Friday, 2 July 2010

7 Quick Takes (XLVIII)


1. After some calling and listing-looking, I have found a place to stay in BC. I now will not be homeless when I go to school.

2. I am reading Sense and Sensibility. By Jane Austen. Yeah, yeah, it's a girls' book or something. I was told that if I was going to read Manfield Park, which is on my bookshelf, then I ought to read Sense and Sensibility first, as Mansfield is apparently the worst of the Austen books and Sense one of the best. This way I would not be unduly turned off by the author's less esteemed work. So I got Sense and Sensibility from the library at the same time that I got Understanding Comics and a collection of T. S. Eliot's poetry.

3. I discovered I dislike T. S. Eliot's poetry as much now as I did in first year of university.

4. Geez. Not much has happened. I'm struggling for seven here. I watched The Book of Eli, starring Denzel Washington and Gary Oldman. I was impressed, more than I had anticipated.

5. I got Canada Day off work, as it is a statutory holiday. Some people, I hear, are boycotting it? I understand frustration with Canada's policies, and I understand that some folks are not thrilled to be part of Canada (Quebecois separatists, some Native separatists), but the folks I had heard were boycotting Canada Day are not to my knowledge separatists. I think they struggle with ideas of nation and nationality. That Canada contains many nationalities does make a single celebratory national day difficult, I suppose? But to boycot seems unnecessary. That seems like an awfully symbolic denial of your own Canadian identity. This would be rather like my dropping out of school because I had problems with the education system, or refusing to obey any Canadian law because I disagreed with the drafting of one. That is to say, it's like throwing the baby out with the bathwater. I prefer to make changes from the inside rather than the outside, so long as those on the inside are not transgressing enormous ethical codes. You know, genocide or something. Even then I would likely oppose in the name of the sort of Canada I envision.

Not that I was terribly patriotic on Canada Day. I was pretty lazy, minus a hike through the woods. I also spent a little time contemplating what a Canadian epic would look like (epics often being nationalist, right?), but did not get very far. Em or Brad, if you're reading this, have you ever considered what an American epic would look like? And I mean Renaissance Spenser-Milton-inspired-by-Ovid-and-Homer sort of epic. Not "epic blockbuster" sort of epic.

6. I had a panic yesterday. I had been looking for an envelope which gave me information about a government research grant I had been offered. In order to receive those funds I need to do some more paperwork, which means I needed the envelope. Which I could not find. I looked in the place I keep important envelopes, and it wasn't there. So I tore my room apart, in a near frenzy, working myself into a state of nervous panic. The whole time I was praying, God, forgive me my transgressions, please don't let me fail at life because of my own stupid stupid mistakes and my own carelessness over and over again. This isn't usual for me; generally I'm just in a wreck and swear up and down that I'll be more organized in future. Begging God doesn't usually come into it. Is this improvement because I'm communicating? I'm not sure.

After making a mess of my room and probably making it harder to find it, I decided to look again in the place where I keep important envelopes and, wouldn't you know it, there it was. I had missed it. And then felt like an idiot, which really wasn't a change, since I had been feeling like an idiot in the first place for losing it. So now it's sitting on my desk (which is perhaps somewhat neater than before), where I can see it, so I can do the paperwork tomorrow.

7. There was a bison at work, but he was too frisky and young for me to pet. Or lead, which is what I wanted. Ponies and donkeys? That's so last week. A bison would have been cool. But even I wouldn't be silly enough to try and lead this young man. (He's two years old, an age which is alike in humans and bison in being "terrible". He's also big.)

7 Quick Takes is hosted by Jennifer Fulwiller. I encourage you, as always, to visit her.

5 comments:

Jon Wong said...

1. You must have read Austen before... you're an English major. Pride and Prejudice?

2. I spent Canada Day fishing, attending festivities, and watching fireworks. I felt very Canadian. I also had 2 Tim Hortons' coffees... but that might have been a product of being around Dave.

Christian H said...

1. Pride and Prejudice indeed. As it was for two other guys I spoke to, it was my favourite reading from that class. (The third guy whose I opinion on it I heard called it "airy-fairy let's get married." He, clearly, read a different book than I did.)

2. That is quite Canadian. If I were to write a Canadian epic, I would try to include those things. Especially the coffee. Now if only you had played hockey with beavers.

Cait said...

1. Congrats on finding a place!

2. I didn't like Sense and Sensibility, I thought that it was too much of a repeat of Pride and Prejudice.

3. I love T.S. Eliot

4. The Book of Eli was good. I enjoyed it.

5. For Canada Day I was lazy too but then I went to Confederation Basin and listening to some bands and watched the fireworks.

6. I've def had a prayer or two like that too.

Christian H said...

...Wasn't Sense and Sensibility written first?

I can see how Austen gets her reputation for formulaic writing, yes, but I wouldn't say that Sense and Pride are just variations of each other. My greatest critique of Sense is that Elinor didn't grow as much as Marianne had to. I liked Elinor a lot, don't get me wrong, but she was already "there" at the beginning of the novel and she just had to endure the bad stuff. Marianne had to grow up. Since Elinor is the main character, it seemed a little backwards. On the other hand, in Pride, both Elizabeth and D'Arcy had to mature before the novel could be resolved.

Cait, perhaps you should write a post about what you see in Eliot. Honestly, every time I look at "The Wasteland" I expect something excellently cryptic, and instead all I find is a mess of quotidian junk. Perhaps I need someone to tell me where to get started.

Cait said...

I read Pride first and then read Sense, and I'm not saying that the two of them are exactly the same, but the over arching themes and such are, and I thought that they were portrayed better in Pride than in Sense. I like Pride better than Sense, I thought that the story was better, it was better written, and the characters were (obviously) more memorable.

As for Eliot, I hated Eliot in first year. But then I had Edward Lobb in Modern British Literature during 3rd year and now I love Eliot. Did you study Eliot after first year?

Perhaps I will write a post about Eliot...it's a good idea...it's now starting to turn over and stew in my brain.

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