Book Chat: The Life and Work of Diane Hoeveler

On 9 December 2016 Romantic Circles Reviews and Receptions sponsored a book chat devoted to the life and work of Dr. Diane Hoeveler hosted by James Rovira.

Romantic Circles Reviews and Receptions is an online, open-access, peer-reviewed website devoted to Romantic-era studies. Diane Hoeveler worked out of Marquette University, and her work focused on the Brontës, feminism, and the gothic in eighteenth and nineteenth-century literature.

The chat was held from about 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. ET. Three of Diane’s previous collaborators joined the chat to discuss Diane as a friend, a person, and a scholar.

Participants and their topics included

  • Dr. James Rovira — Chair and Associate Prof. of English, Mississippi College: Host.
  • Dr. Deborah Morse — Vera W. Barkley Professor of English, College of William and Mary: her own Brontë projects with Diane. Dr. Morse was ill, so James Rovira read her paper.
  • Dr. Beth Lau — Prof. of English, Cal State Long Beach: Romantic Androgyny and the Brontë project
  • Dr. Angela H Wright — Professor of English, The University of Sheffield: The Gothic Ideology and other works.

We used the platform Zoom for the chat, which was recorded and then archived with YouTube at the link above.

Advertisements

NaPoWriMo: Day 9

"And did those feet..."
Guest poet: William Blake

And did those feet in ancient time,
Walk upon England's mountains green:
And was the holy Lamb of God,
On England's pleasant pastures seen!

And did the Countenance Divine,
Shine forth upon our clouded hills?
And was Jerusalem builded here,
Among these dark Satanic Mills?

Bring me my Bow of burning gold;
Bring me my Arrows of desire:
Bring me my Spear: O clouds unfold!
Bring me my Chariot of fire!

I will not cease from Mental Fight,
Nor shall my Sword sleep in my hand:
Till we have built Jerusalem,
In England's green & pleasant Land

Blake in the Heartland Exhibit

blake wine tastingI’m happy to announce that Associate Professor of Art Lee Fearnside and I are gearing up for the exhibit “Blake in the Heartland” at the Diane Kidd Gallery at Tiffin University. We’ll be hosting events the last week of March and first week of April in support of an exhibit of facsimiles of Blake’s works and Blake-inspired art by local artists. Blake scholar Dr. Michael Phillips will be demonstrating Blake’s printmaking methods and lecturing on the Songs of Innocence and of Experience and his experience curating Blake exhibits at the Tate, the Met, the Petite Palais in Paris, the University of Toronto, and most recently at the Ashmolean at Oxford. If you would like Dr. Phillips to visit your institution while he is stateside, email me at jamesrovira at gmail dot com.

More details will be forthcoming as the date approaches.

Great Commentary on the Charlie Hebdo Tragedy

The following video is commentary on the Charlie Hebdo shootings by John Ficarra, editor of Mad Magazine. To me, the most important thing that he said is that whenever Mad Magazine criticized Jerry Falwell or the Roman Catholic Church it assumed a shared set of values: that the worst that would happen is a stern letter from a lawyer (which they love getting). He never feared violent retribution.

I think that’s very important. We don’t critique or satirize things that we hate. We critique them because we want them to be better, because we believe that they should be better than they are — that the people who are the objects of our critique are one of us, so we expect that they should act like it. 

Yes, the Pope is right, people get irrationally angry when you criticize their wives or their mothers or their religion. That comparison is interesting to me, as it seems to assume the immediate emotional reaction is deeply personal and so somewhat unthinking. But all but the criminally insane manage their anger enough to restrain from even wanting to kill anyone over such criticisms, much less actually carrying out a murder.

I think it’s fair to say that most Charlie Hebdo images are satire in poor taste at best, and simply pointless and in poor taste at worst. Freedom of expression means that we have the right to say so. But freedom of expression also means that writers and illustrators have the right to be tasteless if they so choose without fear of violent retribution. Violence as a response is off the table even while we debate the social value of such humor.

Anyway, thank you, John Ficarra, for a thoughtful response to a horrible situation, and my condolences and sympathy go out to the friends and families of those so unjustly killed in France.

Swann’s Way…

DavisSwannsWayI’ve owned my copy of Lydia Davis’s translation of Swann’s Way for probably seven years, and I’m just now getting around to reading it. Her translation of Proust is poetic and striking. If you’re not familiar with Lydia Davis, she’s eminently readable:

I thought Swann would surely have laughed at the anguish I had just suffered if he had read my letter and guessed its purpose; yet, on the contrary, as I learned later, a similar anguish was the torment of long years of his life and no one, perhaps, could have understood me as well as he; in his case, the anguish that comes from feeling that the person you love is in a place of amusement where you are not, where you cannot join her, came to him through love, to which it is in some sense predestined, by which it will be hoarded, appropriated; but when, as in my case, this anguish enters us before love has made its appearance in our life, it drifts as it waits for us, vague and free, without a particular assignment, at the service of one feeling one day, of another the next, sometimes of filial tenderness or affection for a friend.