reading

Make Essays Montaignian Again


Image credit: Antony Gormley
(TW: includes cannibals, zombies, bilingualism, and other monsters.)
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Cheese scones are my madeleines

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Ceci n’est pas l’apprentissage littéraire

Or: why I don’t write book reviews. (more…)

Consent culture, compliance culture, and hypocrisy



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# fren336 semaine 13 “méta” – au-delà de la bande dessinée

Reading (and) comics, medievalised: notes from the last—“meta”—week of FREN 336, a class on bande dessinée, in French.

This was a second curious beast of an experimental course this year. Its first half and compulsory readings focused on Belgian comics (and as Belgian cultural expression). The second part, like MDVL301A in the first term this year, was centred on student group presentations. We have all done a lot of extremely sophisticated high-end top-class reading. We’re now into the final week, and Going All-Out Meta.

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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…)

Qu’est-ce que le commentaire ?

[Une version, adaptée aux besoins d’un cours sur la bande dessinée (Université de la Colombie-Britannique Vancouver), de plusieurs guides pratiques pour l’analyse textuelle. Une version plus générale en anglais se trouve ici. / This is a shorter French version of “On reading, writing, and commentary,” for a UBC Vancouver course.]  (more…)

Trobar sen / trying to make sense of November (4): the 12th-13th + resources

Still desperately scurrying and scuttling to catch up with our world of the last two weeks. This fourth post is the last of a short sequence just on one mere week; the next batch of posts will try to catch up with and start to make sense of last week (14-20 November).

Clunky screenshots, but as with the previous posts in the series, all Twitterer references have been included (if there’s no attribution, then it’s me). Also as before: this is an apologetically haphazardly sketchy snapshot en mots e sons e images.

Some words: remembrance, resistance, resilience, relevance, resources.

And, to quote Octavia E. Butler:

The word, again, is “persist”!

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Trobar sen / trying to make sense of November (2): the 9th & 10th

Resistance and remembrance

A feeling of

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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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