Thursday, September 13, 2007


as it happens, i have yet to decide the nature of my blog here is a current review of a book i'm reading:

blindness by jose saramago is crawling its way to the top 10 list of my favorite books (which i suppose at some point i will detail further). blindness walks through the days of an entire hospital brimming with people struck blind by a raging epidemic. witness to the depravity they encounter is one woman, never blinded, who is literally the eyes of the narrative. she watches as the blind people begin to attack what is most important to them: their dignity, their pride, their shame, and their hunger for a myriad of human desires.

the emotional and "human nature" elements of this novel are simple, and trace back to every wartime or epic work. so why is this book deemed "one that is unafraid to face all the horrors of the century" (-the washington post)? this is not the first book in which women are raped, or ruthless hand to hand death matches are exacted...yet saramago has won the nobel prize for literature for this novel.

Instead of further analysis of the novel itself, my mind turned to a commentary or potentially a critique of the nature of the novel. It amazes me that year after year, writers, essayists, authors, illustrators and more, continually write allegories of the same heinous truths of the world--and yet the same story, told in varying permutations, is intriguing and can capture rapt attention. aren't people bored with it yet? is this the answer to the apathy currently plaguing the world--a desensitization via repetition of the same common themes?

(overall i guess i won't review books, just babble on about their potential importance to the world at large? undefined blog aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaagh)

Wednesday, September 12, 2007


so i realize it may be ridiculous to start a career as a book reviewer what i've decided to do instead is review the crap i have to read and go through in order to graduate with an english degree at the u of m/twin cities campus. this will include individual readings combined with the way they are taught. maybe someday i'll look back on this and remember ways NOT to teach my students in the future.

it is required that i take one semester of upper level shakespeare to fulfill my "shakespeare requirement".....

who decides the literary canon these days ANYWAY. why is it that william shakespeare, who wrote for his time, during his time, is considered the most important writer to study, as a precursor, even, to modern literature? i have yet to encounter an author or playwright that invents and reuses insults like "thou cream faced loon". i guess in this sense, shakespeare is an innovative writer--but if so, why not teach him this way? he was an oddball--let's marvel at that. instead, i get loads of crap about how beautifully he writes: in all actuality he wrote mathematically and for large audiences. my vote is that the educational institutions either reform the way shakespeare is taught so that students come away from it with an idea of what his time was like, and why he created his odd words, as well as the ability to glean meaning from the cryptic messages he posed. i should, for lawl's sake, lay out my shakespeare experience. my teacher for this course is "shirley i'm too old to have anything innovative to say nelson". we sit in a circle, and look at certain portions of plays in class. then we read aloud. sometimes, this kid with a total hard-on for shakespeare will read in an annoyingly stage-shakespearean voice and it makes me want to kill myself and/or cough to cover my laughter. i hate that class.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007