Shakespeare

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."

Two queries

Sometimes you notice an aesthetic effect or technique and assume that there must be a name for it. But how can you look it up? Maybe you can just ask.

Bloopers and essentialism

Bloopers are bloopers, but the study of bloopers is Theory. The study of bloopers can also be fun, and should be (even if an air of quasi-tragic resignation in the face of bloopers is the central, melodramatic posture of deconstruction). It can also tell us a little about the ways that we're all essentially essentialists.

I am, at any rate.

Update: Total Eclipse

Who says close reading is only for English professors?  How improbable is it that I would write an update to my slog about “Total Eclipse of the Heart”?  Apparently, not very improbable at all.  Criticism, it seems, can be interesting and useful and not boring.  My friend VW stopped reading Greek long enough  to send me “Total Eclipse Of the Heart” made into a flow chart.

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