Thursday, March 27, 2008

Snow, Pictures, and Bindings

Well. After some brutal proofreading, my Orwell essay is handed in and suitably celebrated, which leaves me with nothing but Flann and the Po-Co crowd for the next three months. After, of course, a week of nothing but pleasure reading, sleeping in, and catching up on Lost episodes. I am going to see Lily in London tomorrow, and a good friend whom I haven't seen in a couple years is visiting/touring here. Hooray!

Anyhow, on to the pictures:

Short Hair!

These are the essays I bound...

And it SNOWED on Easter. And the day before. Crazy.


Alan L. Gallagher said...

The swallows are back, and may be seen and heard coursing over the fields and in the barnyard.

The trillium have been in bloom since before St. Patrick's Day.


It is, or soon will be, SPRING in England, which you should also enjoy in a literary sense, with Shakespeare and Chaucer, and Keats and Browning. It is time to see larks and nightengales, and cuckoos. Soon, in May I believe, the swifts will return to Oxford (and can be seen on webcam).


As in:

"Like to the lark at break of day arising
From sullen earth, sings hymns at heaven's gate..."



"When shepherds pipe on oaken straws,
And merry larks are plouwmen's clocks,
When turtles tread, and rooks, and daws,
And maidens bleach their summer smocks,
The cuckoo then, on every tree...."


And, with Browning:

"Oh, to be in England
Now that April's there,
And whoever wakes in England
Sees, some morning, unaware,
That the lowest boughs and the brushwood sheaf
Round the elm-tree bole are in tiny leaf,
While the chaffinch sings on the orchard bough
In England -- now !

And after April when May follows,
And the whitethroat builds, and all the swallows !
Hark, where my blossomed pear-tree in the hedge
Leans to the field and scatters on the clover
Blossoms and dewdrops -- at the bent spray's edge--
That's the wise thrush; he sings each song twice over,
Lest you should think he never could recapture
The first fine careless rapture !
And though the fields look rough with hoary dew,
All will be gay when noontide wakes anew
The buttercups, the little children's dower
--Far brighter than this gaudy melon-flower.




Alan L. Gallagher said...

Thank you.

I have been re-reading Tristes Tropiques (Your present to me: Thank you. It takes me a while, but I do get to things), and a book ABOUT Levi-Strauss by anthropologist Edmund Leach [ Modern Masters: Claude Levi-Strauss. Edmund Leach. Revised Edition. The Viking Press. New York (1970(1974)]. Leach is NOT a disciple of Levi-Strauss, but does a good presentation, in which he presents L-S, like Freud and Marx, looking (often disregarding evidence, especially negative instances, in the process) for universal themes built into human nature. He is scathing at times, e.g. when he notes how little time L-S spent in the field, and how he sought/used supporting evidence, but did not examine for evidence which might disprove his assertions. He compares L-S to Freud, who gave us powerful and suggestive metaphors which, however, are not "scientific" in the sense that they can be examined (No one has even seen an "id," "ego," or "super-ego"). I am reminded of a Marxist friend of mine, in anthropology at Pitt, who used to condemn me for my demand for supporting "facts" (He said that facts were irrelevant or only existed in my "constructed" mind), while I continued to suggest that evidence played a role in determining what was true and what was not. I use L-S and ideas from and about him as I teach Sociology and other social "sciences." I am not actually a L-S fan, but I grew up on his work, so it occupies an important place, even when I reject his method and conclusions (and his connections with Marx, Freud, Sartre, etc).