Writing about writing about circus

Óndra Łysohorsky’s “At the Circus”, a commentary

So, following on from my previous post, here's that other poem titled "At the Circus".  Óndra Łysohorsky is a pen name of Ervín Goj, born in Silesia in 1905.  Łysohorsky wrote in his regional dialect of Lach.  Due to the language barrier, I wasn't able to find out about the original poem, but the English… Continue reading Óndra Łysohorsky’s “At the Circus”, a commentary

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Exploring literary terms, Writing about writing about circus

Umberto Fiori’s “At the Circus”, a commentary. Featuring a brief diversion into semiotics

As I was roaming the internet (more specifically, the Poetry Foundation website) this week, I came across two different poems called "At the Circus".  Both were interesting to me for different reasons.  Here's a short commentary on the first, Geoffrey Brock's translation of Umberto Fiori's "Al Circo".  Fiori's poem was published in his collection "La… Continue reading Umberto Fiori’s “At the Circus”, a commentary. Featuring a brief diversion into semiotics

Exploring literary terms, Uncategorised

Performative language: Words that do

In primary school I was taught that nouns are "things", adjectives are "describing words", and verbs are "doing, being, or having words".  By and large, this holds true.  There are some words, however, that do more. "I promise" is can be broken down into subject ("I", a pronoun, and thus a noun), and a verb,… Continue reading Performative language: Words that do

Digital Humanities

The Pantheon online database: ranking global cultural capital

I mentioned Pantheon briefly in my post on Shakespeare a couple of weeks ago.  You might like it if you're intrigued by digital humanities and possible ways to quantify culture, you like statistics or data visualisation, or you like projects related to Wikipedia. So what is "Pantheon"?  The word comes from Greek, and refers to… Continue reading The Pantheon online database: ranking global cultural capital

Uncategorised

The dirty status of window-cleaners in British cultural representations

Cultural representations of cleaning professions tend to follow particular patterns.  In fiction, female characters who are domestic cleaners can often reduced to symbols of their class. Outside of Cinderella narratives, these characters only become protagonists in narratives which seek to comment on the position of working-class women.  Elsewhere, they generally fade into the background, emerging… Continue reading The dirty status of window-cleaners in British cultural representations

Uncategorised

How language shapes reality, and fictions blend into fact

John Green's Paper Towns (2008) takes its title from phantom settlements, non-existent places which appear on maps, generally to help publishers protect their copyright.  In a 2014 YouTube video on his vlogbrothers channel, Green discusses the case of Agloe, a place which began as a phantom settlement, and then became real - an illustration of… Continue reading How language shapes reality, and fictions blend into fact

Uncategorised

The changing reputation of the library in fiction: from Doctor Faustus to Doctor Who, via murder mysteries and eighteenth-century England

This post contains potential spoilers for Umberto Eco's The Name of the Rose, and for the  Doctor Who TV episodes "Silence in the Library"/"Forest of the Dead" and "Extremis". When I think of libraries, I think of quiet rooms, many shelves, slow paces, fingers on book spines.  I think of community hubs with public internet… Continue reading The changing reputation of the library in fiction: from Doctor Faustus to Doctor Who, via murder mysteries and eighteenth-century England