Wednesday, 28 January 2009


i had the dostoevsky class last night. our reading list consisted of kafka's the trial, in the penal colony, dostoevsky's crime and punishment and an excerpt from the brothers karamazov. i read all but the last one, which is (of course) what the class was focused on. not that reading the excerpt would have helped at all.

i've never understood literature - not really. i love (LOVE) books, and reading, and i read a lot, but i never pick up on all this stuff that is apparently "meant" - this means that - and this dream signifies that, and what she really means is this is a socio-political critique of the inherent madness inside all mothers so that explains the penguin....

i never get it.

and it's not like i don't get subtext - hell i can make a dirty joke out of just about anything! although, on reflection, that may have more to do with 10 years on british construction sites. what i mean is that i understand that there are layers.

i also understand that many writers don't write with any of this in mind whatsoever, and read these critiques thinking, "wtf??"

so, in a 90 minute class in a module called punishment and justice, we talked about ... ??? ... the schism between where christ and action lie in dostoevsky's view and how this relates to ...???... and how we must always be aware of the possibilities of the unintended consequences of "speech act" and this relates ...???...

i thought this degree would be hard core international law. statutes, readings, un sc resultions. i am so glad i am not paying for this.

it is interesting though.


Geosomin said...

Just goes to show-you can't explain penguins.

I've always enjoyed discussing books and ideas of stories, but sometimes the things people see in them...I'd like to dig up the author and ask them - so what's with the pengui anyways? I think people with issues they haven't dealt with can see all manner of things in what they read and watch. But that is also part of it I guess...getting what you need out of something. It might not be what someone else needs or wants.

I would find a discussion of ethics and accountability interesting in relation to culture and law, providing it went somewhere concrete with it in the end...

I just finished reading the Watchmen and it brought up a lot of things I didn't expect from a comic book. Asking questions like "if bad things done for the greater good and there is no other solution, are they OK?" Things like that I find fascinating. I prefer philosophy in the context of a or an event...just discussing it and trying to pull together things in debate without a real context was why I never took more than a few philosophy classes in uni. I ended up being annoyed that although we were to think about what we'd read and discuss it we could only discuss certain things and only come to certain conclusions.

In a way I'm glad they're looking at the philosophy behind law, but I'd be a bit wierded out if they didn't dip into the concrete bits of the laws and statutes sooner or later.

I didn't know law was

Geosomin said...

Hmmm...It's a lot of fun pulling together an ordered idea while chugging the nyquil. Hope that made a bit of's why I've stuck to fluff novels and comic books today...tricky to keep it together.

Oh look, a shiny thing...

grapecat said...

no -that totally makes sense. people's responses make up the idea of art as well - and is valid. but this seems so prescribed so often. frustrating. either it's subjective and relative or it's not.

i hope we will head into more concrete discussions. So far, this whole masters has been a case of, well i understand what you're saying, but i have NO IDEA why you're saying it. i must be missing something.