wheresmycow: (cabinpressure02)
When I became a literature major, I didn't expect to start hating some of the texts I read. I certainly didn't expect to find that analyzing them could be a horrible chore and not a pleasure at all.

Take my current problem, for example: to write a 25+page in-depth analysis of Gertrude Stein's Three Lives; if possible, to come up with some original insight into its creation, reception, and influence on modern American literature.

What else is there to say, though? I can talk about how much of an influence Cubism had on Stein and her work (and how much influence she had on it, thanks to her and Leo's palling around with the Parisian artist's community); taking that idea further, I can write about how much her experimental style reflected and influenced early 20th-century literary modernism; we can discuss the sexual politics of "The Good Anna" and/or racial politics of "Melanctha", even though I find analyses like these irritating and exhausting; I can go back and mine Stein's work with William James and the Harvard Psychology Laboratory for some juicy tidbits about her characterization style.

Thing is, it's all been done. I'm currently surrounded by a sea of printouts of journal articles talking about everything I mentioned above. The only other approach I can think of at the moment is to discuss the significance of threes in Stein's life and work made manifest in Three Lives (also, Cubism. See, cube = three. Get it? *groans*), and right now I don't know how to spin that one without making me sound like some weird New Age fool.

The problem here, too, is that I have now read Three Lives backwards, forwards, and sideways, and I can tell you this: I hate it. I HATE IT. I have never liked the Modernist Literature movement and its dreary misery and emptiness. I hated the literary and linguistic experimentation and how it was all so dreadfully artificial and frequently got in the way of whatever story there was -- and sometimes there wasn't any story to speak of, nothing but a mess. It takes an extremely talented writer to make his or her experimentation seem fluid and organic, and as far as I was concerned Joyce (and to a certain extent Woolf) did it. I am a formalist at heart, and Miss Stein, all you did here was annoy me. Especially with "Melanctha" and its meanderingly circular way of storytelling. Talk about ending not with a bang but with a whimper.

I want to make it clear that I'm not against all literary and linguistic experimentation here -- literature would stagnate if it didn't occur -- but there's a huge slush pile of mediocrity to wade through, here.

It feels like a rat race, sometimes.




Gosh, that felt good. I'm sure I'll regret a lot of the things I've said here by tomorrow, but right now, it feels really good.

urgh.

Dec. 11th, 2010 09:12 am
wheresmycow: (Default)
A night of

    [really good pork chops + mashed potatoes]
+  [intense nerd fighting pub quiz with prizes and and consolatory granola bars]
+  [absinthe + whatever it is that goes into the drink called malibog]
_______________________________________________________________________________________
=  mild headache, a bit of a gippy tummy, and a missed deadline.

(damn you, insta-rakets. Why must you plague me so?)
wheresmycow: (Default)
I've been feeling progressively dumber this past year, so this Christmas I'm unearthing all my old lit crit books, lecture notes, etc. from storage and studying all over again. So, basically, I'm going back to school.

NO, [livejournal.com profile] freehold, not literally! Of course, I may need to take out a few books from the University library (thank you, University of the Philippines Alumni Association Lifetime Membership Card!) sometime in the process. But wow, I'm so badly out of practice at this lit crit gig, I'm not even sure where to start anymore.

Now, where are Professor Aureus's class notes again?
wheresmycow: (Default)
The visible signs of the rash are gone, thank goodness -- but my hands still itch something awful.

I really should catch up on the shit-TON of work I left moldering on my desk during the Week of Pain but I can't bring myself to start on them. BORED! Hang on, why do I NOT have a Sherlock BORED! icon? I must fix this.

Okay, TMI over. Let's have something more cheerful:

The Art of Scheduling; or, How Mycroft Came To Realize He Was Well and Truly Fucked by [livejournal.com profile] igrab. It suited him, and he assumed it suited her for she'd never given any indication otherwise. (Mycroft/Anthea)

(I DID wonder about what looked like a wedding ring on Mycroft's right hand in A Study in Pink. Like everyone else, I'd assumed it was Mark Gatiss's real wedding ring and he'd just shifted it to his other hand. And then I watched that behind-the-scenes special that came with the DVD and he had one ring on each hand. So...okay, this paragraph really had no point, then.)

Anthea had the most infuriating habit of looking completely innocent when she was at her very most devious. He sighed. "There are times I find myself pathetically glad to have you on my side."

"I wouldn't dream of being anywhere else, sir."

He had turned to go, but that made him pause, and look back over one shoulder. His brow furrowed and he considered, once more, her motivations - her apparent lack of them, to the point of not even wanting a present to celebrate her date of birth. "You really don't, do you," he murmured, but it was more to himself than anyone else, and when she looked up, distracted, her eyes clearly seeing numbers and maps and far more important things than her somewhat astonished boss. It was simply a statement of fact, something he'd known for a long time but perhaps didn't fully understand until this moment.

This, here, was what she wanted. This life. His life, as a matter of fact. She'd played him like Sherlock's violin and that was all the present she'd needed.

(Maybe I should just put all these recs together in one post next time. ...Nah, I like sharing the stuff I like as soon as I find them.)
wheresmycow: (Default)
The entire island of Luzon was plunged into darkness last night, thank you so very much Typhoon Basyang. We only got the power back right now. We've pretty lucky, because we're part of the 8% of Metro Manila that has power already.

Great. Now I have to go back to work.
wheresmycow: (Default)
I did absolutely nothing at work except surf the Internet and watch episodes of Better Off Ted. (They're showing two episodes a week. Is it going to be cancelled? NOOOOO! Not when I've just fallen in love with it!)

Not kidding, I did absolutely nothing. Naaaa-da.

Technically I still have a couple of things to write, edit, and polish for the magazine, but it's just so depressing when the damn thing's going under already a month late and is going to be later because of financial difficulties. Woe.

Yeah, I'm revamping my resume.
wheresmycow: (Default)
I've been here at the office for more than an hour and I'm STILL THE ONLY ONE AROUND! Did I miss a memo or something?

ETA: Of course I spoke too soon. Hello, Glenda!

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