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the island of conclusions

Two Great Things from Old Books

the island of conclusions

bright star

Two Great Things from Old Books

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bright star
I finally sent off the work project that has been dogging me for, well, for months. And it sucks, it's nowhere near the quality I would like it to be, nowhere near what I would like to think of as my usual level of quality, but today was the absolute last deadline, and so, hey, at least it's out of my life for the time being now.

Leaving me free to spam you all with some stuff.

Thing One
I read somewhere that the SPN writers were drawing on Milton's representation of Satan in Paradise Lost for their Lucifer, and so when I read these lines I thought, "Oh. Yeah."

Satan first comes to Eve in a dream, and Eve tells Adam about it the morning:

Close at mine ear one called me forth to walk
With gentle voice. I thought it thine....

(Book 5, ll.35-6)

Thing Two
A movie rec.

Jane Campion's Bright Star, which tells the story of the (very chaste) love affair between John Keats and Fanny Brawne in 1818-19, right before he left for Rome, already terminally ill with TB, to die at age 26. So, not exactly a happy story, but I'm telling you, it puts the romantic back in Romanticism.

The acting is wonderful, and the film is beautiful, while not glossing over the grubbiness of the period and setting (Jane Campion made The Piano, among other films).

1819 also happens to be the year that Keats wrote four of the greatest poems in the English language ("Ode to a Nightingale," "Ode to a Grecian Urn," "Ode to Melancholy" and "Ode of Autumn"). The film doesn't go overboard trying to represent this, but there is a scene where Fanny and an already ill John trade verses of "The Belle Dame Sans Merci" that is really heartbreaking. I've always found that poem kind of fey and conventionally misogynistic, but now I think I'm always going to find these lines incredibly touching:

O what can ail thee, Knight at arms?
Alone and palely loitering?
The sedge has withered from the Lake
And no birds sing!

Enjoy SPN 5.04 tonight if you're watching it! As per usual these days, I don't think I'll be able to see it 'til Sat.

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