Tuesday, December 16, 2008

What I learned from my thesis

Some concepts I came across while writing....

Religious transcendence.
In Christianity: transcending life and death.
In Buddhism: transcendence between the enlightened and unenlightened being.
Jean-Paul Satre: transcending the ego; meaning: allowing others to influence you.

engl. emancipation
* Befreiung
* Emanzipation
* Gleichberechtigung
(Nope, I was not aware of all these meanings.)

And some absolutely fantastic quotes from May Kendall's and Andrew Lang's That Very Mab (while I love Fiona Macleod's "The Annir-Coille" deeply, and of all texts for my thesis it is still my favourite one, when it comes to socio-political satire nothing can beat That Very Mab):

"[...] we are being educated up to a very high point. It saves people the trouble of thinking for themselves, certainly; they can always get all their thoughts now, ready made, on every kind of subject, and at extremely low prices. They only have to make up their minds what to take, and generally they take the cheapest. There is a great demand for cheap thought just now, especially when it is advertised as being of superior quality."

"[...] education is compulsory. Eating is
not compulsory; you may starve, you must learn."

"[...] it is part of their religion to walk as fast as they can, not only through Cheapside but through life. The one who can walk fastest, and knock down the greatest number of other people, gets a prize."

"Even the dynamiters themselves don't appear to have gone into the whole logic of it. I suppose that they are tired of only blowing things up on paper, and they are people who have a great objection to things in general. They complain that they can't get justice from the universe in its present state of preservation, and therefore they are going to blow as much of it as possible into what they call
smithereens, and try to get justice from the smithereens. It is a new scheme they have hit upon, a kind of scientific experiment. The theory appears to be, that justice is the product of Nihilism plus public buildings blown up by dynamite, and that the more public buildings they blow up the more justice they will obtain."


But the most important thing I learned from my thesis - stress, and that it's not really worth it. To continue with the quotes:

All the e-mails I get these days start with sorry but I've been busy, and I don't understand how we can be so busy and then have nothing to say to each other.
- Jon McGregor, "if nobody speaks of remarkable things"

We're taught that being busy and occupied means being industrious and hardworking. To me, however, it feels like a loss of the quality of life. The last few weeks, I've been so glad I'm doing Kendo, because it gave me the opportunity to get out and away from work and hit people. And, sometimes, that's just what you gotta do.

Ahem. But to stick to the truth, it's not the hitting-people thing that I needed. It's the part about getting away and emptying my mind. 'tis good that Kendo exists in my life.


It "only" took nine sessions of live-drawing and repeated urges from the supervisor for me to try out a different medium. Charcoal. It's actually quite cool and fun. I think I end up with better results for the 10-minute poses than with graphite. The longer poses still yield in nicer pictures with graphite.

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