Poetry has long been fascinated with describing the dislocating effects of sea travel and still serves as a conceptual refuge for those lost at sea in a contemporary world.
Is There a Text in This Book?
I started using Google Books heavily in 2008 in the last sprint of dissertation writing. How useful it was to be able to chase up a peskily errant quotation or to type “University town: University press” with conviction!
Shakespeare and the social network
I was intrigued by this (abstract) mathematical analysis of structural balance in social groups because I was teaching Richard II all week, and thinking about my favorite book on Shakespeare, Richard Decker's Anatomy of the Screenplay.
Quotation out of context (2) -- Synecdochic quotations: "Beauty, force, and vehemence of impression"
You know how people will sometimes hum a phrase or say a word or two that haunts them, as though just that phrase, just those words, could mean everything? It's the literary equivalent of the magical name of the beloved. I need only think: Belinda or Geoffrey
Where did you die?
But it was all a mystery. Here we are,And there we go:--but where? (Byron, Don Juan V.39)Look there, look there, King Lear implores, pointing to the dead Cordelia. We know she's dead, but he wants her to "stay a little," which is so much less to ask, in this final scene, than his icy, impossible demand in the first scene that she "mend her speech a little."
Quotation out of context (1): Epiphanic Stand-Alones
I've been thinking about quotations out of context for a long time: probably since Ray Bradbury made me fall in love with Yeats without my reading a word of him except Bradbury's quotations in title and epigraph. When such quotations are great -- and really that's the most fundamental reason for wanting to quote, or at least for remembering quotations, getting them by heart -- there are two ways they can be great: