30 April 2009


Once you can accept the universe as matter expanding into nothing that is something, wearing stripes with plaid comes easy. ~ Albert Einstein

I needed that perspective right now... when I am completely overwhelmed with everything...

29 April 2009

Yay! Camera!

I got a camera! Well, I already had a camera, but now I have a better camera, a camera with which take beautiful pictures of food... or teapots... or anything I want, really. I know that this is not the best demonstration of its powers, but I was too excited to not put up something...

As to when you will get a post of more substance, all I can say is after thesis, grading and moving... but now I will have pretty pictures to go with the posts that I will eventually be posting... so, Yay!

17 April 2009

What is it about the Eastern Europeans?

"Without realizing it, the individual composes his life according to the laws of beauty even in the times of greatest distress." Milan Kundera, Czech Writer

"To remain aware of the weight of fact without yielding to the temptation to become only a reporter is one of the most difficult puzzles confronting a practitioner of poetry." Czeslaw Milosz, Polish Writer

What is it about the Eastern Europeans?

The Literary Quote of the Day made me think of Poetics last spring and Czeslaw Milosz - his poetry embodies this sense of beauty in times of distress. In fact, the way I ended up describing it in my notes resonates with both of these quotes: In moments of dissolution, the specific and the general meet - intimacy and ephemera.

I am not sure that it expresses the resonance, but there ya go - that's what happens when a non-linear thinker gets to blog...

This lead me to reflect on the beauty of Eastern European writer's works, both poetry and prose. They are so heart-wrenchingly fabulous and frequently they spring from great tragedy and hardship. They are in no way a specialty of mine, but I am blown away whenever I encounter them (I realize the gross generalization I am making here)...

I wonder what it is about the human condition that inspires the creation beauty from pain?

14 April 2009

Romance, New Orleans, and PCA

I love, love, love, me some New Orleans - I always thought I would from all I have read about it, but now I can say from personal experience that it is true - I love New Orleans. Part of this incredibly favorable first impression may be the people I shared a goodly portion of the past week with - the Popular Romance section of the PCA conference. This group is so warm and welcoming and supportive - they are just plain nice! And snarky... oh, the snark. Those who know me know what a requirement that is for a good time to be had by all. Some of them I already "knew" from online, and others it was a huge pleasure for me to meet them for the first time. I came away from the conference with a new/re-affirmed confidence in my work as a scholar and with tons of ideas for future projects.

Now I just have to catch up in the rest of my life...

01 April 2009

Eco on Poetics

"I would define the poetic effect as the capacity that a text displays for continuing to generate different readings, without ever being completely consumed." - Umberto Eco

I think that this is why I can only write about certain romance novelists in a scholarly light - not all of them have this poetic effect, some of them are just entertainment...