Monday, October 18, 2010

5000-Word Check-Up

Myths of the Ancient GreeksSo I haven't spent much time on this blog over the past several months. I'm writing my dissertation. Enough said, probably. If not, then I can tell you that even well into my fifth (and final) chapter, I still love my project. Two weeks ago, I was frozen on page 160, benumbed by pressing deadlines and an attempt to force my way through the passivity of writing. But after untethering myself from arbitrary departmental timelines and taking about ten days to recoup, I am back at the task at hand. During my hiatus, I read an introductory text on Derrida and began a text on presocratic philosophers and another on Greek mythology.This morning I went to campus and wrote more than two pages in under ninety minutes, thus justifying my attendance at a lecture this afternoon on the use of geographic information systems in mapping the Holocaust. The lecture wasn't as interesting as it should have been, though was perfectly described by the presenter as he began speaking as "underwhelming." Thankfully Blake was also there, so I was granted a few minutes of good conversation with a good friend.

HowlYesterday I watched Howl on-demand. I adore James Franco, and not just because he's adorable looking. His portrayal of Ginsberg was intense and insightful. I appreciated most the interview scenario and the reading scenes. The courtroom action was, for the most part, superfluous except as a curious historical dimension of the poem. It's hard to imagine that this law suit took place, especially only fifty years ago. The animation didn't appeal to me. I would have preferred more in-depth biographical or historical material instead of a cartoon enactment of the poem, especially since it seems to me that the poetry is much more concrete, from Ginsberg's lived experience, and is not a flight of fancy, which is the impression the animation gives.