November 10th, 2006

breaking bad

The taboos imposed by an infinite malignity

At the moment I am reading Shakespeare's Language by Frank Kermode. I bought this last year and I couldn't concentrate enough to read it. We were talking about IQ - well, it is as if my IQ has increased since last year (I don't really believe in it). But what if it goes down again - Oh, no, it will be like Flowers for Algernon all over again. The pathos!

I haven't finished the book yet, but it is a good read. Kermode's talking in a critical way about how Shakespeare's earlier plays were like declamations of poetic metaphor. During the 1590s they changed as English drama evolved into a more modern form, with more naturalistic acting, so that instead of declaiming, people spoke as individuals. Amazingly, this transformation happened during a decade in which England was swept by plague, and the theatres were closed for a couple of years.

Then in the early 1600's Shakespeare went even beyond psychological truthfulness, to strain language to breaking point.

Kermode also has an interesting article in the LRB this month about the literary theorist William Empson. I've never read any Empson but I think I'd like him.
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breaking bad

Modality

A big issue in hypnotherapy is 'modality' (this is the big thing in NLP too). Modality is that business about whether you are a visual or auditory or kinaesthetic person, you know? It's associated with the whole left brain/right brain thing. I have a feeling that like left and right brain, it's possibly a metaphor that conceals/reveals something about the way the mind works.
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