Sunday, February 04, 2007

We Go "na film a nedělame nic"

Blogger has now informed me that any "old" blog I might have will be converted (as if it hadn't already done this) and that if I happened to have a Google ID, I could sign in. Once I did that, it offered me the opportunity to start a new blog. Fortunately, when at this point I went back to the blog itself by typing in its URL, it showed me as logged in. I don't know what makes Blogger think its new version is out of beta yet after all these months...
In any case, last night I went to the new Menzel film with Martina, an old friend. It was a pleasant enough movie, although I suspect both of us would have either enjoyed it more or liked it less had we read the original Hrabal novel first. We had also been hoping to go to a baroque-style version of a Moliere play that Martina had heard about on TV, but the TV didn't mention which theater and after much searching around she learned that it was sold out. She had been a bit concerned that the "old" French might be too much for me, but I doubt it would have been any worse than watching something Czech, and probably not as bad. Moliere is not exactly Old French, anyway. Old French is more the realm of Marie de France and Guillaume de Machaut, who sometimes cause me to resort to my Old French dictionary. But of course the said dictionary is packed in a box at the moment.
The main bar to my enjoyment of the film, I think, was the fact that I was actually much more in the mood to work on my dissertation. I had spent the afternoon wrestling with an unruly and chaotic chapter and was anxious to continue doing so. All through the movie, my mind kept returning to such topics as how I should deal with Caillois' article on Legendary Psychasthenia, whether the Frank Illing book on Mukařovský and the avant-garde would revolutionize my understanding of semiotics (which is not all that strong to start with), and how many of Toyen's works could be discussed in chapters other than the one in question so that they would not all appear in one indigestible clump. By the time I reached home, I was unclear whether I was more anxious to revise or sleep. Ultimately the latter won out.
So instead I spent most of today continuing the aforementioned wrestling match with said chapter. Huge amounts of text have now been moved around and small amounts have been written from scratch. It is much better, but no one would call it a real chapter.
It is, I am afraid, somewhat frustrating never to have all my sources in one spot. Anything I want to look up by Rosalind Krauss (that is not on JSTOR) will just have to wait a few months. The same for Bataille and Caillois. The Illing book, at least, is sitting at the library and so far I am very happy with his ability to write academic German that even I can follow. But so far I've only read the parts about the Czech avant-garde, which is pleasantly familiar ground.

3 Comments:

Blogger Kate said...

my friend...I'm at Oxford writing on Jan Svankmajer...I realise you most likely read Czech, but know of any English sources? I have Jidlo, but can't even find a monograph. Cheers, comrade.

:k

February 22, 2007 9:23 PM  
Blogger Kate said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

February 22, 2007 9:25 PM  
Blogger Karla said...

Hi Kate,

Just sent you the one citation I had handy, which is bilingual. There may be others (I should think there must be). What about articles in film journals? Also, if you can get hold of the present-day Czechoslovak surrealist journal Analogon, there should be material with English summaries. I would try JSTOR or other academic databases as well. What saith thy librarian?

February 22, 2007 10:13 PM  

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