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

Monday, July 23, 2007

Khaaan! and other matters

I watched Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan for the first time in years the other day on the net; it was one of my favourite movies as a young geek.  
The movie is classic, though I have to say not as sophisticated as I thought.  I did, however, notice some things I didn't notice when I was fifteen:

-In Khan's ship/lair, before we see him, the investigating crew member notices some books on his shelf.  Among them are Moby Dick and Paradise Lost, very appropriate books for a tale of vengeance and pride at ones own expense.  In fact, Khan quotes from Melville's masterpiece a few times during the film.  

-Khan's outburt "This is Seti Alpha Fiiiive!!!" is reminiscent of Leonidas's "This is Spartaaaa" from 300.  

I started watching Apocalypto last night.  So far so good, though riddled with historical inaccuracies, as are all historical films (Gladiator, etc).  More on that when I'm done.

I'm currently working on two articles, which I hope to submit by month's end.  The first is a Shakespeare paper I wrote two years ago, so it only requires some tweaking and editing.  Whatever the faults of the paper, it is an original piece, and sure beats the pants off much of the dreck that is considered Shakespeare criticism nowadays.  

The second is a new piece I'm writing on Roman Jakobson.  It concerns his ideas about sound symbolism, a fascinating topic in linguistics rarely mentioned in the humanities that runs against the Saussurean concept of the arbitrariness of the linguistic sign.  To make matters easier, I'm only picking on Jakobson :-)  

As I'm sure some of you have noticed, I added the Map Cluster feature on the side bar.  I can identify some of the cities and infer the readers (Ottawa, NYC, Toronto/Hamilton), though there are a few I'm not familiar with (there appear to be dots in Texas, Oklahoma, and perhaps Wisconsin).  Any ideas?  


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