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Showing posts from August, 2014

200th Post

It took me two and a half years to reach 100 posts, and it's taken me almost exactly the same (despite a radical slackening of pace recently, which I have to ascribe to a new baby) to reach 200. A lot has changed since then: I'm back lecturing at Exeter, a few more articles written, the somewhat reluctant second monograph significantly closer to finding its endpoint. Some other things haven't changed too much at all! As I did back in January 2012, I'd like to pick out my five favourite posts from the last 100.

1. A Note on Realism (March 2012). Strangely, the only post from my time in Ireland, even though there are several that I like a lot: this on digital humanities, for instance, or these notes on death. But this post on realism, which was sparked by one of the video microlectures I did at NUI Maynooth, is one of those ones where I feel there is a line of enquiry I'd love to take further if I had the time and expertise. That realism in painting is about spacings…

A Bit on Thelwall: Jacobin Revisions

Over the last two months I have been reading (as part of my year's project to dip into so-called 'minor' Romantics) John Thelwall's The Peripatetic. It's hard to describe, since it thematises its own eccentricity both as an ethical and existential principle, and through its very structure and form (based around a series of meandering walks). It's a sometimes wonderful - and sometimes frustrating - collision of essays, meditations, descriptions, travelogues, sentimental encounters and political statements: all interspersed with fragments of verse in all sorts of genres.

Perhaps because of this, I wouldn't really know where to start with it. I found myself jotting down provocations and notes - eccentricities, we might say - all the time. I wondered whether Wordsworth had used some of it as a model for the colloquies in The Excursion. There is something very interesting going on with the aesthetics of weather. In one of several defences of the imagination, The…