Sunday, November 9th, 2003
Wanderlust writes: “A quote that I discovered by Charles Metcalfe, a civil servant for the EIC goes, ” Our dominion in India is by conquest. It is naturally disgusting to the inhabitants and can only be maintained by military force. It is our positive duty to render them justice, to respect and protect their rights.” This quote ties in with a continuing discussion as regards to authority in class and at work. The best authority is one that is granted by the followers, a perfect example of which is Gandhi. Although the British were far from being welcome by the Indian people, especially in the 20th century, this quote reflects the importance of the notion of responsibility. That a people cannot be taken over. They must be won over. Loyalty and respect cannot be bought or demanded – they must be earned. People cannot be led by force. They must choose their Gandhis, Kings, Marxs and Nassers.”
I like it that Wanderlust is thinking along these lines: historical analogy. Keep up the good work.
Sunday, October 5th, 2003
Here are the first three lines The Wife of Baths tale in The Canterbury Tales:
1: Experience, though noon auctoritee
2: Were in this world, is right ynogh for me
3: To speke of wo that is in mariage;
The idea of authority (as an idea that changes over time) has come up a lot in the texts weve been covering in EL1. Thus the Wife beginning her tale with an arrow pointing directly at it seems significant: shes earned the right to speak on the subject as an actor. We could ask the question: what is the importance of experience to the Wifes long prologue and tale, its relationship to conclusions about domination (which may or may not be obvious), gender, to the truth, and, more importantly, to the nature of Chaucers audience and what they expect of the interplay between what the Wife claims as a character in the Tales and the climax in the tale proper, where experience and female authority and supernatural motif come into contact, a la Marie de France. We could also claim that Chaucer is beginning to engage human intimacy much closer than anything weve thus far covered, including Gawain, and subjects other than the noble classes.