Something I've been thinking about a lot lately has been the field of Comparative Literature and how we define it. I think it is a bit too vague to just categorize things based on the language they happen to be written in. Oh, there are certainly plenty of reasons to do so ranging from catching the exact meaning of the author to the fact that not all concepts are equally well expressed in all languages. I just feel that if we're looking beyond the poetic, and for the purpose of most of my discussions that happens to be true since I can't really grasp anything but the more basic poetic structures, we end up with a collection of plots and ideas drawn from shared cultural experiences. Which becomes very clear to students of the field when they're trying to compare things like Marquez to Borges. So why does this field get its own distinction at so many universities? It would only make sense to express it as a method of literary interpretation that everybody should be trained it. We literally have people left with the impression that English is the only language with modern nuanced literature and others from the comparative side who believe that all works in English draw from the same cultural background.
I know that I'm drawing rather extreme pictures of the two sides here, but it occurred to me earlier that it would be a good idea to look at things like American Indian literature as a separate comparative field rather than an offshoot of traditional english literature since it draws from a completely different set of concepts and values and there should be some effort made to express to students that they need to be willing to readjust their thinking and do at least a minimum of outside research to understand the subtleties of the plot.
But yeah, I'm ranting now. Also, two days sober and hating it! Damned short Spring Breaks
Ever have a day when you're being stupidly and uselessly morose about pretty much everything and can't really help it? I'm having a week like that for unexplainable reasons. So much emotional crap that I feel like I should be 15 again and writing about how "nobody could ever understand how I feel" and perhaps even writing poetry that nobody but me could possibly see the brilliance of. Yeah, I'll acknowledge that this isn't entirely out of character for me when I look back, but I'd like to think I'm also a bit older and wiser now and less prone to falling into stupid slumps for extended periods of time. The problem with this is that while I can stoically adopt an attitude of "This too shall pass" all I want, it doesn't change the immediate discomfort and urge toward whiny-ness. I'm one unconsentingly angst-filled bastard this week and damn do I need to get drunk!
While walking through the halls of the dormitory I'm currently employed by, doing my routine check for drunks and victims of violence, I happened to glance at one of the doors. Much to my amazement, this door had a slice of lunch meat pinned to it with a thumb tack. This raises two important questions for me. The first would be that of how the recipient would know where the meat had come from. I mean, there was certainly no signature. After that thought flits through my mind I immediately seize on the much more important question of "What the fuck is going on here?!" and other such important ponderings. College students are some strange people.
You know what was the most hilarious moment of my week? I was scanning through the internet for a radio station I could stand, for the moment in question I was listening to one that proclaims itself the "Heaviest Music in the Netherlands", when I looked up from the book I was reading and thought to myself 'This song reminds me of something!'. After a few moments it became clear that I was listening to a guy screaming about Prince Duncan being stabbed. I can't help but find this overwhelmingly funny. I don't know why, but I decided to share. So...Ha!