Wednesday, March 23, 2011

'Women In Love" gets a reboot

This week, BBC Four is airing a new film adaptation of DH Lawrence's "Women In Love," leading some to wonder how it will stack up with the classic 1969 Ken Russell helmed-version. Since the latter film was produced during a notorious time of sexual liberation, critics are wondering how the modern version will reflect the more cautious and conservative times that we live in, and whether it will detract from the artistic merit of the piece. Based on the following article from BBC News, the actors and crew have put a lot of faith into their script, and the final product should definitely be worth a look.

Click here to read it

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Poetry is struggling to stay afloat?

With the help of T.S.Eliot poets are trying to inspire everyone to "read read read." This is a link about the Poetry Book Society and the T.S. Eliot award.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The Waste Land

The greatest poem in English. A poem I love teaching. I am fixed on my three favorite lines, where I always begin my teaching: 
  • April is the cruellest month
  •                                       so many / I had not thought death had undone so many
  • These fragments I have shored against my ruins
There are 32 of us reading the poem together this week. 31 have to write a paper on the poem. The students each posted their proposed passage to explicate on Blackboard yesterday and I find it fascinating just to look at which passages they chose. I never, for example, could have predicted the popularity of "The river's tent is broken." 

Here is the list (you'll note that a few of the 31 didn't get proposals in). I wonder what it says about us.

April is the cruellest month, breeding...tubers (lines 1-7)                         
What are the roots that clutch, what branches grow… (19-30) 
Madame Sosostris, famous clairvoyante...                         
Madame Sosotris, famous clairvoyante lines 43-59                      
Madame Sosostris, famous clairvoyante' (43-59)                        
Unreal City (60-76)                                                           
Unreal City (60 ff. )                                                           
Unreal city...                                                           
Leaned out, leaning, hushing the room enclosed. (106-138)                         
What is that noise? (117-132)                                     
What shall I do now? What shall I do? (130-39)                         
Now Albert's coming back, make yourself a bit smart                         
The river's tent is broken: the last fingers of leaf (173-181)                        
The river’s tent is broken: the last fingers of leaf… (173-186).                                    
The river’s tent is broken (173-86)                                    
The river’s tent is broken: the last fingers of leaf (173-186)                        
The time is now propitious, as he guesses (235-248)                         
The time is now propitious, as he guess,... (lines 235-250)                         
The meal is ended, she is bored and tired, (236-248)                   
She turns and looks a moment in the glass... (249-256).                  
She turns and looks a moment in the glass (249-56)                     
She turns and looks a moment in the glass (249 ff.)                        
Phlebas the Phoenician, a fortnight dead (312-321)                       
Phlebas the Phoenician, a fortnight dead (312-321)                       
Here is no water but only rock (331-345)                        
Datta: What have we given? (401-423)                                    

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Short snippets of modernism

These are the quotations that students had to identify in this morning's midterm. You can test yourself, of course, but it's also a great pleasure to read that modernist voice:

A.    The noise of children at play annoyed him and their silly voices made him feel even more keenly than he had felt at Clongowes, that he was different from others. He did not want to play. He wanted to meet in the real world the unsubstantial image which his soul so constantly beheld.

B.     If only Birkin would form a close and abiding connection with her, she would be safe during this fretful voyage of life. He could make her sound and triumphant, triumphant over the very angels of heaven. If only he would do it! But she was tortured with fear, with misgiving.

C.     “Oh yes, I like the house immensely and the garden is beautiful, but it feels very far away from everything to me. I can’t imagine people coming out from town to see us in that dreadful jolting bus, and I am sure there is not anyone here to come and call. Of course it does not matter to you because----“

D.    In the centre, obviously intended as the principal dish, was a bowl of plums, softly red, soaked with the sun, glowing like jewels in the downward stream of the incandescent light. Besides them was a great yellow melon. Its sleek sides fluted with rich growth, and a honeycomb glistening on a willow-pattern dish. The only sensible food to be seen was a plate of tongue laid at his place.

E.     Dieu was the French for God and that was God’s name too; and when anyone prayed to God and said Dieu then God knew at once that it was a French person that was praying.