Tag Archives: postgrad

Frustrated Auralologist

We study oral/aural traditions, songs of yesteryear that we now only see written on a page in a dusty book. We discuss the implications of form, presentation and lyrics; point out the poetic techniques; guess at harmonies and melodies we assume may have been used. Hell, we even recreate the performances we think might have been given.

Where is the acknowledgement of 20th Century song lyrics? Just because we’ve commercialised the medium doesn’t for one second mean that it’s any less worth studying the development of as a means of artistic expression.

And I’m not talking abut a musical engineering study of the creation of a record, I’m not talking about the Social Political and Economic study that could be done into the music industry, I’m not talking about a Women’s Studies study into the sexism flaunted by the industry.

I want a true and proper Literature-based study. Not linguistics, literature. Our close reading, our historical context, our historicism and postmodernism, feminism and marxism, thing theory and philology, aurality and myth-making.

I want literature based studies like we would do on anything else. You want to study the chanson de geste, be my guest; I want to study the music lyrics of today and what they explore.

 

I have the same problem with blog posts, why aren’t we studying this phenomenon in undergrad, not even mentioning it? I assume linguistic studies are being done on them because linguistics seem to be a lot more current than musty old literature. And yes, I believe blog posts will be (one day) and should be included under the term literature. To me they represent the modern day pamphlet, which we learnt about on the Early Renaissance module, how pamphlets were being used for ideological wars and such- is it not true that blog posts are a modern equivalent? Why should we not be tracing this phenomenon which, although being quite young, has already more material to be studying and making claims about.

My own claim would be that tumblr. (specifically) is a modern attempt at Écriture féminine [Hélène Cixous among others], the writing through body and self, the never-ending, the infinite, the reclamation. But who knows when I’m actually going to be allowed to write on such things under the term ‘English Literature’, or tbh at this point ‘World Literature’.

 

[Soundtrack: A is for Accident (Album) by The Dresden Dolls]

*Cheesy Cheerleading Gestures*

My question really is, is it worth it?

I’m at uni, yes. I enjoy my course, yes. But am I really able to take it that step further, am I willing to take it further than what I am handed and given to explore? I don’t know.

I have no motivation this week and maybe that’s because it’s January but I don’t really remember feeling actual proper motivation on this course that wasn’t in some way linked to pressing time constraints which always motivates me and is the time when I do some of my best work.

I have lists of extra stuff to look into, extra reading I (would like to) should be doing. Is it a problem that I always think should,not would like to? I don’t know. I suppose it may be, it must be pretty difficult to get motivated about something you have to do, always has had that effect on me anyway.

If I’m not motivated enough to be looking into extra stuff, should I be here? Should I be investing my time and other people’s money elsewhere, and save us all a load of work by actually finding something that I push myself on?

I feel like the answer is no, should be no. I’ve worked my whole life to get here, as has my other to support me through it. I’m not doing this out of obligation to my family, it is something that I want to do. But, as some say, I am ‘consumerist’ I do just sit there and let it come at me; not that I don’t interrogate what I’m given, I just only interrogate what I’m given and I feel I should be doing more than that if this is truly what I want and am interested in.

If I want to do a postgrad, should I not be doing more research into the stuff in it? If I am passionate about completing this degree to the highest standard, should I not be researching what I want to do for my dissertation? Should I not have an idea or a few on what I want to do my dissertation on? Identity is as far as I’ve gotten and considering identity is a lot of what we do it’s not very bloody specific.

If this is what I want to do, I should relax with it, take my time, digest it, learn how to be a student and learn how to be a critic. That is what I am, after all, here to do, to learn how to be (and ‘how to do’ in their words.)

I will research those things, but I have to do my actual work first. And I hear you, niggle, I should get a job, but you know what; I’m gonna throw that out the window till next term for the pure and simple reason that, I want to be a good, diligent, passionate student who researches the random shit their brain comes up with and the tenuous links and extra articles that get referenced. And if it takes another term of non-real-life-paid-work, then that’s what it takes – doesn’t mean I have to stop looking in the meantime if I want to, it’s just not a priority.

‘Grats brain, you made a decision. And guess what? It doesn’t need affirming by anyone but you/me, and we affirm that mf decision, and if you still wanna check it with people, that’s also fine. Go us! *cheesy cheerleading gestures*