Saturday, June 21, 2008


I am nearing the end of Le Morte d'Arthur, am in fact on the last section, the title section. Like I said, I find the work boring and repetitive, and completely removed from the kind of characterization expected in modern works. Thought a prose work, it follows the monoglossic conventions that Bahktin depicted as the product of the Epic. And on top of that, the monoglossic viewpoint is one of supreme dickitude, but with a rancid patina of Christian piety. As usual, I find myself rooting for Morgan Le Fay, and in this work she really is supposed to be evil.

Still, the work has been useful as a rough guide to the outlines of Arthurian legend, making it easier to put together how all the different strands of Arthuriana fit together. Its really interesting to see for example, that the Wasteland is likely really Yorkshire. Which makes sense, because it was actually in that region, roughly speaking, when the Arthurian period saw major attacks from Saxons, creating the Kingdom of Bernicia within the kingdoms of Ebrauc (York) and Brineich (Southeastern Scotland, Northeastern England). Relatedly, I enjoy seeing a more concrete example of the lineage of Percival/Peredur, since Goodrich had completely confused me on that matter, presenting a variety of contradictory genealogies without comment. Still, I should probably read an earlier tale to get a more "accurate" depiction of his parentage, but the one that exists in my mind at present is pretty good, as it seems to confirm to the historical record of the figure of Peredur. Lancelot, on the other hand, and Lot as well, are getting hazier as I go along. Lot should clean up rather quickly, either settling back into place or getting a few brushstrokes to satisfactorily change him, but Lancelot is shaping up to be a very complex conundrum, probably requiring a significant amount of research to puzzle out. I am probably going to have to read the Knight of the Cart now. Sigh. Of well. Chr├ętien de Troyes is a lot more fun to read than Malory.

Wait, what?

I had quite a string of posts back there in a short period, and then they kind of ground to a halt. I don't know why exactly. I think I was, at the time, feeling very positive about things, and going through a particularly productive phase, and then that kind of died down. I suspect that I am slightly bipolar, and that I was going through a bit of a manic phase. And then it cooled down, and I didn't post anything for awhile. All the thoughts I was having I just kind of let sit up on the shelf, instead of spitting them out rapid fire fast like I was.

Also, work was back on, and I was getting tired and ornery from that, and just too exhausted to devote time to typing. And then I have been trying to just finish already Le Morte d'Arthur, which is a completely uncompelling book.

Also, I have been feeling obligated to posting something in response to my last post, a quick off the cuff denunciation of "feminism" that was probably a bit ill considered. Well, was ill-considered. I posted it right before heading out the door for work, and meant to update it at some point, fleshing out my reasons and thought on the topic at greater length, and make the point that it was not so much the article linked to in question that was the reason for my ambivalence than a specific point made about the way feminism has been instrumental over the past forty years in consolidating the strength of capitalism. As such, I don't really feel a part of a movement or ideology that is in a sense rooted in shunting aside a viewpoint that I think needs a wider public airing, despite agreeing wholeheartedly with the fundamental ideas upon which the feminist movement is based. (And in this case I should draw a distinction between "rooted" and "fundamental." In this case, a fundamental idea is the specific concepts underlying what is in question, the self-evident truths, while rooted refers to drawing succor from something else. Feminism is a good seed growing in bad soil, and I don't like the condition of the plant all that much, thought I think it's a lovely species.)

Anyways, as often happens when I have something specific to say that involves a lot of nuance and depth in order to express fully, and that I feel needs to be expressed ASAP, I usually just put it off until later, and not do it at all (See: the Politics series, which is practically irrelevant now). So, I plan to come back to this topic at some point, and express more of what I am trying to say about it, and the paragraph above is less than an iceberg tip, but I don't really feel like doing it now. And I need to get over that particular hump.