Tag Archives: chaucer

Best text message ever.

24 Nov

On Saturday night I went to see my friend Lan’s incredible performance at Postcrypt. I gave a copy of this book to a friend to hold while I took a picture of Lan.

It’s unclear what happened next. All I know is that about an hour later, I was sitting in a car when I realized it was gone. I worried. Because, dense as it may be, Chaucerian Theatricality has a similar theoretical basis to my planned project. So it’s pretty important.

Maybe one minute after I spoke to my friend (she didn’t know where it was), I got the following text from an amazing person: “Are you perchance missing your copy of chaucerian theatricality? i swear i’m not a stalker. i read your blog and there’s a copy on the steps…”

And now I have it back! The book didn’t even have my name in it. I’m reading it right now. Thank you thank you thank you.

And heeeeere’s Lan:

Oh, and even though I have approximately 99999 other things to do, I started McEwan’s Between the Sheets. A short story collection is good for me at the moment—as a break from novels, and as I try to understand the form and craft. So far I’ve read the first two stories. They’re sort of Cement Gardenish. Otherwise they’re different from the McEwan novels I’ve read. (They’re also much better: less over-plotting).

Anyway, back to reading. Ganim.

Overheard at Starbucks

22 Nov

A guy to my right must be about 45. He’s reading Eclipse in earnest.

But that’s not what matters. Behind me, on the stools, two friends run into each other.

I don’t know, this could be spurred by the book I have with me—Chaucerian Theatricality by John M. Ganim—but I suddenly hear one guy say to the other, “You know, I’m reading the Canterbury Tales now. And it’s just tale after tale after tale after tale.”

Lucky for them, they leave right after that comment. And before I can react.

Back to school!

15 Sep

I’ve been breaking in notebooks for the last week, and it feels slightly different this time around. It could be because it may be the last fall in which I go through this life-stabilizing routine. I’m sure life will be good in the long run, but transitioning from one phase to another seems thorny…

Also, I was talking to Elizabeth about the True Blood finale—which ended on a cliffhanger—and she said that the next season starts in ten months. By then, I’ll be, well, not here. True Blood is the first tangible thing that I can say starts after I graduate. What a weird way to mark time.

Anyway. Here are the classes I’m enrolled in right now. I should probably drop one, but I really love them all (except for the one my parents are making me take). And when will I ever have another chance to take such courses? But then again, some sleep is good, I guess. Hit me up with suggestions, given the following constraints.

  • Freedom of Speech and the Press. A political science course run like a law course taught by Prez Bo. The reading is short but dense, dense but riveting. The topic is important to me. And, it fulfills a minor requirement for polisci. Awesome!
  • Independent Study. I’m working one-on-one with a Chaucer expert instead of doing the regular senior seminar. I met with him today and I am psyched! My first project is to read the Canterbury Tales cover to cover over the next few weeks. Yay! (Note that I meet with him once every few weeks, so it’s a lot of homework with very little class time).
  • 17th Century Prose and Poetry. I took this as my last major requirement—aside from thesis stuff—and it turns out to be really, really interesting. Lots of John Donne! And the professor was president of the Donne Society. Perfection.
  • Principles of Economics. I am not required to take this course for anything, but my parents are making me. That said, though I’ve never been economically inclined, the professor is hilarious and brilliantly captivating. And it’s generally good to know. Maybe I’ll P/D/F this one.
  • Intermediate French. Just for fun—because I love languages and the professor is great. I guess I could drop it but it is a breeze and actually practical.
  • Beginning Fiction Workshop. Given the constraints mentioned above, this would be the logical course to drop. But that would be a copout, you know? Since workshops are scary. And I’ve never pushed myself to write fiction. It’s something I’d like to start now and advance in next semester, but it is technically a superfluous course. Hm.

This brings me to a total of 20 credits. Not good. Help.

This is me, confused.

Chaucer guilt

3 Jul

Ah, working from home. So relaxing. About to make some calls for an article I’m working on. Technically I’m off today, but since i work 6 days a week, I don’t really have business hours for interviews. I’m excited about this one!

But while I was wasting time this morning in my den, watching the West Wing, Chaucer winked down at me. And by Chaucer, I mean the Riverside Chaucer, my big red edition. Meaning, I should get started on my thesis/independent study thing. Because gosh, when will I be able to do it during the year, with Spec going on etc?

And let me share this, via The New Yorker:

Now, an interview.

another reason to love the New Yorker

4 May

See this excellent Talk of the Town piece by the infinitely-talented Lauren Collins on the naming of swine flu. Not only does it take a creative stab at an issue we’re flooded with on a daily basis, but SHE QUOTES CHAUCER:

In Chaucer, a noblewoman berates a group of beggars: “masty swyn, ye ydel wrechches, Ful of roten, slowe techches!” Drunkards and slobs, along with the potentates of the Catholic Church—“that lecherous swyne the Byschop of Rome”—were objects of the opprobrium.

And Shakespeare!

Shakespeare associates the word with intemperance—“Oh, monstrous beast, how like a swine he lyes,” a lord says of the sodden tinker Christopher Sly.

Read the full piece. You won’t be disappointed.