Thursday, March 31, 2005

Today's Inspiration

How shall I plead my cause, when you, my
Already have condemned me? Shall I bring
The love you bore me for my advocate?
That now is turned against me, that destroys me;
For love, once past, is, at the best, forgotten;
But oftener sours to hate: 'twill please my lord
To ruin me, and therfore I'll be guilty.
But, could I once have thought it would have pleased you,
That you would pry, with narrow searching eyes,
Into my faults, severe to my destruction,
And watching all advantages with care,
That serve to make me wretched? Speak, my lord,
For I end here. Though I deserved this usage,
Was it like you to give it?

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

The Road Not Taken

In the last while, life has been somewhat of a struggle; my particular battle with the tendonitis in my left arm. However, things are progressing, and the pain is only occassional now. Now that the end of the school year is nigh, I am somewhat forlorn. As much as I gripe and complain for various reasons during the year, I do enjoy my classes.

Tonight I am in the process of studying for my Synoptic Problem test, which I am writing tomorrow afternoon. I have synthesized all the material, and hopefully my feeble brain will recall it tomorrow in my time of need.

Additionally, I should make some notes about my other classes. I have one final essay left for my Modern Drama class, and quite a happy report to make about my Caribbean History class.
First of all, I would like to congratulate my professor (Michele Johnson) for achieving her guaranteed status at York, and I wish her all the best on her book launch this coming Monday (April 4, 2005). Secondly, I received a B+ on my essay on Haiti (yes Dave, you were right, it was a good paper).

Outside of my classes, I want to raise a glass to Jeremy again. Thanks again for the free alcohol on Monday, the book of poetry on Tuesday, and always fascinating conversations. Best wishes for the future, wherever the path may lead.

Here I come to my final thought of the night, Cheers to literature, the art of reading poetry, and Robert Frost.

The Road Not Taken

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far I could
To where it bent in the the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden back.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I--
I took the one less traveled by,
And that made all the difference.

Wishing you all the best of luck on exams, a great summer, and the best for the future.

Sunday, March 27, 2005

Founders of Christianity: Analytical Essay

Here is my final assignment for this class, except for writing the test on the Synoptic Problem.

Analytical Essay:

Using what you have learned in Weston's A Rulebook for Arguments and in writing the book reviews, analyze thoroughly the arguments of ONE of the following texts: Hebrews, 1 Clement, or Barnabas.

For this essay, I have chosen to examine the text of 1 Clement. As for my essay, here are the key premises that I intend to explore.

a) The author of I Clement is not necessarily known (Mason & Robinson suggest that it could be any one of many people by the name of Clement) – however most scholars confirm that 1 & 2 Corinthians were written by Paul (problem: if not Clement, the famous leader, what gives this writer authority to give such instructions?)

b) Uses similar analogies as Paul – referring to TANAKH, suggestion of Jewish audience, or those readers/listeners were aware of Paul’s methodology (note: close reading of original TANAKH sources needed)

c) Similar to Paul – giving instruction on how to live (remember to note redaction form of Paul, similar/ dissimilar?)
d) Possible misrepresentation of the story of Paul – no proof of exile, or multiple stoning incidents (if the author of this text can’t get Paul’s story right, how can we trust its validity? (claim that Paul and Peter were ‘pillars’ of the church, and contemporaries à based on this wouldn’t the writer know the true story?)

e) Letter form – Is this a direct copy from Paul’s format? (Is this adaptation similar to those of Deutero-Pauline letters?)

f) 1 Clement confusing – praising the members in Corinth for previous obedience (in Paul’s time, perhaps?), chastisement that they no longer do so, however Paul had admonished Corinthians (they were considered unholy, worst example of the early church! (It was not only Paul who thought this, but everyone!)

Saturday, March 26, 2005

Modern Drama Essay Question

Formulate and develop a thesis that connects two of the plays listed below. Your essay will centrally feature a comparison of the form of the two plays: how does their formal or structural innovation mirror the thematic content?

Choose from:
a) Adrienne Kennedy, Funnyhouse of a Negro*
b) Caryl Churchill, Cloud Nine
c) Tony Kushner, Angels in America, Part I: Millennium Approaches
d) Tom Stoppard, Arcadia*
e) Sarah Kane, Blasted*

* These are the plays I want to look at, but I have not decided on which two will be my final choice yet.

Happy Readings and Exam Preparation to all!
Addendum: After considering each of these three plays carefully, I have decided on Arcadia and Blasted for the essay.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Updating on the Creation of Late

Another week of death by fire has inspired new life in me. Although life has been a bit difficult with my injured arm, I am confident now that things are on the upward climb. Perhaps this is one of those revelations derived from 3.5 hours of sleep last night, but I am generally feeling better than I was yesterday. I do believe it is because I feel my essay on the essence of John Cage's "Lecture on Nothing" and "Lecture on Something" is quite true to the beat movement. I suppose that my grade will be determined by what Bruce thinks about my premises.

Thanks to all who helped in the progression of thoughts that created this essay (primarily Dave and Jeremy). I would not have been able to achieve the final product without your inspiration and support. Again, the creative portion of the assignment is seen on this blog, one entry down.

Furthermore, after the performance in my Modern Drama class last week, the culmination of the dilligent work was rewarded. Our creativity and interpretation of Cloud Nine (Carol Churchill) was a process of many difficult weeks of early morning rehearsals. We received a B+ as a group, and I received an A for my personal achievement. I am quite thrilled at the result. It just proves that dilligence and personal "responsibility" paid off.

This weekend will be a creative melding of three activities for next week: a final paper for Modern Drama; an examination of an Apocryphal text (Barnabas, 1 Clement, Hebrews); and preparation for my Synoptic Gospel Test.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Essay Again

Part One: The Last Modernists? (15%)
Premises: What is The Beat?
Where are we supposed to be-at?
Take one of the following works:
  • Allen Ginsberg's "Howl"
  • William Burrough's Naked Lunch
  • Jack Kerouac's The Subterraneans
  • The performance essays we read from John Cage's Silence

And examine, explore, define, and expand on what that author meant by The Beat. Through this general premise and probe, you could (succintly) engage the following ideas:

  • the rhythmic pulse of the author's prose or poetry (style, form, diction, tone, syntax)
  • the narrative intentions (direction and movement in the work; attitude towards audience; rhetoric and form)
  • the movement of breath--the nature of their regenerative aims
  • the dark and light beatitudes, metaphors of descent and ascent, thus the deeper mythic context of the author's work
  • the live-recreative element, the kinetic closeness and demands of orality
  • a reference back to Surrealism, Dadaism, Imaginism, Lewis's vortex, H.D.'s escatic poetics, Woolf's attempt to grasp consciousness, Miller's naked confessional and anecdotal form, the aesthetics of epiphanic moment, Pound's attempt to hold all culture in the imagination through fragmentary nodes or seeds, Williams' new world manifesto of "say it/ no ideas but in things."

The application of secondary sources here is mandatory.

Part Two: You (5%)

Premise: Soul Journey

A creative opportunity to reflect, recreate, modify, vary, develop, extend, interrogate or interview The Beat Theme. You may write a story, a poem, a short drama, a song, illustrate through a picture, or interview the author you choose (or the characters in the work you choose) as if that personality could still be with us (and according to Ginsberg, in the imagination they are). Imagine Ginsberg, Burroughs, Kerouac, and Cage as the call; you are the response.

Monday, March 21, 2005

Untitled: A Plea for Silence

of this Noise
Is the Downbeat
Of Silence. This
Blankness is blanketed
with the Hum of Silence.
Teach me that Silence is pure
and translucent, although veiled
in Noise. I wanted to sing you
this Song of Silence, didn't you hear
the words? Doesn't it get more deafening
as the Silence stagnates? What is this space?
The space between the white walls of Sanity.
Any sound is a mere droplet into the vast well
of Silence. This Silence is an abstraction,
Fragments of a commodified Bluescreen. Nothing
in music can have resonance without the element of Silence.
The alchemy of this modern, electrified world is a place
from whence no one can elicit the Solace of Silence.
The essential Nature of this Noise Is Encapsulated
in the Downbeat of Silence. This Blankness is
Blanketed with a Hymn of Silence. Silent
Thought cannot prevail; it is not pure nor
translucent, just disguised by more Noise.
The Electronic song of Silence that
is Humming in my Brain, I want
to Sing it to you again. This
Silence is stagnant, it cannot
find its climax. What is
this new "silent" space?
Why can't we es-
cape? Are we
trapped, scared
and lost be-
tween the White

of this
Sanity beg
for recognition,
But the Silence
has muffled their
song. Is the trinity
shattered by this modern
audience? We beg to
hear, but cannot. A Want
for composure or compos-
ition? But who can hear?
Listen! Listen! Listen! Do not
speak, the beat does not exist in
Silence. We have silenced the beating
of our own pulse in this technologically
"Silent" world. But some of use know,
Catastrophe, Cataclysm and Chaos! This beauty
of purity has murdered the internal silence.
This fragmentary mess of bluescreen show us im-
ages which do not exist, and yet we marvel. Our
silent world is stifling us, running fiberoptics in-
stead of veins. Blood is now an infected stream,
virus after virus coursing through. Pumping the
beat of the electronic Silence. Composite
images of my delusional brain rest in
peace. This Hymn to the Grave of
Silence, Sing Loud, Sing out of
key, for that is not real. We
have constructed our Si-
lence, now we are
doomed to live in it
The Essence of
this Noise is
the Down-
beat of

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Writer's Block

Joy and rapture, that point of writer's block we all face has struck once more. I am in the process of writing my essay on the Beats, John Cage in particular. However, other than the 115 words that are currently in existance, I am at a loss for words. I am well aware that this paper has to be one of my best this year, considering the assignment is worth 20% of my total grade. It will get done, sometime soon (or at least I hope so!) Perhaps a nap will help me get my thoughts in order. Maybe I'll have a Surrealist moment and have the ability to create a literal interpretation of my dreamworld.

Friday, March 18, 2005

The Likes of Which Have Never Been Seen

Here again, is a rather tired, frustrated university student rant. Today's words: anthropomorphic, amorphic, alchemy and androgynous. Perhaps I should be more succint on the point; I have figured out the scope of my next essay for Bruce's class.

Each of these four words are crucial in my understanding of the "beat" movement. These terms all epitomise what I have pictured to be the premise of my argument. John Cage, in his essays/lectures reawakened the essence of sound and performance. This is something which has been sorely neglected of late. Readers have been for so long prodded into internalised reading of texts, and particularly poetry, that they can no longer hear the beauty of the language. The "Lecture on Nothing" and "The Lecture on Something" have essentially the same scope. The words are laid out on the page in a way which forces the reader to have audible pauses between the words and phrases. Also, they are cyclical, suggesting that the place we should be-at is both the beginning and the end: the ouroboros. Cage makes particular reference to learning to play the piano. Learning anything new requires attention to detail, but also a cyclical patterning. One must repeat or re-beat the pattern learned before any further progress can ensue. The alchemy prescribed by Cage creates this world of human cycles. Birth and death of language are not separate entities, they are one and the same. The beat is not a higher clime to achieve, it is the place we are forced to be-at today.

This sounds rather abstracted right now, but I will use it all as a working model for this essay. Happy reading all, for us University-shackled individuals, only a few weeks to go!

Monday, March 14, 2005

The Depths of Hell

Here I am again, doing a sporadic post on my blog. Life is incredibly hectic this month, between school work and more school work to complete. I'm in the middle of reading about ten things right now, so I'll spare you all the trouble of the listing.

Hell does really freeze over at times, and this year is such a wonderful example of it. HELP! I'm reaching the breaking point! LOL

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Another week, but am I any wiser?

Lately the posting on my blog has become a bit infrequent. However, this is due to my badly sprained wrist, which apparently has a case of tendonitis. Just my luck isn't it that it's my left hand? Now I understand the true reason why the left hand is considered 'sinister.' I started Physio treatments yesterday, and the pain is not exactly the most fun.

On to a more literary note, I coincidentally ran into Jeremy yesterday at the Cock and Bull in Founders. I knew that he was around at York, and by my logical deductions, I figured he would show up there at some point or other. Both Dave and I, I will admit, abstained attending our classes in lieu of a chat with Jeremy. In the long run, I've never regretted having a good conversation with him. No one should ever judge a book by its cover, some outward appearances bear surprising results below the surface. That also explains my relationship with Dave, in public our behaviour is rather a great job of acting. I, the domineering bitchy female versus Dave, the meek reclusive male. We are a perfect balance to one another.

Jer, I know you'll be reading this blog at some point or other, and I want to address this little section for you. As I've said many times before, you were the one to open up the joy of Shakespeare to me. Additionally, you have reminded me of the pleasure that can be derived from literature. This is something that over the last few years, University has almost beaten out of me. Thank you again for your comments about my poem. When you said it was technically sound, I could have kissed you, (LOL but I definitely think Dave would have objected!). At any rate, I was actually shocked that you thought it to be reasonably good. I never think my poetry is worth reading, but then again I guess the artist is always one's own worst critic. I mentioned you today while talking to Bruce, and he was vaguely aware of who you were. I also passed on my poem to Bruce to read, so I suppose I wil obtain some feedback from him as well.

Anyhow, to all readers, my wrist is screaming at me to stop this typing now, so I will oblige it and give it the rest it dearly needs.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

The Hyacinth Girl

The following excerpt derived from the previously unpublished, pencil-edited genius of Ezra Pound. As you should know, the poem is The Waste Land by T. S. Eliot.
'You gave me hyacinths first a year ago;
'They called me the hyacinth girl.'
- Yet when we came back, late from the hyacinth
Your arms full, and your hair wet, I could not
Speak, and my eyes failed, I was neither
Living nor dead, and I knew nothing,
Looking into the heart of silence.
Oed' und leer das Meer. (this line was an addition by Ezra Pound)

And so, continues the wanderings of this hyacinth girl. I have also provided a full description of the hyacinth flower for your reading pleasure. Perhaps I should also dedicate myself to the god Apollo?

Cultivated Hyacinth

This densely flowered, spiky cultivated hyacinth, Hyacinthus orientalis, looks very little like the Mediterranean plant from which it was bred.

Hyacinth common name for any of a genus of plants of the lily family, cultivated as garden plants or houseplants in temperate and tropical climates all over the world. Hyacinths are bulbuous plants with long, sword-shaped leaves. The flowers, which are on long spikes, have three petal-like sepals, three petals, six stamens, and a three-celled pistil. The fruit is a capsule.

The cultivated hyacinth, commonly called the Dutch hyacinth, grows to 38 cm (15 in). It is native to Greece and Asia Minor, but horticultural varieties have been so extensively modified by breeders that they bear little resemblance to the wild original. All cultivated hyacinth varieties are fragrant. The colour of the flowers ranges from white through yellow, red, blue, and purple. Single-flowered Dutch hyacinths have dense, erect spikes; double-flowered forms have loose, drooping spikes. The popular Roman hyacinths produce several loosely flowered, graceful spikes from each bulb. Hyacinths are always grown from bulbs. Most bulbs of Dutch hyacinths are produced in the Netherlands, bulbs of Roman hyacinths, in Italy and southern France. Roman hyacinths can be grown only indoors except in mild climates. Both varieties flower in early spring. Two other species sometimes grown are both about 13 cm (about 5 in) tall.

Scientific classification: Hyacinths belong to the family Liliaceae. The Dutch hyacinth is classified as Hyacinthus orientalis and the Roman hyacinth as Hyacinthus orientalis variety albulus. The two other species sometimes grown that reach about 13 cm (about 5 in) are classified as Brimeura amethystine and Bellevalia ciliata.

Happy reading to all!

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Happy Day: Sad Day

Thursday has now come and almost gone, and I've yet again come to some conclusions. A day at York University is either a hell or heaven depending on various factors.

Perhaps I should clarify, York University does exemplify when hell freezes over. Damn drafts between those building on the long march out to Stong College!Anyhow, Thursday is usually the day that I most look forward to, as I have a third year Post-Modernism course directed by Bruce Powe (who I might add, on a congratulatory note, is officially becoming a Professor in July). Today, we were looking at the notion of Post-Modernism, and particularly J.G. Ballard's Crash. Somehow the consensus was that Crash is a self-reflexive novel, because the melding of man and machine can sometimes produce its own nightmares. This book demonstrates that living in reality (i.e. Vaughan's actual car-crash death) is more terrifying than all the other simulations. Living in the fantasy world created by our metallic/technological extensions (automobiles, computers, etc.) is profoundly easier. In that simulacrum, we can all mimic our media. However, once forced to fend for ourselves, it is easy to be quickly swallowed by the world.
Now, to explain my point. This three-hour seminar session has been one of the best classes I've taken (save for Jer's Shakespeare Tutorial last year) because Bruce manages to insert his own essence and vitality to each work we study. Next week, Blood Meridian is our focus.

Continuing on with the better part of the day. Lo and behold, I finally have one of my poems "published," well that is, if Excalibur counts as a newspaper. There was an open invitation to submit work for this month's "Feminist Supplement" (I can already see Jer recoiling in horror), and I actually wrote a short poem for it. Never have I been a Feminist, and nor will I ever become one. My poem is featured on page 17 and is entitled "Women's liberation." In my opinion, it is not worth the paper it is printed on. My proof of this fact, people have told me that it was good. If you do read it, please keep that in mind. However, I'm dubious if I even want to post it on my blog. At any rate, I believe I should have submitted another poem. Too late for that now, I will post it now for any critiques.

Women's Liberation

We have all heard the stories, the songs,
Fighting against, aggression, repression, subjection,
Faced by the minorities of society.
So why are we, women, the majority,
Bruised, abused and misused?

There have been those, brave enough to fight,
But so many more wait in silent fear,
Fear of what?
Rejection, depression and self-deprivation?

We are not any less because we are women.
No matter the obstacles, we are brave.
The only ones to fight for us, are us.
So band together, my sisters, mothers, and friends.

Fight for unity, fight for equality,
Fight for our common liberation!

Addendum: If I had to do it all over again, I would have removed the last six lines of the poem.

Finally, I went to the pharmacy to fill the prescription I received from my doctor yesterday. I sprained my wrist last week, and the drugs are supposed to help the pain, which of course they aren't accomplishing. So this means I cannot do any handwriting for the next week. Typing itself is a strain, but if I can't write by hand, I have to be able to do something. Anyhow, another early day for me tomorrow, so I will post again tomorrow.

Destino - heads Posted by Hello
This is one of my favourite pictures from the storyboard of Destino; a collaboration between Walt Disney and Salvador Dali. Fifty-seven years in the making it was started in 1946, but shelved due to lack of funding. It has now been produced as a six-minute film (2003) and was set to be released last year. I've been looking for a downloadable version of it, does anyone know where I could find a copy? For additional information on this brilliant short film, check this website, or this one for some images and explanations.

Dali: On The Wings of a Butterfly

Paysage aux Papillons Posted by Hello

I Have Returned

After quite a few days of hiatus from this blog, I have returned to posting. For the last week, I have been slowly progressing my way through a paper on the prolific genius of Dali. It has been a sacrifice, but the paper is now done, ready to be submitted later today. I do hope that it was worth the near heart-attack it nearly caused. Anyhow, bed time for me, I have another meeting for our presentation of Cloud 9 later this morning.