catslash: (Default)
( Nov. 2nd, 2010 10:13 pm)
Today I attended an author's reading of an excerpt from his book, because I am required to write a couple of analyses of readings for my Oral Interpretation class. I feel that the following description of his own character is all you need to know to understand this experience.

"The most compassionate person in literature as I know it."

Also he went just long enough in the Q&A after for me to run to the corner just in time to watch the bus go by and have to wait an hour for the next.

It's a shame that his actual reading was good, because it means I won't get to tear him apart properly in my essay.

catslash: (Doctor implode - credit discordanticons)
( Oct. 11th, 2009 07:53 pm)
Have an entry that has been percolating in my head for a few days.

Things I think about during my class on Oscar Wilde and the fin de siécle:

* Writing a brief crack crossover between the Jeeves and Wooster books and The Picture of Dorian Gray, based entirely on the fact that both Bertie and Lord Henry have an Aunt Agatha. "Oh, dear, it's my dreadful cousin Bertie no, Dorian, don't look, maybe he won't see us. He lets his valet dictate his wardrobe, which says everything you need to - oh, hello, Bertie, I didn't notice you oozing past!"

* How awesome a post-S4 Doctor Who episode fic with Oscar Wilde as the public domain celebrity guest star would be. It would take place in 1882, while he was lecturing in Canada and America, and - um, would have a plot of some kind. I'm not so good with the plots. Should I borrow from the show's past, maybe dig a little deeper than goddamn Daleks and Cybermen? Should I gank something from Torchwood or SJA? Should I, oh god, make something up? And that's still easier than I suspect writing Wilde would be. Honestly, the more you know about a person, the harder they are to accurately characterize.

Things I do not think about:

* Essays which include sentences such as "By 'they' here I definitionally mean 'we.'" Really? What a coincidence. By "fuck you" here I definitionally mean "EAT ME." YOU ARE NOT ALLOWED TO DO THAT. THE ONLY NON-HUMOR-RELATED EXCUSE FOR CHANGING THE MEANING OF A FUCKING PRONOUN IS COMPLETE LACK OF EDUCATION, WHICH IS THEORETICALLY THE OPPOSITE OF WHAT YOU POSSESS. I've never taken a class that assigned so many essays composed entirely of Pretentious Academic Speak, most of which are harder to read than the works they are analyzing, so I have yet to build up a tolerance, and frankly I'm not sure I want to.
catslash: (Hamlet is damn interesting)
( Oct. 1st, 2009 01:01 am)
I just finished reading The Picture of Dorian Gray for my British Literature class, which is specifically about Oscar Wilde and the fin de siécle. (It's entirely possible that I've said so before, but I seriously don't expect you to remember.) This would be pretty awesome anyway, since it's such a fun book, but it's like a reward after having slogged through (most of) Joyce's Portrait of the Artist as blah blah blah. And yes, I have had a hard time keeping the titles separate in my head.

So anyway, I went to Google it once I was done, and I have this great plug-in in my Firefox that grins up the Wikipedia article for anything I Google. (Googlepedia, if you're interested. God, I'm parenthetical today.) One of the fun things about Wikipedia is that you can judge by the various notations just how psychotically anal the people who take interest in that particular subject are.

Fans of aesthetic literature do not, as it turns out, disappoint.

Attribution needed? Really? How about every single person who has ever read the fucking book? Because I'm not sure how that aspect of that competition could have been LESS obvious.

One of the essays I've been assigned to read along with the book is titled "Homosexual Desire and the Effacement of the Self in The Picture of Dorian Gray." As a slasher, I find this hilarious. I'm pretty confident that it won't teach me anything new about gay subtext (or, in this case, gay text, because DAMN) and the implications thereof. Much like how the essay discussing the obsession with "decoding" Walter Pater's work in search of evidence about his sexuality was a whole bunch of nothin' new. I wasn't exactly expecting a class centered on Oscar Wilde to be the straightest thing in the world, but I didn't really anticipate that a decade of slasherdom would give me a head start on reading the academic essays, either.

(And yes, I am in fact having fun with the Grab function Macs come equipped with. I may or may not stop capping things on the internet to mock any time soon.)
catslash: (Doctor implode - credit discordanticons)
( Sep. 25th, 2009 06:39 pm)
*attempts to read the fifth and final chapter of A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man*

*hits lengthy section with protagonist attempting to define beauty*

*loses will to live*

Seriously, I make it through the sermons on hell and Stephen's subsequent spiritual crisis (augmented by the inherent drama of being sixteen), and this is my reward?

You wanna know my current definition of beauty? SparkNotes.
catslash: (Default)
( Sep. 12th, 2009 12:48 pm)
I discovered a couple of days ago that there is a Kindle application for the iPod Touch. My iPod is now full of books I am assigned to read this semester. (Which are mostly public domain, so it's full of FREE books.)

This is less "ooh, shiny!" and more practical, because guess who's taking three three hundred level classes this semester? With two of them being English classes?

Yup. I am finally experiencing that reading workload English majors are always bitching about. This weekend, for example, I have four plays and somewhere around a dozen essays to get through. By Tuesday. I am only writing this post instead of reading because I have one play and a couple essays left at this point. Ugh, and some more shit by Yeats that I forgot to include in that dozen (I was including the analysis of the plays, which I don't really read that closely because Cathleen ni Houlihan is not a dense and layered work, thank you very much), but those are short. As are the plays, which I hope is why he assigned so many in one week. The essays for British Literature, though - they're not superlong for the most part, but they are the kind of academic nonsense where the writer appears to believe that "historicize" is a word. IT IS NOT A WORD, PEOPLE. What "historicize" is, is a red flag normal people use to spot academic BS a mile away. If you use it, I automatically do not take you seriously.

But anyway. I've been plowing through them madly in part because I have awesome plans with [ profile] sotto_voice tonight, possible birthday lunch plans with my grandmother tomorrow (her birthday was yesterday, and no, I haven't once forgotten it in the last eight years), and I'm doing the bartending post at [ profile] milliways_bar tomorrow evening. I can multitask during bartending, of course, but I think it would be rude to Lexie and Grandma to bring my books with me. XD So I've powered through most of it already, but in future will probably not try quite so hard to kill my brain by Sunday.

But just because I'm on top of the weekly reading . . . I have to have The Picture of Dorian Gray read by the beginning of October, Dracula toward the end of the semester, and Jude the Obscure and Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde or whatever the actual title is somewhere in between. And that's just for British Lit. I haven't even checked yet to refresh my memory as to whether there are any novels assigned for Irish Lit. So I need to be reading along on those when I can, to avoid trying to cram them all in at the last minute. Hence having them on my iPod, because five minutes' random downtime is a couple pages of a novel.

And I haven't even gotten into the chapters needing to be read for World Wars I and II by Wednesday, or the article reviews we're supposed to be writing for Sociology. Which is my one hundred level class.

I am starting to understand the point of multiple vacation periods within a semester. It is so we do not explode.

I tell you what, though, this is forcing me to be more organized and motivated than I've been since my very first semester back in 2006. I have separate binders for each subject again. I'm thinking ahead and setting aside time for schoolwork. I NEVER think ahead. About anything. Ever. But if I don't this semester, I'm dead. And I kinda like it. For all I'm generally a disorganized mess, organization actually appeals very much to me as a person with ADD. It means I know where stuff is and what's happening when and why, and with Attention Deficit Disorder you can never, ever get too much of that. (So why don't I get organized and stay that way? Dude, why do you think it's called a disorder? Hint: Not because it makes things that are good for me easy to do.)

So. I'm gonna go read an essay before work. And, uh, I'll probably be posting a lot about school when I do post, but that's better than not posting at all, right? At least this way you know I'm alive. And, despite the complaining, happy.


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