The Literary Salon

A free salon wherein patrons and passers-by may view or contribute ideas on literary and generally intellectual matters. The blog will strive to maintain its commitment to wit, humour and perspicuous analysis.

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Location: Toronto, now Ottawa, Ont, Canada

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Applications and 18th century

I'm busy as a beaver preparing my PhD applications, a task I would not wish on my enemy. Thankfully it is not as bad this year, perhaps because I have become familiar with the process by this point (and my references are coming through, which is good). I'm in the process of editing a paper I wrote on Jane Austen's Emma for my writing sample; not sure if it's my best, but it's definitely original and of some interest.
I've also been doing some homework on potential supervisors. By far, the school that gets my mojo going is the University of Virginia, namely one J. Paul Hunter, whose recent piece in Cambridge Companion to Eighteenth Century Poetry, "Couplets and Conversation" I am currently reading (see the picture). Eighteenth century professors, especially those who are working in areas that actually interest me (sorry, no sexual/gender stuff) are as rare as unicorns. Perhaps this is a good thing as I am only applying to a total of no more than seven schools, but more likely six (4 in the U.S. and two or three here in Canada).

Literary Trivia: As I recall, my Gre subject test in English went well, and although I'm big on rhetoric, etc, I was stumped by one question. It quoted the first two lines from the second "paragraph" or Wordsworth's Tintern Abbey: "These beauteous forms/Through a long absence, have not been to me/As is a landscape to a blind man's eye." What stumped me is the question: "which rhetorical device does Wordsworth use?", and the choices were (a)hyperbole, (b)litotes, (c)chiasmus, (d)catachresis, and one I cannot remember. I'm usually very good at this, but none of the choices made sense to me (it's definitely not the first two, but the closest, if I had to choose one, would be chiasmus). Any thoughts?


Blogger Douglas Chong said...

I'll have to refer to a dictionary before I can get back to you on that. Not sure to be honest with you which one, but it sounds like you're way more knowledgeable than I'd ever be.

9:15 a.m.  
Blogger Pious Labours said...

Ah Doug, you're too much.

3:09 p.m.  
Blogger Dr J said...

Catachresis, certainly.

9:17 a.m.  
Blogger Pious Labours said...

Isn't catachresis an "incorrect metaphor" ? For example, "my ear has drunk the sorrows". Or is that hypallage?

12:16 p.m.  
Blogger Michael Gilleland said...

I'd vote for litotes.

6:29 p.m.  
Blogger Dr J said...

Catachresis in the sense of an illogical (or abused, c.f. abusio) metaphor ("have NOT been to me"; "a landscape to a blind man's eye"), often used to suggest alienation, dislocation, or futility (the disconnection between a blind man perceiving a landscape, the beauteous forms that have not been). Sometimes such questions, though, are more arbitrary than they may seem to the examiners when they write such silly exercises.

My 2 cents, anyway.

1:33 a.m.  

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