Class Update: Fall 2012

Among my classes this fall term is “Seventeenth Century Literature, Part One.” I hate this class. I hate the poems of this period. I hate how self-righteously clever they are. I hate how they are all want to impress an overblown aristocratic society. I hate the fact I need to go traipsing through the Internet on some scavenger-hunt to look for examples of “print culture” in the year 1617. It is an entirely toothless period, made up of miniature harpsichords played by pugs and Pomeranians in small tuxedos that are ostentatiously “whimsical” and meant to evoke a sort of “aww. Isn’t it clever we can get a small dog to play chopsticks.”

I will give the seventeenth century this though, it knows how to use metaphor. Metaphor is the main feature of this period, and they do it very well. The problem is I don’t know how to feel about that, since their reliance of metaphor may in fact be part of the reason I find this period so self-righteously clever. I feel poetry should not be direct, and the majority of poets in my community suffer from a naked obviousness that I believe really causes their poetry to suffer in quality. I bring this up to give the poets of the first part of the Seventeenth Century the credit they deserve, they may not be my thing but I do have to admit I appreciate their skill at metaphor.

My other classes are pretty good. My favourite is probably a mix between the comparative lit one, which concentrates on “The Damned Hero,” and the Honours English Studies, which is basically about the Odysseus tradition. Both of these classes involve me reading books I have been meaning to get to but would probably not have gotten into on my own. Homer’s Odyssey is the most obvious, but I’m also reading Goethe’s Faust, which I must say is one of the best things I have been forced to read at University. I am seriously considering learning German just so I can read this in its original language.

I’m also taking a course on German Popular Culture for my language marks. It’s an all right course, and I get on with the professor. It’s turning out to be one of those lecture courses I end up in. Most of my classes are usually in small rooms of between ten and twenty people. German Popular Culture has probably fifty people. This is by no means the largest class I’ve ever been in, the ill-fated Intro to Psychology class would take that dubious honour, but it is my largest this term. It’s still fun, probably the best large class I’ve ever taken.

So there is my impromptu update on my class schedule this fall term.

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