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Showing posts from March, 2017

The Comic Mode

As I think about the Decameron this week, I've discovered a wonderful book written in the 1990s by Caroline Walker Bynum about gender and the human body in Medieval religion.  In the introduction, she writes about the way scholars like to identify little conclusions in their analysis, as if the moments in history they write about lead to an ending of some kind like a Shakespeare play.  She permits scholars to do this, so long as they recognize that their conclusions are contrived like the sudden occurrence of four simultaneous weddings at the end of any number of happy plays and stories.  They're not real, but they can serve a purpose nonetheless.  
She calls this tendency to invent conclusions the "comic mode."  It is uncomfortable to live in the tragic or historic mode all of the time, and the comic allows for a certain lightheartedness and chorality - we can try on different voices and allow for the fact that other people will disagree with us and see things from …

Life Craft

Finals weeks are misery for me.  Sometimes I catch a wave of inspiration and weep into my keyboard, but those moments are rare.  I am not having one yet this time around.  I took too many classes this quarter and thus couldn't start my papers until it was too late to wait around for Muses.  And when I say I took too many classes that is not a request for applause at my ambition.  It was a mistake.  A mistake that reflects how desperate I am to be finished with my coursework so I can move on to Dante and do some real thinking that is not geared toward a 3AM slapdash 25 page paper.  And hopefully then this program will become enjoyable for me and not a daily reminder of the huge mistake I made deciding to go here.

As I have been trying to piece together a Boccaccio paper over the past three days, I've spent way more time on the internet than I normally do.  Especially Vogue, a publication I used to read regularly and haven't honestly read in several years.  I watched a bunch…