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Saturday, August 31, 2013

Startling Ineptitude

Here is the beginning of a poem about baseball, by Rolfe Humphries, who is also one of the first translators of Lorca:

Time is of the essence. This is a highly skilled
And beautiful mystery. Three or four seconds only
From the time that Riggs connects till he reaches first,
And in those seconds Jurges goes to his right,
Comes up with the ball, tosses to Witek at second
For the force on Reese, Witek to Mize at first,
In time for the out -- a double play.

Do you see the problem? Time is of the essence (cringe-worthy cliché), indeed, but the poet seems not to have understood that his is also an art of time. He has a wooden ear ("highly skilled" he is not). His phrasing is clunky; he is writing prose divided up into lines in an awkward way. We know the elegance of a double play well turned, but the poet's language adds nothing to this. We already know it's a double play before we get to the phrase at the end of this stanza! The poet is doing badly what the baseball play-by-play announcer would do expertly, almost effortlessly.

Certain people should just not be allowed to come near a poem.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Kitsch

Here is some kitsch for you:


Cante hondo

A todos nos han cantado
en una noche de juerga
coplas que nos han matado...

Corazón, calla tu pena;
a todos nos han cantado
en una noche de juerga.

Malagueñas, soleares
y seguiriyas gitanas...
Historias de mis pesares
y de tus horitas malas.

Malagueñas, soleares
y seguiriyas gitanas...

Es el saber popular,
que encierra todo el saber:
que es saber sufrir, amar,
morirse y aborrecer.

Es el saber popular,
que encierra todo el saber.


We have all had sung to us on a night of partying couplets that have killed us. Heart, quiet your sorrow; we have all been sung to on nights of partying. Malagueñas, soleares, and gypsy seguiriyas ... Tales of my burdens and of your bad times. Malagueñas, soleares, and gypsy seguiriyas. It's popular wisdom, encompassing all wisdom, knowing how to suffer, to love, to die, and to hate. It's popular wisdom, encompassing all wisdom.

What is kitsch about this poem by Antonio Machado's older brother, Manuel? It evokes the flamenco deep song from outside. It is not, itself, an example of any of the three genres it mentions. It is metapoetic, like the song "The birth of the blues" which is about the blues but is not itself an example of the genre.

Oh, they say some people long ago
Were searching for a diffrent tune
One that they could croon
As only they can
They only had the rhythm
So they started swaying to and fro
They didn't know just what to use
That is how the blues really began
They heard the breeze in the trees
Singing weird melodies
And they made that the start of the blues

And from a jail came the wail
Of a down-hearted frail
And they played that
As part of the blues
From a whippoorwill
Out on a hill
They took a new note
Pushed it through a horn
Til it was worn
Into a blue note
And then they nursed it, rehearsed it
And gave out the news
That the southland gave birth to the blues!

Blech! This is offensive on so many levels, though it is a good song as an instrumental.

Both these lyrics exemplify a kind "secondary" quality that Eco has pointed out. Now why is MM kitsch and FGL not?

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Tennis vs. Baseball

Nadal has lost three times in 2013, and won maybe 55. Federer is about 34 and 10. Djokovic has only lost 8 times, and Murray's stats would look quite similarly impressive (9 losses against many more victories). Ferrer is 42 and 14. James Blake, number 100 in the world, who has just retired, has a career record of 61 and 42 in Grand Slams. He was an extremely good player at one point, and retires with a very respectable record, but way below the level of those who win repeated tournaments over the course of several years.

In part because of his extreme dominance on clay, Nadal has a career winning record against Murray, Federer, Roddick, and Novak, and probably against every other player he's played at least 3 times. He is 21 and 5 against Ferrer, an excellent, excellent player who's ranked number 4 in the world, and 16 and 3 against Berdych, who is #5. He has won 15 straight times against the Czech. If Federer is the greatest of all time, Nadal can say he has a winning record against the best player ever. So what does that make him? He has a 6/1 ratio of wins to loss in his career. Federer has won more than 900 professional tennis matches and lost only around 200!

In baseball, most teams in the major leagues are between .400 and .600 in winning percentage, so the typical mismatch is between a team that wins 9 out of 20 and one that wins 11. (The highest percentage as of today .606. Two teams are below .400.)

The difference is that the top tennis players are playing against the equivalent of minor league players, a lot of the time. The game is structured differently, so you don't get to even play another match if you lose the first round of a tournament. A .500 record means you lose and win about half the time in the first round. Or lose a lot in the first round and go into deeper rounds once in a while. What is truly amazing is a player at the top of his game who is virtually unbeatable, even by another stellar player. A pitcher never wins 20 or 30 games in a row.

Baseball is subject to numerous chance factors, so that a team that is objectively better will lose to worse teams on any given day. The season is long with many games, and every team plays the exact number of games. There ought to be a technical term for sports that are more subject to chance factors, like golf, soccer, or baseball, vs. sports in which the winner is much more often the better team or player, like football or tennis. When I see two pro tennis players who aren't in the top 10 against each other, I think either of them could win on any given day. Say the number 35 against the number 25 in the world. So in that context tennis seems much more "noisy." A top player who isn't having a horrible day can almost always put away even a superb player.

Physique

I was watching the FINA championships on tv when I was in Barcelona. They were taking place there so I should have tried to go to some events in person. I noticed the swimmers and divers had different physiques. None had any discernible body fat, but the swimmers had larger muscles than divers, who are built for agility in the air. Every kind of athlete has the typical physique of that athlete. Sprinters have large upper bodies but marathon runners are slight. Decathletes are athletic in a more generic way. They have to do shot put, jump, and run various distances. Offensive lineman weigh 300 pounds. Tennis players do not look like body builders. In fact, athletes in general do not have the engorged, hypertrophied muscles of those who build up their bodies for show. They are ripped, but without those grotesque-looking, bulging muscles.

So what does an "athletic physique" look like? Generally, low body fat, no large stomachs (except maybe for some weightlifters) and muscles that are functional for that particular sport. Muscles will be large when they need to be, but they have to be strong and efficient for the particular event. Guys who spend a lot of time in the gym won't be necessarily impressed by Ronaldo's physique, or Nadal's. There are plenty of average Joes in my gym with bigger biceps, but who don't earn millions playing a sport either.*

I'm just a 53-year old guy trying to get back into shape, look slightly ripped-er** than I am. I don't need to look like an elite athlete, (nor is there any danger of that!) but I think I'd rather look like that than like a body builder with humongous but essentially functionless muscles.

__

*I've written this post with masculine bias, obviously, though the same principles apply to women, who also do body-building, swimming, diving, track, etc... I was noticing Stosur's marvelous upper arms in her loss to the young Victoria Duval the other day at the US Open.

**Yes, I now you can't make a comparative out of participle. Why not? What's the rule? Why can you say "shapelier" but not "differenter." ??

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Bad Grammar

Claire Kramsch, at about makes the claim "I'm lovin it" of the McDonald's slogan is ungrammatical. (See link two posts below, about an hour into the video). I had no idea why she would make this claim. Then I looked it up.

It turns out that some grammar books claim that so-called "stative" verbs cannot be used in the progressive. No obviously this is false as a hard-and-fast rule of grammar. I was a little shocked that such an intelligent person would not realize that the situation is a lot more nuanced than that.

Of course, you can't just say "I am believing in God" when you mean to say "I believe in God." But you can say, "When did you stop believing in God?" or "I am remembering my dreams much more since I stopped drinking." You can use "loving" as a synonym for "enjoying," and in that case it can be used in the progressive. Waiters ask me how my food is tasting all the time. A stative can be used as a progressive to describe a more dynamic process. There is a big difference between "what does cilantro taste like?" and "how is the food tasting" [right now].

My basis for these claims are (1) My impeccable native speaker intuitions. (2)Evidence that such phrases are in common use. (3) The fact that you cannot change the progressive back into a straight present and maintain the same meaning. For example, "I love it" is not a substitute for "I'm loving it" in the slogan. "I love it" means I love it generally. "I love Indian food." "I'm loving this Indian food," means "I have been enjoying recently" or "I enjoy at the present moment, this Indian food."

A grammatical error is an actual mistake, when a native speaker slips up a bit. A nuanced use of a verbal mode to convey a different meaning is not a mistake.

The prestige grammar might not have caught up to the more dynamic use of the progressive with stative verbs. So much the worse for the prestige grammar.

Jonathan Mayhew

The other Jonathan Mayhew
Jonathan Mayhew uses abstraction, negation and appropriation as strategies to make works. He is interested in how culture is constantly reproducing itself. By re-imagining the intended functions of images, objects and words, it allows him new ways of looking and thinking about these things allowing the freedom to explore a new fictional space.

Translation course

I'm giving my undergrad translation course again. It's interesting that recent developments in SLA bolster my insight that a course that asks students to use their capabilities in English could be useful. The model of immersion, trying to get students to approximate the status of a monolingual speaker of the second language. Sure, it would be great if all our students sounded like native speakers, but you wouldn't expect a Panameñan to sound like an Argentine, or a Brit to sound like a Yank or an Aussie.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

More prosody

Liberman has an incisive post but has an odd way of looking at musical meter.

UPDATE: He's changed some of his description in response to my points. I find it extremely odd that he doesn't know where the "one" of the musical measure is, or that he construed the bpm as 198 rather than 100. 198 would be a fast bebop tempo, and most hip hop is in the 80-110 range.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Baudelaire

Je suis comme le roi d'un pays pluvieux,

Riche, mais impuissant, jeune et pourtant très vieux,

Qui, de ses précepteurs méprisant les courbettes,

S'ennuie avec ses chiens comme avec d'autres bêtes.

Rien ne peut l'égayer, ni gibier, ni faucon,

Ni son peuple mourant en face du balcon.

Du bouffon favori la grotesque ballade

Ne distrait plus le front de ce cruel malade;

Son lit fleurdelisé se transforme en tombeau,

Et les dames d'atour, pour qui tout prince est beau,

Ne savent plus trouver d'impudique toilette

Pour tirer un souris de ce jeune squelette.

Le savant qui lui fait de l'or n'a jamais pu

De son être extirper l'élément corrompu,

Et dans ces bains de sang qui des Romains nous viennent,

Et dont sur leurs vieux jours les puissants se souviennent,

II n'a su réchauffer ce cadavre hébété

Où coule au lieu de sang l'eau verte du Léthé.

Here is an interesting poem with the title "Spleen," one of two poems with this title. (See also his book Paris Spleen.) In some theory of the lyric the crucial aspect is the situation of the speaking voice. Here the poem begins with "Je suis comme..." -- a simile. The entire poem describes the king of a rainy country in uncomplimentary terms. Not at all the standard "sensitive poet" persona, so that the third person gets reflected back on the first person speaker. The entire description is a kind of cliché, "royal decadence." Courtiers, the court jester, the alchemist, falconry, sexual debauchery, cruelty, and violence, are the ingredients of this cliché. Of course, the "decadent" movement in literature did not yet exist at the time: here we see Baudelaire inventing it, in fact.

The self-aggrandizement in comparing one's self to a king is undercut by the hyperbolic criticism of the "young skeleton," cruel and submerged in ennui.

The rhymes are consistently "riches"; in other words, the entire final syllable is identical: vieux and vieux, bettes and betes, con and con, lade and lade, beau and beau, lette and lette, pu and pu, viennent and viennent, té and thé. They alternate between feminine and masculine.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Viva Voce

I find lately that I want to read everything aloud. Silent reading is really not pleasant for me. It feels like skimming a text in search of information. I want that language in my mouth, and to hear it lliterally in my ears.

***

It would really help language learners to read everything they are studying out loud. Then you are making sense of the text, forcing yourself to give emphasis to the right syllables and words. Make a checklist: in spanish p, t, and c must not have a burst of air; e and o must not have dipthongal glides. Intervocalic s is never voiced. There is no difference between b and v. Eliminating those pronunciations would make the average student twice as good. I still record myself and critique my own phonetics in Spanish.

One More Weird Trick Professional Academics Don't Want You To Know

The thing about motivation is that it presupposes itself. In other words, it cannot be created unless it already is there. (Of course, there is external motivation. If I said I would give you 10M dollars to publish an article in the Hispanic Review, you could probably get "motivated" enough to try and do it.)

So the trick of motivation is to realize that it is already there. To identify completely and unequivocally with the enterprise in which you are engaged. This means the process and the ultimate goals become one seamless, gapless whole.

Motivation should not be a problem but it is, often. If I do not go to the gym today it will because my claim to want a more perfect physique is just that, a claim. Or I could convince myself that my physique is fine already, etc...

***

I was confused as a kid by the notion of "self-control." Just who was this other self who was supposed to control the self? Was I two people. When I had an outburst I was criticized for, I knew that I had chosen this behavior, and hence was controlling myself. I'm still a bit confused by the notion of one part of a self controlling another part. Suppose it is 10 p.m. and I am feeling lazy and don't want to get beer at the store. But I also want to drink beer. I could be proud of my supposed "self-discipline" either way, whether I go get the beer or not. Ultimately, though, it is about what I actually want to do more. My actions are a good guide to that, more than what I say I want.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Motivation

If something is important to you, then you will do it. My problem with the idea of motivation is that, in its absence, there is nothing to be done. With motivation, on the other hand, certain things just become eminently doable. If the time and effort is going where it should, then there is no reason to "get motivated." The motivation is intrinsic to the activity itself.

So motivation only enters negatively, when there is a gap between what somebody claims they want to do, and the amount of time and effort spent in that direction. Or time and effort is spent to undermine the stated goal.

I believe that if it is important for me to weigh 155 pounds, and not 165, then I will weigh that much. If I only claim I really want to be 155, then my claim that it is hard, or impossible, for me to weigh 155 is an empty one. I must conclude that weighing 165 is fine and comfortable with me, because that is what I actually weigh. It is something wholly under my control, or so I believe. I could weigh 145 if I wanted to be one of those obsessive, 6% body-fat athletes. That's within my control too. I don't happen to want that, even in a kind of vague "wouldn't it be nice" kind of way.

It is more important to me to see other human beings when I eat than to save money by cooking for myself at home. I could never go out by myself again when I am at home in Kansas. That is completely under my control. But I know that it is not as important for me as not eating alone.

Claiming to want something is not the same as really wanting it. I see my graduate students really working to position themselves to be good college teachers in a SLAC. They usually accomplish this goal.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

One Weird Trick for Being a Successful Academic

I see this "one weird trick" meme all the time on the internet. These products will lower your car insurance or eliminate your belly fat, have a lower utility bill or get people to fall in love with you.

I have no one weird trick for you, sorry. I don't know how to do it and I have nothing to sell.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Pass / No Pass

This was the single feature that undermined the study abroad program I just directed. The students who opted to take their language requirement without a grade (i.e.: C- or B- or B+ shows up as a P) did not have motivation to learn Spanish. We have not the authority as a department to alter this, and in fact we might have many fewer students and hence no program at all if we could make them all take the course for a letter grade.

I didn't actually *know* who was taking it for a grade, or not, but I *did* when people started asking if they could skip the final, or how many points they needed to score on the final to get a 70 in the course, etc...

LASA

Got this idea I should go to LASA (Latin American Studies professional meeting) in Chicago. I got the call for papers when in Barcelona. It is in Chicago this year. I am not a Latin Americanist but who cares? My daughter will be attending NW so I might as well go to two conferences there this year (MLA / LASA). I will join them this week and submit a panel with the brilliant professor Z.

Back: The Seventh Thing

I'm back from Barcelona and ready to work full time on teaching, research, service, and blogging.

I have this idea that I should do seven things almost every day.

Exercise
Work on research
" " teaching
" " service
Play drums, or sing, or dance
Do some kind of cleaning, organization, etc..
Do "the seventh thing."

The seventh thing would be listening to music purposefully (not just as background while I work). Going to a movie or poetry reading. Anything that's not randomly checking comments on Crooked Timber or Language Log, or looking at Facebook. I still have this problem with the dead time that's not work.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Rhetoric

Cristiano Ronaldo plays for Real Madrid. He is Portuguese, as is the former coach of RM, José Mouriño, now coaching Chelsea. Ronaldo and "Mou" did not get along. Interviewed on British tv, Mou referred to Ronaldinho, the Brazilian player, as "the real Ronaldo." Ronaldo, in his rhetorical parry, chose the high road, saying that of course there are some things not worth commenting on, that there was a Portuguese proverb that you don't spit in the food you are about to eat, and that he does his real talking on the field. Madrid and Chelsea played a match in Miami, where the Dolphins play, and Ronaldo scored two goals in a 3-1 win for Madrid. He denied that he looked at Mou after he scored the goals, or that there was any grudge involved in playing against his former nemesis. Grudges are for losers, he said. Sure, he wanted to beat Chelsea, but that is simply because he is professional soccer player playing for whatever was at stake in that game. It's just a day at the office.

So I would say the battle is Ronaldo 5, Mou 0. He scored 2 goals plus at least three rhetorical points. He called Mou a loser, implicitly, but simply by saying that he himself does not hold a grudge against him. He quoted a Portuguese proverb that refers exactly to Mouriño's behavior. (Mou would understand the meaning of the proverb, which CR gave in its original Portuguese version.) All the while pretending to remain entirely above the rhetorical battle itself. Even if he hadn't scored two goals in the match he would have been ahead. Soccer is only a game, but Ronaldo proved himself superior in the game of life.

***

Later, Mouriño tried to clarify that his reference to the "real Ronaldo" was simply due to the fact that (Brazilian) Ronaldinho came first, chronologically, before CR. This seemed lame, because he could have said "the first Ronaldo," or simply "Ronaldinho." Nobody calls the Portuguese Ronaldo by the diminutive "inho." Of course, Mouriño's lack of rhetorical tact is one thing that alienated him from Madrid players, fans, and ownership, so Ronaldo's responses brilliantly showed up "Mou" once by beating him once again in the game of tact: "see, this is why Mouriño was not a good coach for Real Madrid." He didn't even have to call his former coach an arrogant asshole.

***

You don't even have to take Ronaldo at his word for him to the rhetorical winner. IN fact, I'm convinced he does hold a grudge against Mou, and played extra hard to show him up. He simply had nothing to gain by engaging with Mouriño's statements. That would be spitting in his own food.

The Scholarly Base: The Personal Library

I purchased several books here in Barcelona. A few editions of Lorca and Lezama Lima, some contemporary novels, some new books of poetry, some political articles. The two teaching assistants on my program were great, saving my ass many times over. One thing I noticed, though, was that they didn't buy books or browse in bookstores. They are specialists in earlier periods of Spanish literature, and Quevedo is not publishing any new novels any more. (It could be a money thing too, but I still bought books when I was their age (29-30) and equivalent level of grad student poverty.) Still, I think I would buy almost as many books if I were a medievalist. For me, maintaining a personal library of books is inherent to my identity as a scholar and researcher. (Sure, there's the library, but it's not the same thing.)

This gives me some insight into my own assumptions. I have to stop assuming that other people resemble me, even though they "should" if they want to be like me. But should they want to be like me? In a word, no.

So my advice is geared to people who want to be like me, in general terms. To assume the same level of drive or intellectual curiosity / independence in other people is a big mistake on my part.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Make your Own Mooc (2)

I don't know what it is, but my recent post on making your own mooc got more than 500 hits, more than any other post in the past three or four months. Maybe it was just the title of the post made it a google magnet? It was a pretty banal post, so I don't know.

Retrato

Everyone knows Machado's "Retrato," but not as many people the poem by the same title by Manuel Machado, his brother. It can be read contrapuntally against that of Antonio:


Esta es mi cara y ésta es mi alma: leed.
Unos ojos de hastío y una boca de sed...
Lo demás, nada... Vida... Cosas... Lo que se sabe...
Calaveradas, amoríos... Nada grave,
Un poco de locura, un algo de poesía,
una gota del vino de la melancolía...
¿Vicios? Todos. Ninguno... Jugador, no lo he sido;
ni gozo lo ganado, ni siento lo perdido.
Bebo, por no negar mi tierra de Sevilla,
media docena de cañas de manzanilla.
Las mujeres... -sin ser un tenorio, ¡eso no!-,
tengo una que me quiere y otra a quien quiero yo.

Me acuso de no amar sino muy vagamente
una porción de cosas que encantan a la gente...
La agilidad, el tino, la gracia, la destreza,
más que la voluntad, la fuerza, la grandeza...
Mi elegancia es buscada, rebuscada. Prefiero,
a olor helénico y puro, lo "chic" y lo torero.
Un destello de sol y una risa oportuna
amo más que las languideces de la luna
Medio gitano y medio parisién -dice el vulgo-,
Con Montmartre y con la Macarena comulgo...
Y antes que un tal poeta, mi deseo primero
hubiera sido ser un buen banderillero.
Es tarde... Voy de prisa por la vida. Y mi risa
es alegre, aunque no niego que llevo prisa.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Caballero Bonald

CB has been winning all the prizes recently in Spain. It could be because he is still around, after a lot of the poets of his generation are deceased. It could be that he is the safe choice. His language is ornately Latinate, but I find that his poetry does not satisfy. There is a poverty of ideas behind the rich surface of words. It is not bad, but almost its only attraction is in the sheer number of unfamiliar words used. It is surprisingly inert.

How to Mooc: 1.000 Lectures

Desde el año 1918, que ingresé en la Residencia de Estudiantes de Madrid, hasta 1928, en que la abandoné, terminados mis estudios de Filosofía y Letras, he oído en aquel refinado salón, donde acudía para corregir su frivolidad de playa francesa la vieja aristocracia española, cerca de mil conferencias.
That's the beginning of Lorca's duende lecture: "From 1918, when I entered the Residencia de Estudiantes in Madrid, to 1928, when I left, having finished my studies of "Philosophy and Letters," I heard in that refined salon, where the old Spanish aristocracy came to compensate for their frivolity of French beaches, nearly 1,000 lectures."

I have some notes on this first paragraph:

(1) It is not included in the translation of the lecture that Ben Belitt includes in his translation of Poet in New York. He skips over the introduction to the lecture completely.

(2) The Residencia (or Resi) was a special kind of elite university dorm, affiliated with the most prestigious institution of the Krausist movement: La Institutición Libre de Enseñanza, founded by Giner de los Ríos. Lorca met Dalí and Buñuel there. This was a kind of elite laboratory for (male) Spanish intellectuals, carrying on the tradition of the previous generations from the 19th century. Lorca was born in 98, so he lived there between the ages of 20 and 30.

(3) The lecturers were people of the caliber of Einstein. The list of people visiting includes "Albert Einstein, Paul Valéry, Marie Curie, Igor Stravinsky, John M. Keynes, Alexander Calder, Walter Gropius, Henri Bergson, and Le Corbusier." Lorca studied law and Filosofía y letras, but he was not a good student. His real education was in the Resi, arguably.

(4) The number of lecture he says he attended is "nearly a thousand." This sounds exaggerated, even for 10 years. That would be a hundred a year obviously. Still he wants his audience to know that he knows what it is like to sit through a lecture or two.

(5) Wealthy people, aristocrats, would come to hear lectures; it must have been fashionable thing to do. I like the idea that the aristocracy would want to "corregir su frivolidad de playa francesa."

(6) His purpose in beginning the lecture that way was to apologize for giving a lecture at all. It is a classic captatio benevolentiae. He doesn't want to bore his audience. In the next paragraph, he will talk about being bored many times and needing some fresh air after sitting through a lecture. Hence the dichotomy "boring lecture" vs. "poetic contact with nature." This contradicts, a bit, the idea of "frivolity" vs. self-improvement.

(7) Lorca was a charismatic figure and a gifted public performer. The kind of lecture he is about to give will make us of his oratorical skills, and the topic of his lecture, the duende, is a kind of gift that is characteristically performative. Thus you need a lecturer like Lorca to drive it home. You can't just read about the duende on the page and get the same effect. So there is another dichotomy: the dull academic lecture (even if given by Stravinsky or Einstein?) and the the poetically performative lecture that Lorca himself is about to give.

(8) So the lecture itself can be a work of art, and needs to be performed as such. Now we have a lot of lectures we can find on the internet. It is relatively easy to find vast amounts of material on almost everything. The lecture is just one kind of resource. The lecture given by a professor at your own campus, whom you can ask questions of, is also a wonderful resource to have.

(9)But you also need someone to explain the lecture to you. You need to have an idea of why it's so special to hear about the duende from Lorca, why you need to be listening rather than reading (or vice-versa for other kinds of sources). Otherwise you get the pearls-before-swine phenomena. I am directing a study abroad program now and get the "why do we have to look at castles and museums" question. Even Lorca himself does not seem sufficiently appreciative of hearing lectures from high-caliber people.

(10) Doing this right is as difficult and expensive as doing other kinds of education right.



Monday, August 5, 2013

Make your own Mooc

Here is an ample and astonishing assortment of lectures and poetry readings from the Fundación Juan March in Madrid. You can listen to poets read their own work, lectures on Mahler or Rilke or Cervantes or Lorca. Just put in a word in the search and see what you come up with.

Of course, it is in Spanish, and some of the material is dated--giving it historical interest as well in some cases. So a lecture on Lorca might be from someone who actually knew Lorca.

So a lecture is a kind of resource that can be used educationally. I've downloaded tons of this for free, and it seems like they invite this downloading, since they have a download button on their page.

[Update: FIXED link: thanks to Leslie for that]