Tuesday, 23 December 2008
Monday, 8 December 2008
Saturday, 6 December 2008
Thursday, 4 December 2008
Monday, 1 December 2008
Wednesday, 26 November 2008
Sunday, 9 November 2008
Friday, 24 October 2008
"Dollars and Dominance" from "Analysis".
Thursday, 23 October 2008
Wednesday, 22 October 2008
Unit 1 Explorations in Prose and Poetry
Articulate creative, informed and relevant responses to the poems, using appropriate terminology and concepts (poetic terms and ideas) and using clear, accurate written expression (10% of the final exam)
Demonstrate detailed critical understanding in analysing the ways in which structure, form and language shape meanings in the poems.
(10% of the final exam)
Explore connections and comparisons between the poems that are informed by interpretations of other readers. (5% of the final exam)
Section A: Unseen poetry/ prose, short answer response (AOs 1-2)
Section B: Poetry essay response (AOs 1-3)
Section C: Prose essay response (AOs 1-3)
(You will study and analyse a novel and a novella for section C.)
100 marks (combined)
Unit 2 Explorations in Drama – “Hamlet”
In addition to the other assessment objectives there is this one:
Demonstrate understanding of the significance and influence of the historical and social contexts in which literary texts are written and received.
2000-2500 words maximum, including quotations.
Two responses: an explorative study and a creative response
Teacher assessed, internally standardised and externally moderated.
80 marks (combined)
Tuesday, 21 October 2008
Thursday, 16 October 2008
Wednesday, 8 October 2008
Friday, 3 October 2008
Thursday, 2 October 2008
Wednesday, 1 October 2008
Saturday, 27 September 2008
Thursday, 25 September 2008
Sunday, 21 September 2008
The main link for the Francis Child collection of ballads.
Notes on the early Child ballads including "The Three Ravens" and "The Twa Corbies".
Friday, 19 September 2008
Find out about:
· Neo classicism and the significance of reason, rationality and science in the seventeenth century (1700s) . How was it represented in art (poetry, art, music, literature, etc.?)
· Romanticism (which poets were in the first wave and which in the second? Did they differ in their treatment of Romanticism?)
· How the imagination was considered important by some as a reaction against neoclassicism in the late seventeenth (1700s) and early eighteenth centuries (1800s.)
Consider the poems that you have already studied in class and think how you can apply the concept of Romanticism and the importance of the imagination.
Check the power-points on the system and use the folders that include mini essays on these topics. You can also do an internet search for this information. Ask Richard in the Library where relevant books and articles might be to help you with your research. Make notes on a pad or on Word so you can use them for feedback in class.
There will be a class test on the two poems and on this background information next week!
Tuesday, 16 September 2008
Wednesday, 10 September 2008
Stacey Himes has been calling this savage downturn in goldshares as the rare chart pattern three peaks and a domed house for some time. He also gives target lows for the HUI index. It's fairly impressive stuff so far.
Here is his most recent post
Saturday, September 6, 2008
Close in time is not always close in price!
Gold and commodity markets have experienced some severe declines. We are just starting to see some posts that these bull markets may be ending. Although we are not contrarian for contrarians sake it seems likely that these musings are indeed indications of a impending sentiment low. The three peaks pattern has finally enterred the final leg of is wave to a measured move. Since we have not had a confirmed reversal we dont know if this fifth wave will extend. I could give you some potential minute wave counts. I think that would not be productive as its clear we are attempting to break down or capitulate. Momentum indicators are usually the best way to pick bottoms in a capitulation. I still stand by my prediction that 276 must be hit as a minimum. Now that the 307 area has failed I feel confident we are going to 276 and probably lower. There are several pivots that support a final low. ive mentioned the 263 area. theres another at 248 that has manifested itself from a fib expansion of the recent wave. In terms of cycle times the fnm/fre news this weekend is going to cause some fireworks monday. Its unclear whether is sell the news or not just yet. I know what I want to see, but the market will do what it wants. I will say this. If gold and silver continue the selloff next week and selloff hard then its time to buy. If they take off to the upside early next week, then we may have a bottom as well. either way we are about there in time , maybe not price. S.M. Himes
His comments on this chart formation can be found in recent posts on his blog site.
Tuesday, 26 August 2008
Saturday, 23 August 2008
This author of this ancient Scottish ballad like all medieval balladeers was anonymous. Fairport Convention were a popular folk band who played it in gigs in the early 70s. It can also be found on some of their albums. Here's a decent rendition of it from a Fairport gig in 1970, in the days of Flower Power when many young people did not give a hoot about worldly things and conventional representations of power. Ahhhhhh!
Still, Fairport's version of the ballad is slightly different to other versions. However that is to be expected as the ballad form allowed itself to be contracted, elongated and altered through time
Sit back and enjoy a lost classic that's now "far out"!
Friday, 22 August 2008
The Exam Board places this poem under the theme of home for the poetry element of Unit 1, Explorations of prose and poetry. Of course the related themes are: innocence and experience ,age and youth, and life and death, are also significant when exploring the theme of home. Perhaps faith too is another theme related to the rest
Eleanor Bron's reading is nicely expressive and well pitched.
Sunday, 17 August 2008
Friday, 15 August 2008
Wednesday, 13 August 2008
Friday, 8 August 2008
I spent several hours during my week in Turkey reading Vonnegut's stories and they played on my mind for some time afterwards. Surprisingly, Vonnegut, a self-confessed Luddite, who only used computers as word processors and who did not carry a mobile phone, gave one of his last interviews on Second Life. Perhaps this is not so surprising as Vonnegut has written several works of science fiction so his willingness to experiment was always there. Kurt's comments on the importance of following an art around 24-26 minutes in are very interesting. However, the interview as a whole is suffused with Vonnegut's humour, wisdom and wit.
If you've never read Vonnegut before try any of his short stories or the novels, Cat's Cradle, Slaughterhouse 5 or Breakfast of Champions.
Tuesday, 5 August 2008
Thursday, 24 July 2008
Gold and gold shares continue to be in a consolidation phase since the dramatic rescue of Bear Stearns by JP Morgan Chase at the end of the first quarter. Credit and capital market stress continue at a high level as evidenced by the weak performance by financial sector shares during the first half of 2008. Such concerns tend to drive capital market flows into safe haven areas including gold. Following the current pause, we expect gold to achieve new highs later this year. We believe that gold shares are awaiting leadership from the metal itself. Once gold attains new highs, we believe the shares will break out of their consolidation mode. The $1000 per ounce threshold for gold is at present a psychological barrier for investors. Once that level is viewed as a floor rather than as a ceiling, we expect a significant rerating of gold shares.
We suggest that gold’s underperformance relative to other commodities will change based on one simple notion that has become wildly popular in the financial media: demand destruction. There is no doubt that high commodity prices, regardless of whether they are labeled a bubble or not, are economically destabilizing. They have the potential to cripple normal economic functioning. High inflation, perceived or anticipated, will probably alter economic behavior as it did in the 1970’s. The efficacy of a “hard asset strategy” would ultimately be undermined by the associated economic disruption. This, in our opinion, would leave gold and other precious metals standing alone in the world of commodities as true safe havens.
Portfolio Manager of the Tocqueville Fund, will appear on CNBC’s “Squawk on the Street” on, Thursday, July 24th at 10:40am to discuss The Tocqueville Fund and its investment strategy with Erin Burnett, in a segment called “5-Star Strategy”.
Monday, 21 July 2008
Last Updated: 6:53am BST 21/07/2008
Monday, 14 July 2008
Saturday, 12 July 2008
Dow Jones dives as Hank Paulson rules out rescue of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac
By Ambrose Evans-Pritchard
Thursday, 10 July 2008
In another provocative and insightful article by Ambrose he suggests that China is at risk from economic meltdown because of the price of oil.
By Ambrose Evans-Pritchard
Last Updated: 2:00am BST 08/07/2008
The great oil shock of 2008 is bad enough for us. It poses a mortal threat to the whole economic strategy of emerging Asia.
The manufacturing revolution of China and her satellites has been built on cheap transport over the past decade. At a stroke, the trade model looks obsolete.
No surprise that Shanghai's bourse is down 56pc since October, one of the world's most spectacular bear markets in half a century.
Asia's intra-trade model is a Ricardian network where goods are shipped in a criss-cross pattern to exploit comparative advantage. Profit margins are wafer-thin.
Products are sent to China for final assembly, then shipped again to Western markets. The snag is obvious. The cost of a 40ft container from Shanghai to Rotterdam has risen threefold since the price of oil exploded.
"The monumental energy price increases will be a 'game-changer' for Asia," said Stephen Jen, currency chief at Morgan Stanley. The region's trade model is about to be "stress-tested".
Energy subsidies have disguised the damage. China has held down electricity prices, though global coal costs have tripled since early 2007. Loss-making industries are being propped up. This merely delays trouble.
"The true impact of the shock will only be revealed over time, as subsidies are gradually rolled back," he said. Last week, China raised internal rail freight rates by 17pc.
BP 's Statistical Review says China's use of energy per unit of gross domestic product is three times that of the US, five times Japan's, and eight times Britain's.
China's factories "were not built with current energy levels in mind", said Mr Jen. The outcome will be "non-linear". My translation: China is at risk of blowing up.
Middle East war threat rattles oil markets
Any low-tech product shipped in bulk - furniture, say, or shoes - is facing the ever-rising tariff of high freight costs. The Asian outsourcing game is over, says CIBC World Markets. "It's not just about labour costs any more: distance costs money," says chief economist Jeff Rubin.
Xinhua says that 2,331 shoe factories in Guangdong have shut down this year, half the total.
North Carolina's furniture industry is coming back from the dead as companies shut plant in China. "We're getting hit with increases up and down the system. It's changing the whole equation of where we produce," said Craftsmaster Furniture.
China is being crunched by the triple effects of commodity costs, 20pc wage inflation, and sagging import demand in the US, Canada, Britain, Spain, Italy, and France.
Critics warn that Beijing has repeated the errors of Tokyo in the 1980s by over-investing in marginal plant. A Communist Party banking system has let rip with cheap credit - steeply negative real interest rates - to buy political time for the regime.
Whether or not this is fair, it is clear that Beijing's mercantilist policy of holding down the yuan to boost exports share has now hit the buffers.
A worker on an oil field in China's northeastern Heilongjiang province
Foreign reserves have reached $1.8 trillion, playing havoc with the money supply. Declared inflation is just 7.7pc, but that does not begin to capture the scale of repressed prices, from fuel to fertilisers. "There is a lot more bottled-up inflation in this economy than meets they eye," says Stephen Green, from Standard Chartered.
Inflation merely steals growth from the future. It defers monetary tightening until matters get out of hand, which is where we are now. Vietnam has already blown up at 30pc. India is on the cusp at 11pc, so is Indonesia (11pc), the Philippines (11pc), Thailand (9pc) - leaving aside the double-digit Gulf.
Of course, oil prices may fall again. They plunged to $50 a barrel in early 2007 after the Saudis raised production. The scissor effect of slowing global growth and extra crude later this year from Brazil, Azerbaijan, Africa, and the Gulf of Mexico may chill the super-boom.
The US Commodities Futures Trading Commission is on an "emergency" footing, under orders from the Democrats on Capitol Hill to smash speculators. If it is really true that investment funds have run amok, we will soon find out.
I suspect that the energy markets have fallen prey to their own version of the "shadow banking system" that so astonished regulators when the credit bubble burst.
I also suspect that Hank Paulson and his EU colleagues have a surprise up their sleeve for the late-cycle über-bulls. Those who claim that derivatives (crude futures) cannot drive spot prices have overlooked a key point. The Saudis and others use the IPE Brent Weighted Average of futures contracts as their pricing mechanism. Futures now set the spot price.
But even if oil comes down for a year or two, the mid-term outlook of the International Energy Agency warns that crude markets will be tighter than ever by 2012. Call it Peak Oil, or just Peak Non-Cooperation by the dictatorships that control most of the world's remaining 5 or 6 trillion barrels (Mankind has used one trillion so far).
Come what may, globalisation has passed its high-water mark. The pendulum will now swing back from China to America. The mercantilists will have to reinvent themselves.
Saturday, 5 July 2008
USDollar on Edge, Gold on Verge
Jim Willie CB July 2, 2008
Well worth going through this unit to blow the socks off the opposition with the quality of your presentations!
A crucial unit by the Open University. Again, you can pick and choose the parts of the unit that you need to focus on to develop particular skills.
Friday, 4 July 2008
Sunday, 29 June 2008
American 'meltdown' reason for money injection Fortis.
28th of June, 9:10
BRUSSELS/AMSTERDAM - Fortis expects a complete collapse of the US financial markets within a few days to weeks. That explains, according to Fortis, the series of interventions of last Thursday to retrieve € 8 billion. "We have been saved just in time. The situation in the US is much worse than we thought", says Fortis chairman Maurice Lippens. Fortis expects bankruptcies amongst 6000 American banks which have a small coverage currently. But also Citigroup, General Motors, there is starting a complete meltdown in the US"
Can UK markets and the pound be far behind?
Saturday, 28 June 2008
The banksters know what is coming - and they are turning on one another. Gold and silver will be the only refuges in such a storm - and they know it. PM stocks should do hand-stands as they are revalued and re-rated in the months ahead. The world is headed for the greatest recession since The Crash and Depression of the late 1920s and 1930s. With the encouragement and propaganda of the media, Joe public has believed everything their governments have said about the inflation rates (2-3%!) with 4% mentioned as "possible" in the UK. This is when money is has been printed at the rate of 14-17% in the UK with similar rates in the US and elsewhere. This is the REAL rate of inflation. With western governments in the US and the UK only interested in bailing out Wall Street and London's City Banks and European governments doing the same it looks as if everyone else is being sacrificed for the greed and credit scamming of the banks. Late September to October looks to be crash time.
Monday, 23 June 2008
Sunday, 22 June 2008
I will focus on gold and silver during the summer now that the exams are out of the way.
Friday, 20 June 2008
Tuesday, 10 June 2008
Monday, 9 June 2008
Friday, 6 June 2008
Thursday, 5 June 2008
Tuesday, 3 June 2008
Use the prompts in questions to get at the underlying assessment objectives. For instance, the word "presentation" is an AO2 word and " relationships which convey powerful emotion highlights AOs 3-4.
Select key passages from chapters to focus on to get depth in your concept maps and essays.
AO1 literary terms, understanding and expressionBathos
Description (purple passages)
Historiographic –fiction ( real events with fictitious characters - a post modern form )
Polyphony and polyphonic ( many voices in its style of narration )
Tone/ attitudes of the narrator to the characters
How the narrative is affected by: the first, third person omniscient, parallel narrative, intrusive narrative, interior dialogues, polyphony, etc.
Focalising - Does the narrator identify /empathise from the POV of a character for more than a few paragraphs?
AO2 (Remember that AO2 can act as a springboard in questions into AOs 3-4)
Characterisation• characters and fate and their relationship with the Island;
• typical and atypical characters;
• contrasts between characters;
• characters in conflict;
• characters’ inner conflicts;
• writer’s development of relationships between characters;
• presentation of characters’ perceptions of each other;
• characters’ dialogue; interior monologues, writing/memoirs;
• external and internal presentations;
• writer’s tone(s) in presenting characters. Are they presented sympathetically or unsympathetically?
AO2 Structure/Plot• stance of the narrator(s) mostly empathy with the characters except for Hector;
• the presentation of characters’ perception of events; multiple narrations, the third person narrator focalising from a character's POV, through self contained chapters, etc.
• plot as vehicle of theme, e.g. the love story of Pelagia and Corelli used to carry themes of love and war, the history of the island, education, fate, the changing role of women etc. ;
• structure of the plot – unpredictable, yet linear, self-contained chapters;
• pace: sometimes de Berniere's gives historical and cultural detail that slows down the development of the plot. For instance the chapter on the saint;
• degree of credibility of events.
AO2 Style and Tone
• use of period detail; descriptions of the Island and its history, description of events, etc.;
• irony, satire, hyperbole, (e.g. The pamphlet on Mussolini) and "The Great Spikey Rustball");
• elegance of syntax; purple passages (description); unusual words to create tone, mystique, status, etc.;
• the comic and the tragic -i.e. - pathos and bathos
AO2 Structure and language shape meanings.
Setting and Situation• use of period detail - the Kephenion, etc.
• social rituals - Saint Gerasimos's feast day(s), modes of address; La Scala, etc.
• symbolic implications of motorbikes, goats, cats, the olive groves, events
• locations focused on, Iannis's house, Argostoli, Casa Nostra, Mount Aenos, etc.
AO 3 (your own and other readings of the text)Remember that your own argument constitutes AO3. Drawing attention to ambiguity is another good thing to do for AO3.
Great authors -
It’s important because de Bernieres made his name by writing it!
Close reading matters (AO1 and 3)
De Bernieres’ biography does not matter
The historical context is not important
The writer’s art is what the reader should be able to appreciate.
The economic struggle between classes matters
The causes of conflict between the rich and the poor
You need to relate the text to the social context to its author.
You need to understand the historical context in which the text was written and read.
Literature teaches its readers something, and helps them to become better people.
Good literature is basically moral and uplifting.
It is important to consider the themes in the text, to understand
its moral purpose.
The Text needs to have a reader before it can mean anything.
Meaning can be constructed from the text by filling in the gaps, making connections and predictions, and seeing how far these expectations of it are confirmed or disappointed.
The ‘mistakes’ a reader makes when predicting what will happen in a text are an important part of the meaning.
It does not matter when a text was written, or who it was written by, or even what it is about.
Language is used not simply to describe the world, but to construct it.
What matters is how a text is constructed: its form, its overall structure and the patterns of language in it, especially pairs of opposites.
Texts from popular culture, societies, belief systems (ideologies) are all structures which can be explored and analysed like a literary text.
Some critics who, like me, were interested in patterns and structures became more interested in the gaps, silences and absences (what is not there) in texts. They became known as post-structuralists.
This is all about the unconscious.
What matters is what is glossed over or ‘repressed’. You need to look beyond the obvious surface meaning to what the text is ‘really’ about.
What are the representations of psychological states or phases in the Tale?
The emotional conflicts between the characters or groups in a text is more important than its wider context.
CULTURAL MATERIALIST / NEW HISTORICIST (related to the Marxist)
• I read historical and other relevant texts, alongside the literary ones, in order to see more clearly the context in which the literature was produced, and to recover its history.
•I am interested in pre-twentieth century texts, often those written in the Renaissance, for example Shakespeare. I look at the ways these texts have been packaged and consumed in the present day.
•What matters is analysing the text closely, in order to question previous ways in which the text has been read.
•The word ‘cultural‘ in my label means that I consider all forms of culture, popular as well as high culture, to be relevant; ‘materialist’ means that I believe that it is impossible for any form of culture to be independent of economic and political systems.
‘Feminine’ and ‘masculine’ are ideas constructed by our culture, and it is important to be aware of this when reading texts from periods and cultures different from our own.
I prefer to read literature written by women, which explores women’s experience of the world.
What matters is how women are represented in texts written by men, and how these texts display the power relations between the sexes.
AO4 What it means for a modern reader and readers over time
The Cultural ContextsMothers and Sons
Greek mythology - Odysseus, Penelope, etc.
Daughters and Doweries
Honour and Shame
Saints and Superstitions
The pastoral and the Olympian (Goatherds – Alekos looking down from the mountain)
Barbarians and Civil War
Burial and Resurrection
Mandolins and Composers – Corelli and Weber
The Historical ContextsLife on the Greek island of Cephelonia
The Second World War – Occupation by the Italians and Germans
The Greek Civil War after World War II.
The earthquake of 1953
Economic and social change, particularly for women over time
Homer’s “The Odessey”
Friday, 30 May 2008
Thursday, 29 May 2008
Like Richard Russell, I'd rather be a buyer here. His 40 week chart suggests a big upturn is coming over the next few weeks and months. However, the rise will not be in a straight line.
Wednesday, 28 May 2008
Thursday, 22 May 2008
This image is an early effort and it does not feature a focus question; Still it is structured as a hierarchy of readings of the text for AO4 and it shows (without arrows this time) how relationships between concepts can be made. Several students challenged the order of this paired student reading with strong arguments suggesting that the feminist reading of the text should have been placed in either first or second position. I will post other versions in another week or so when the students have worked on the maps again for revision.
The characters, themes and the terms for language and form are all you need to create a concept map. Concept maps can help you "construct" what you know to deepen your understanding of a topic. They can also help you understand what you do not know! Ultimately, concept maps help you conceptualise a topic so you can establish an overview. Consequently they are great for revising texts and topics.
What you need to do for a concept map is:
- Produce a question preferably with the word "how" in it. This will enable you to produce a better, more focused map that will help you conceptualise your ideas on the Tale by organising the concepts into a pattern.
- Place the question at the top of your concept map.
- Place the ideas/concepts in a hierarchy from the top with the less important, ideas that you cannot link to others or stand on their own below. (You can also find and cut out appropriate images to stick with your concepts to make your map more memorable!)
- Place arrows between and around your concepts to trace their relationships. (This will enable you to conceptualise and deepen your understanding of the text.)
- Use blue or white tack with the concepts on slips of paper to stick them to a wall or on a big A2 sheet of paper.
- Try to justify how you organised your concepts to someone else to find out whether they agree with the pattern of your map.
Here are a few good questions for the head of your concept map:
In what ways do the Tale reflect the sense of a social hierarchy?
How does Chaucer exploit literary and other traditions?
Can the Tale be described as consistently hostile to women?
Does Chaucer satirise religious and courtly values?
How is the marriage debate presented in lines 307-364 and in another passage of your choice?
How is a modern reader's response to the Tale more complex than Harry Bailey's in the Epilogue?
Is the "world of deceit" presented in the Tale recognisably our own? How is the theme of deceit presented in three passages in the Tale?
Justinius and Placebo
Pluto and Proserpine
Harry Bailey - the host
Auctorite(s )- authors/clerks/figures from The Bible, male experience, proverbs, etc.
Courtly Love - satirised through Damyan and May
The position of women
Marriage - includes the marriage debate
The teller and The Tale - nested narratives and implied audiences
Appearance and Reality
Blindness and Seeing
Religion and religious beliefs
Age and Youth
Deception and Self Deception
The Position of Women
Terms - language and form
Stock Characters (archetypes)
A Senex Amans - Foolish old man
Animal Imagery associated with characters
An Oral Culture and an Oral Style
Heroic Verse - Rhyming Couplets – accentual syllabic verse – like common speech. Aids memory.
Diction of Phrases
Epithets (Part of the oral culture)
The Three Estates (No merchants!)
Fortune - chance and fate - (The roman goddess, Fortuna, the queen of fortune and her wheel)
Time and fate
The influence of the Classical World – Ancient Greece and Rome
The Romance of the Rose
The Mirror of Marriage
The Pear Tree
Metonymy – words to associate feelings and accepted ideas
Timeless and Essentialist
(There is little representation of linear time. Life seen as cyclical.)
The Redundant Style - Additive – for fullness, oral impact, variation on a theme and to develop poetic power!
Conseil – advice and willfulness!
Chaucer’s Wrote in English
English merged with French and Latin additions! This reached a wider audience – to represent variations in life as he saw it?
The Dialogue as a device
An ancient form. Plato and other philosophers used it to inform, teach, reveal etc.
Mythical figures from ancient Greece merged with fairies from English folklore
The Christian world overlaps a pagan one
A Marriage Tale linked to others (identify three others!)
Individualisation (Characters that have detail and depth as opposed to stock characters)
Social Hierarchy –by rank or "degree"
Add in concepts that you think I have left out!
Tuesday, 20 May 2008
Need some last minute revision for Tenessee Williams's play? It's brief, punchy and to the point. Just the thing at this stage.
Monday, 19 May 2008
Thursday, 15 May 2008
What could be the biggest banking crisis of all time could still well play out!
Wednesday, 14 May 2008
Several technical commentators think that for cyclical and technical reasons we are very close to an important rise in gold equities and gold itself. Posters such as Cyclist of Gold Action on Kitco and Goldrunner, who also posts as Nelderand, think that we could see that rise between next week running into the third week of June.
Options expiry ends on Friday in New York. That has sapped the life out of gold equities. Next week will tell the tale.
I particularly like this page (theory and genre) as it is helpful for applying Assessment Objective 4.
For those studying The Merchant's Tale have a look at the text/audio of The Merchant from the General Prologue to the Tales:
I've added the link to the Chaucer section of links on the right of this blog.
Wednesday, 7 May 2008
1. Attraction to the lady, usually via eyes/glance
2. Worship of the lady from afar
3. Declaration of passionate devotion
4. Virtuous rejection by the lady
5. Renewed wooing with oaths of virtue and eternal fealty
6. Moans of approaching death from unsatisfied desire (and other physical manifestations of lovesickness)
7. Heroic deeds of valor which win the lady's heart
8. Consummation of the secret love
9. Endless adventures and subterfuges avoiding detection
Courtly love saw a woman as an ennobling spiritual and moral force, a view that was in opposition to ecclesiastical sexual attitudes. Rather than being critical of romantic and sexual love as sinful, the poets praised it as the highest good. Marriage had been declared a sacrament of the Church, at the Fourth Lateran Council, 1215, and within Christian marriage, the only purpose was procreation with any sex beyond that purpose seen as non-pious. The ideal state of a Christian was celibacy, even in marriage. By the beginning of the 13th century the ideas of courtly tradition were condemned by the church as being heretical. The church channeled many of these energies into the devotion of the Blessed Virgin Mary; it is not a coincidence that the Church used her devotion to Virgin Mary as a counter to the secular, courtly and lustful views of women in the 12th century. Francis of Assisi called poverty "his Lady".
Courtly love had a civilizing effect on knightly behavior, beginning in the late 11th century; it has been suggested that the prevalence of arranged marriages required other outlets for the expression of more personal occurrences of romantic love. New expressions of highly personal private piety in the 11th century were at the origins of what a modern observer would recognize as a personality, and the vocabulary of piety was also transferred to the conventions of courtly love.
At times, the lady could be a princesse lointaine, a far-away princess, and some tales told of men who had fallen in love with women whom they had never seen, merely on hearing their perfection described, but normally she was not so distant. As the etiquette of courtly love became more complicated, the knight might wear the colors of his lady: where blue or black were sometimes the colors of faithfulness; green could be a sign of unfaithfulness. Salvation, previously found in the hands of the priesthood, now came from the hands of one's lady. In some cases, there were also women troubadours who expressed the same sentiment for men.
Wednesday, 30 April 2008
Hyperbole is a fundamental human characteristic which gives ordinary speech much of its emotional and imaginative impact. “There were thousands of them!” (meaning an unexpected number.) and “I’m frozen”, hyperbole and a metaphor for being cold.
For the patient Griselda Chaucer uses hyperbolical feelings and actions – through her extreme patience and the cruelty of her husband is extreme, etc.
The patient Griselda from “The Clerk’s Tale”
Audiences were not always expected to give their full sympathy to characters whose actions were hyperbolic.
See Page 2 for instructions on activities.
Common speech, and oral verse and prose, tend to proceed, as the above example suggests, by the addition of material and events, rather than by analysis.
For instance, in The General Prologue there are lively character sketches but they are not analytical. One detail is added to another. This is true of the sequence of events in traditional stories.
In general the oral poet is not much interested in causation, because he uses pre-existent underlying patterns and structures.
Association, more technically called metonymy, is created by, juxtaposition, likeness (metaphor) and connection.
Fundamental for oral poetry and speech, metonymy depends on associations formed by habit (memory and experience)
By metonymy words can be relied on to evoke particular associated accepted ideas and feelings. These words naturally depend on social, moral, and intellectual structures, some of which have been lost.
We therefore may easily overlook the richness of oral poetry because we do not know, or we neglect the social, moral, and intellectual context, which is the associative structure.
Metonymy works with other elements of style.
Although metonymy depends on association and addition, not likeness, to make connections, it may join with likeness contribute towards various kinds of wordplay that characterise oral poetry. For instance, puns where the likeness of sound can have two different meanings, often with comic effect.
As literacy progressed and became dominant from the seventeenth century onwards, puns became despised and other wordplay disliked. Puns are used in Shakespeare but were later regarded as a fault, but were overlooked in Chaucer until recently.
•The kind of style, aiming at eloquence and copiousness is technically described as “The redundant style” and it is based in a social oral culture.
•Redundancy, having established the central point, emphasises it by repetition and then allows the audience to meditate on its implications.
•Poetry that has a social oral base helps turn literate learned matter into an oral style.
•Such speeches need to be read with the ear, without impatience to get on with the action. (Leisurely progress.)
•When listening, an audience needs guide-lines to what is going on, advance notice of the next subject, and appreciates the sense of leisurely collaboration.
Repetition with variation (the redundant style)
The social context of orality allows repetition to develop poetic power.
To repeat (the redundant syle)
It emphasises through its repetitions and allows the audience to meditate on its implications.
"We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender! " Part of the famous speech by Winston Churchill in 1940.
See instructions for activities on page 2
The use of proverbs and “sentences”: remarks long accepted in society for their general truth and applicability. The idea of summing up fraught situations with apt traditional phrases.
These phrases can be ironical but are not necessarily so.
“As many schools make students hard to collar,
A woman many-schooled is half a scholar.” Januarie, L. 1427-8 ("The Merchant's Tale".
The sententious style lends itself to authorial comment of the kind familiar to oral narrative and song. The story-teller comments on his story to the listening audience and his comments may be serious or comic according to the effect desired.
Proverbs are used “to enforce with th’ effect of my mateere”.
Chaucer’s style is continuously sententious throughout his work with a deeply proverbial style.
Alliteration hammers home the familiar.
Apostrophe is a form of direct address that gives the narrator’s moral attitudes and these can sometimes be ironic.
See page two for instructions for activities
Tuesday, 29 April 2008
More on the Chaucer presentation and tasks when I have more time.
Wednesday, 23 April 2008
This diction aims at familiar effects for audiences, ready communication, sympathetic attention. It is transparent, does not call attention to itself, is modest, collectivist, not individualised.
- This diction rests on a static concept of the true nature of the world, or of the world as how it ought to be, as a harmonious whole, etc.
- The familiarity of this diction establishes the link between the poet and audience.
- It makes attention easier, characters and actions clearer and more memorable.
- Familiarity, transparency and self projection are themselves poetic effects that convey warmth, sympathy and anxiety.
- The use of familiar phraseology is more common in the style at the beginning of poems, to introduce the poet, establish a bond with the audience, express an attitude to the forthcoming story, and to start it off. This can also be seen in adjectival phrase, “fresshe May” from "The Merchant's Tale".
He also makes the stylistic effort to absorb literacy into orality by blending the new world of literate thought into the old but always current world of personal direct speech and relationship.
- Notice the oral character of Chaucer’s style with the use of direct address to the audience.
- Modern poems rely on the stability of print in which the poet/narrator and reader exist unknown to each other.
- Oral storytelling is at the centre of “The Canterbury Tales”. (There are several narrators/tellers and a group of listeners.)
- The paradox is that the poet’s speaking voice is also addressed to us.