My body aches. Saturday evening, I took two of my flatmates and met several of my friends for the Annual Highland Something, for which the student centre supplies a variety of ceilidhs. There was so much spinning and fiddle-dee-dee (in the words of Tom), that my bones feel flung to bits. But it is a good sort of pain, and I would do it again tomorrow if there was a chance.
Our photographer was not with us, so I have no proof of the adventure apart from my own creaking joints. I'll be sure to fix that next time.
When James Macpherson published his Fragments of Ancient Poetry in 1760, he went to great lengths to make the Fragments appear to be authentic remains of an ancient, heroic oral tradition. His reasons for this were largely political, and as such, influenced the content of the epics themselves. As an attempt to establish a particularly Scottish identity, the poems were quite effective. However, to do so required both a simplification and a manipulation of traditional mythology. Stripped of anagogical significance, the Ossian epics more or less represented an Enlightenment version of history, tradition, and mythic heritage. The stories themselves were changed by their very purpose and in turn changed the manner of representing myth in future narratives.
Moreover, the emphasis on the Ossian epics as authentic tales from the past, as ‘fragments,’ served to distinguish form from content in a new way. The epics were not so important as stories as they were as artefacts. In the same way that the
note: one thing I left out: I am focusing on the responses located in Edinburgh and London. and I'm presently unsure to what extent I will involve contemporary literary theory.
meanwhile, my curtains have been washed, Liesl and I made amazing lemon cake from a box, and flat six is planning a party for the Chinese New Year replete with sing-alongs, a musician's DJ, boardgames, fireworks, pizza, Chinese take-away, and dumpling. It is a Hilarious Party. Looking forward to it.
Hegel's Aesthetics: Lectures on Fine Art (excerpts)
Austen's Northanger Abbey (and accompanying critical essay by unremembered critic)
for dissertation proposal and other concerns:
The Cambridge Companion to the Scottish Enlightenment, The Scottish Enlightenment: An Anthology, Bardic Nationalism, Nation and Narration, Culture and Imperialism, and Ossian and Ossianism by a variety of authors, contemporary and... old.
what I have done in the last week other than reading, attending class, and fretting internally over my dissertation proposal:
no, I have not even called my mother, to whom I wish a wonderful week with all the love I can muster into the space of a blog.
your hair is long when I dream of you
and your hands and fingers are long, too.
you stoop low and turn to hear my voice,
cup my chin in your piano hands,
and with the center of your attention, muffle all outward noise
(I think you wear a cape).
—my hands are narrow and come to a point
you tuck them like bread in your pockets
and we walk to the train—
we are lovers, so of course we walk in the rain,
and smile while the drops form a frame
for our faces.
I cannot remember where you take us—
to the dining car or the caboose.
we wave from the windows,
smiling at strangers,
and wonder that no one out there
knows our names.
the landscape’s the same as when we left.
I ask you, ‘have we gone in circles?’
you say, ‘the ride’s enough’
and pinch my nose and glance below
at the murky water
(it is a dream, remember).
for now we stand beside a pond
you still hold my hand
(your skin is so thin)
and I take each of your fingers in my mouth
to warm them with my breath.
the pond is rimmed in ice
but below I see the catfish swim.
‘let’s go in.’
you hold my arm:
‘you’ll catch your death’ you say
with worry in the corner of your eye.
I laugh at you,
a hearty laugh,
and plunge beneath the crust.
the ring around my finger rusts
reminding me that you’re somewhere behind.
I drop to the bottom
and must push back to the surface
with all the narrow force of my narrow feet.
the pond is now a sea,
and you have left me.
(I weep myself awake, and find your picture between the pages of my books)
(your hair is short, your hands are firm, and you’re alone beneath a harsh light)
(I crawl back into bed and warm my frostbitten toes
with all the blankets and pillows
that I can reach)
Chance of flat confrontations: 94%
Number of flat conversations about flat confrontations: 17
Possible routes of escape from flat confrontations: 2 (door, window)
'Safety' rooms-in case of confrontational emergency head to: Jess' room, room 01.