Dum-dum-dum…

Ok, I’m a slack blogger, but some news:

*My Gawain paper went off very well and many helpful questions were asked. I now have to write the blasted thing up, which should be fun, but I’m lazy.

*The whole English Honours conference was fascinating, and I learnt about things like the death of the human subject and was privileged to witness the resurrection of Edgar Allan Poe. I am now convinced I should read some theory (starting with Baarth’s ‘Death of the Author’ and Foucault’s ‘History of Sexuality’), and also read something written after 1350 occaisionally.

YAY HAPPY NEWS:

*I will have an Old English classmate next semester! We will presumably have a proper class time and everything.

SULKY NEWS:

*This no longer means I can do whatever the hell I want for ‘class’.

OMINOUS NEWS:

* The Bocera has decided on an all-Beowulf semester. Aaargh. I HATE Beowulf. I might be a disappointment to Anglo-Saxonism for it, but I detest the thing. I can see, from the translation, how it’s wonderful and fascinating and all of that, and I expect after being forced to study it I will come around. However, I’m bad at poetry, and Beowulf is all that I am bad at poetry for. My translations thereof never, ever, ever make sense; they drive me mad; they make me cranky. Grumble. Don’t wanna.

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2 Responses to “Dum-dum-dum…”

  1. magistra Says:

    I took a while to get into Foucault, but the History of Sexuality isn’t bad. I found it helped though, seeing it as a discussion of ideas about sexuality with historical examples, more than strictly a history (i.e something that covers all aspects). Book 2 and Book 3 wind classicists up a lot precisely because Foucault takes a few (arguably unrepresentative) authors and explores how they understand sexuality, while leaving out a lot of contemperaneous views.

    Arguably, in fact, all Foucault’s books have the same main paradigm (of how forms of knowledge and surveillance are used to control people (or one-self), but it’s a model that useful in a surprsing number of situations (though I’d say not for early medieval sexuality). But post Lateran IV and compulsary confession, his ideas have obvious resonance.

  2. highlyeccentric Says:

    Someone tried to get me to read just a small part of ‘Discipline and Punish’ as a first year, and I can tell it bored the pants off me, because I highlighted one sentence on the first page, and that’s it. I picked up that reader again and read the chapter only to find it fascinating- if not for any applicable purpose, then because his mind was *warped* but clearly brilliant. (The chapter in question was ‘Panopticism’, with all the possibilities for experiments on orphans and so forth.)

    And never fear, I already have a flourishing scepticism of theory generally, and I know it’d be asking too much to expect a proper history from the likes of Foucault. Theory with examples is about the best I’m hoping for, and gross inaccuracies for premodern society are only to be expected at times.

    Hmm… if not through surveillance tactics, how would you say early medieval sexuality was controlled? (I’m presuming you think it was controlled, or attempts at control were made *somehow*…)


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