A varied and sometimes erratic record of what I'm learning inside and outside of the classroom

Friday, January 7, 2011

Romantic Inception

This semester I have British Literary History in the Talmage Building at BYU. That's right--an English class in the math/computer science building. Weird. Whenever I go in there I feel a little self-conscious, half expecting all the math students to somehow sense that I don't belong, like the figures of the subconscious in Inception. Well, I've been to class twice and haven't been attacked/stabbed/shot at yet, so we're doing pretty good so far.

ANYway, we are currently studying the Rrrrrromantic Period of British literature. All this was sounding vaguely familiar...goodness knows it should, considering we discussed Romanticism in all three of the English classes I took last semester. Today, in particular, we were discussing the writings of Wordsworth and Shelley in regards to poetry/poets (taken from the preface to Lyrical Ballads and from "A Defense of Poetry," respectively). I shall now regale you with an excerpt from the excerpt we read today from Wordsworth:
"What is a poet? He is a man speaking to men: a man, it is true, endowed with more lively sensibility, more enthusiasm and tenderness, who has a greater knowledge of human nature, and a more comprehensive soul, than are supposed to be common among mankind..."
To this, my professor added, the Romantic poet was a "super-emo guy"--I mean, these people were sensitive. I was thinking, as we discussed this passage, that we as a lone English class in a sea of math instruction going on around us, were kind of like the Romantic poets in the midst of the Industrial Revolution. While the students in the other rooms around us were toiling away at the nuts and bolts of computer programming and multi-variable calculus and the kind of more everyday, methodical things, we were smelling the roses (or, to acknowledge Wordsworth, the daffodils) of culture and refinement.

Please don't shoot me now. You can still be cultured as a math major, I promise.

No comments:

Post a Comment