things of little relevance


intellect
April 29, 2009, 11:48 pm
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“It seems as if we needed only the stillness and composed attitude of the library, to seize the thought.”

Yes Emerson, but sometimes even the library is not enough.



!!
April 29, 2009, 9:47 pm
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Today three people e-mailed me this review with “An exclamation mark is like laughing at your own jokes.” in the e-mail’s body.

On the one hand, I am glad that I have three friends who read The Guardian (or more likely, Jenny Davidson’s blog). On the other, I am slightly perturbed by how neatly my writing style and sense of humor can be summed up.



welcome to the dollhouse
April 29, 2009, 7:40 pm
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(This post is going to be in the vein of Veronica.)

Today is going to be one of those days when despite working for hours, the word count on my paper will decrease. As of right now, I am quite right. 15 pages and still no thesis. Great.

Unlike last finals week, also known as “Lucy is insane,” I am going to avoid people so my neuroses do not annoy them. Look! I am considerate! But I still need an outlet. This blog will be my conduit.

This morning, the fire alarms went off. The crowds flooding outside Butler reminds me of last call at a bar. Everyone’s a little unsure why they’re outside, some insist on staying even though security will soon sweep the rooms. Eyes widen to adjust to newfound light. People light up cigarettes in frustration. Everyone wonders, “Where to go now?” Some try to be social, others are not in the mood.

Bad news:

I have read “Of friendship” so many times in my copy of Montaigne’s Essais that the pages have literally fallen out of the book, which ironically, is similar to Montaigne’s suppression of La Boétie’s political treatise and sonnets. One could even suggest that I purposefully tore out the pages because Montaigne’s friendship with La Boétie provoked my jealousy. (Interesting sidenote: the recent internet phenomenon “Two Girls, One Cup” could be attributed to Diogenes Laertius’ conception of friendship as one soul in two bodies, or reworded: “Two Bodies, One Soul.” Ha, ha, ha…)

My allergies are flaring up. I have become that heavy-breathing creep in the library.

This afternoon I made a fool out of myself in my grad seminar. When my professor laid out the order of presentations, she said, “Women first!” Then she looked at me and added, “Women and children first!” Lesson of the day: I wish I were good at public speaking, or just speaking in general.

On the bright side, this summer I will fulfill two of my lifelong dreams (I count my life as beginning at eighteen, I was not a sentient being prior to 2006). Not only will I visit Montaigne’s estate, I also get to witness a friend graduating from Oxford. Essais and Brideshead Revisited come to life!

On a more immediate bright side, I probably won’t fail gym!



Literary materialism
April 28, 2009, 12:13 am
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Today a friend of mine pointed me to Levenger. New favorite website!

My life would be so much better if I had:

Bear bookends

Carousel bookshelf

Bookweight

If you’re in need of some unintentional humor, I’d recommend reading the product reviews with a specific emphasis on the age range of the reviewers.



Other summer project:
April 24, 2009, 8:24 pm
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You too can be a Flaubert scholar! The entire manuscript of Madame Bovary is now available to all French-reading plebeians. The Montaigne Project better hurry up.

Wyatt Mason is excited too!

p.s. My birthday is soon. Present?



Butler was bearable at 2 a.m. on a Thursday night
April 24, 2009, 2:34 am
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My friend Anna likes to talk to strangers, usually those of the Eastern European or cuffed APC’s variety (very rarely is there intersection), and I often end up being introduced via proximity to Anna. Needless to say, this often results in awkward situations for me because her acquaintances more than often turn out to be Eastern European creeps or bougie hipsters, who I’m forced to greet even when she’s not there.

Tonight marked an exception to Anna’s social proclivity. She introduced me to a history grad student who after hearing about my love for Montaigne told me about her friend who used to study intellectual history but is now a musician, Thomas Kivi. His myspace lists his influences as “Michel de Montaigne, Bob Dylan, Ludwig Wittgenstein, Augustine of Hippo, Disiderius Erasmus, Rene Descartes, Blaise Pascal, Townes van Zandt , Tom Waits, Frank Zappa, Hank Williams, Charles Darwin…”

!!!!!!!! (minus all the music influences excepting Tom Waits, also not applicable to Darwin)

Now I wish I hadn’t deleted my myspace.

Surprisingly (or maybe anachronistically?), I’ve been reading the best literary criticism in my 18th Century Comparative Novel class. Mieke Bals’ narratological approach to Ken Aptekar’s I’m Six Years Old and Hiding behind My Hands is one of the most ingenuious things I’ve read of late.

Suggested weekend reading from p. 66 to 75, and if you have time, start from p. 61.



epigraph for my heart
April 22, 2009, 12:22 am
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So I have yet to begin any of my papers, but I already have epigraphs for two of them!

“It is not in Montaigne, but in myself that I find everything that I see there.”
–Pascal, Pensées

“The greatest and most important difficulty in human knowledge seems to lie in the branch of knowledge which deals with the upbringing and education of children.”
–Montaigne, “Of the education of children”

(I am obnoxious, I know.)

Now, my objective:

“And can we compare the lonely work of the reader who interprets the signs and textual constructions into something that carries meaning to a face-to-face contact, where one can read more reliable knowledge from the friend’s eyes than from his words? Is writing not something that is doomed to loneliness and artificiality, and the textuality of the essay, thus, something opposite to friendship in general?”
–Kuisma Korhonen, Textual Friendship : The Essay as Impossible Encounter From Plato and Montaigne to Levinas and Derrida

(“This” will be pretty boring for the next month or so. Boring may or may not include late-night rants/overshare that will only be up for 5 or 6 hours.)