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Preview: New Donestre Social Club

New Donestre Social Club

Where even monsters that eat your body and weep over your head are a part of the better world in birth.

Updated: 2018-03-06T02:03:10.357-08:00


So many changes, so little blog...


*blows dust off again* *coughs violently* Do people even do blogs anymore, or has it been replaced by Instagram and Twitter and other things that I no longer understand but prohibit my students from using in class anyway? At any rate, here I am again, blogging away in my "spare" time. Things have changed significantly since the last post. First of all, I got married to a wonderful woman who is

Fall 2012 Prep


*blows dust off blog again* I will set aside the usual mea culpa here and just say that it's been a long year, and blogging hasn't been the highest of priorities. But I'll try it again, if nothing else to produce a resource that might actually be useful for someone else, if not myself. So, you missed my first attempt at Chaucer last spring, which I thought went all right--not great, but all



The Archival Twin DilemmaNo, we're not rehashing old episodes of Doctor Who—which, thank god, because no one needs the Sixth Doctor inflicted on them. Although, come to think of it, today's discussion does feel a bit like you're being choked by a man in a ridiculous motley jacket. That is, what we're looking at is that moment when you find your scholastic twin in the archives.I'm talking about



A Meditation on Place and Growth In preparation for the fall, I've been reading State U's One Book One Community choice, Colin Beavan's No Impact Man. One of Beavan's themes is, for lack of a better phrase, "lifestyle sustainability" (my words, not his). That is, he's asking why we in the West/North/United States are obsessed with a consumerist lifestyle that brings happiness to almost no-one



Reboot, 2011-style: with sassy Texas sauce.Sorry, where was I? Okay, so in an effort to return to more of an online presence, and to keep these damn spammers out of my blog, I'm restarting the New Donestre Social Club. Here's what I've been doing since . . . 2009? Oh, [expletive deleted].Okay, first the good news: I did finish my dissertation and pass my defense, and took the long walk across the



Brief ReturnWell, it's been a busy three months. Since July, I've written two more chapters: a completely new one on Pearl, and a revision of an older paper on Wynnere and Wastoure. Both were more of a slog than I'd expected them to be, though for different reasons. Pearl kept feeling wrong, for some reason, despite that fact that I was connecting ideology, religion, and utopia pretty well, and



Milestone AchievedI turned in the House of Fame chapter on Tuesday, right on time. Let's hope it's right on argument, as well. After that, I'm going to take a little breathing room before I start in on Pearl, and I'm thinking I'll spend it on . . . well, I don't know about you, but when I'm doing research, I tend to pick up books—stuff people reference, books that sound good, even ones that were



"I know what I am, and what I may be if I choose . . ."Two stories about House of Fame and my dissertation.First of all, my transformation into a medievalist continues apace. I was reading the House the other day and reread the part where the narrator describes Josephus as "Him of secte Saturnyne" (1432). At this point, I briefly thought "Why Saturnine?" only to answer my own question with "



Back from Inner SpaceSo, here I am, back again. It's been a long and busy semester, as the cliché goes. I passed my Oral Comprehensive Exam on the 15th of April, which is nice, as I am now ABD. For that exam, I wrote and defended what amounts to the rough draft of my dissertation's theory chapter, in which I explained what I meant by "medieval utopian function" by going through some general/



The following essay first appeared in my dissertation committee's inboxes in November 2008. It is a response to the rather open prompt of "write about boundaries in four medieval works." The footnotes are now properly linked back to where you were in the text. Enjoy, if you want; discuss, if you like. Negotiating Time’s Boundaries: Identity, History, and Utopia in Four Medieval Works Modern



And Back AgainHello all. I'm recovered sufficiently from the Written Comps (which I was told I'd passed, finally, about a month after I'd finished them) and from the holidays (which I may have passed), and the work staring me in the face has gotten large enough that I can ignore it by blogging. So, I'm back.I haven't quite decided if I'll post the essays I wrote for comps. I think I might, just



Comps Round One: OverI have survived written comps, although I have yet to hear back from all of my committee. We do exams in two stages in my local English department: a 72-hour take-home written exam and, later, an oral defense of a 25-page paper and its attendant reading list.[1] I finished the first part of this journey at noon on the 7th of November.My exam had three possible questions, from



Hiatus 2: Electric BoogalooWow. I never thought a con post would end up producing more discussion than, say, anything I've said in the past year or so; I guess that shows what I know. That said, I'm going to officially put this blog on hiatus—not because of the comment stream, but because I've got written comps in 28 days (which means I need to go in hospital right now and wake up on the day of



"St. Erkenwald is so hot right now": A SEMA ReportWell, I'm back from SEMA, and I had a pretty good time. There was a little mix-up about registration, which turned out to have been on the University end and not the conference end, and as a result, CEH and I get to have a nice chat with C-- A-- tomorrow or Tuesday about accounting for my presence at the conference. My paper went well, I think,



Nunc etiam, o amiciIn other news, I've set the weekend of the 8th of November (i.e. noon on Friday the 7th to noon on Monday the 10th) to do my written comps. That should be enough time to finish that booklist. I've also finished:The Owl and the NightingaleFredric Jameson. The Political Unconscious.Patricia Clare Ingham. “Making All Things New: Past, Progress, and the Promise of Utopia.” Karma



From The Didactic EdgeSo we're almost a month into the semester here at UAF, and this time around I'm teaching Honors World Literature to 1650. Ideally, this means I get a batch of students who are "smarter" than regular students; whether it actually means that I'm not sure. I will say that discussions have been better than usual, as have papers. I'll get to the latter in a minute, but first,



Update on Reading ListThe score is still Jacob 2, List 3 in the first half.As of this moment, I have read (or re-read) the following:Caedmon’s HymnBede’s Story of Caedmons’ HymnThe Battle of MaldonGenesis A and BDream of the RoodGuthlac AThe PhoenixThe WandererThe SeafarerThe Wife’s LamentDeorThe Gifts of MenThe Fortunes of MenCotton Vitellius A.xv (Nowell Codex only):Wonders of the EastThe



Another Book for the ListI woke up this morning to Jeffrey Cohen's post on the end of Carolyn Dinshaw's Getting Medieval, and realized that what she says is kind of what I wanted to say in my dissertation (who needs coffee now?). I should preface this by saying that, as the title indicates, I have not yet read Dinshaw's book, and so this post is a reaction to Jeffery's post more than it is to



Dissertation Interlude: The End of Utopia.I've been reading outside my comps list this week, because I finished two things on it and thought I deserved a break. I'm not sure Russell Jacoby's The End of Utopia constitutes a "break," since it is about utopianism, specifically the lack of it in late-20th-century liberal discourse. Jacoby is righteously angry at the slow transition from utopianism to



And then this happened . . .So, as noted at #4 in the last post, I'm reading A. C. Spearing's Textual Subjectivity, because I think it might be useful for The Dissertation, and I need something to do while my students are taking their Awesome Test. And I'm trucking along through the book, reading some intersting things about narrator theory and subjectivity, and then I hit this:Modern readings of



The Wossname of Small ThingsA few things:1) I am no further on my reading list than I was last week. Teaching every day is beginning to seem less and less like a good idea. (What administrator thought years ago that two six-week summer sessions was better than one 12-week summer session?)2) On that note, however, I am giving a midterm today, and one that has garnered me the first compliment I



Atemporal musingsI suppose I've fallen off everyone's blogroll, since I post so rarely, but I do keep up with what the neighbors are saying. Today, for instance, I read a fascinating post by Eileen Joy over at ITM. Responding to comments on medievalism made by Stephanie Trigg at this year's Leeds conference, Eileen implies that the false medievalism/medieval reality dichotomy leads us to believe



Checking InSo, I have a dissertation reading list now, and it's ginormous. I've got some Old English stuff, some Middle English stuff, and some critical stuff, and no, you can't see the list, because . . . well, see previous.I have, however, finished the Old English stuff, with the exception of the Nowell Codex, which I have a) agreed to read all of, and b) won't read until I can read all of it,



Unknown Kadath . . . known?We interrupt your medieval minds for pure madness. So, in the middle of rereading both Lovecraft and the Theses on Feuerbach, I ran across this story from what I'm sure is a reputable news source, "Laura Lee's Conversation for Exploration":, that's right: the government doesn't want you to see the latest pictures from an



Little ThingsI finished a draft of my Medievalism/Nostalgia/The Supernatural/Green Arrow paper on Wednesday, and it's sat on my desk since. Today, I re-read it, and while it's still rough, it's not as bad as I thought it would be or as those solidii would indicate. Now, of course, it's time to print it off, let it sit on my desk until next Wednesday, and see if it's improved any.Meanwhile, one of