This is post number two of a semi-weekly set of blog entries about my time at university. See the beginning, and further explanation, here.
This is late, I know. I’m also doing this to procrastinate, true to form. Lectures proper started this week, even though some induction stuff continued this week in what were truly dull hours. So, good news: I’m really enjoying my course. Lectures are engaging, on the whole, but most of all the workshops & seminars have some great discussions, and just being able to talk nearly constantly with other people with that sort of specialised love for English is great. Best of all, the content really is very interesting, and the lack of constraints imposed by the bastards at AQA & OCR et al. have died a quiet death, leaving texts open to be questioned in an academic sense in all sorts of ways.
Before I talk in some more depth, I should explain that this term’s course consists of two modules in addition to the yearly module, Key Concepts. These two modules are ‘Approaches to Literature: Medieval to Modern’ and ‘Translations’. In Approaches, we’re currently doing Malory’s Le Morte Darthur; in typical fashion I’ve come up with some strange link, which I put down in my workshop notes as “Odd link: Strangelove’s War Room with the Round Table: ‘men in armour fighting nonsensical wars’” (there’s also the effect of Arthurian mythos upon that great work of British comedy, Alan Partridge, who questions what it would have been like if Arthur had an extendible table…). So, yeah. Translations has covered Sappho, ancient poetess, which I’m really finding much more engaging than I would have expected. In particular, this was quite an interesting fragment of her work (most of her work exists as fragments), taken from Anne Carson’s translations.
Outside of that, I’ve been to a fair few societies, and seeing a few speakers. On Tuesday, I hurried along to see Peter Hitchens, having subtly brought down the downfall of capitalism from within the machine by taking advantage of the Byron 25p burger offer and getting the most expensive burger I could as part of the offer. He spoke eloquently yet incorrectly (in many regards. I agree with him on some areas.) Thursday saw Alan Johnson at the York Union, but the crème de la crème was the Mogginator, Jacob Rees-Mogg, MP, himself. Unfortunately this meant contributing £10 to Tory coffers in order to attend, thus nullifying my admittedly weak attack on capitalism earlier in the week, but I refused on principle to join them for £5 (besides, who knows, it could come back to haunt me, unless I undergo a Hitchens-esque conversion). Seeing the man in his double-breasted glory, albeit in the midst of some of the most boring conversation I’ve ever witnessed that took hand before, comparing fucking pocket squares – pocket squares!! – was lovely. Plus, he answered a question I asked. Sadly, he turned down the option of running for the Conservative leadership. To add even more misery, he had to make a swift exit after his quite long Q&A session for dinner with the fam, so no Mogg-selfie.
All hail the Sainsbury’s ‘feed four for £10 offer’ they had on Indian. Slightly had a bit too much of Indian food, though, this week, and the search for a decent Indian continues. I’ve had a lot of fryups, though. It’s probably not that healthy – in fact, it isn’t healthy. Oh well, they’re bloody tasty. This coming week: chilli, and some pizzas that were on offer.
Who-watch: Excellent! More two-parters like these are most welcome. Not so sure about fourth wall breaking, or ever so dull repeated hologram usage. Shame Clara didn’t die (again.)
I’ll also admit that I may have seen a bit of Strictly Come Dancing (oh dear, I know) – that Pulp Fiction jive was very good – anyway, Fargo returns tomorrow.
Still reading Auden & course texts.
I’ve got a video idea, but I haven’t edited it together yet.
Bye for now.