Wednesday, March 14, 2007


Blogger has betrayed me one too many times! I'm leaving in a huff. Let's hope the new home is better....



an observation

The one -- the only -- good thing about having short hair is how long I can go without brushing it. I have not, at this moment, brushed or combed my hair since Friday with few discernible side-effects.


Also, my toenail polish matches the pajamas I am wearing right now -- both green. Delightful.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

the curse of pretty prose

My prose is very pretty. I know this because my teachers tell me all of the time: I have yet to get a paper back from either my 19th C British Novel or my Popular Fiction class that does not have exclamation marks and notes in the margins praising my sentences, my clever turns of phrase, my very literary summarizations. "Your prose is a delight to read," wrote my British Lit professor. "It is lovely, and flows beautifully." My favourite teacher just drew hearts in the margins of my last paper, like I do when I come across something especially beautiful. Even English Renaissance Man, AKA my current crush-object and the recipient of my unending praise and adoration, broke from his usual focus on argument to praise a particularly nice sentence, and left a note at the end of the paper that said, "You write very, very well."

Unfortunately, I am convinced that my pretty prose garners me higher grades than I deserve. I have the magical ability to take a very basic, shallow reading and dress it up in pages of lovely writing that obscures the fact that I haven't really done any critical analysis. My papers are heavy on description and very light on ideas -- they are fluffy, and if they were stiltedly written they would be C or B work. Every time I work with a new professor I secretly hope that he or she will see through all of this and tear my work to pieces as it deserves, but they never do. Is it just because all of the other work is less well-written, so that by the time they get to mine they are so thrilled to see something flowy and pretty that they forget to critique?

Perhaps I am giving myself and them too little credit. It's a possibility. But I don't think so, and this pretty much means that I will be completely unprepared for grad school if I get there.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

academic losers

After working feverishly for three days, not sleeping or eating; after talking for hours about phrenology and criminology and epistemological ruptures and the history of photography and the nature of realism while chainsmoking in a stairwell; after putting together a massive bibliography -- most of which we read -- including, among others, Sontag, Derrida, Lacan, and Ian Watt; after all this, my friends and I reach a mutual decision to give up. We'll skip class, forgo the grade, and not give our fifteen minute presentation on realism and photography in 19th Century Britain.

Instead, we're going to write an apologetic email to the teacher and spend the class hour in a cafe eating blueberry muffins and drinking cappuccinos.

Thank fucking god.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

reading list

A Question of Power, Bessie Head
Madness and Civilization, Michel Foucault
From Modernism to Postmodernism: An Anthology, ed. Lawrence Cahoone
Being and Nothingness, Jean-Paul Sartre
Les Enfantes Terribles, Jean Cocteau
Story of the Eye, Georges Bataille
Ariel, Sylvia Plath
O Taste and See, Denise Levertov
"Seeing," Annie Dillard
Rilke's Book of Hours
Junglee Girl, Ginu Kamani
The Foreign Legion, Clarice Lispector
The Encyclopedia of the Dead, Danilo Kis
Let us Now Praise Famous Men, James Agee and Walker Evans
Macbeth, Shakespeare
The Selected Poems of Federico Garcia Lorca
As I Lay Dying, William Faulkner
Light in August, William Faulkner
All the Pretty Horses Cormac McCarthy
The Metamorphoses, Ovid
The Rise of the Novel, Ian Watt
The Physiology of Taste, Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin

None of these are for classes. I am going to be a very well-read dropout.