Trobar sen / trying to make sense of November (3): the 11th

A day of remembrance, and thus also of song and of poetry.


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

Resistance and remembrance

A feeling of



It’s that time of year again.

Catching up with marking, marking final exams, composing final grades.

A time of endings.

A time of marvel and awe. A time to marvel and to be awed by the awesome. May we all aspire to the joyous freaky magic Heavenly Assumption Of The Blessed Guitar.


Medievalising modern French language teaching / suicide awareness day

A two-part class on the imperfect. With #poeticfemfog


Musical interlude

There will be no fresh shiny verbose floribundant meta-meta-medieval posts until at least late December due to

  • putting together exams
  • marking student work
  • marking exams
  • individual oral exams (this week)
  • contemplating my navel the medieval Occitan tenso for the purpose of reading-and-research work and/as at least one conference abstract (hello MFB, yes I AM thinking about it sort of out loud I guess…)
  • and life!

For yes, I—even I—get to “have a life” for a couple of weeks, featuring The Beloved. After three months’ absence it will be like a dream. Living the dream in an alternate world. Not like Atlantis, though the place where I will be is currently under heavy Atlantic climatic influence and somewhat flooded.

In the meantime, here is some timely seasonal music. (more…)

On blogging and hospitality (revised August 2017)

While I’m not the world’s biggest fan of Chronic(le) pieces, and while they can be disappointingly click-baity, I thought this “advice” yesterday from David Perry was splendid. It’s short and simple. Clear and true.


Facebook history this week

Facebook has long very keen on “stories” and “storytelling.” This is as much to do with marketing, advertising, and commercial selling as it is with sociable chat and chatter or with celebrating and nurturing imagination and civilisation. Nevertheless, the Facebook Grand Master Authors’ intentions notwithstanding, Facebook is a good read for us Lit. Hum. readers of stories and histories, or, as meta-meta-meta-medievalists might prefer, histoires. 

There’s also a goodly dose of the poetic, metapoetic, and mythopoetic; often also weaving themselves into narrative continuities. Memes start, wax, wane, cross-fertilise, and morph. Poetic histories happen. Myths cycle, loop, and spiral in endless return. Interrupted and deviated by creative sparks, derivative ingenuities, and other metamorphoses too.

Of the various assorted topical strands running around on Facebook of late, several have been about history and histories. And one stands out as actually being important and of continuing relevance. (more…)

The Economist gets it

Love or loathe or barely tolerate their politics, The Economist is a master of two arts: the image-caption and the obituary. The former has been drawn to attention recently via the related interaction of word and image that is the satirical cartoon. The latter is a form of writing that is always difficult, and always (in my experience) well done by them: invariably human, to the point of humanising the inhumane (for example, for Pol Pot and Ieng Sary); often looking light and easy, sometimes wry, and deploying the full repertory of the sardonic; elevating to high art a form that, in any other hands, risks falling into pathos, bathos, cliché, and platitude.

Here is the full text of their beautiful epitaph for Charb:


A quick note on why reading satire is good, and medievalist, and medievalistically-good

This is the Charlie Hebdo I grew up with, especially that of my teenage years: a magazine that is about protecting the poor and weak(ened) and underpriviledged; taking a stand against all forms of xenophobia in the name of internationalist common humanism; attacking power and defending the disempowered and powerless, while creatively suggesting alternatives to all that power-centred stuff (and this is one of the most important roles and raisons d’être of satire).



Continued, and in hope of further continuation

Uderzo comes out of retirement to pay his respects:

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