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

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Coffee House Wits

Something interesting happened to me today on my way to one of 16,000 Tim Horton's (coffee shop) near my house. First, I went to the one nearest my house, but their drive-thru was packed, so I went to the next closest one (which, incidentally, has better coffee), whose drive-thru was no better. So I decided to take the old fashioned route of, gasp, walking inside! As I was waiting in line, an elderly (but not too elderly) gentleman in front of me dropped a quarter, which I picked up and gave back to him. After thanking me, he bought me a coffee!
Sure, coffee is still only a buck and change (unless you go to Starbucks, where you now need a credit card just to walk in), but little things like this are what life's about. It's refreshing and certainly renews ones faith in mankind.

On another topic, I'm going to York University (York U) today for the first time in months, yayy! (As my two friends would call it, Pork Spew). First, I'm meeting with a professor I had last year to discuss a paper I wrote on Jane Austen which I'm considering publishing (considering the abundance of garbage that passes for scholarship these days, one would think I should have few problems). I'm not sure if it's my best work, but it's definitely original and, gosh, readable! Next I am meeting up with another prof from last year, who was one of my referees, to buy him a beer (he bought me one around this time last year. Thank goodness he's not counting interest. What's interest on beer? hmm).
Last but not least, I'm meeting Dr. J for the first time since August! This should be an uncharacteristically interesting day.

As long as the Queen's thing from yesterday isn't a sign of things to come, I'm not worried. If I should (God forbid!) need to apply again next year, I'm not gonna waste my time or money anymore. Sure they're not as sketchy as Western U (as some of you recall), but there's just something about me they don't like. Maybe I'm not white enough, I don't know :)

I also thought of an idea for a course in my idle moments, should I ever be fortunate enough to procure a pedagogical position of higher learning: "The Poet: Notions of the poet in Western civilization." I just thought of this a few minutes ago, but I think it would be neat. I would start from Babylon/Sumeria, Israel/Judaea, then go to Greece, Rome, Persia, and then Western Europe (notably, but not limited to, England, Italy, Germany, etc). Of course, the bulk of the course would probably examine different ideas of the poet beginning in the 17th century. Of course, given my bias, I would spend a lot on the 18th century, especially the shift from 18th century Augustan poets to the Romantics (something I've been cogitating on recently). I find we are still living in a Romantic (or post-romantic) world, i.e., our notions of poetry and poets is for the most part still very romantic. My bias is towards the pre-Romantics, whose role in society, among other things, was quite different.

Wow, a semi-cogent thought! I'm goin' places. Here's some neat trivia: coffee houses, which exploded in late 17th century England, were known as Penny Universities since, for the price of a then coffee (a penny), you could listen to the top minds of the country discuss everything from the politics of the day to the latest translation of Homer.


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