My last post was in September. I had just started graduate school, and since then, it’s been a “mad coupla months”! Reading and writing for every book, for quizzes and tests. Abstracts, research papers, annotations. I love it! Writing for school is kinda chill. It satisfies a hunger that can’t be fed by anything material. All the reading and writing works like Slick50 in my brain. New words and ideas are firing sparks, making new connections – synapses snapping all day long in a jazzy funk rhythm that knows no time and no boundaries. My mind is so active and firing on all pistons…
But it’s Christmas holidays now – what some people call “winter” break. Qoi? Brutha, pleez! Down in South Texas, the kindest thing I can say is that it’s NOT 100 degrees F.
So what’s my point? Where, even? Well, I was writing an informal essay for every novel, interpreting Middle English, analyzing, synthesizing, assessing – the whole Bloom’s. Writing for the blog seemed redundant. Also, I wondered whether writing about the same book here and for class might create a conflict. I knew in my heart, there would be a significant slip differential between how the work was represented for academic purposes and how I felt about it personally. Case in point: PATTERN RECOGNITION by William Gibson. The protagonist Cayce is ridiculously hip and cool in her anti-logo fetish, but the novel itself is well-boring. Snail’s pace. Grim, gray other-world that’s a cross between Graham Greene and Ray Bradbury, except not interesting. But through academic eyes, it’s a disturbingly visionary story. Cayce talks about people she doesn’t ever see, chats online with people she never sees but once or twice. Her life has almost nothing to do with human interaction and a lot to do with cyber-communication. Are we headed there or are we already there? Geddit?
So I let the blog go for the time-being. But now that it’s the hols, let the variety begin!
 I really enjoyed Somnium Scipionis which led me to pick up this SATURNALIA of Macrobius. LINK to good online overview of this work. I also have this Loeb by Cicero – De Officiis (Walter Miller, trans.). LINK to online overview.
 Effing Cool, Irresistible titles!
 Again – Effing Cool Title. It’s early days but it’s sounding like a crosMs between Bullfinch’sMythology and Ovid’s Metamorpheses. Loving it! (LINK to online version) (Who the hell needs Effing SparkNotes for Bullfinch’s Mythology???)
 My Medieval Lit prof talked about these satires and I had a Pavlovian reaction to the word “satire”. That being, ears perk up, blood flows a little faster, I start thinking of clever wordplay, double-entendres, taking the piss, etc. I shan’t rule out a touch of salivating. (UofMichigan Collection) I finished reading the six Juvenal satires and, while there was a strong odor of whingeing, the translation was accomplished with a good ear for standup comedy. Very Lewis Black in nature.
 4 Perspectives on Troilus and Criseyde. Pure intellectual spelunking. Highbrow fun. It reads like the author’s doctoral dissertation, though. What a wonderful advantage to be able to do research in more than one language. For all that English is wonderfully comprehensive, I now feel incomplete that I can’t read German or Italian well enough (yet) to do more thorough research in Medieval literature. (LINK to online version) My favorite version of T&C is George Phillip Krapp’s rendition in verse. It’s out of print, but I managed to find a copy through www.ebay.com
 Ahhh, Proust. You most nerdy of nerds. Is there a French word for “nerd”? Do the French even need one? You might think not, but then again, Franck Ribery. C’est une tare’. Une grosse dinde.
 I actually ordered this book in 2009 on the recommendation of my student teacher that semester. I lent it to a friend because I started reading the other book that ordered with it. Haven’t seen it since but it’s cool. That’s a good sign, I think. Beautiful cover design. Very easy to read. It’s kind of like A Writing Life by Annie Dillard. It just has that kind of “become one with the pencil” kind of vibe. It’s actually a great apologia for writing, as is Dillard’s book.
 Not here yet
 Not here yet.
A Writing Life (Annie Dillard)
One Continuous Mistake
Satires of Juvenal and Persius
Navarro’s Promise (Lora Leigh)
Geneology of The Pagan Gods
Pattern Recognition (William Gibson)
“Simulacra and Simulations” by Jean Baudrillard (Chapter 7 of Baudrillard’s Selected Writings, Mark Poster, ed.)