January 25 2020

Advanced Shakespeare 4 Friday 1/24/19 — knocking at the gate, &c

Holinshed, Knocking at the gate, Banquo, self-fulfilling prophecies, as psychological and causal, subjectivity: who in the story is the story for?  Who is real in the story?

January 21 2020

Advanced Shakespeare 3 1/21/20: Macbeth, conflict, Coleridge on puns

Coleridge on puns in Shakespeare.  Aristotelean unities and how Shakespeare violates them.  Doctor Johnson's bad conjectural emendation.  The great line he wishes to emend: "Time and the hour runs through the roughest day."

January 19 2020

Advanced Shakespeare 2 1/17/20

Why editors change the originals -- canonical words and lines, as we now know them. Theobald on Autumn/Antonie.  Theobald on "this bank and shoal of time"

January 15 2020

Advanced Shakespeare Episode 1 1/14/20

Introductory class in this course on Macbeth and Antony and Cleopatra.  Punning and equivocation.

May 11 2019

Early Romantics XXVII 5-10-19 LONG Last class on Coleridge

A long class, chiefly on Rime of the Ancient Mariner and Kubla Kahn.  I think I realized some things about the latter worth realizing.  (N.B. I repeat a mistake I made earlier: the apparently supernatural episode that isn't isn't in "Michael," as I misremembered, but in "Peter Bell.")

May 4 2019

Early Romantics XXVI Climbing Mt. Snowdon in Prelude XIII

We complete our discussion of the Prelude by looking at the Snowdon scene in Book XIII, with a lot of comparison to the unfortunate and enfeebling revisions Wordsworth made in Book XIV of the 1850 version.  One student reads Oppen's "The Forms of Love" as a kind of pendant to the Snowdon scene.  I notice a bunch of things that I don't think I ever did before a connection to King Lear for example, and something about Wordsworth's prosody in the 1805 version.  

May 2 2019

Imagining Money XXXVII Wed 5-1-19 Last class: managing desire

A little about Hurston's "Gilded Six Bits," and a lot about management of desire.  Newcomb's proposed as something to think about at the end.

May 1 2019

Early Romantics XXV 4-29-19 — The Prelude and Wordsworth in general

The structure of The Prelude.  The amazing way, in Wordsworth, that we get to now in the absence of some connection to then.  The way then is always retrospective.  The spots of time.

April 30 2019

Imagining Money XXXVI Mon 4-29-19 Preference, loss aversion, anxiety

Relationship between loss aversion, preference, and anxiety. The two envelope game. Is happiness a preference, or is it another name for the existence of preferences? A Serious Man and Suspicion.

April 19 2019

Imagining Money XXXV Thurs 4-18-19 maguffins and the management of longing

A kind of culmination of the material on maguffins, loss aversion, and the management of longing.  The sunk costs of antes.  The symbolic value of the last cigarette before you quit.  That last cigarette being a kind of maguffin which allows for making it satisfy both the desire to smoke and the desire to quit.

April 18 2019

Early Romantics XXIV Wednesday 4-17-19

A lot of stuff on rhyming, on emic and etic understanding, on phonemes, before we finally get back to Wordsworth, in particular Simplon Pass and what follows: the strange melancholy mansion they stay in; then the Winander Boy: all about estrangement from nature, and being at home in that estrangement, at home in homelessness.

April 17 2019

Imagining Money XXXIV Wed 4-17-19 Stories of gambling

Narrating gambling.  Getting the benefits of the breaks.  Kinds of gambling narratives: present tense as you're playing and presenting yourself to the other agonists, and past tense: stories of loss.

April 16 2019

Early Romantics XXIII Monday 4-15-19 Home and homelessness

Powerful anticlimaxes.  How being estranged from childhood, and then recognizing that childhood is already the beginning of estrangement, is to achieve the destiny of being at home in homelessness.  [Wild turkey flies into a window across the quad and freaks us all out, one way or another.]  Mention of Frankenstein.  Some of Book VI of The Prelude.

April 15 2019

Imagining Money XXXIII Mon 4-15-19 How endings shape desires

A class -- since no one is keeping up with the reading, to put it mildly -- on the effect that endings have on our desires for narrative.  The way endings turn all preferences into short term ones, whereas with the whole novel, movie, epic, series to go, long term preferences will tend to clash more with short term ones.  This is (though I don't mention him in the class) one of the ways that convergence works, e.g. in Dan Decker's Anatomy of the Screenplay.

April 12 2019

Imagining Money XXXII Loss aversion - Thaler

Money offer on the table when we came in!  Loss aversion -- it depends how you present things, as Thaler et al show.  Medical versions.  A brief introduction to Bayesianism and why MD's need to learn some Bayesean analysis.  Brandeis's plan to sell its art collection and the "endowment effect."  Wins above replacement.




April 11 2019

Early Romantics XXII Wednesday 4-10-19 Intimations Ode, Prelude, Nature

We finally get to the end of The Intimations Ode, after detours again through "Frost at Midnight" and the nature of nature in The Prelude and the relation of nature to death.  

April 10 2019

Imagining Money XXXI — poker, money, chips, macguffins, loss aversion

In which I try and fail to remember the form of a good paradox about loss aversion; some discussion about narratives and macguffins, and the two word summary of every exciting story with a happy ending: "loss, averted"

April 9 2019

Early Romantics XXI Monday 4-8-19 More Intimations Ode

Echoes of Milton in Wordsworth.  More of the Intimations Ode with a detour through Tintern Abbey.  The shockingness of "O joy!"

April 8 2019

Imagining Money XXX Mon 4-9-19 MacGuffins

MacGuffins in Hitchcock, as an intro to Ainslie.  Why we like suspense fiction.  Hitchcock on suspense.  Rereading.  Relation to the sublime vs. the beautiful as described by Smith and Kant.

April 5 2019

Imagining Money XXIX Hyperbolic Discounting

We start on Ainslie -- hyperbolic vs. exponential discounting and we broach the question of what Ainslie calls "the management of longing."

April 4 2019

Early Romantics XX Wed 4-3-19

More about the Prelude -- the skating scene, the boat-stealing scene, Wordsworth's later revisions for accuracy but against memory or wishful memory or the superpositions of memory.  Shades of the prison house in the Intimations Ode.  The child and its two worlds.

April 3 2019

Imagining Money XXVIII Wed 4-3-19 Hyperbolic Discounting and such

Money burning a hole in your pocket. Strategies of Commitment Lotteries as savings devices.  Hyperbolic discounting.

April 2 2019

Early Romantics XIX Monday 4-1-19 Bouncing around the Prelude

We go back briefly to the intimations ode and to Montaigne's that philosophy is learning how to die -- intimations of mortality.   All philosophy is.  Then we knock around The Prelude -- recumbent o'er the surface of past time, the two consciousnesses, and some of the boat-stealing scene, with a digression on metaphor: sex as a vehicle in that scene about vehicles.

April 1 2019

Imagining Money XXVII Mon 4-1-19 Common Knowledge and poker

Poker. Common knowledge, where everyone's knowledge of what everyone else knows converges.  The psychological components of games of skill. Turing tests and reverse Turing tests.

March 30 2019

Imagining Money XXVI Thursday 3-27-19 Mainly on cultural capital

The difference between new money and old money.  The value of old money, or of high culture -- its relation to value.  The idea that that kind of value is related to the potlatch as a marker of status which precisely refuses monetization.  Cultural capital in subcultures.  (Essentially Bourdieu's ideas, though I don't explicitly cite him.)

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