31 March, 2008

Another crazy thing about this country, and Researchy Stuff

Britain has yet to discover warm water. They've got "hot" down pat, and they've mastered "cold" as well. The revolutionary idea of combining the two is still undeveloped. Sinks (and tubs) have a hot spout and a cold spout. Rare is the sink that has but a single spout, from which pours forth wonderful warm water.

In regards to school, I am still working with Margery, and I'm rather annoyed that I will need to read such a wide range of material on her in order to effectively make a point. Everything from the political situation in Lynn in the early fifteenth century to gender relations and the larger milieu of female mysticism.

Today I hearkened way, way back to 4th grade or so, and started making a tally sheet. I am tallying the references to individual works and authors in the mentally-related entries in the Dictionary of Medieval Latin. A chart! David would be pleased. I can even make it fancier and combine it with my Middle English references. (Some of the entries are from Anglo-Saxon/Latin glossaries and point me to further, older, vocabulary!) And then, I can arrange them according to genre.

Charts make me feel like I'm doing something more concrete than just theory-work.

Maybe that's why David likes them so much. You can't argue with a good chart.

Another thing I really like about the Dictionary of Medieval Latin is that it draws on a wider range of genres: the literary sources are balanced by historical and theological sources.

However, I'm finding the actual definitions kind of irritating. Most of the entries gloss a morphological variant of "fool" - but the whole point of what I am doing is to try to figure out what that actually means. And I got a kick out of the glossing of fatuosus and fatuus with "lunatic." "Mad" would be a decent translation for some of the listed sources, but "lunatic" is just plain silly. "Lunatic" refers to a cyclical (generally monthly) madness, not just any madness at all. Sloppy. Tsk.

Life goes well, and now I go back to practicing Latin for the exam in April. :) Cheers!

1 comment:

Andrew said...

Just ran across your blog; rather interesting, since I'm also looking at doing the Medieval Studies postgraduate thing. What is this Dictionary of Medieval Latin you speak of?