felis_ultharus: The Pardoner from the Canterbury Tales (Default)
Just a little post to say that I'm not dead. It'll be a bit of time before I have time to go through friends' pages, tho.

I've been working a lot on the non-novel, and I'm past the thirty-page mark, which means it's not going to be a short story.

My last course is going well. I'm still settling on an essay topic. I read John Lyly's Gallathea -- a source text for Shakespeare's As You Like It. Gallathea posits that two women can find happiness and true love together, and should be alowed to marry so long as a deity descends to turn one of them into a man.

This rather contrived ending allows Lyly to sidestep the problem of two women being in love in Renaissance society. After all, if one of them doesn't get turned into a man -- which neaither wants -- he's got a true love story without a marriage at the end. And a comedy is "a play that ends in marriage," so with five minutes left in the play, the goddess Venus decides to zap our two young lesbians into heteronormativity.

I've decided to call this the "penis ex machina" ending.

And I keep picturing Peter the Alchemist's Apprentice as Ed from Fullmetal Alchemist.


Nov. 10th, 2006 10:02 pm
felis_ultharus: The Pardoner from the Canterbury Tales (Default)
So I've mostly bounced back from Tuesday's news. Things are returning to quasi-normal.

In a crisis, I explode. Then I put the pieces back together very quickly. I've mentally reorganized the next half-year, and quietly gone back to writing and working, which seems to be my life.

I've gotten ten pages written on the not-novel, and thinking about how I'll revise novel #1 when the second copy returns my way.

Tonight, I'm happy. I read A Midsummer Night's Dream -- Shakespeare's most fun comedy. And the anime we're watching would probably make anyone feel better about their own life.

I got a lot of writing done. I'm feeling appreciated at work. And -- and this will only make sense to 7 people on my friends-list -- I've learned a trick to dodging lightning. Sadly, this trick requires me to have my eyes open, which is more than I can manage tonight, so I shall have to save it for tomorrow. I can't seem to get past 60 bolts in my sonambulant state.

There shall be no game this weekend because [livejournal.com profile] montrealais will be at an NDP conference helping to hammer out the gay socialist agenda ^_^

If my erstwhile players are interested, I could go for another round of that game we played last time.
felis_ultharus: The Pardoner from the Canterbury Tales (Default)
So I've been at the office all weekend (I'm only halfway through my work-week). Trying to input attendance for a few thousand students on ancient '486 computers is an exercise in patience -- my computer sometimes freezes for ten minutes at a time while it does all the necessary calculations.

Writing on the thing-I-do-not-want-to-call-a-second-novel-at-this-early-stage is going well, but working on a second novel feels vaguely like cheating on a boyfriend.

Meanwhile, I've been reading Shakespeare. And the funny thing is that reading a Shakespeare play for the first time is that you keep stumbling against quotes you've heard dozens of times.

The funniest lines are the ones that sound completely different in context than in quotation. My favourite so far "If music be the food of love, play on." This is one of those sweet-sounding lines, fit for Hallmark cards, that you get in books of famous sayings, and quoted endlessly in old movies and bad newspaper articles.

The original context:

"If music be the food of love, play on,
Give me excess of it, that, surfeiting,
The appetite may sicken and so die."
In modern English: "If music is the food of love, keep playing -- that way, by forcefeeding me, I'll want to throw up and won't be in love anymore."

You won't find that on a greeting card.


Oct. 17th, 2006 11:17 am
felis_ultharus: The Pardoner from the Canterbury Tales (Default)
I continue to be not dead, though I'm mostly only checking LJ once a week. Mostly it's just usual internet detox -- too much electronic communication has always had a bad effect on me, and I need to periodically unplug.

I've also been quiet on email, but for a more practical reason: my roommate's computer can no longer log onto secure sites of any kind, so I've lost all email access anywhere. I'm going once a week to an internet place to handle that stuff.

Things were very busy this week. I ran around at work and for school, and preparing for [livejournal.com profile] montrealais's birthday, and finally crashed on Sunday with a bad flu.

Writing is sporadic -- I've only finished one short story and one piece of poetry these last few weeks, as I don't really feel inspired. I'm still waiting for feedback on the two copies of my novel I printed up.

Other than that, I've just been reading a lot of Renaissance drama. Right now, it's Shakespeare's Twelfth Night.
felis_ultharus: The Pardoner from the Canterbury Tales (Default)
It's comforting to know the Bard of Stratford, the Great Wordsmith, the man who gave the French language its nickname for English (la langue de Shakespeare), occasionally had his off days.

Possibly Shakespeare's worst lines, from Henry IV, part I:

"...Come, let me taste my horse,
Who is to bear me like a thunderbolt
Against the bosom of the Prince of Wales,
Harry to Harry shall, hot horse to horse,
Meet, and ne'er part till one drop down a cor[p]se.
O that Glendower were come!"
For the record, the speaker's nickname is "Hotspur."

Not much else to report, save that I'm a hairsbreadth from the halfway point on the great culling of my novel. And I'm still enjoying my readings for school.

Other than that, it's not been a nice day. I was almost paralyzed with pain from a toothache this morning and afternoon (I have a dentist's appointment tomorrow -- it feels like something serious). And I had to find my way back home from a commercial wasteland west of Namur station, after doing placement tests all alone -- buses in that region only run at peak hours.
felis_ultharus: The Pardoner from the Canterbury Tales (Default)
Reading Henry IV, part I by Shakespeare. I'm loving it. I'm surprised it's not more popular -- I think his use of language is at its height, there, and his characters are even more interesting and better developed than in most of the Shakespeare I've read.

Of course, I've read about that era before because the two greatest works of medieval literature in English -- The Canterbury Tales and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight -- also belong to the era of Richard II and Henry IV (the turn of the 15th century).

Richard II was a bad king -- so bad he inspired a peasant revolt and spent the treasury in a hopeless war with France. But Henry IV really takes a beating in Shakespeare, partly because he had Richard II murdered and his heir exiled.

If Richard II was the Dubya of his age, then John of Gaunt was his Dick Cheney. Gaunt was the power behind the throne, and legend had it was descended from the devil, and Gaunt's third wife, Katherine Swynforde, had been accused of witchcraft.

Interestingly, these old stories continue to inspire good writing. J.R.R. Tolkien was an expert in this era, and it shows in his work.

And J.K. Rowling throws a House of Gaunt into her last Harry Potter. And if there's any doubt that she's hinting at John of Gaunt, the House of Gaunt has "Peverell's Ring" -- Peverell being John of Gaunt's famous ancestor.

(Sometimes I feel like a literary degree is just a license to gather trivia. But it's really fun trivia!)
felis_ultharus: The Pardoner from the Canterbury Tales (Default)
I hope to live long enough to see this entire map dark blue.

Got my courses straightened out yesterday at Concordia. The last course of my degree will be "Sources of Shakespeare's Comedy" -- because I've managed to get to the end of a Master's degree in English lit without ever once covering a Shakespeare play.

The verdict on Volpone is that "hermaphrodite" is being used as "homosexual" -- it's made clear later that it's a character "flaw" and the word is used later, applied to someone else in that way.

I'm way behind on my reading schedule.

And I'm about a quarter of the way through the great culling of my novel. This is the second-to-last -- and second-shortest -- step before its completion.
felis_ultharus: The Pardoner from the Canterbury Tales (Default)
Okay, Shakespeare is really creepy. I can't believe it took me so long to notice.

I mean, it's not just the co-dependent 14-year-olds with their suicide pact (Romeo and Juliet).

I'm re-reading the sonnets right now, and about 126 of them are devoted to a young man who the poet is in love/in lust with. Shakespeare goes on and on about this guy's beauty, and about how he must reproduce to preserve that beauty in another generation. Shakespeare promises the young man immortality through his poetry, and the poet laments that he has a penis because the young man is heterosexual. Then he goes on some more about the guy's beauty.

I was trying to imagine how a straight man would react to 126 poems from another man obsessing over his beauty, and whether or not he reproduces and generates good-looking children. The words "restraining order" came to mind.

On a less ethereal plane, I seem to have developed a minor peanut allergy. So far, it's nothing dangerous, but I've heard these things can get worse with repeat exposure, so I'm going to have to be careful to avoid things with nuts in them :/


felis_ultharus: The Pardoner from the Canterbury Tales (Default)

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