Archive for the ‘Literature’ category

How will the Staffordshire Hoard impact our understanding of the Anglo-Saxons?

September 26th, 2009

With all the buzz about the Staffordshire Hoard (see also the NYT article on the find), it’s no wonder that people are drooling at the potential for an exponential improvement in our understanding of the Anglo-Saxons. But were the Anglo-Saxons really a bunch of brutes because most people don’t recognize their artistic achievements? Does that say more about their situation or ours? The Dark Ages weren’t “dark” because of them, but because we just don’t know much about them. It’s our ignorance, not theirs, that is demeaning their (and our!) history.

» Read more: How will the Staffordshire Hoard impact our understanding of the Anglo-Saxons?

Quotations from Sontag’s On Photography

September 5th, 2009

I recently finished reading Susan Sontag’s On Photography [ISBN 0-312-42009-9; Picador, 1973] and, in the spirit of the book itself (which includes a collection of quotations from others), I decided to record some of the most interesting quotations.

I intend to represent her points objectively and don’t necessarily agree with all her statements, but wanted to capture them here.

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My favorite book: Malory’s Le Morte D’Arthur

February 28th, 2009

Sir Thomas Malory is, in my opinion, one of the greatest writers in the English language. He had a flair for elegant prose, covering topics rich in imagery and zest. I had the great fortune of meeting P.J.C. Field, the editor of the Oxford (Eugene Vinaver) Le Morte D’Arthur several years ago on a trip through the U.K.

I just found a new widget that shows images from the Malory text and thought I’d post it here. I hope you enjoy the text as much as I do, but you should really treat yourself to the P.J.C. Field edition (only $245 on Amazon).
» Read more: My favorite book: Malory’s Le Morte D’Arthur