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burning like matchsticks in the face of the darkness
 
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Friday, April 15th, 2005

Time Event
1:04a
"i wonder if everything i do i do instead of something i want to do more"
NMB asked us to read the Grimms' "Snow White" and think about the symbols and what they meant to us and then read Gilbert and Gubar's article. I knew i had already read both and written a short paper applying the article to the Sigourney Weaver Snow White: A Tale of Terror, but i figured i could compartmentalize. What i hadn't expected (though i should have) was how much i was reminded of other tale variants as i read. Not that i conflated fanon and canon, but i was reminded of them -- like how certain Biblical passages or ideas remind me of Joel's class last semester. As i read the very opening of the story i thought of Angela Carter's "The Snow Child." At the introduction of the huntsman i thought of The Tenth Kingdom. And by this point i was well aware that i was aware of variants and i began to recall the assorted variants i had seen or read and the different presentations of the scenes flitted through my mind as i read the scenes. I also realized that i had forgotten the "Goldilocks"-esque quality of some of it. Also: the story is problematic in a multiplicity of ways that i hadn't caught last time (primarily in narrative integrity, 'cause i'm Consistency Bitch).

I want Snow White/huntsman fic.
From the point of view of the mad, self-assertive Queen, conventional female arts kill. But from the point of view of the docile and selfless princess, such arts, even while they kill, confer the only measure of power available to a woman in a patriarchal culture.

-page 295 in Maria Tatar's The Classic Fairy Tales
That was one of my favorite sections of the Gilbert and Gubar piece. (Sandra M. Gilbert and Susan Gubar, "Snow White and Her Wicked Stepmother" from The Madwoman in the Attic: The Woman Writer and the Nineteenth-Century Literary Imagination, 1979)

I got to be smart in class. I used other texts as avenues into the Grimms' "Snow White" (not just saying "Let me tell you about all these interesting variants i've seen/read") and focused on imagery and made good arguments and yay. I talked about connecting the mother figures, and the creepiness of the opening scene (influenced by Angela Carter's "The Snow Child" and the Sigourney Weaver Snow White: A Tale of Terror) and the initiation into adulthood (helped by some poem i read and now cannot find -- oops, actually 10th Kingdom; IMDb quotage gives me: "Why did I let her in? Didn't I know she was bad? Yes, I did. But I also knew I couldn't keep the door closed all my life just because it was dangerous. Just because there was a chance I might get hurt."). Later in the class NMB actually handed out Angela Carter's "The Snow Child" and talked about it, and Becca came up with the great phrases "necropedophelia incest" and "adulterous affair with strange construct" in discussing the story.

And discussing sexual themes in children's lit and how much goes over children's heads, Heather said, "They're not watching porn like the rest of us." (Equally amusing was seeing the shocked faces of some classmates who clearly don't watch porn on a regular basis. Personally, i'll take Candi and her "eroticised childhood.")

Discussing "Snow White" and the G&G article, NMB mentioned Marina Warner's reading of the wicked mother figure in many fairy tales as a mother-in-law, which i'm fairly certain i read while taking Betsey's class, but which i had forgotten about. Becca pointed out that in French, "stepmother" and "mother-in-law" are the same word -- again with the me having forgotten from Betsey's class.
NMB talked about the daughter-in-law as teller of the story and the safe cottage as fantasy and said lots of things which made sense and maybe this time they'll actually stick in my brain so as to inform my future readings of Grimms' tales.

She also handed around the announcement of the department honors thesis presentations, and AJ said i can leave work early to attend the Monday one. I imagine at some point all majors will get the announcement e-mailed out to them, but for now here's the list.

Thursday April 21, 5pm - Candi (Nabokov) and Gillian (Doris Lessing)
Monday, April 25, 4pm - Victoria Whom I Don't Know (Auden's Spiritual Calendar), Liz In My Seminar (Lewis' Space Trilogy), Jessica (first creative writing thesis ever allowed by the Smith College English Department)

In Telling&Retelling, Skarda said that Mary Krull (The Hours) made her think of me because gender studies, people actually attend her lectures, and piercings. Um, cultural studies prof... i'm only vaguely seeing the connection here. I actually liked Robin Lippincott's Mr. Dalloway, and she said i could do my final paper on that if i wanted, which was nice, though i'm gonna stick with defending The Eyre Affair.

Skarda says they're gonna phase 199 into being optional, that you're gonna be required to take 2 of the following 4: 199, 200, 201, and the AmLit-1865 survey. Oh so much love.

In other news: apparently we're recycling a quote from a 2000 Jane interview. ("I'm the person most likely to sleep with my female fans.") I don't think i'd realized that she's said for years that she's bisexual.
from a 2000 Elle interview: "Honestly, I like everything. Boyish girls, girlish boys, the heavy and the skinny. Which is a problem when I’m walking down the street." and "I need someone physically stronger than me. I am always on top. It's really unfortunate. I am begging for the man that can put me on the bottom. Or the woman. Anybody that can take me down."
Who wants to write rps?

I had a nonsexual date with Cat (and Haven!Laura) tonight to go to the Senior Dance Concert. Johnna's was definitely my favorite. The fluid motions and the cool-color-end-of-the-spectrum outfits of tank tops and swishy pants that flowed into each other, and ShavedHeadGirl looked like she was enjoying herself so much, and the second part i was less fond of, but it grew on me, and part of the issue was just that the artistic vision of the song that Johnna was enacting was not how i would choreograph that song were i ever to. And yes okay it helped that i already knew and loved the music. (It was Ani's "Swan Dive" for the ensemble piece and then a solo to "Joyful Girl.")

ShavedHeadGirl reminded me somewhat of Bryn and at certain moments of paper_crystals. She's an '07, so there are only 3 semesters of classes i could have had with her, and recalling all those classes i can't particularly see her in any of them. It's possible that she just reminds me of Abigail in my Telling&Retelling class, but i feel like the memory goes back further.

"Marty the used car salesman" is from First Wives Club (Brenda's husband) -- for anyone who was there during that dinner conversation.

Cuthbert and Floris now grace my door.

I like David Brooks. (And Thomas Friedman.)
3:09p
*face*palm*
Way to go me completely losing track of time. Guess i'm not taking the 3:15 bus after all. Taking the 5:10 isn't a big deal, i just feel really dumb.

[For anyone who missed it, today is laynamarya's birthday, and i'm heading to Boston to celebrate with her -- and assorted other people -- and will return sometime Saturday.]

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