Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Lit theory? Holy flaming potholders, Batman!


I dislike literary theory. Vigorously. Some of it is okay I guess, but really overall, what's the point? Why should I really care about structuralism? semiology? new criticism? At this point, I ineveitably question how it is helping me, thus I must leave it to the powers-that-be to decide what I should know (or at least have some better working knowledge of than, say, my dentist). So basically, I think this is going to be one of the more laborious semesters to make it through with the lit. theory intensivity of it. (I think that intensivity is a word...but I have been know to make them up on occasion to suit my needs, like right now.) Not only is my lit. theory class a hard 3 hours to sit through once a week, but my Brit. Modernism class has also been heavily laden with theory thus far (granted, 2 classes into the semester). And, it's not like Modernism is marshmallow reading (definitely not candy books)...I dare you to read Ulysses (Joyce) and find your way out of that morass whole and unscathed. There's a reason why it is taking a graduate level class an entire month of classes to get through it. 12 hours of class over nothing but Joyce/Ulysses.

I just finished my first venture into the at times mind-numbing literary narrative of D. H. Lawrence (I definitively understand why he was banned in the earlier 1900s!), not that it was a bad read, especially since it was completely refreshing to read that rather than lit. theory for a while. That really may be the longest 459-pager ever. On average, I read about a page a minute...this one was about 2 pages per minute through sheer depth in every sentence and paragraph. I cannot recall another text that I have read that just struck me as so full of pointed meaning in every minute detail...remarkable, yet discouraging in its colossal depth. I bet that even Ben (for all of his so-called symbolism inferiority) would have no issues with deciperhing the amount of recurring images.

Holy flaming potholders, Batman! There really is a point to this. I realize that thus far, this particular post is rather heavily weighted toward the literary, so for those of you who aren't really minded as such and may be reading this, here's my offer at levity. So Ben has this theory that I am the cause of all checkbook woes with him because he has never had an issue with balancing his checkbook until me. Not that I dispute this claim (it's not everyone who deposits their paycheck into someone else's bank account and then bounces three checks...). However, I have my own claim. Before Ben I never set anything on fire in the kitchen (melting a plastic container in an oven doesn't count obviously since there was no fire...and those brownies still tasted just fine). Since him... Tonight was my 2nd reason why I should really have a fire extinguisher stored in the kitchen. When we lived in the apartment, I maybe set the oven on fire once. Tonight, I managed the fire on top of the stove. Potholders make kind of a cool noise when they catch on fire, I discovered. Who knew.

An ode to Joyce and flaming potholders both:
"Mistakes are the portals of discovery." James Joyce (1882-1941)

1 comment:

JEM Truly Outrageous said...

I have never set anything of fire, but I have melted a lot of things! one of the pluses of having a glass top stove is that when plastic cools on top of it... it just pops right off!