Satirists would probably prefer that you understand more than you laugh. But laughing is what happens first. Given time, the understanding might come. Just not in time to suit the satirist. The satires of Juvenal, a Latin writer from roughly 120 years into the common era, have a lot in common with some of the more political and angry stand-up comics of today. Lewis Black comes to mind. He and Juvenal share a deep frustration and disgust for the behavior of the rich and powerful and the parasites that feed off their “event-glamor”. They despise stupidity and have little tolerance for foolishness. Unfortunately for them, (fortunately for their genre) it abounds.
Juvenal has the vision of an artist, able to see the components of things as well as the whole. Satire 1 is a criticism of poetry. Poetry, he complains, is too namby-pamby because the society that creates it and provides an audience for it is namby-pamby. Hello! Such an argument could be used down through history, specifically for academic art. The Pre-Raphaelites may have made use of this vein of thought. When society sucks, their art will suck. If the Academy members are jaded and old-fashioned, guess which type of art will be celebrated.
Juvenal is cutting in his expressiveness. He could have been a writer for BLACKADDER! His sarcasm and disdain are so thick, you could cut them with a …a … disdain-cutting device.
I’ve finally gone and done it… finally got set up in grad school. It took ages for many reasons not relevant to this blog. Nevertheless, here’s the gear I had to stock up on.
~~ BOOKS BOUGHT ~~
Medieval Lit: “The Dream Vision”
PIERS PLOWMAN. William Langland/Norton Critical Ed. (ISBN 9780393975598)
DREAM VISIONS AND OTHER POEMS/GEOFFREY CHAUCER. Kathryn L. Lynch, ed. Norton Critical Ed. (ISBN: 9780393925883)
John Gower. Confessio Amantis
The Dream of The Rood
The Romance of The Rose
Plato. Myth of Er
American Lit: Transnationalism, Cosmopolitanism, and Globalization
A Play by Jessica Hagedorn (The Phillipines)
. Don DeLillo (Greece, Mideast, India)
ARTICLES TO BE READ FOR AMERICAN LIT:
- Arjun Appadurai, Modernity At Large: Cultural Dimensions of Globalization. U Minnesota Press. 1996.
- Homi K. Bhabha, The Location of Culture. Routledge. 1994.
- Timothy Brennan, At Home in the World: Cosmopolitanism Now. Harvard U Press. 1997.
- Garrett Wallace Brown, The Cosmopolitanism Reader. Polity. 2011.
- Pheng Cheah and Bruce Robbins, eds. Cosmopolitics: Thinking and Feeling Beyond the Nation. U Minnesota Press. 1998.
- Liam Connell and Nicky Marsh, eds. Literature and Globalization: A Reader. Routledge. 2011.
- Wai Chee Dimock and Lawrence Buell. Shades of the Planet: American Literature as World Literature. Princeton U Press.2007.
- Brian T. Edwards and Dilip Parameshwar Gaonkar, Globalizing American Studies. U Chicago Press. 2010.
- Anthony Giddens, The Consequences of Modernity. Stanford U Press. 1991.
- David Harvey, A Brief History of Neoliberalism. Oxford. 2007.
- David Harvey, Cosmopolitanism and the Geographies of Freedom. Columbia U Press. 2009.
- Fredric Jameson and Masao Miyoshi, eds. The Cultures of Globalization. Duke U Press. 1998.
- Paul Jay, Global Matters: The Transnational Turn in Literary Studies. Cornell U Press. 2010.
- Naomi Klein, No Logo. Picador. 2000.
- Naomi Klein, The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism. Picador. 2008.
- Chandra Mohanty, Feminism Without Borders: Decolonizing Theory, Practicing Solidarity. Duke U Press. 2003.
- Bruce Robbins, Feeling Global: Internationalism in Distress. NYU Press, 1999.
- Saskia Sassen, Globalization and Its Discontents. The New Press, 1998.
- John Tomlinson, Globalization and Culture. U Chicago Press, 1999.
So…yeah. Okay. No pressure, then.
Another couple of books I picked up for a song…
THE LIVELY IMAGE: 4 MYTHS IN LITERATURE
— I think I have a copy of this somewhere because when I saw it, it looked so familiar. It’s probably in exile in the garage or something. So what do I do? I bought it. Best table of contents ever! Four sections: “The Narcissus Myth”; “The Dionysus Myth”; “The Orpheus Myth”; and “The Christ Myth”.
OPHELIA JOINED THE GROUP “MAIDENS WHO DON’T FLOAT”: CLASSIC LIT SIGNS ON TO FACEBOOK.
It’s mostly banalities, but the page for “Puck” of “Midsummer Night’s Dream” is hilarious. Still, I can see why it was marked down to three dollars — and yet, I feel sorta guilty because I wish I had written this book, or something like it. It’s a bitter pill to swallow.
You don’t learn anything that wasn’t already common knowledge, but it’s good for a few laughs.