The fact that I can knock out acceptable direct translations at all (have never tried translating before - french classes were all composition and/or reading comprehension, not translation).

highlyeccentric: Manuscript illumination - courtiers throwing snowballs (medieval - everybody snowball)
OK TODAY DOES NOT TOTALLY SUCK. BECAUSE I AM RIGHT. I HAVE EVIDENCE! I AM RIGHT! WHEEEEE!!!!!!!!


*flops back on the floor with her nice, obliging, thesis-upholding texts*

Aaaah

Mar. 8th, 2010 02:57 pm
highlyeccentric: Anglo-Saxonists decline to do it (Naked Philologist)
Ok ok internet! I am having to make PLANS! And, uh, typically, I've left these PLANS until the day before I have to meet with my supervisor to discuss said PLANS.

ANYWAY. It occurs to me that although my thesis is not *due* until December 2011, it would probably be a good idea to be aware of when the application deadlines are for universities overseas. Because maybe I could submit this one a bit early, esp. if I were going to England (the Bocera tells me I could probably get into an English uni just on the strength of my honours marks), and go *straight* into the next degree, thus avoiding a pesky funding gap.

PEOPLE AT UK UNIVERSITIES: when does one apply? Does one have to start at the beginning of the academic year, and when is that exactly?

PEOPLE AT US AND/OR CANADIAN UNIVERSITIES: ditto?
highlyeccentric: Firefley - Kaylee - text: "shiny" (Shiny)
Cannot has internet connection yet because I wasn't able to print out the passcodes from my inbox yesterday. They're on Sjazz's hard drive instead, but she's off doing exciting Birthday Things for now.

[personal profile] kayloulee and I invented the BEST FOOD EVER.

It is: toasted apple and cheese tortillas.

You get your tortilla, and lay teeeny thin apple slices down the middle of it and then cover them in cheese and toast it and then fold the tortilla in half. THEN YOU HAVE NOMS.

Other things:
1. Latin will kill me
2. Am only capable of comprehending 1000 lines of Old French poetry a day. Some days I can read that in an hour, some days it takes me four hours, but invariably, brain fizzles out after 1000 lines.
3. Going to dinner with some college people tonight.
4. Going latin grammar book shopping with Lucy tomorrow, because we really know how to party.
5. Meeting up with Aissi on Saturday.
6. Going to see french film on Sunday. Thought it was LAST sunday, but no, it is not.
7. Have exam at nine am on monday. FUNZIES.

Finally, you should know that [livejournal.com profile] eggs_maledict and performed some TRULY MAGNIFICENT impromptu interpretive dance renditions of the Seafarer and the Wife's Lament outside the quad yesterday. ("I'm all ALONE in my BOAT and I HAVE NO FRIENDS" and "I'm all ALONE in a HOLE UNDER A TREE and I HAVE NO FRIENDS", respectively.) Classic works of literature living on into a new age, I tell you.
highlyeccentric: Sign on Little Queen St - One Way both directions (Default)
So USyd has co-branded its student cards with ANZ BANK, of all things, this year. Your student card is now a pre-paid credit card! So you can use it to buy things! Which, y'know, you could do with your ACTUAL VISA OR MASTERCARD DEBIT CARD GIVEN TO YOU BY YOUR ACTUAL BANK WHICH ALL BANKS DO NOW AND ALSO NOT ALL OF THEM CHARGE YOU *UTTERLY RIDICULOUS FEES* which is what ANZ do if you top up your pre-paid student card thing anywhere off campus or use it to buy things in foreign currency.

Result: student cards are now printed by ANZ. So you don't get them when you enrol. You get them "7-10 days later" (am currently up to thirteen days and counting).

You can get a non-branded student card, but not until you've had your ANZ one delivered, presumably so that our coporate overlords aren't disadvantaged by anyone demonstrating efficiency or anything.

OH AND I NEED A STUDENT CARD IN ORDER TO GET MY SCHOLARSHIP PAID.

Thanks for fuckery, USyd.
highlyeccentric: Sheer Geekiness, unfortunately - I just think this stuff is really cool (phd comics) (Sheer Geekiness)
GUESS WHO GETS TO TAKE LATIN 7201?

After she does cartwheels up and down the Mungo MacCallum Building carrying a form and a hopeful smile, that is.

Found supervisor. Supervisor remains wonderful. She didn't recognise me with the haircut, though, which was entertaining. Have proper meeting with her (and several forms) on Tuesday. She offered to introduce me to Keith Busby on thursday but sadly I have to have a phone connected at that time. WAAAAH.
highlyeccentric: Anglo-Saxonists decline to do it (Naked Philologist)
Fact: i need copies of the complete romances of Chretien de Troyes
Fact: I want the Livre de Poche parallel OF/Modern French editions, because they are Good Stuff.
Fact: Hachette's website says there's a boxed set, RRP 19 euro

Also Facts:

* Amazon US and Argentina want to charge me around a hundred dollar australian to ship a thirty-dollar book
* The co-op and Abbeys don't have any of Chretien's romances in stock, although they have other Livres de Poche.
* Amazon.fr say the boxed set ships "usually under two months" - but they have some kind of special on the individual books, WHICH WOULD BE GREAT EXCEPT THEY ONLY SHIP TO BELGIUM AND FRANCE.

So, I think to myself. I'm a co-op life member. They told me they can order stuff in, being as they exist to meet Australian academics' academic needs. I know they can get these books because I bought my copies of the Conte du Graal and Yvain from them!

No. The co-op tell me they can't get any Chretien books, and suggest I try Amazon.

*headdesk* HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO GET COPIES OF BOOKS FROM OUTSIDE AUSTRALIA IF YOU CAN'T?1

Caaaami... any chance I can use your address so that I can order from Amazon.fr, and send you the cost of forwarding it/them on to me via paypal?

~

1. The government have decided not to lift restrictions on parrallel imports. This is all well and good EXCEPT FOR THE PART WHERE OBVIOUSLY NO ONE IMPORTS THINGS I WANT, LET ALONE PUBLISHES AUSTRALIAN EDITIONS OF THEM.
highlyeccentric: Four years of college, and plenty of knowledge, have earnt me this USELESS degree! (Four years of college)
YOU GUYS YOU GUYS I HAVE A *PLAN*. A wobbly baby fledgling of a plan, but one which doesn't rely on such things as my chances of getting a government job in Sydney, or me just slogging away at my job for another couple of years until I can comfortably up and leave it.

Firstly, note that, although I want to keep up with the medievalism, I keep coming back to the idea of doing *something* on Evelyn Dickinson and/or Louisa MacDonald. 19th century / early 20th century lesbian-like relationships are GROSSLY under-studied. [Says my mother: "don't you think that's for a reason? Says I: "yes. Systematic homophobia."] Evelyn's novels, so far as I can tell, are... odd. I will need to track down the rest of them and read them *properly* but they're odd. On the basis of the one I read, her depiction of romance and sexuality was *odd*. Her lead female characters had little to no personal investment therein. Plus there was the political side - a novel about a upper middle class british girl investigating NSW labor politics? That's just weird.

K tracked me down a reference: Evelyn wrote a review in a Sydney literary journal, of My Brilliant Career. If she wrote one, she may have written others. If she reviewed Miles Franklin's work, did she ever meet Miles? Did she know Miles was female? If Louisa MacDonald never met Louisa Lawson, but Evelyn was known to be more forthright, more masculine, and (from what I gather) maybe more hardline in her politics, and Evelyn was a writer... did Evelyn know the Lawsons? I'm starting to get a sense of a loose network of female Australian authors and feminist activists, and I want to know where and how Evelyn fits in with them.

I saw Awesome on Monday, and she pointed out that if I did an MPhil in Aus. lit and a PHD in medieval, I'd have two completely different streams of literature for my research fields. This might not give me an advantage at one of the big Sydney unis, but it sure would if I were applying for jobs in one of the regional unis. Oh hai, I can teach English literature up to 1500 and also I work on turn-of-the-twentieth-century Australian women's literature. Two fields in one academic!

This is sound advice.

TODAY, it occurred to me that I wouldn't need to go to Sydney to do an MPhil in Aus lit. I could do it here! I wouldn't need to be taking huge chunks of time off for research trips - just a week here or there in the NSW State Archives. I reckon I could do this part-time while working. It might send me crackers - part-time thesis on top of full time work???? - but it might also give me SOMETHING TO DO WITH MY GODDAMN BRAIN.

ZE PLAN IS TO READ AS MUCH OF EVELYN'S STUFF AS I CAN GET HOLD OF WITHOUT INTER-LIBRARY LOANS. Wait and see what happens with the current recruitment at work, find out where I'm going to be next year. Start looking for a supervisor in whichever city that is. Start mid-year next year, if I can.

OMG A PLAN.

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highlyeccentric: Sign on Little Queen St - One Way both directions (Default)
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