Madison, WI -- August 9, 2007

Reading The Norton Anthology of English Literature, the Romantic Period. It's for the GRE in August.

Favorite book of all time? She thought it’d be poetry, not a book. Reading the cannon has helped her to read things she wouldn't have ever picked up. The faves: Swinburne’s poetry and Edward Fitzgerald’s translation of Omar Khayyam's old Mideastern poem in the Victorian period. Omar Khayyam was a mathematician/astronomer and he had come up with a super accurate calendar for his time. His poem was about death. Fitzgerald assembled his four line stanzas into a longer work and gave it flow and linked it. In it, Omar Khayyam thinks about history before and after himself; he did great things in his life, but he’s still going to die and he’ll have been nothing more than a grain of salt. The book is filled with the grain of salt theme, bringing more wine, and forgetting pain. She’s been reading late at night so her emotions match.

About the anthology--It's a drag to read it all, but, in a way it’s refreshing.

She studies English lit because she likes history. The projects that she’s done are about history-- Recovering texts that people haven’t thought of.

She’s interested in cannon formation and has been looking at manuscripts of women who wrote when women were not considered important as writers, finding their pieces in archives. For example, Margaret Anderson, who was a modernist writer of beautiful memoirs. She wouldn’t be in the Norton, but hopes to someday make the argument that she should be.

Own book—It would be Madame Bovary but with a male Madame Bovary. When she read it she hated the character of Madame Bovary with a passion, though it’s told sympathetically. Infuriation and sympathy would be the emotions she’d like to create for the reader about the character.

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