None of this tells you anything about my life, of course. Mostly because it's been the same old thing as it has been for the last two months:
1. get up at an embarassingly late hour; eat some amazing cereal and drink coffee in my room while checking email and... oh my goodness, i just discovered the weirdest blister on my toe. Gotta go figure out what to do with it...
false alarm. It was one of Flatmate Jess's contacts stuck to my foot. No wonder the 'blister' was so remarkably round, shiney, and tinted of blue. No wonder I could not recall how or when it had been acquired. Yes, this is what I do with my days.
2. after breakfast and some scuttling about on the internet, I open up my word documents - the ones with all my notes in disarray - and set about putting them in some kind of order. I write a bit here and there, realize that I am not incorporating the massive quantity of quotations and references in my writing, try to correct that, forget, go off on tangents, cut the whole thing and place it in a separate document of useless but undeletable fragments, hear Flatmate Jess leaving her room, prop my door, pretend to work while chatting with her across the hall, create a new playlist on iTunes.
3. make dinner (because breakfast was too late in the day to allow for lunch) for at least an hour - even if it's just chicken nuggets, turn on the news to catch up on the flood levels in western England, go back to my room and look up clips of favorite tv shows or random interviews online - trying to avoid the tacky music montages, check my email
4. chat with emily for about three hours
5. watch a movie with flatmate(s)
6. check email several more times, say goodnight to everyone, close my door, curl up in bed with my laptop, and google myself to sleep
What a dreary existence. I don't think I should admit to it publicly. There are exceptions, such as today, when I update my blog, put on real clothes, and go to the library to pay off my now astronomical fines. Or yesterday, when I went to the shop on the King's Buildings campus to buy milk and orange juice. Sometimes I bring my notes to Blackford Lounge and sort through them over bad cappuccino and cheesy campus-decor. There are all sorts of ways to spice up one's life, and I take advantage of them all! Sometimes...
Macpherson’s Ossianic narratives were composed in the midst of changing definitions of poetic genres and shifting standards of literary values. As a result, they both represent these changes and influence them. I will be exploring the specific influences of the literary studies of Blackwell and Lowth upon Macpherson’s writing, and the influence Macpherson had upon Blair’s literary theories. My arguments will be specifically focused on the definitions of the poet, the bard, the epic, and mythology in the context of the studies of human and societal development in the eighteenth century. Ultimately, I wish to show that the confusion as to the genre of these poems has caused them to be generally disregarded in critical conversation. [Assuming that they are not being ignored simply because they are boring.]
the resulting confusion of genre
why establishing genre is important for critical consideration; why it is unimportant for the ultimate purposes of literature (that is, the confusion led to Ossian being forgotten, but it did not hinder the popularity of the poems among a wide international audience for many years)
the need for an epic:
the preservation of Gaelic tradition
Macpherson’s own literary aims
the standards of the epic:
Primary or Oral Epic
Blackwell’s vision of Homer and how it influence Ossian
Secondary or Literary Epic
the role of the bard in ancient society
how the ballads lasted for so long
the history of preserving them
how Macpherson’s Ossian participated in this preservation
eighteenth-century literary fashion
ballads in writing
the sentimental ‘bard’
how Ossian embodies this fashion
Gaelic traditions and superstitions (fairies and Druids and the second sight)
how Macpherson avoids this and why
superheroes and gods
how Macpherson got one and got rid of the other
why Ossian would have benefited from familiarity with the Supreme Being, and how Macpherson decided against introducing them anyway
why Macpherson chose to write like King Solomon, and what Dr Lowth has to say about it all
I'm lookin' forward to her coming - we're gonna hunt us a Haggis, get the low-down on the Nessie situation, and hit up some of the more widely frequented apparel shops over in New Town. Be prepared.