Monday, 31 December 2007

Predictions for gold and silver for 2008






Throwing ball in the waves beyond Fort Lauderdale's Las Olas Beach reminded me of gold's action today - it's just treading water. My predictions for gold and silver in 2008 are as likely as anyone's to be right - or wrong. However, I'd be surprised if gold did not reach $1000 and silver $26 this year!

Happy New Year whether you are invested in the bull market in the precious metals or taking exams in the coming year. As a Chinese student wished me over Christmas - "Many luck with females!"

Now, where's that Hooters Bar?

Dog!

Thursday, 27 December 2007

Gold like Florida is sunny today

Fort Lauderdale
Alligators from The Everglades

Coral Springs



Calling in from Coral Springs in Florida, USA where it's sunny and as unlike London as it possible to be!

Tuesday, 25 December 2007

Happy Christmas to all who arrive here!




A new link for studying Jane Austen

This is a very useful blogsite for reading essays on Austen's novels and for developing your understanding of the historical context in which Austen produced her novels (A.O. 5). There is a link for this blogsite just under "Jane Austen Links" near the image for Jane Austen in the links section on the right of this blog.

http://janeaustensworld.wordpress.com/social-customs-and-the-regency-world/

Saturday, 22 December 2007

Housing, US Dollars, Gold, PPI & Inflation - $10000 gold and 500 to $1000 silver!

Some commentators think that there will be one more frightening dip for gold investors. However, they then say that gold and silver with related equities will rise strongly. Fund manager and chart technician, Frank Barbara, is even more bullish for the prospects for gold and silver. He thinks that in the next few years we are on our way to $10000 gold and $500 to $1000 silver! These figures are at th higher end for commentators. Barabara sees we are heading towards some "very trying times".
http://www.silverbearcafe.com/private/barbera.html

Monday, 17 December 2007

Sunday, 16 December 2007

"So We'll Go No More A Roving" by Lord Byron

Katy Wehr has made a lovely, melodic interpretation of Lord Byron's lyrical poem.

http://cdbaby.com/mp3lofi/katywehr-11.m3u

Saturday, 15 December 2007

Louise MacNiece's bleak poem "Prayer Before Birth"

W.B. Yeats's "The Second Coming"

Read in an expressive manner by Sam Waterston in the movie,"Nixon". (In a deleted scene?)

An animated version of "I am" by John Clare

Comments on Lord Byron's "So, We'll Go No More A Roving"

"So, We'll Go No More A Roving" by Lord Byron

Katy Wehr has made a lovely, melodic interpretation of Lord Byron's lyrical poem.
http://cdbaby.com/mp3lofi/katywehr-11.m3u

Here are a few interesting comments on the the origin of the poem and Byron's influences in writing it from the oddly named plagiarist poems website.

A'Rovin'
2002-10-28Added by: Maddy

In 1817 Byron was living in Venice, in the Palazzo Mocenigo. It was described by one of his friends as a cross between a brothel and a menagerie, since, as well as numerous prostitutes, Byron kept for company a number of peacocks and a monkey which were allowed to roam around the staircase to look ornamental (mind where you tread!). Downstairs he kept a wolf, a fox and other large beasties. He had grown fat and dressed in lavish clothing with many rings. Sometimes the other occupants of his palace disturbed his sleep with their squawking and quarrelling to the extent that he slept the night in his gondola on the lagoon.

It was during the famous Carnivale of Venice, when people roam the streets in masks and party for four days, that Byron wrote this charming poem.

It was immediately satirised with this shanty which is probably better known than the poem itself-

"A'rovin', a'rovin'!

Since rovin's been my ru-i-in,

I'll go no more a'rovin

with you, fair maid!

In Amsterdam there lived a maid,

mark well what I do say!

In Amsterdam there lived a maid,

and she was mistress of her trade,

I'll go no more 'arovin'

with you, fair maid!

I put my hand upon her waist

mark well what I do say!

I put my hand upon her waist

that was so trim and tightly lace

I'll go no more 'arovin'

with you, fair maid!

I put my hand upon her thigh

mark well what I do say!

I put my hand upon her thigh

She said "Young Sir, you're rather high!"

and so on.......

with you, fair maid!


2004-02-01Added by: KTGeorge Gordon

Lord Byron, wrote the poem So We’ll Go No More A-Roving when he was in his late twenties. The first line of the poem “So we’ll go no more a-roving” makes it seem unlikely that he was alone. Does it mean him and a woman or him and a friend? At the age of twenty-nine he wrote a letter to his friend Moore in which he included the poem. He wrote “Though I did not dissipate overmuch… yet I find “the sword wearing out the scabbard,” though I have but just turned the corner of twenty-nine.” So back to the first line of the poem. By “we”, does Lord Byron mean he and Moore? The weeks of dissipation he mentions are during the Venetian carnival.

The second stanza begins with the line “For the sword outwears its sheath.” He mentions this also in his letter to Moore. By sword, Byron means the soul, and by sheath, he means the body. Lord Byron is not at all old – he has just lived his life so wildly, so energetically, that he is already worn out. In fact, he dies at the young age of thirty-six. The second stanza:

For the sword outwears its sheath,
And the soul wears out the breast,
And the heart must pause to breathe,
And Love itself have rest.

Byron’s body cannot keep going at the pace he wants to. He is aware that he is wearing himself out. Byron was notorious for his extravagant way of life, for his love affairs and for his poetry. He was a handsome and wealthy young man, he seemed to have “a way with women.” He separated with from his wife soon after the birth of their daughter, and was rumoured to have had an incestuous relationship with his half-sister Augusta. He also had an affair with his friend’s half-sister, Claire Claremont during which she became pregnant. It seems that most of his time was taken up with women and loving. The third stanza begins:

Though the night was made for loving,

Does Byron think that that is all the night was made for? Not for sleeping? No wonder he is worn out. Now he realises that he has worn himself out, that he is paying the price for his wild youth. The poem is full of soft sounds, for example “sword,” “sheath” and “rest,” which portray Byron’s weariness. He uses long vowel sounds to emphasise the lethargy which he feels. He still loves, he still wants to love, but he realises that he is worn out and that they “will go no more a-roving / By the light of the moon.”

It seems a pity that such a great poet as Byron should waste away his life in this way.

Correction: Shanty preceded Byron's poem
2005-08-04Added by: Darcy Horrocks. Just to correct an error in Maddy's comment above:

The "shanty" is actually, or at least originally, "The Maid of Amsterdam" and it precedes Byron's poem by about 200 years, first appearing in 1608 in a London play by Robert Heywood called 'The Rape of Lucrece'.

"My Love Is Like A Red, Red Rose" by Robert Burns

"Ode To Autumn" by John Keats

"Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night" by Dylan Thomas

Dylan Thomas's image reads his own poem - with the help of modern technology!

Wednesday, 12 December 2007

AS Drama and Poetry Past Questions for Revision

AS ENGLISH PAST PAPERS
Unit 1 Drama and Poetry


The Edexcel Poety Anthology (Section One: Post – 1770)

June 2001

Either:

(a) ‘Poetry allows poets to give form to experiences and feelings which are difficult to put into words’.

Do you agree with this view? You should base your answer on a detailed examination of two of the following: “Remember”; “All the Things You Are Not Yet”; an appropriate poem of your choice. Your two poems must cover two groups.

Or:

(b) From your reading of poems in this anthology do you agree that ‘a poem charts a developing thought’?

You should base your answer on a close examination of two or three poems, covering at least two groups.


TENNESSE WILLIAMS: A Streetcar Named Desire

(a) Using the opening stage directions of SCENE THREE as your starting point, explore the variety of Williams’s dramatic uses of colour and symbolism in the play as a whole.

Or:

(b) Stanley says to Stella in SCENE EIGHT ‘I am the king round here, so don’t forget it!’

Explore the ways in which Williams presents dramatically the relationships between men and women in the play as a whole. In your answer you should make detailed reference to at least two sequences from the play.

Unit 1 Drama and Poetry

January 2002

TENNESSE WILLIAMS: A streetcar named Desire

Either:

(a) It has been said that Williams deliberately sets up a patterns of tensions and conflicts in the play which culminate in the ending.

Do you agree? In your answer you should include a detailed examination of SCENE ELEVEN.

Or:

(b) ‘Blanche is. . . given to illusion, alcohol, dim lights and muted colours in the effort to make the harsh world bearable.’ (Elmer Andrews, 1996)

In the light of this comment, explore the varied means by which Williams presents the character, motivations and significance of Blanche. I your answer you should refer in detail to at least two scenes from the play.

The Edexcel Poety Anthology (Section One: Post – 1770)

Either:

(a) Do you agree that ‘a poet’s choice of form for their subject –matter can be surprising?

You should base your answer on a detailed examination of two of the following: ‘London’; ‘O What is That Sound’; an appropriate poem of your choice. Your two poems must cover two groups.

Or:

(b) Consider the various poetic means by which poets in this anthology explore the passage of time in their word.

You should base your answer on a detailed examination of two or three poems, covering at least two groups.

Unit 1 Drama and Poetry

June 2003

TENNESSE WILLIAMS: A streetcar named Desire

Either:

(a) Remind yourself of SCENE FIVE, from ‘BLANCHE: Ah me, ah, me, ah, me . . .’ to the end of the scene (pages 172-174 in the prescribed edition.)

‘Blanche deludes herself throughout the play’. Using an examination of the end of the SCENE FIVE as a starting point, explore Williams’s presentation of Blanche.

Or:

‘Death is my best theme, don’t you think?’ (Tennessee Williams)

Explore the varied dramatic uses Williams makes of death and dying in the play. In your answer you should refer to at least two extracts form the play.


The Edexcel Poety Anthology (Section One: Post – 1770)

Either:

(a) A poet claimed that he wrote poems, ‘to preserve things’ that he had seen, thought and felt.

Explore the things that poets in this anthology have preserved and the ways in which they have preserved them in their poetry. You should draw your appropriate material from at least two of the following: ‘Kubla Khan’; ‘An Arundel Tomb’; an appropriate poem of your own choice.

Your choice of poems must cover at least two groups.

Or:

(b) ‘Poetry is the best words in the best order.’

Explore at least two poems from the anthology where the poets’ choice of words and word order have made a particular impression on you as a reader or listener.

You choice of poems must cover at least two groups.

"Captain Corelli's Mandolin": AO1 Concept Map for Writing Essays

Press on the image to make it bigger.

The Fed cuts its main interest rate by 0.25% and the precious metals sector falls?


The Dow fell out of bed and the PM sector follows? Today was pure manipulation. TPTB could not afford to give the impression that gold and silver were about to move higher and the PM equities are still in lock step with the main market. Da Boyz who control the Dow and Nasdaq threw their toys out of their cots today because they were displeased with just a 0.25% cut in the base rate. As a result, the DOW fell almost 300 points!

Gold and silver and their related equities will climb in value despite today's shennanigans. The Fed cut rates and wanted to stop the impression that the Dollar would fall as a result. Temporary madness won out - but it cannot and will not last. In a few days, when Joe Sixpack is not looking the PM sector will do what it should have done today - and will do over the next few months!

Tuesday, 11 December 2007

The Western Banking System - "Made it Ma - Top of the World!"

Yesterday, UBS reported a further $10 billion in losses from sub prime/cdo fiasco. This was after reporting $1.5 billion dollars recently. The banking tsunami is still in its early phase. We've seen nothin' yet! In order to stay afloat UBS had sell a major chunk of their business to get vast sums from Singapore and the Middle East to make up for these losses.Time will whether these investments will make any difference to the survival of this bank and several others.

Meanwhile one wonders just what is "holding up" some of the western and asian banks. I'm reminded of the 1949 movie, "White Heat" in which the gangster, Cody Jarret (James Cagney) is shot by the FBI inside man, Edmond O'Brien. The latter shoots Cody several times and wonders "What's holding him up?" Cody shoots into the gas tanks below and bellows, "Made it Ma - top of the world!" before blowing himself to kingdom come. The banks finally made it to "The top of the world" only to risk implosion at the peak of their success!
http://www.reelclassics.com/Audio_Video/Quotes7r/cagney_whiteheat_madeitma.wav

Wednesday, 5 December 2007

Ideas for making creative presentations in class

It is probably better to focus on a chapter or small section of the text rather than dilute your effort on the novel or text as a whole. Of course, where appropriate, you should show how your chapter or section relates to other parts of the novel/text through characterisation, setting, themes, motifs, assessment objectives, etc.


You can work alone (if you prefer intrapersonal learning) or in pairs or groups of 3 or 4, if you prefer iterpersonal learning. If you do the latter just make sure that the others are not necessarily your friends. It will make you more objective.


You could use a past question from an exam paper as a prompt for planning your assignment. Answer the question by unravelling or/unpacking its key words and phrases.


Visual and spatial learners

  • Produce a mind-map on a crucial chapter or your author showing links to themes, characterisation, settings, motifs-imagery, themes, etc. Use images and colours to symbolise and evoke meaning. Try to cover responses by different readers over time or different interpretations of the same text. Watch out for ambiguities in the text.
  • A Power point on a chapter, author, important theme, character, the application of a critical reading/theory, historical and social context (of our time and/or the time when the novel is set. Are there any correspondences? What are the unresolved questions?)
  • Change the form of a chapter or extract to a scene for a drama or a television script. Think about interpretation, the audience, themes, characterisation, context, etc. – then act it out.

  • Create a collage on A2 on the authors, character(s), theme(s), motifs, critical reading(s), imagery, responses by different readers over time, using photographs, drawings or images from magazines, etc.

  • Produce a programme for a play or a poetry performance that encompasses themes, ideas, different critical responses, etc.
  • Create a blog with text, images and videos. You should also label your posts so you can organise your ideas around themes, characters, critical readings for different interpretations, narrative positioning, etc.

Visual linguistic learners


  • Write an essay using a former essay question for your text.
  • Write a letter from your Author, dramatist, poet in reply to criticism of the themes and ideas that are found in their novel, play or collection of poems. Place your reply within a historical context of the writer’s time.

Auditory learners


  • Give a talk with props and images on the historical background of the text. Talk about various critical responses to the text or author over time.

  • Role-play a scene from the text and discuss its significance for themes, motifs, imagery, characterisation, for the plot, themes, etc.
  • Adopt a character from a play, novel, etc., write a little dialogue that the character might use to get you going and then place the character in a "Big Brother"or "Blind Date" situation with other characters in which they meet for the first time, etc.

  • Write and perform a monologue in which you play one of the characters in role. Show your understanding of key themes and ideas, imagery, critical responses by readers over time, etc.

Kinaesthetic Learners


  • Select a chapter or extract from text and dramatise it. Explore characterisation, themes including motifs, historical background and ideas. Can you show different responses/interpretations by readers over time?
  • Create a number of freeze frames, either still or slow motion on important incidents, scenes, imagery, ideas, issues in your text. Can you show particular interpretations showing various viewpoints, etc…You can even digitally photograph your freeze-frames and present them with a voiceover or with background music using an electronic whiteboard

Revision study questions and essay topics for Jane Austen's "Emma"



Revision Study Questions and Essay Topics for Jane Austen’s Emma

Edexcel’s Assessment Objectives for this novel are broken down by marks awarded as follows:

10% 5i

You need to show understanding of the contexts in which literary texts are written and understood. (The literary context, position of women, pertinent themes, historical events, the importance of marriage, status, duty, folly, the big houses, theme of self knowledge, renewal of important families for political stability, etc.)

5% 1

Write in a manner that show knowledge, understanding and insight appropriate for literary study, using appropriate literary terms and accurate written expression.

5% 2i

Show that you can respond with knowledge and understanding to literary texts of different types and periods. ( Show that you can write about “Emma”.)

5% 3

Show detailed understanding of Austen’s use of form, structure and language and how this can shape meanings. (That is narrative stance, development of characterisation, contrasts between chapters, plot construction and the arrangement of events within the novel for emotional or artistic effects, the narrator’s use of irony, how chapters help develop chapters or themes, the use of “penetration”, climax or turning point, openings and endings, narration verses enactment, tone, etc.)

5% 4

Be prepared to give independent opinions and judgements, informed (influenced) by interpretations of the novel by other readings/readers of the novel. See my cards!)

Study Questions

1. Emma experiences several major revelations in the novel that fundamentally change her understanding of herself and those around her. Which revelation do you think is most important to Emma’s development, and why?

Remember that you would need brief, killer quotations to support your points so you can then make sustained comments on your evidence where appropriate.


Answer for Study Question #1

One way to answer this question would be to recognize that Emma undergoes her most decisive transformation when Mr. Elton proposes to her. At this point, she realises that she has been completely misguided in her interpretation of Elton’s behaviour, and she also realises that she herself is implicated in the courtship games that she believed she was manipulating from the sidelines. Another possible answer would focus on Emma’s revelation when Mr. Knightley reprimands her after she has insulted Miss Bates. At this moment, Emma understands that her vain pleasure in Frank’s flirtations and her sense of superiority to others in the community have been wrong. She also realises how much Knightley’s opinion means to her. One might also argue that Emma’s decisive transformation takes place when she realises that she loves Knightley, or when she agrees to marry him. A successful answer would consider the intensity of Austen’s language together with plot developments. For example, the episode in which Knightley reprimands Emma for insulting Miss Bates seems relatively unimportant in terms of the plot, but this scene includes some of the most emotional and dramatic language in the book.

2. In what ways, if at all, might Emma be considered a feminist novel?

Answer for Study Question #2
Emma may be considered a feminist novel because it focuses upon the struggles and development of a strong, intelligent woman. Though Emma’s activities—visits, parties, courtship, and marriage—are limited to the traditional sphere, the novel implicitly -critiques these limitations, and implies that Emma deserves a wider stage on which to exercise her powers. Furthermore, the novel -criticises the fact that women must be financially dependent by sympathetically depicting the vulnerability of Jane and Miss Bates.

Alternatively, the novel could be considered antifeminist because it seems to suggest that Emma reaches the pinnacle of her development when she accepts the corrections of a man, Mr. Knightley. Not only does Emma give up her former vow of celibate independence, but she marries an older man who is a father figure.

3. Frank Churchill and Mr. Knightley represent two different sets of values and two different understandings of manhood. Describe the values that each character represents, and explain how the novel judges these values.

Answer for Study Question #3
Frank Churchill is seen by many of the characters as an ideal man because of his good looks, warmth, and charm. He focuses most of his attention on determining what will please each person, and he makes his compliments with wit and style. However, the novel demonstrates that Frank is also flighty, unstable, and able to put his own wishes above social and moral propriety. Mr. Knightley, conversely, is Frank’s opposite in many ways. Though also polite and affectionate with those he cares for, Knightley is dignified and reserved. When he expresses an opinion, it is always the correct one and is stated with simplicity and firmness. The novel clearly values Knightley’s qualities above Frank’s. But the fact that Frank is forgiven at the end and rewarded with the love of a superior woman suggests that the book cannot entirely renounce its infatuation with Frank’s charms.

Suggested Essay Topics
1. To what extent does the narrator express approval of Emma, and to what extent does the narrator criticise her? Choose a passage from the novel and analyse the sympathy and/or ironic judgment the narrator expresses in relation to the protagonist.

2. Emma is filled with dialogue in which characters misunderstand each other. Choose a scene from the novel and describe the mixture of knowledge and ignorance that each character possesses, and how their situations influence the way they interpret each other’s statements. To what extent are we positioned to correct the misunderstanding, and to what extent do we share the misunderstanding until we have more information?

3. How does humour work in the novel? Select a speech made by Mr. Woodhouse, Miss Bates, or Mrs. Elton and describe the techniques Austen uses to make these characters look foolish. What contradictions, hypocrisies, or absurdities are put in their mouths? To what extent do we judge these characters negatively when we see that they are laughable?

4. Emma both questions and upholds traditional class distinctions. What message do you think the novel ultimately conveys about class?

5. Emma is clever but continually mistaken, kind-hearted but capable of callous behaviour. Austen commented that Emma is a heroine “no one but myself will much like.” Do you find Emma likable? Why or why not?

For more active exam practice
Try a timed answer or two using questions from past papers. You should also practice by unpacking questions' key words and phrases to get at their underlying assessment objectives and make brief essay plans.

(Take 10 minutes or so to compose a plan either as a spidergram or in bullet points. Either will help you impose a structure on your essay.)

Why not compose a question or two using the assessment criteria? If you revise with a friend you can set each other a question. This would be a very useful exercise and make you think about the text in an active manner. With luck you might even forecast the question that you will get in the Exam! There are only so many types of questions they can ask you.

Good luck – but I am sure that you can make your own!

Dog!

Tuesday, 4 December 2007

A Head's Up Guide To "The Merchant's Tale" Part 2

This is a useful explanation of the second half of the Tale. It will help you understand the Tale as you read it in the original. It is by Dr. Dana Symons who has been credited below.

Heads up guide to the Merchant, part 2

Here's the interlinear translation and the Harvard page on the Merchant.
The first half of the Merchant's Tale generates sympathy for May through a detailed description of how January was rough in bed with her, including the narrator's comments that "The bryde was broght abedde as stille as stoon" (1818) and "God woot what that May thoughte in hir herte / Whan she hym saugh up sittynge in his sherte, / In his nyght-cappe, and with his nekke lene" (1851-53). We also don't have a very high opinion of January; he's gullible, but he's also overly concerned with his own desires. How does the narrative encourage us to respond to the characters in the second half? Is this a tale of a "wicked wife"?

How does Damian compare to other lovers we've seen? (Palamoun, Arcite, Nicholas, Absolom). Are we supposed to feel sympathy for him? And when January expresses concern over Damian's "sickness," does it make January seem more likable or sympathetic? Should we feel sorry for him? Or does it simply increase the irony of the situation? Later on, how should we interpret January's blindness? His jealousy?

Even more than in the first half of the tale, we get details about May's thoughts and feelings: though the narrator sometimes coyly says he can't say what she thought, on other occasions he gives us explicit details. What effect does this have? How does this treatment of a female character's desires and thoughts compare to the portrayal of other women in the Canterbury Tales? What does the fact that May reads Damian's letter in the privy, January's insistence on always having a hand on her once he's gone blind, and January's locked garden suggest about privacy in the tale?

Notice that line 1986, "Lo, pitee renneth soone in gentil herte!" is almost exactly the same as line 1761 of the Knight's Tale, "For pitee renneth soone in gentil herte." Why the echo? How should we interpret this?

When January and May are in the garden near the end of the tale, Pluto and Proserpina intervene. Pluto, like many other men in CT, rehearses a number of negative stereotypes about women gleened from various "auctoritees," but his wife Proserpina counters him by arguing that there are indeed many virtuous women too.

What does the debate of the gods here add to the tale's treatment of marriage and gender issues?

Finally, what was your reaction to the end of the tale?

by Dr. Dana Symons of Simon Fraser University

A Head's Up Guide To The "Merchant's Tale" Part 1

This is a useful explanation of the first half of the Tale. It will help you understand the Tale as you read it in the original. It is by Dr. Dana Symons who has been credited below.

Heads up guide to the Merchant

Here's the interlinear translation, though by this time you should really be reading on your own! See the Harvard page on the Merchant for a very brief summary and links to many analogues of the tale (our course text includes only one).

This poem is rife with irony, double meanings, and sly messing about with the reader. It's among Chaucer's best poetry, so don't be put off by what may seem intially a dry discourse of "authorities" on marriage - if you've been following what we've read so far, you'll begin to have an insider's understanding of what Chaucer is doing in this poem, and that insider's perspective should make these passages anything but dry. Get into the spirit of it if you can and wallow in Chaucer's clever manipulations of his materials. Here the Merchant openly gives voice to the marriage debate, which has been raging quietly (or perhaps not so quietly!) among the Canterbury pilgrims through their tales.

Notice first the Merchant's response to the Clerk's Tale (like the Host, he doesn't seem to get it - or maybe he does...). This tale takes us back to the fabliau genre but is written in a much more elevated style than the earlier fabliaux in CT. Like the Miller, the Merchant tells a tale of an older man (a knight) married to a very young woman, in this case with the names "January" and "May" to emphasize the mismatch in their ages. The tale is further complicated in the second half by the interference of the gods Pluto and Proserpine, who are a married couple themselves and take sides (more on that in the next "heads up guide"). Much of the first half of the tale is devoted to a debate on marriage, opened by the narrator's own discourse on marriage, perhaps drawing on the Clerk's Tale for some of the idealized notions about wives, and then conducted by January and his two brothers, Justinus and Placebo. January tells them he wishes a young wife because young wives are malleable, unlike older ones who have been schooled by clerks and are half clerks themselves (!). Placebo, a flatterer, agrees with everything January says, while Justinus argues against January taking a wife (even at one point citing the Wife of Bath!).

Much like the Wife of Bath's Prologue, the first section of the Merchant's Tale consists of quoting, paraphrasing, and glossing various authorities, in this case for or against marriage, so think about the arguments outlined in light of the other tales we've read; in particular, how does having read the Wife of Bath's Prologue and the Clerk's Tale affect your understanding of the many arguments that are made in the Merchant's Tale?

What does Justinus's citation of the Wife of Bath do to complicate further the multilayered Canterbury Tales narrative (that Chaucer can't let us forget for an instant who's in control of this reading experience, can he?).

Towards the end of the first section you are reading, January and May's wedding feast is held, which has some of the most elegant rhetorical flourishes in all of Chaucer's work. It's at the end of the feast that Damian, a young squire serving in January's household, is introduced as a rival for May's affections (you know what's coming now, don't you?). Both men are "ravished" by their desire for May, but the narrator leaves Damian to languish in lovesickness while he follows January and May into their nuptial bed. There, January's rough beard scratches May like sharkskin, his neck-skin shakes, and he talks to her in many a double entendre before lustily "playing" with her throughout the night. In the midst of this, the narrator says, "God knows what May thought in her heart."

Much food for thought here - I leave you to it. There will be a separate "heads up guide" for the second half of the tale.

by Dr. Dana Symons of Simon Fraser University

Monday, 3 December 2007

If The Dollar Falling Is Falling Like This . . .


Gold and silver equities should shortly do something like this:

About Me

I teach Film, Media and English Lit.