Links from Lyse

I read lots (and lots and lots) during the week, absorbing articles and videos from all over the place. At the end of each week, I’ll share a few of those with you!

  • Confessions of a Seduction Addict” — Spoiler alert! This article is written by Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love (and many other books!). I have to admit, I was surprised to discover she was the author, because the article comes from her younger days, not her current enlightened and matured state.  Although I never practiced seduction as destructively as she did, I will admit to enjoying the process of making someone fall in love with me. Similarly, I also like the process of learning someone’s soul, which can lead to destructive relationships.
  • What is genius? Since I’m on a Gilbert kick right now, I also watched her TED talk on genius, which I found freeing and beautiful. It’s worth watching for everyone, but especially anyone who identifies as creative.
  • Do we need Shakespeare? Having just finished a year of studying Shakespeare in university, I have pretty strong feelings about this argument. But instead of ranting here, I’ll just link to another article (which I don’t entirely agree with) and let you hash it out in the comments.
  • Just this week I discovered Gretchen Rubin’s blog and podcast (also available on SoundCloud). Rubin researches happiness and habits, which she has written about in The Happiness ProjectHappier at Home, and Better Than Before. I have read The Happiness Project and really loved it. If you’re constantly searching for ways to improve your habits, want to become happier, or wish you were more organized, check out some of her material!

What did you find this week? Love any of these links? Let me know in the comments!

5 thoughts on “Links from Lyse

  1. Of course we need Shakespeare. We need Milton, Chaucer, Elizabeth Barrett Browning and Virginia Woolf, too. For that matter, we could use a little non-revisionist history, a passing knowledge of world artists, and the ability to add and subtract.

    I’m all for adding to school curriculae, but there’s no need to subtract. If teachers could stop “teaching to the test” and begin teaching again, they’d have a lot more time for what we used to call the liberal arts.

    Perhaps I’ve had enough coffee for the morning. 🙂

    • Isn’t it so true? Shakespeare is such a rewarding read, especially with a good teacher. I can’t imagine learning English literature without Shakespeare any more than American history without the Revolutionary War!

  2. It makes me so happy to see you so active on this blog! Just going to drop off a few thoughts on a couple of them:

    – I was really intrigued by your post “Side Effects of Bibliophilism,” because as an aspiring psychologist and as an empath, it comes naturally to me to want to ask deep, somewhat probing questions when I interact with people. However, there are definitely boundaries that need to be respected, because you never want to make anyone uncomfortable or feel like they’re being interrogated. I also feel like if we want to engage in healthful relationships, we need to keep in mind what the other person in the conversation wants: and maybe they just want to express themselves without delving into deep stuff in the moment, though that mutual disclosure might come later. Do you feel like your opinions since you wrote that post have changed?

    – As a fellow English major there are so so so many thoughts floating around on the internet and in my head about teaching Shakespeare, teaching writing, etc. In my opinion, English has always been about communication and learning how to communicate well with the world around us, a skill that will never lose its relevance. However, I do think that as the world becomes more modern we will have to adjust English curricula in colleges and universities to reflect this, adding in more courses about online writing, gender and race issues, etc. so that the major itself does not become obsolete (like, Shakespeare should definitely still be included, but maybe not required). I took a Transnational Asian-American Literature course this past semester and it blew my mind in the best possible way – every book we read was diverse in race, sexuality, gender identity, or in some way that completely eschewed the white male narrator. While I did not love every book, it made me appreciate all the discourse I never really got to engage with as a high school student. Anyway, a perpetual yes to English, and I am curious to hear more about your thoughts too.

    Also, I received your message and it means the world to know that a good blogging friend is thinking about me. I hope you have been super well as well, and your encouragement is a major blessing in this time of healing for me. So happy to hear from you!

    • I’m planning to continue being active (this week I was moving and didn’t have Internet, hence the disappearance) and I’m thoroughly enjoying the chance to write more!

      -Oh, psychology and the need to dissect people. I envy you studying both English and psychology–they pair beautifully and I regret not taking more time with psychology. As to how I’ve changed since “Side Effects of Bibliophilism” – I have always been, and still try to be, respectful of the feelings of others. I have spent a great deal of time analyzing my relationships (both current and previous) and have found that I regret many things. However, the ability to ask probing questions, to listen, and to understand has served me well and, I believe, benefited people around me. I developed several close friendships (both male and female) during college and learned to place barriers on my probing and analysis. The urge still remains, but it is tempered with respect and a little fear. I have no desire to recklessly and inextricably weave myself into another’s story the way I have before.

      -Like you, I have many thoughts about Shakespeare (and literature in general!). I would argue that teaching English is meant for teaching more than communication, although that is an important facet of the study. Literature, well-taught, also teaches students how to think and feel. It becomes an education in the feelings of people in a myriad of positions; a history of thought across the ages; a chance to grapple with the intangible realities that make up some of the most important parts of life. Shakespeare’s plays are filled with the themes of every person’s life — death, depression, love, justice, mercy, family, crime, healing, and on and on. And honestly, with someone to help them decipher the language, what teenager (or college student) doesn’t identify with Macbeth: “To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,/ Creeps in this petty pace from day to day, /To the last syllable of recorded time;”? Or with Hamlet: “Whether ’tis Nobler in the mind to suffer/The Slings and Arrows of outrageous Fortune,/Or to take Arms against a Sea of troubles,/And by opposing end them: to die, to sleep/No more;”?

      And he is significant. Shakespeare, old and difficult as he is, represents an important time in history. Learning about literature without learning Shakespeare is…almost ludicrous. As I mentioned above, it would be like teaching American history without the Revolutionary War. He coined thousands of words and phrases we use every day. His mastery of meter and poetry and style and literary devices is truly astonishing.

      So, although I believe that extensive Shakespearean classes (like the ones I took) should not be required, everyone should be taught Shakespeare by a teacher who knows and cares and can make a depressed teenager see that teens for hundreds of years have struggled with the desire to end their lives.

      I’ll end that book of an answer now. Like I said, strong feelings about this topic!

      Of course, I also believe in teaching as wide a range of literature as possible! The more good writing students are exposed to, the better! I took classes in World Literature and Modern Fiction and loved them just as much as Classic & Medieval Lit and Shakespeare.

      I look forward to continuing our conversation, in whatever form it may take. Having a blogging friend is a delight and I enjoy your perspective and kind engagement. Be well. 🙂

  3. Pingback: Book Review: Committed | lyseofllyr

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