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English Wonkery

Julian Gough: Divine Comedy
The Greeks understood that comedy (the gods' view of life) is superior to tragedy (the merely human). But since the middle ages, western culture has overvalued the tragic and undervalued the comic. This is why fiction today is so full of anxiety and suffering. It's time writers got back to the serious business of making us laugh.

Erik Campbell: The Accidental Plagiarist
"There are, however, always a few students who ask about the nature of ideas and their origins and argue in an inchoate but sincere fashion that knowledge is inherently derivative and communal, and consequently they would have to cite every statement made in their composition—nay, would have to cite every thought they have ever had—to avoid SP, and would therefore be subject to an infinite regression. In higher academic circles we would call such students promising “epistemologists” (i.e., those who study how one knows), but we are more likely to think of such students as “pains in the ass” (i.e., annoying people who cause emotional stress). Teachers, realizing the daunting significance of these impossible, or, at least, exhausting questions, end up supplying rather insufficient answers to these pains in the ass, such as that of the aforementioned middle-school teacher. We teachers know that we’ve never had a truly original idea—and most of us are fearful that we have heretofore even plagiarized our emotions."

The second one suffers a bit from liking too much to hear himself speak (or to read himself write?), but I found both quite interesting. Yoinked from Arts & Letters Daily.

-The Gneech

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