Commonplace Book (April 2018)

April 18th

Sedgwick points out that the insights that illness can give on the processes of living and dying have long functioned as master teachings: "The sickbed or deathbed is continually produced as a privileged scene of teaching." What she calls "the pedagogy of illness and dying" can short circuit temporal expectations of vitality and destabilize customary relations between teachers and students. For instance, the young student dying of AIDS can advise the older professor who has been diagnosed with cancer.

Lana Lin, Freud's Jaw and Other Lost Objects (2018),
pg. 104


April 7th

[Jinny said,] What moves my heart, my legs? And I dashed in here, seeing you green as a bush, like a branch, very still, Louis, with your eyes fixed. 'Is he dead?' I thought, and kissed you, with my heart jumping under my pink frock like the leaves, which go on moving, though there is nothing to move them. Now I smell geraniums; I smell earth mould. I dance. I ripple. I am thrown over you like a net of light. I lie quivering flung over you.

Virginia Woolf, The Waves (1931)
Harcourt Annotated edition, pg. 7


April 1st

I also was tired of learning and reciting poems in praise of daffodils . . .

Jean Rhys, "The Day They Burned the Books" (1960)
The Norton Anthology of English Literature (9th Major Author edition), pg. 1350

Reading Aloud (#33): John Clare's "What Is Life?"