3 Library Use
Today’s post recaps some of my reading in the third week of June.
First, I read this short piece by Sharon Achinstein, ““Here at least / We shall be free”: The Places of English Renaissance Literature,” whose title I repeatedly kept misreading as “Free at Last / We shall be Free,” despite (or maybe because) of the fact that I had just taught Paradise Lost and had given a lecture on its implications for American democracy to a bunch of second-semester college freshman back in February, “Democracy Dies In Pandemonium.”
It focused on the recent conversations in the Milton Society about whether their society’s annual meeting (and super boozy dinner) should move from their current (metaphorical and literal) location in the Modern Language Association to the Renaissance Society of America. I enjoyed this reflection very much. It isis brief, but also a nice survey of some global Milton/early modern scholarship, and reflects on the shrinking place of the Humanities more broadly as well. The conclusion is also really nicely put:
Another thing I looked at briefly was “Here begynneth the Iustes of the moneth of Maye parfurnysshed [and] done by Charles brandon” (1507) not because I really needed to, but because it came up in a search for apprentice literature as one of the earlier texts printed, and because I just finished the final book in the Wolf Hall series — everything early Tudor gets refiltered for me now through the eyes of my Lord Privy Seal and the characters Mantel brought to life! I looked at other stuff that was more relevant to my book, but I won’t bore you with those and instead will share the fantastic woodcut in this one:
It’s really good! It would make a great coloring book page, I think.
There were also some other great visual features in this book, including this initial “T,” which has a person’s face; he looks dismayed, probably less because of the content he’s speaking than the fact that he’s got some kind of animal’s butt resting on his neck:
As I’ve noted before, I’m mostly sharing what I’m reading to ensure I make more efforts to use my library subscriptions and to ensure I work on my book. I’m not being as diligent about the latter as the former, I must admit. But who knows…tomorrow’s another day, and so far it seems like there will also be a next week!