Unknown Kadath . . . known?

We interrupt your medieval minds for pure madness. So, in the middle of rereading both Lovecraft and the Theses on Feuerbach, I ran across this story from what I'm sure is a reputable news source, "Laura Lee's Conversation for Exploration":


Yes, that's right: the government doesn't want you to see the latest pictures from an Antarctic expedition. Also, Hitler's brain (wearing a jaunty straw hat) directs UFOs from the center of the earth to destroy major US landmarks at the behest of Barack Obama . . . pass it on.

You may now resume medievaling.


Little Things

I finished a draft of my Medievalism/Nostalgia/The Supernatural/Green Arrow paper on Wednesday, and it's sat on my desk since. Today, I re-read it, and while it's still rough, it's not as bad as I thought it would be or as those solidii would indicate. Now, of course, it's time to print it off, let it sit on my desk until next Wednesday, and see if it's improved any.

Meanwhile, one of my students, in the course of being counseled on her (lack of having a) paper topic, let slip that apparently several of my students find me intimidating. Now, I'm no small guy (I'm not a man-mountain, either, but I digress), and I have a beard and a brain (a bearded brain? . . . see how my mind works? If I weren't a medievalist I'd have been a Gothicist). Still, intimidating? Sheesh.

Anyway, WAQ returned my conference draft with comments, and suggested (and this is a direct quotatation) that I "put more bodies in" so it would jive with SEMA this year. So I will, though I don't see where I'm going to get them—perhaps the barber's?


All Up On Appleton House

Yeah, that was a lame title, but it does introduce the fact that I spent most of today working on a lecture about Marvell's famous country-house poem. It's a great lecture, too: it introduces the Civil War, it talks about Marvell himself, the genre of country-house poems, and then goes on for about six pages of textual readings. I approach "Upon Appleton House" as a kind of psychogeography, and while I know that's mostly about urban places, I'd like to think it applies to any land/mindscape. I take into account the ideological function of the prioress' speech and Wm. Fairfax's retort, along with the excessively martial fields (not a pun) that force Marvell into the sweet, self-deconstructing woods that are also his patron's daughter. It's a weird poem, to be sure, and I'm going to have fun with it.

Surprisingly, this has left me a little braindead, which is frustrating, because I still have to:
  • Write the final for my world literature course;
  • Heavily revise (or not) my Don Quixote lectures;
  • Type out and subsequently revise my Son-Jara lectures;
  • Write the last section of the "close reading" part of the Green Arrow paper; and
  • Figure out what's salvageable from that same paper so that I can write a better one.
That's going to end up being what happens this week, if I'm lucky.


Long Time Gone

You know, things have been really busy this semester, and when they haven't been busy, I haven't wanted to blog. So, here's what's been going on:

I've been working on a project for MKB's Culture of Longing seminar (the book version of which will be coming to stores near you soon) in which I try to argue that Green Arrow is not a nostalgic reification of "the medieval," but is in fact a utopian re-appropration of not only medieval style but also medieval utopian energy. I deliberately used the word "try" there, because it's not quite working out the way I wanted; instead, the paper seems to want to go in several other directions that, while perhaps more agreeable to the goals of MKB's course, are not things I want to talk about either in my dissertation or at all.

I've also finalized my reading list; it's mostly cribbed from two sources: Bradley's Anglo-Saxon Poetry (though since I've put all of the back end of Cotton Vitellius A.xv on it, I'll probably have to get Andy Orchard's Pride and Prodigies as well); and Garbaty's Middle English Literature anthology (with the Riverside for Chaucer—I'm reading CT, TC, and HoF). The secondary readings include a lot of Marxist theory on utopias, like Fredric Jameson, Tom Moylan, Philip Wegner, and Louis Marin, as well as some key medieval critical texts, like Jeffrey Cohen, Michael Uebel, Sheila Delaney, and the Autumn 2006 issue of JMEMS. It should be an interesting summer.

Also, I will be going to Daytona this summer for the AP scoring sessions, so there's a week in June that's shot.

As of yet, I haven't applied to SEMA, though I will as soon as WAQ weighs in on the conference version of the Winner and Waster paper I did last fall. I'm kind of lost as to how things work with K'zoo; I won't be going this year, obviously, but I'd like to go the next. Any advice on how to do that, blogosphaeroids?

Finally, last week was CAC's NNnd birthday; we went to a local arcade/family entertainment thingie to ride go-karts, play some skeeball, and win a lot of cheap prizes. Festivities included our friend JSJ riding the mechanical bull; the first two times were mildly funny, but the third is a classic example of hubris:

Catch that? He yells "I am the King of Riding Things," and is immediately dethroned for his pride.

So, that's me in a nutshell. What have you been doing, reader(s)?