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Archive for the 'Brit Lit to 1800' Category

“the machinery” of Sylphs?

“Pope greatly expanded the earlier version, adding the delightful ‘machinery’ (i.e., the supernatural agents in epic action) of the Sylphs, Belinda’s toilet, the card game, and the visit to the Cave of Spleen…”- from the Norton introduction to The Rape of the Lock “Some to the Sun their Insect-Wings unfold, Waft on the Breeze, or […]

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The Cage of Chastity.

It’s not exactly breaking news that women’s undergarments in the 17th, 18th, 19th centuries (particularly those of “a lady”) were designed to be uncomfortable exaggerations of the female form. The hoop-skirt (and corset) was a literal cage, which trapped the woman, but also offered her protection from unwanted sexual intercourse. It is difficult to rape […]

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The Faerie Qveene is the meta-meta-meta poem of all poems. It has everything–sex, gore, family, good and evil, magic, disguise, misunderstandings, a quest… Three major “problems,” or points of potential complication, in the poem emerge in the first canto. We get them all in the brief quatrain proceeding the poem: there is a knight on […]

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I came across this video of a representative from Microsoft talking about a new software called Seadragon, and a phenomena called The Photosynth Experience. It is so interesting, in terms of the future of liberal arts, photography, publishing, etc. Technology ahoy! http://www.ted.com/talks/view/id/129 (oh, and I am sharing it with the Mother Blogs of all of […]

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This is not fully flushed out, of course (hence it’s on the blog and not the thesis of a paper), but I promised this blog would be a place of interconnectivity between my various classes this semester, and I am about to keep that promise in a big way.  I have been meditating extensively on […]

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No, no, no, no! Come, let’s away to prison: We two alone will sing like birds i’ the cage: When thou dost ask me blessing, I’ll kneel down, And ask of thee forgiveness: so we’ll live, And pray, and sing, and tell old tales, and laugh At gilded butterflies, and hear poor rogues Talk of […]

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What if: To imbibe things with meaning is to make them incomprehensible? -or- To really get the poetry is to make one unable to speak?

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(the picture is a lithograph created by William Frederick Yeames in 1888. For more information on the source, click here.) What does it mean to feel something inexpressible? Cordelia’s profession that she has “nothing” to say to her father’s request that she prove her own love for him comes so early in the play, and […]

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mad tom of bedlam

I will preserve myself; and am bethought To take the basest and most poorest shape… …Poor Turlygod! Poor Tom! That’s something yet! Edgar I nothing am. (act 2.3, ll.6-7, 20-21) my personal response to “mad tom of bedlam”–> a song, of the same title, by the wonderful contemporary folk singer Jolie Holland. Since WordPress doesn’t […]

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The OED never fails to repay my study. Never. So, after another whirlwind reading of Twelfth Night (You should poke around this website…it is the official one of The Globe Theatre in London), I had so many ideas about what might be at work in this play, that I couldn’t write anything… So, to the […]

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