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1. I can't lose my teaching notes, build an eighteen inch high tower of paper while looking for them, then discover I left them somewhere quite obvious, ready for my next class.

2. I don't have towers of paper to sort.

3. I can't deal with most of my non-urgent emails (meaning I have a bit of a build-up to handle this week).

4. If I don't know what day it is, I can ask someone.

5. Spending time with people who are just as intense as me and even more specialised in their work and being able to get excited about their work and my work without anyone looking at us oddly. (This applies mainly to when I go to conferences.)

6. Meeting people who haven't heard my jokes before. This is quite different to 7, although it should not be, for my jokes are all delectably funny.

7. Being with people who laugh at my jokes (Canberra people either blink very rapidly, groan or pun these days.)

8. Not needing maps to get lost.

9. Being able to say "I don't live here, and I only remember this part of Melbourne the way it was thirty years ago, but if you're willing to risk that, then I suggest..." It's amazing how many tourists discover they have Google maps on their phones at this point.

10. Talking to strangers who are envious of me having gone to pre-school with the fictional youngest daughter from a comic skit that's nearly 3 decades old.

11. Hearing "Gill-i-yan" sung from under the dining room table (this would be my goddaughter, who has an extraordinary understanding of how simple things amuse me).

12. Being with teens.

13. Wondering if immediate family will ask how I am and what I'm doing (my tally this time is one member - last time was three - I want to take bets on this number next time).

14. Making Yarra jokes.

15. Chocolate shopping for Conflux.
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Yesterday afternoon we got in and discovered that Martin hadn't finished sorting my laundry. Naomi took me out for groceries while he did so. It's now done and I just have to pay him (which will happen in about ten minutes - I tried earlier, but the bank got tangled about my existence, and now that I am for certain a real person, I need to try again). So only parts of my flat are falling around about my ears, and much of it is way more liveable with.

In terms of all the other things I had to do yesterday and the stack of stuff for today, obviously it's not quite there. My start on it was, after all, about four hours later than I expected. I've sorted all the different bits of work I did while I was away and they're ready to move on with. I did my share of Beastly work (which wasn't much, for mine is the lighter load this week) and I've done edits on two of the four items that needed edits. I've done the vast majority of all my emails and just completed my regular weekly job check. Tonight is more Middle Ages and the third of the four editing items and then I'll be where I need to be tonight.

My reading for today is Felicity Pulman's new book, and it's got some of the feel of Ghost Boy, which is my favourite book of hers. I read a chapter and want to visit Norfolk Island.

My Sunday archery class was great. The idea wasn't to learn how to shoot, but to learn what muscle groups are used and what stance. My nephew was very lucid and very informative and made just the right number of jokes. We talked about effects on stance and on skeletons and which fingers were essential and which not. I got to play with two bows (both modern) and to marvel at how light modern arrowheads and arrows are. They're not made to puncture armour - they're made for competition. I now understand why archers sometimes seem to be shooting up at the moon, when obviously that's not where the enemy is. I get just how dangerous longbows are, I think. I need to learn more, obviously, but now I at least understand some basics.

I have an excuse to learn more one day, too - the stance one takes to shoot and the muscles one uses to bring everything together are all muscles that help with asthma. If folkdancing gives me good hip and lower back strength, then archery would give me the upper body strength and control I need.

I'm sure there's more to tell, but all I can think of is the pack of Tim Tams that I totally don't need and that I bought anyway yesterday. I buy Tim Tams for other people, because they're something I eat too easily when they're around. Yesterday, though, the new paint smell was getting to me (I am sensitive to it, which is why the painting was done while I was away) and today it's less bad, but still there. That's why I have my nine Tim Tams, to get me through until the smell dissipates. Martin used a low allergy paint, which is so much better than regular paint that he intends to use it in all his work in future, so it's not bad, but it's still there. It's fading quickly, though - in a couple of days I will be able to ignore Tim Tams with my usual grand aplomb.

And now it's once more unto the breach. Or to the bank account. Or to the Middle Ages. Or all three...
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I wrote a blogpost yesterday (at the airport, waiting for my flight to board), but didn't get quiet time until so late at night that I forgot to post it. Here it is for your delectation (I shall post today's items of interest separately, I think):

I’m trying hard to learn how not to work. I was told a few weeks ago that I needed to be just a bit lazier, and so I'm practising by blogging rather than working. I have a giant cup of coffee and I'm right opposite my gate lounge. I have a corner, a table and a nice blast of aircon. I have twenty full minutes. OK, maybe only ten. Still, time, coffee, coolness.

I have a lot waiting for me at home. It's as if everyone knew I was away (well, they did) and promptly sent work. I have to talk to my supervisor about the forms I must fill in with the final of the idiot doctorate, and there is Aurealis work to be done, and edits to a story and to a review and there is a review to be written and there is my place to rediscover, for one of it was hopefully fixed while I was away (the other is to be chased up). I have emails to send to Queensland and a guest blogpost to write. And that's all for today. Everything else can wait until tomorrow, I think. I will even leave the notes I took in Melbourne until tomorrow, for I am the soul of restraint and I never, ever overwork

This morning I finished reading the latest Abbey girls reprint. It's wrong for a woman to be ambitious for herself and if one is so inclined then errors of judgement get made and the results are dire. Perfect selfishness and petulance is always fine, as long as one is senior in the pecking order. And these are the lessons I learned from "Biddy's Secret." The whole folkthing was empowering in so many ways and Oxenham documents that beautifully, but she also documents the terrible sadness of being a woman in a restrictive society. She documents it and promulgates it and celebrates it.

That's all from me. I'm tired of being lazy.
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.











It's about time I had a list of ten. These are things I've noticed appear in fiction unexpectedly and unhappily. I'm tempted to offer a prize to anyone who identifies all the sources. Mind you, I'm also tempted to celebrate anyone who adds another ten items to this list. It's a warning to lazy writers.

1. If you need extensive tunnels and caves and exceptionally vast basements under a city, make sure the city is not built on marshland.

2. If a picture inspires a tale and is a strong component of the story, make sure that the story is contemporaneous with the picture.

3. If you depict exotic religions and cultures, remember that they seldom feel exotic to those who grow up within them.

4. If ladies wear corsets, allow for shortness of breath when those ladies run.

5. If a young man wears a belt knife and runs into another young man who also wears a belt knife, injury is not improbable.

6. Do not confuse pounds and shillings with dollars and cents, nor confuse silver pennies from the twetlfth century with the golden coins of later.

7. The UK is not known for its native skunk population.

8. Black swans are quite normal in civiised climes. I've heard rumours, however, that the swans in England are naturally white.

9. Strained dialogue is strained dialogue in any period: making speech sound artifical seldom makes it natural to a period.

10. International trade, colonisalism and medium to large scale industries are not solely modern, nor are England and America the only countries guilty of them.

None of this applies to comic novels, of course, which is why it's a good idea to assume that certain authors are possessed of a subtle and refined wit.
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Mum is getting history through maps and me, I'm unwinding. I skipped this evening's keynote address, for it's in an auditorium that is open (a bit) to the elements and Victoria has bushfires. Each day here I get more ill, for I can't stay indoors as I did in Canberra. Mum gives me lifts where she can, but the campus hosting the conference is set up for Melbourne's mediterranean climate and full of doors and walks outside and stairs. I get clean and cool air every night though, so I start each morning off almost reasonably. I'll get through this summer, but I'm a tad tired of smoke and its side effects.

Now that my requsite whingeing is over, I am full of cheer. This is because I had some good news today. My paper was fine and I have re-read my examiner's comments and have much to think upon. I had a reader's report from another ms to compare with them and I know a great deal more about the relationship between my writing ambitions and what I actually achieve. It's actually good news. I can write (I am so hoping that comment did not provoke laughter). My main problem is still the one I was advised by senior industry people who know my work: my writing is wildly unfashionable. I need to find publishers who want my particular brank of quirk. Eventually the market style will shift, but until then, it's not going to be much chop for my readers. I'm very sorry about this! I can write, though, and there is fiction just waiting...lurking....hiding in the shadows...

In the meantime, my paper was a bit more of my NF proposal. By the end of the month (or maybe a bit into March) that will be looking for a home, since so much of the whole project is done. My mind is exploring its edges right now, and it's a lot of fun. My masterclass students in Queensland will get the whole joy of it first.

I'm all kinds of serious tonight, aren't I? I have good news, too, but it's not final yet and not ready to be made public. I want to type :insert evil laugh here: but I made all sorts of excruciatingly bad jokes during my paper today, so I shan't. I went into my panel serious, but this is such a sober mob of people. Entirely delightful (how could they not be, for they are all Medievalists and Early Moderns) but rather sombre.

Stephen Knight wasn't serious. He was, in fact, full of wit. I've wanted to meet him for almost forever and now I have. I have now met all the people I wanted to meet, including one of my undergrad teachers and several other people from my pasts. One person who was chatting with me said "You're the one with the novels, aren't you?" So this is my new self. At SF events I am the historian and at history events I am the one with the novels. Except when I have chocolate. Which I do. All I have to do is get it to Canberra and Conflux people will point to me as Gillian, the Chocolate Timelord.

I'll answer emails and things soon. I'll be back to what passes for normal soon, too, for I have run out of conferences and papers and chapters owed. I have edits owed, but that's normal.

I suddenly find it strange to have edits owed and not be able to say what for. They're small academic things, though, except the CSFG short story, which I've mentioned. That reminds me: a couple of knowledgable souls have checked my CV. I am employable. The trouble is not me, it's the dearth of jobs. This is worrying, but also comforting.
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I am a very, very happy little vegemite. My examiners are awesome and wonderful and efficient and gave a bunch of comments that have set me to thinking. My old computer sucked bigtime and put back typos that had been changed three times and I will fix them on my new computer and they will stay fixed (for I will check and check them until they do). And yes, I am PhD pending. I have changes to make, but they are terrifyingly minor. Also, they are almost all due to the idiocy of my old computer and its tendency to change text when files were emailed, which is a bit embarrassing.

Isn't it appropriate that I hear the good news after a night on the town with fellow-Medievalist postgrads!

Thank you, examiners!!!!
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There are many fewer Medievalist and Early Modernists in Australia and New Zealand than I thought. I suspect cutbacks, but it might be time of year. In other words, ANZAMEMS is no bigger than Conflux. It's easier to be shy in a smaller group, so it's just as well that people are friendly. I did leave after the reception, though, and had a quiet evening with my mother*.

I checked my email before I went out to congregate, however. I'm rather pleased by the editor's comments on an upcoming academic review of mine (he liked it!). That was my last truly coherent moment of the day.

Thanks to a comment by >lj user="highly_eccentric"> I am pondering the codes by which one can clasify Medievalists. Dress code (I break this code, it seems - I explained it's because I dress like an SF writer, but I suspect it's because I dress like Gillian), names (who knows whom and which circles - we had a nice little circle of folks that knew John O Ward at one stage), specialisation (some people classify by period, but the experts in matters monastic defined themselves by order, me, I kept saying "historiography" but it's really narratives and historiography is only a component), and institution. It seems that it's still normal for Australians to identify with one institution, which left me trying to explain that the institution on my label was only partly right and that I was actually at the ANU (but only sort of) and that my primary affiliation was Melbourne Unviersity, but...I should stop saying these things. They're true, but no-one's interested, really, and all it means is that my identity is a lot more tangled in that respect than most people's. It's like trying to explain what I write, but at least I have a nice answer for the fiction. "Speculative fiction" is such a lovely and broad category.

I lost a few minutes of the early part of the program to memories, because they mentioned Leonard Boyle. He would have hated my scholarship, but he was such a lovely man. I keep wondering if part of the almost-ex-pope's proems were based on him not having a Leonard Boyle as his predecesor did.

And then I lost a bit more to internal cogitation, because a lot of the scholarship on display this afternoon provoked thoughts. I think I need to expand the range of one of my chapters in the book-to-be and I finally have a decent title for it.

And I lost even more when I realised that Medievalists have the same propensity for literate puns as spec fic writers. The pleanary this afternoon was call "A Tale of Two Summae," you see. (I need to revisit Aquinas - but when will I find time? So many interesting things to do and so little time! Anyhow, the talk was mainly about Antoninus, and I've not read him and I ought to do that too.) Also, Frater Diabolus needs to appear in my fiction sometime. There are so not enough devils who raid monastic libraries for ideas in my writing.

The plenary was full of useful thoughts, and perhaps one of the best definitions of genre I have seen. This got me thinking about techniques writers use to make their writing internally consistent, for we were shown texts that borrowed from other texts and it struck me that borowing and plagiarism are the easiest ways of doing this. Derivative writing makes a whole bunch of technical aspects of writing easier, I guess, which explains why it appears so very often.

For a good twenty minutes this afternoon I just let the language of medieval scholarship roll past while I analysed it. It's not nearly as different to the language of SF criticism as it used to be. The vocabulary is vastly different, but the concepts, less so. This is why my two worlds aren't so hard to bring together right now, I suspect. I don't know if this is a kind of broad-based cultural discourse, or communities of thought that overlap, or something else entirely.

Now I'm past making sense, which means it's bedtime. If you're very lucky, I will bring you more random and disconnected thoughts tomorrow.





*This is partly because there is just a little bushfire smoke here, which would not be a problem if I hadn't walked two kilometres in it. It all depends on which way the wind is blowing, so mostly I'm fine, but mostly isn't quite good enough. Well, it will pass.
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It's amazing what a difference small things make. Without the bushfire smoke in the air, I don't have to sleep an extra four hours a day. I didn't allow for this, so I have spent this morning awake and reading just for fun. I brought some extra work to do in Melbourne, but it's mostly already done. And I forgot to contact most of my friends, so they don't know I'm here. I ought to visit museums and walk along riverbanks and window-shop and catch up with people and places. Instead, I borrowed a bunch of books on my mother's library card, and I'm drinking much tea and reading and catching up on just being myself.

My afternoon will be entirely full, and I have no idea what my evening will consist of, but my morning reminds me of when I was a public servant and had free time before work and after work and read three books a day. I will only read two books today, and quite probably average one a day for the time I'm here, so I'm reading about the same amount of fiction as when I'm working solidly, but I'm not writing about any of these novels, or analysing them for arcane purposes. Someone asked me last month whether it was possible to do what I do and still read for fun. Yes, it is. And it's essential. It brings me back into the core of myself and reminds me why I do what I do.

I don't feel as if I wok very hard, usually, but it's nice to slow down from time to time. In fact, I'm so enjoying the slowing down, that I've asked editors if I can get back to them next week. The two editors in question were very nice about it. One is editing a short story, and another an academic review. Gives me something to look forward to, next week!

This afternoon is all about being a Medievalist. The Australian equivalent of Leeds and the Zoo begins in a few hours. Until then, I shall lounge around in my t-shirt (which announces that I am unemployed - it's a relic of my public service days, SBS gave it to me when I was part of a team that was getting rid of typing pools and helping find career paths for junior staff - and is my emergency lounging-around garment) and I shall read another book. The next book in my queue is by Eoin Colfer.

I'm supposed to be working. I have three books to write that are in various stages of disarray. But it's rather fun to lounge around in the morning and attend a conference in the afternoon. I am definitely in sybaritic mode.
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I didn't lose yesterday, but I was somewhat busy and didn't come online.

It was a perfect day.

I caught an early bus from Southern Cross and was in Gippsland by 11.30 and and spent 24 hours with Janeen and jack. The time went way too quickly. We talked, we ate, we talked some more, I admired the exceptional beauty of the house and its surrounds (and lusted, I fear to admit, after the library, which is the most perfect home library I've ever seen), Bertie admired the exceptional beauty of my fingers and licked them smaller and then plonked himself on my feet so that I would stay where I was put and we talked more and drank tea and talked again. There's a peacefulness about their place, and a very calm beauty, and it lends itself to relaxing and thinking and feeling quiet inside.

I think I needed that twenty-four hours. Jack and Janeen have, between them, managed to blot out the difficulties of the last few months. Friends make the biggest difference to life, always.
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Today was a day of small glitches and large happinesses. It started with glitches, of course. The biggest is that, no matter what I do, some old versions of my conference paper keep emerging and replacing my revisions. I think all changes (and final fixing up of this) will take place on paper. I have a print out at the ready!

The happinesses included Rachel and Mia (a lift to the airport, which included coffee and wonderful time-with-friends), chatting with friends, an unexpected market trip (Caulfield market is once-a-month and Mum and I caught the last fifteen minutes of it) which resulted in flat peaches, black carrots, three types of bread and much other goodness. Lunch was cheviot sheep's cheese and religious bread and some fresh salad. We went to the library after that, and did window shopping.

I have a new photo for my library. This is the library I use to teach writers and to teach history and for my own research. I now have a 1950s dissecting kit. What's this chain?" I asked Mum. "To dangle body parts."

I have more photos of shadows for the novel-I-have-not-yet-begun.

I have maps to get me to my conference.

And my hair is cut.

Five things

Feb. 9th, 2013 07:47 am
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1. My lists started spawning more lists late last night. I fear an infestation.

2. My handyman has come and gone and taken many notes. I'll keep you posted on what happens.

3. I think I might have a conference paper done. I'm still not entirely happy, but it will do as is, in a pinch.

4. I think I have discovered a new type of cockroach. It looks dead but is not. It is entirely capable of teleportation. It will rule the world after whatever apocalypse we're due next.

5. Do you think if I swapped each item on my list for chocolate, anyone will notice? It's not 8 am yet, after all.
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Purim starts 24 February. I'll make cakes and have alcohol and a spiel and if anyone wants to drop by and enjoy them with me, they will be very welcome. I won't be sending out personal invitations, though, for I don't have time! (It's funny to have a choice between Purim and sending invitations to Purim, but that's the situation)
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Another exciting day in the life of Gillian.

My big excitement today is that someone's coming round to sort out the final details about fixing the falling-down-around-my-ears aspects of my flat. He should be here in about ten minutes. Until he comes, I'm working unmethodically through my lists. I ought to be working on the big stuff for the day, but I can't concentrate, so instead I'm doing Big Things like making a cheesecake before the cheese goes off, putting washing away, sorting stuff. I've done some solid work this morning (revising edits, mainly) and all the rest of the work will have to wait until after Mr Robertson has been and gone and I can focus.

I actually don't have a big day's work today, for I'm not writing solidly until I'm certain of my approach and last night I looked at my chapter outline and realised that it needs some work. I did an hour on it and printed it, and it will be my work for tomorrow. I'm determined to find out why my brain will not put these ideas in order instantly!

The work in question is on fiction writers and history and requires moving from history theory to writing practice. It ought to be straightforward, but, really, it isn't. The big issue inside my brain is, I suspect, that writers don't see themselves (mostly) the way I need to describe their work and that historians don't see fiction (mostly) from the direction I'm analysing it. This means I can't lean on the work of others - I have to find the inner logic.

I'm finding that inner logic one step at a time. Right now, I think I haven't explained which chapters relate to world building nor, in fact, do I link research and world building quite early enough. It's a big advance that I'm seeing this, and that means that I should be up to writing quite soon. When I have two chapters, then I can send a proposal off to a publisher, for rejection (which means I need to think more about which publishers would actually want a work like this one).

Oftentimes I will write without a really clear outline, for my brain does tend to sort things, but this is not one of those times. If I'm breaking new ground, then I need a marvellously high level of clarity and I need to get the sequencing right. I need to sort out the tone (which right now is a gorgeous patchwork of inconsistency) and I also need to make it clear that there's a difference between evoking the past using careful language and writing about the past in a genre and how either or both of those relate to the work historians do. I need to make it clear enough so that writers can use the techniques I describe and so that other people in my field can see the relationships.

It is a very Gillianish reason for not having as long a day as expected, isn't it?
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Today is wildly exciting. I'm emptying my bathroom and laundry and finishing up my conference paper. There is watermelon to eat. I have paperwork to do, as well. Paperwork! My life is roly-poly and hurley-burley and everything exciting.
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So term has begun. We talked about various rulers and would-be rulers of England and decided that Isabella would not be our next-best friend (we always decide this when discussing Isabella). I'm still entertained by a local news report tangling weapons with fish and claiming that Richard was killed by a halibut - alas, the student who heard this doesn't remember which station.

All the rest of the session was language. There was some surprise when my pronunciation of 'bade' turned out to be the same as the dictionary's, for the class was agreed on quite a different pronunciation. And word of the day was 'corps.' We looked at the Latin and, I'm afraid, returned to jokes about dead bodies and parking. That was our lot for the day...

courses

Feb. 5th, 2013 01:22 pm
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courses
I'm getting in a reminder while people are still thinking - wow! Richard! It feels all kinds of wrong to do this, but people are due a reminder anyhow, so...

My history courses at the ANU for this semester include:

Medieval places, which can include carparks in Leicester and their contents (and actually does include the shape and function of a town that size, so it will be quite obvious why Richard entered where he entered and left where he left and slept where he slept the last night of his life): http://www.anu.edu.au/cce/cecourses/outlines/history/Medievalplaces.pdf

and

The taste of history. Since I put a whole section on the food of Richard's coronation in the Conflux cookbook (because I could, to be honest - it wasn't actually relevant), I'm pretty sure I can talk about that and also the food around in his day. Only if the class wants it, of course: http://www.anu.edu.au/cce/cecourses/outlines/history/Thetasteofhistory.pdf

Also, the masterclass I'm giving in Queensland in March will be all about the relationship between history and fiction from the writer's point of view. http://www.qwc.asn.au/courses-and-events/courses/weekend-workshops/masterclasses/making-fiction-history-using-the-past-to-build-your-world/

I'm also teaching punctuation and grammar (Act Writers' Centre) and novel writing (ANU) but they're nothing to do with Richard.
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I've had an exciting morning, but haven't got a lot of work done.

My next door neighbour called "Gillian! Gillian!" until I came out. It appeared that we had Plumbers. It also appears that we have a major blockage. Tree roots have interfered with drainage bigtime.

The plumbers are leaving now (having borrowed power from me) and say that they haven't solved the problem, but that they've cleared out a lot of stuff. They said they might not be able to sort it. I said that there could be a wider problem if they didn't, and pointed out where in the valley we were and told them the history of drainage in this area. "We'll have to do something, then" they said. "We'll probably be back later on. See you then."

This is partly related to my sink problems of a few weeks ago. I still had sink problems (and they're now sorted) but there are roots interfering with drainage right across the block of flats. Once they're cleared, things'll be fine for about 16 years.

No, this isn't the first time this has happened. However did you guess?
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The Richard III announcement is making me very happy right now. I love that the team talked about the issues of identification and the issues with historical record and genetic record as part of the press conference and didn't just present an "Aren't we clever: yes, it's him."

I'll watch for the next few months and see if this changes local awareness of history and archaeology. As the person who teaches Medieval Studies to the wider world in my local community, I'm nicely placed.

Also, my forthcoming short story contains battered bones. For the record, yes, I was influenced by the account of the battering Richard received after death. I was hoping that he had actually been treated with respect, but the story was too good and so I was influenced by it. It's really sad that the story was too good to resist for those handling his body.
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It's about time I saw the Orson Welles Jane Eyre, so that's my viewing this afternoon when I need a break from work. I can only watch it in segments, because the pathos was not something I enjoyed in the book and so, of course, I have limited tolerance for it in the film. I'd avoided watching it for years, simply because Jane Eyre is my least favourite Bronte work and I was watching new versions as released (not all of them - I maybe ought to catch up on the others one day, but that means braving the pathos!) and I had somehow forgotten this one. I was a tad stupid, for it's a good film. Pathos in the early sections notwithstanding, it's an amazing cast (Elizabeth Taylor is Helen, which I did not realise - this means the film has three of the best child actors of the 40s) and astonishing writers (Houseman and Huxley adapting Bronte!).

I borrowed the DVD from the library because I was curious to compare Jane Eyre's Gothic to the Gothic tropes in The Secret Garden. I love the way Hodgson Burnett undermines Gothicness, bit by bit, and it struck me that it would be good to see how a well-made film built did precisely the opposite.

This morning I was analysing a local editor (because I discovered a gap in my understanding for a section of my history and fiction analysis - and it was an easy and quick and very productive analysis to do, to fill in that hole), and I realised that this editor has a problem with getting their writers to break down the tropes and to understand how those tropes work. When I read a dozen stories edited by this person, it was quite clear that they see each story as itself and do not have a wider context for it*. This means that some stories were wholly predictable and others were less thoughtful than they could be. Not understanding the mechanics behind genre has an interesting effect over a range of stories, but not a good one. I found this sad, and shifted my own tropeishness to today, as happiness creation.

Right now, however, I believe I'm to spend an hour with the rocks and trees and agricultural practices of the Middle Ages. More Jane Eyre when I'm finished!





*I need to do more of this analysis of patterns in works produced by a single editor. It's very illuminating and surprisingly straightforward. I didn't realise just how much of the editor's attitudes to fiction show through when one has enough examples on the same theme. I'd love to know what shows through of my attitudes and limitations in Baggage!
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I have a lowish pain day and watched Hugo to celebrate.

Of the various things I need to do in the next week I have so far achieved precisely one. This isn't quite as bad as it sounds (not quite) for of the difficult items, I've made progress on two more. I don't think this is going to be a fascinating week, however.

Except for teaching on Wednesday. Teaching will be fascinating because it's my favourite class and I have something special lined up for this term. Not quantum physics. Not poetry. Just words. Except that words are never 'just' words, and that's what we're going to spend the term discovering.

I'm reflecting back on the last few years with my Wednesday class and I've just realised that their reading skills are all far more advanced, and so are their analytical skills. It really does make a difference when students want to learn and willingly accept homework. A very big difference.

And now I'm reflecting on my reflections and realised that I'm in danger of simple procrastination. Never put off til later today the task that you can do tomorrow? (For my next trick, I shall book a bus.)

May 2013

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