Sunday, December 04, 2005

Now, Blog from MS Word!

OK, this is officially awesome. Blogger now has a free add-on downloadable at this link that integrates into Microsoft Office Word.

Student Query on "Jacob's Room"

I thought that this exchange with a classfellow regarding Virginia Woolf's Jacob's Room may be of wider benefit.
I am using Jacob's Room as the second novel in my paper and I came to the part in the novel about the Scilly Isles and how they "shake the very foundations of scepticism and lead to jokes about God" (42). I remember you had said something in lecture that provided a lot of insight into this passage and I can't remember exactly what it was, perhaps you could remind me?
Well, on the principles of the Freudianity which underlies "Jacob's Room," laughter is in part how human beings react to uncomfortable encroachment or threats or perceived danger to deeply-seated beliefs & values. In the jargon of Freud, this is covered under the concept of tabou. Thus, where the rises of the Scilly Isles invoke the sense of the noumenal which similar British phenomena are recorded to have done through so much of the nation's literature and folk tales, forms of disbelief (such as scepticism) among vestigal Victorian and Edwardian casts of mind are challenged. One result of this, then, is internal discomfort, impinging on the individual's idea of God -- still strong by virtue of its historical foundation in the national character -- and producing uncomfortable jokes as a (Freudian) means of dealing with the inner dis-ease.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Last Class: Trench Grub

Who but sodden, rat-run, frozen bombarded soldiers drowning in mud, awaiting orders to go over the top by generals who had chosen ".... to fight machine gun bullets with the breasts of gallant men" -- who else could actually enjoy eating steak & kidney pie, tripe, tongue, black pudding, and mushy peas?
Well, we won't do that, but remember that if you bring a fiver to class Monday we can at least salute the trench dead with a shared lunch of fish & chips - or just chips - & who knows what all, and a bottle of
Bass ....

Update: And the historical toast offered was ....
Our Valiant Dead, & God Save the Queen!