Thursday, June 9, 2016

A New Direction; Same Desire

I wish I had a cup that special.


Hello, friends.

Just another quick post, albeit one on a bit more somber tone.

To be direct and get straight to the point, I have decided to slightly alter my research trajectory. After a hefty deal of self-argument and reflection, I decided that Old English, and Old English literature, simply is not my calling. Instead, I want to peruse the High, or middle, period of medieval studies, the epoch in which we see Geoffrey Chaucer and Arthurian legend emerge.

(Technically, Arthurian legend's development is uneven. It has roots in the Anglo-Saxon period and then gains a boost in the 12th century while texts, inspired by it and which are integral to the canon, are still being produced in the late 14th century.)

Now, this is not to say that I found a dislike for the early period of English history and literature. Indeed, I will be continuing my research of the language, society, culture, and texts, just not as in a concentrated intensity as I was previously. I will still be reading and learning about Anglo-Saxon society, as well as posting on the details of this period as I work my way towards the history which will be my focus; this will be due to how one still needs a through understanding of the social and cultural processes which led to Arthur's creation as a legend, and those processes lie in the Anglo-Saxon period.

Why this change? Well, to be honest, originally, I thought that this period would hold my attention but, quite frankly, it does not hold my attention, or at least not as well as I would have wanted it in order for me to study it in graduate school. So, to reiterate, this is not to say that it is a trite field or anything of the like, just that in comparison to other periods, I find that my attention will be better focused on other aspects.

You see, part of the reason why I selected the Anglo-Saxon period was for its challenge. The new texts to explore and the like. But, I have found that it just not is for me. When I think to myself on what I want to research as an academic, Anglo-Saxon texts is not what comes to mind; rather, it is the more 'exciting' Arthurian texts and the more 'well constructed' poetics of the High period. Not the 'riddle poems' of the Anglo-Saxons, or epics like Beowulf.

I am looking forward to probing adaptations-- both literary as well as filmic and otherwise-- of Arthurian myths. I want to explore Chaucer's poetics from a philosophical and critical theoretical stance, in addition to understanding how their epoch influenced their works and reception. So in many ways my course is unaltered: I want to continue studying Old English, the language, but just in a low key manner without my self-induced pressure at mastering the language overnight; I want to put out some feelers on understanding Middle English, the language (you notice I have a interest to study linguistics); I want to continue to study Anglo-Saxon society and culture, just not as intense as I planned. My goal is to ultimately re-examine Arthurian legend, its literature and history, as a companion piece to my study of medieval literature.

So... that is my plan. Will it be subject to change? Possibly. But maybe not. The point is that fluidity and change is good, and that, if at the end of the proverbial day, I decide to shift onto an entirely new course with my only take away piece being the increased knowledge about the medieval epoch, then that is fine.

Boethius's The Consolation of Philosophy (Notes:54)

Born into a wealthy Roman family in 480, though Boethius had lost his father at an early age, he was adopted by an even more prominent fami...