found a dog-eared copy on a free bookshelf. initially turned off by a hipster vibe but quickly became absorbed in the story. loved the dizzying shiftsfound a dog-eared copy on a free bookshelf. initially turned off by a hipster vibe but quickly became absorbed in the story. loved the dizzying shifts in points of view. Really loved the little boy who was obsessed with pauses in popular songs...more
Read as a class assignment. I think about it every time I look at a stream bank or almost any natural area in the springtime. Everyone who writes songRead as a class assignment. I think about it every time I look at a stream bank or almost any natural area in the springtime. Everyone who writes songs should read this book because of the vivid imagery.
Chapter VII: Piper at the Gates of Dawn
Then suddenly the Mole felt a great Awe fall upon him, an awe that turned his muscles to water, bowed his head, and rooted his feet to the ground. It was no panic terror—indeed he felt wonderfully at peace and happy—but it was an awe that smote and held him and, without seeing, he knew it could only mean that some august Presence was very, very near. With difficulty he turned to look for his friend and saw him at his side cowed, stricken, and trembling violently. And still there was utter silence in the populous bird-haunted branches around them; and still the light grew and grew. Perhaps he would never have dared to raise his eyes, but that, though the piping was now hushed, the call and the summons seemed still dominant and imperious. He might not refuse, were Death himself waiting to strike him instantly, once he had looked with mortal eye on things rightly kept hidden. Trembling he obeyed, and raised his humble head; and then, in that utter clearness of the imminent dawn, while Nature, flushed with fullness of incredible colour, seemed to hold her breath for the event, he looked in the very eyes of the Friend and Helper; saw the backward sweep of the curved horns, gleaming in the growing daylight; saw the stern, hooked nose between the kindly eyes that were looking down on them humourously, while the bearded mouth broke into a half-smile at the corners; saw the rippling muscles on the arm that lay across the broad chest, the long supple hand still holding the pan-pipes only just fallen away from the parted lips; saw the splendid curves of the shaggy limbs disposed in majestic ease on the sward; saw, last of all, nestling between his very hooves, sleeping soundly in entire peace and contentment, the little, round, podgy, childish form of the baby otter. All this he saw, for one moment breathless and intense, vivid on the morning sky; and still, as he looked, he lived; and still, as he lived, he wondered."
I grew up in a town with stars displayed on the houses that sent soldiers to the Revolutionary war. I toured Fort Ticonderoga, Bunker Hill and the OldI grew up in a town with stars displayed on the houses that sent soldiers to the Revolutionary war. I toured Fort Ticonderoga, Bunker Hill and the Old North Church. I've read 1776 and one about Valley Forge that I can't remember the title of. I read of John Marshall's exploits as a continental soldier in Washington's army in John Marshall: Definer of a Nation. I read Barbara Tuchman's analysis of British decision making The March of Folly: From Troy to Vietnam. With all that, I never had a clear narrative of events, characters and locations from beginning to end. For example, I could have never told you exactly what Benedict Arnold did wrong or what led to the surrender of Cornwallis. I couldn't have explained the difference between Minute Men and the Continentals. I didn't know of Nathaniel Greene or John Burgoyne and I certainly didn't know much about the role of the French. So, now I do. This is a series of lectures performed by a really enthusiastic history prof and so it suits the audio book format perfectly. While there are some dry parts about how the Continental army was reorganized and how many soldiers were in the 3rd Dragoons in 1780, other details about the supply and structure of both armies were fascinating. Same goes for the life histories and family backgrounds of some of the British generals. A lot of research went into this series. For example, the order of battle of so many clashes. There are certain battle descriptions that raised my blood, so I was really caught up in the story. ...more
I happily digested this series of lectures and felt quite edified. It really makes Joyce's work more accessible and enjoyable. I listened nearly 20 yeI happily digested this series of lectures and felt quite edified. It really makes Joyce's work more accessible and enjoyable. I listened nearly 20 years ago and his words stay with me.
I soon realized that on the first day of graduate school, every student is informed that Joseph Campbell's ideas are the opposite of good. One's opinion of Joseph Campbell is used as a shibboleth to identify one's self as either a pedestrian consumer of the PBS brand of popular culture or a more rarified intellectual who reads and writes for other intellectuals. There are all kinds of valid criticisms a PhD in literature could level at Joseph Campbell. I've read a bunch and they make sense to me, but the summary rejection of Joseph Campbell in these circles is due to one thing: Terror. If you get a PhD in the humanities, you cannot afford to hold unpopular opinions. The imbalance between those with degrees and available positions allows a small elite to enforce opinion in that community. If an undergraduate degree in liberal arts is "getting a list of books one should read someday", then an advanced degree is receiving a series of opinions one must hold to be accepted. ...more
great quote: men react to shame either by getting pissed or shutting down. So true.
I think there were a few spots where she over-generalized about "magreat quote: men react to shame either by getting pissed or shutting down. So true.
I think there were a few spots where she over-generalized about "male" culture. She painted an interesting picture of rabid men clinging to the baseball backstop screaming to their little-leaguers to hit the ball and saying "cry on the bat, see if that helps". She interviewed dozens of men to do her work and I'm sure individuals had stories of feeling bad about sports, but (I hope) even in Texas, where the author is from, that image is outrageous.
other great theme: Women want men to "open up" but when they really do, women run away screaming (another over-generalization?), so men learn to pretend to be open, knowing there is an entire rich world of screaming anger, shame and mass-shootiness that they must never, ever reveal.
Example: The first line of the play is "Who's there?", which we learn is significant because so much of the play is about identity and false identity.
Example: The first line of the play is spoken by a soldier on some ramparts. That the play begins and ends in a military setting, with soldiers speaking is also significant.
So, just from the very first line with two words, big themes are introduced that help understand the play. And it just continues. If one gets a bit of help, they can notice the recurrence of these themes and appreciate it that much more.. ...more
The lecture series is great. I found the title misleading. Compared to the previous series, How To read and Understand Shakespeare, this series wasn'The lecture series is great. I found the title misleading. Compared to the previous series, How To read and Understand Shakespeare, this series wasn't about words and actions at all. It was more about "wavelengths" and broad rhythms. For example, a discussion of when characters use prose and when they use verse, when the verse is rhyming couplets and when it is regular open ended iambic pentameter. What are Cezuras and how are they employed (hint: when verse is interrupted in this way, something important is going on)? If you are looking to further understand Shakespeare, I can definitely recommend it. If you want a 26 hour lecture about the way Shakespeare uses certain words and the sometimes double and triple meanings of those words, this is not what you are after.
He covers a LOT of ground. Before listening to this, most of Shakespeare was mashed together for me in great lumps of plays. Now I feel like I know them separately. For example, "Cymbeline" has this precise, clockwork plot that is not found in any other plays. He often introduced lesser known plays in ways that made me think, "definitely skipping that one" and by the end of the lecture had me wanting to read it and study it more. He makes a lot of connections between modern productions of Shakespeare and the original plays to explain how so many scenes are left open to the interpretation of the directors and actors. ...more
rekindled a love for learning! kindled a new awe of Shakespeare. Kind of book I'm reminded of everywhere I look and every word I hear.
I'd recommend itrekindled a love for learning! kindled a new awe of Shakespeare. Kind of book I'm reminded of everywhere I look and every word I hear.
I'd recommend it to absolutely everyone. If you plan on studying more Shakespeare, this will give you lots of tools to help you understand more. If you have only a passing interest in the subject, this will fill you in. ...more