Today, I should be finishing my research project about Thomas Mann’s Death in Venice. I have read too much Schopenhauer to remain effective today though. My brains are a little scrambled from the will and the representation in the world, the Platonic Ideas, and the Veil of Maya. It’s all so scrambly.
DV is about a writer who has writers’ block, sees a stranger in a cemetery, and decides he must go from Munich to Venice to cure his block. Cholera breaks out while he’s there, people are dying, Venice is trying to hide it, and he sees a beautiful boy who inspires some of his best writing, then he dies. There’s a little homosexuality, a little pedophilia, a little commodification of art, some capitalist ickiness, some dying, a camera … you know, it’s the kind of short novel with something for everyone! It’s really a great multi-layered novel that I love a lot. I am supposed to be working on my postmodern aesthetic interpretation of it.
The other thing I am supposed to be doing today is reading Salman Rushdie’s Midnight’s Children which I cannot do because I am having some sort of feminist outrage at it. I’m not sure exactly. I feel like I should be having one, but it’s all fairly half-assed at this point, and I just don’t wanna read it. I think I’m being rather a baby about it. I recently finished Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s Love in the Time of Cholera. Cholera seems to be the underlying theme for this literature class, but it’s not. I was already making a list of all the other Garcia Marquez novels I will devour before I’m dead before I even got halfway through this one. I have decided that he is to blame for my rebellion against reading Rushdie. Yea, that’s the ticket!
As you can plainly see, I am not doing either of those things, although I at least spent four hours today on my number one priority. Four hours a day is a lot to ask for French and German aesthetic philosophy on a novel that is less than 100 pages. I think I’m doing alright. I have two and a half weeks to finish it, and the novel. I have to have something to show for Rushdie before that. Like soon … like tomorrow. Something more than my half-assed objection veiled in feminist outrage. I don’t like magic realism. I don’t like first person narratives (oh really?).
I’m also supposed to be working on getting with a career advisor to make sure I have not totally screwed myself out of any consideration for a phd program because I have no teaching experience. Now this one is a pretty big deal, and is also the thing keeping me from being motivated to read. I don’t want to find out that I’m screwed. I have something like 9 hours left in this MA program. Maybe I should go to Venice….