literature

Literary warm-up exercise for stretching imaginative muscles / un exercice d’échauffement littéraire : l’imagination au pouvoir

Margins and marginality are wonderful, as are their transgression and subversion and any play with them. But, as all wearers of glasses know, frames can be fun too.

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This is a piece about frames and framing. Updates seem to be turning it into an illustrated prosimetrical short story about liminality and its horrors. Which was unexpected and is weird. Blame the uncanny conjunction of borders and walls in the news, UBC, bande dessinée, Guy de Maupassant, and Marguerite Porete. (more…)

On reading, writing, & commentary

PROLOGUE

The original title of this piece is “Criticism & commentary,” but it’s really about reading and writing as harmoniously-integrated activities within the larger whole that is a literary continuum and polyphonic collective; uniting all participants in a living textual network.

Premises and provisos: It views commentary as one of the core and ancient literary/communicative forms, along with story-telling and translation; with story-telling as the living beating heart of this human trinity of curiosity, criticism, and creativity.

It uses literature in its broad sense to extend to “any object that can be read, seen, interpreted” and reading in the broad / Barthes sense to include perception by any of the senses, with “making sense of” as its purpose, and an interpretation translated into expression via any of the senses.  This piece sees literature as synonymous with communicative expression. Not as one kind of communication, but the other way around:  what passes in other (non-literary) fields as “communication” is a more or less appropriately human, or humanly-appropriate, kind of literature. All writing has a right, duty, and responsibility to be beautiful, imaginative and innovative, and critical and creative. All writing can and should be literature. 

What follows below is the current version, for students who are reading and writing, from MDVL 301A : European Literature of the 5th to the 14th centuries – “The Liberal Arts”Its base was the version used in MDVL 302: European Literature of the 14th to the 16th centuries – “Criticism” (UBC, Faculty of Arts, Medieval Studies Programme, AY 2011-12 Winter session term 2) + a couple of upates (ex. on plagiarism and style guides). It’s one of the oldest pieces on this present blog; its most ancient archaeological layer (writing resources) is from a now-deceased previous site, “The Rose of the Romance” (2003).

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“The tree of life”
Gua Tewet, Borneo
(c. 10,000 years ago)

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Being in time, in images and imagination

Hieronymus Bosch, Graden of Earthly Delights (1490-1510); Museo del Prado, Madrid

Hieronymus Bosch, Garden of Earthly Delights (1490-1510): outer wings closed; Museo del Prado, Madrid

Images accompanying MDVL 301A – week 5

BEING A DUCK

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Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery, gift shop, 2012; via @divafancypants

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“Flamenca” at #Kzoo2016 (2): notes from roundtable + tidied fuller version of talk

51st INTERNATIONAL CONGRESS ON MEDIEVAL STUDIES
(WESTERN MICHIGAN UNIVERSITY, KALAMAZOO)
THURSDAY 12 MAY 2016
SESSION 137, SPONSORED BY THE SOCIÉTÉ GUILHEM IX
THE MEDIEVAL OCCITAN ROMANCE FLAMENCA (A ROUNDTABLE)


This post is a follow-up to “Flamenca” at #Kzoo2016 (2016-05-09)

Text, after, culture, ecocriticism, time

Added intro: all of us on this panel—Lisa Bevevino, Hartley Miller, Darrell Estes, and myself—were talking, in one form or another, about transformation: so that’s the fil conducteur that continues here… (more…)

Littérature = imagination 

(En français à l’exception du prologue et des enluminures en anglais.)

(Postcript preamble: this piece is in French, sorry, it just kind of happened that way.

It was triggered by a video from La Brigade du Livre, and I’m currently back to reading Montaigne’s Journal de voyage en Italie, par la Suisse et l’Allemagne as a digressive pause from Infinite Jest and as a palate-cleansing entremets after the wonderful Station Eleven which is one of those beautiful imaginative adventures after which one needs a pause just to get one’s breath back; and where I felt it would be rude, maybe difficult, to read more SF immediately after. Forgetting as ever that SF, speculative fictions, and imagineering are always all around: in Montaigne too. Besides, Montaigne always leads to Thinking. That’s bad enough already. Worse: Montaigne leads to Thoughts about writing, and reading, and big questions about literature and blogging and The Meaning Of It All.

So. In French because of Montaigne and LA BRIGADE DU LIVRE.

As a compromise, I’ll add some pretty pictures of recent reading. They kind of punctuate the text, so it’s a medieval-manuscript-like bit of bilingualism.)

La lecture, la littérature, et la vie littéraire sont désormais bel et bien en vie. Vive la vie imaginaire !

Comme tout lecteur assidu.e de meta-meta-medieval aura remarqué, je n’ai pas beaucoup publié.
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