Tag Archives: Arts

Happy 30 Days of creativity

2 Jun

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I have pledged to do thirty days of creativity this year. It started a couple days ago and lasts throughout June. I wanted to try it last year but didnt catch it until the tail end of the month. Made a couple of posts so far. So this, along with work is keeping me busy.

This post here is a bit of a formality since this content is more appropriate for my hobby/diy/food blog. If you want to learn more about the 30 days of Creativity initiative click through the link.

It would be great if you could join me too! Just pledge @createstuff on twitter and tag your posts (it seems like its chiefly organizing through twitter but im sure the group has accounts elsewhere) #30DoC.

The 2012 30 Days of Creativity Inspiration… | 30 Days of Creativity.


A Background on Alexander Pope and the English Augustan Age

10 Aug
Portrait of Alexander Pope

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Alexander Pope was born May 21 1688 and Died May 30 1744. His father was a Cloth Merchant and both his parents were Catholic. They lived in London until a state law relocated Catholics 10 miles away from London or Westminster. He had tuberculosis of the bone and has been described as 4’6” in height, humpbacked, and suffering from blinding headaches, bone & joint pain, and short of breath. His Family moved to Binfield/Berkshire. At this point he became self-taught. His aunt taught him how to read and he attended Catholic Schools until his illness crippled his spine. His self studies primarily composed of the classics with a focus on Horace and Virgil. He saw them as models of poetry (University of Massachussets Amherst, nd).

The period prior to the Augustan age was the Restoration, and after the Augustan age came romanticism. The English Augustan age spanned 1700-1740 with the reign of Queen Anne, King George and King George II. Pope is a dominant figure in this period’s poetry since his poems lines became memes of the time. Dryden is mentioned four times in Pope’s “An Essay On Criticism” and he influenced pope’s works as both use heroic couplets. English Augustinian poets were very interactive with one another. Responding or expanding another poet’s work was normal, as was arguing back via satire.

Though Dryden and Pope are classified as Neoclassical writers; one must remember that during their lifetime they were not conscious of this period. Their actions, and theory were a new ideal they were pushing for in opposition to their prior and contemporary literary schools. Aside from Dryden, Pope also commends Aristotle, Homer, Horace, Dionysius, Quintillian, Longinus, Vida, Boileau, Wentworth Dillon & Walsh in lines 645-734 as they are also Neoclassicists. Nature in neoclassicism is returning to the classics, which are identical to nature. The ambiguity is that there are rules, however the writer must also be inspired and a great inspiration leads to a work being truly transcendental.

Alexander Pope Quote

Image by ky_olsen via Flickr

Though Neoclassicism was wide spread in the English Augustine age there were other movements during the period; namely the Nature poetry and Graveyard or Churchyard poetry. The Graveyard poets had a melancholy tone (Nestvold 2001), and focused on topics mortality (Noyes, 1956). It emerged from lyric poetry during the Restoration period and is noted as a precursor to gothic fiction; since they often used imagery with skulls, coffins, epitaphs and worms. Examples include Thomas Parnell‘s A Night-Piece on Death (1721) and Edward Young’s Night Thoughts (1742). The mood, which is this school’s significant contribution to English poetry was viewed as weak by the neoclassical school.

Both movements presuppose the oncoming Romanticism literary movement. Pastoral poetry overlaps both the restoration and the Augustinian periods and were philosophical or theistic. Strictly speaking Pastoral refers to shepherding lifestyle as an ideal contrary of urban life.  Alexander Pope’s Pastorals (1709) and Sir Philip Sidney’s The Twenty Third Psalm are examples of the genre.

In summary, during the Restoration literary movement topics were extremely varied with philosophical, political, or sexual elements. The poets are known to be courtiers with combative wit. Pope writes against the extremes and competition for praise. However, Dryden the writer Pope repeatedly refers to is from this period. Pope enjoyed his style as they were both neoclassicist and he adopted the heroic couplet which Dryden uses too. Pastoral literature was present during the Restoration and the Augustinian Age and focuses on country life. Pope has literary contributions to Pastoral poetry. Though Neoclassicism was predominant due to Pope’s popularity there were other movements during the Augustinian Age. The school of Nature poetry uses a contrary definition of nature to Pope’s; it is wild and grand. The school of churchyard or graveyard poetry uses macabre imagery and it’s melancholic mood is deemed weak by the Neoclassicism school. Nature poetry leads to the emergence of Romanticism, and Churchyard or Graveyard poetry is said to be the predecessor of Gothic literature. Each are movements in their own right, marking themselves different from the return to the classics Pope was pushing for.

Skim deep

Image by Brett Jordan via Flickr

Works Cited:

  • Dryden, John. “Almanzor And Almahide Or The Conquest Of Granada By Spaniards, A Tragedy, Part First” The Works Of John Dryden Vol4. Project Gutenberg, 13 March. 2005. Web. 31 July. 2011.
  • Nestvold, Ruth. The Augustan Age. ruthnestvold.com 2001. Web. 4 August 2011.
  • Noyes, Russell (1956). English Romantic Poetry and Prose. New York: Oxford University Press. 1956. Text.
  • Pope, Alexander “An Essay on Criticsm” Norton anthology of English literature. 6th ed. New York: W.W. Norton Co., Inc., 1996. Text.
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst. “A very brief biography of Alexander Pope”. (n.d.) Web. 3 Aug 2011.
This is an excerpt from a research paper I did. Contact me if you need citation details.
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Recently I read up on Acting Theory and Systems

12 Jul
The dramatic masks of Thalia and Melpomene, th...

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Apparently, and this is what un-confuzzled me, Methood acting is based on System acting. I did a bit of research on acting methods. It clarified some confusions I had.

So Stanislavski’s system is the basis for a lot of other acting methods. It utilizes units (of action, tension, and energy in a scene and the overall production) and emotional memory (drawing on own experiences to convey emotions of charcters) among other things.

Strasberg’s method is often confunsed with its predecessor since both use emotional memory. Method takes it a step further though by having the performer build up the emotions from repetitive tasks. Basically in method you make the emotions you draw from by immersing yourself in the profession or some other aspect of the character.

Meisner’s moment to moment is also a derivative of Stanislavski‘s system. Its chief characteristic though is that lines are memorized by rote and without intonation. This is done so that every time it is delivered it is as if the moment were fresh. It incorporates a naturalness to the performance.

Then there is the school of practical aesthetics which focuses on the interaction between two characters and emphasizes a truthful conveying of the moment. The method here is to keep the lines fresh by not preparing in advanced. This method also often does not focus on acting theory. I feel this technique is more appropriate for film than theatre. Since memorizing lines is very important in theatre to say the least.

Physical theatre is another school of acting, though it is one I am unfamiliar with. To my understanding it is used often with puppetry. Or with conveying meaning through actions alone. I feel this technique is more appropriate for theatre then film.

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20 Dec
I started this blog wanting to observe different cultures, or share my musings. One of the recent things i find interesting is the Korean wave. It probably could have been any culture, but at that moment and at that time i took a step to look into another world. Dont we all have those moments though? Escape artist tendencies and a desire to live life outside of a mundane reality. A desire for getting outside yourself, your own four walls and yet in the end we are still seeing ourselves reflected in the universal humanity that is cognized.

I know it might be masa (a derogatory Tagalog term referring tomedia appealing to the masses – it can be used in other ways mind you so don’t cite me on that one) to quite a few. And by quite i mean alot of people. And i get it…

In fandom there is a tendency to want to be the idol, or someone who you aren’t -and that path can be very unhealthy. It must be said though that enjoying a culture and admiring beauty is a different story from fixated obsessive fanaticism. There is a myriad of “crazy”fan types, but one extreme has put much criticism on those who are in other parts of the spectrum. Not that there is anything wrong with being a highly organized fan base (re: DBSK, Shinhwa concerts) but there are other levels of being a fan.

I dont take it THAT seriously, but i can get obsessive about having a favorite. Not all fans are on the extreme side of the line. Despite whatever judgments or hecklers may say it doesnt change that fact that for me its fun, i enjoy it. It cheers me up, makes me happy, and it adds a little special to my day. Life can be drab so its not so bad to add some of that brightly colored Asian fashion to it.

post script: though i added a bit to it the original of this is here: http://thecultureobserver.blogspot.com/2009/12/hallyu.html and I wrote it. So I cant really plagiarize myself.
I know no one really reads these yet but just in case it ever comes up..
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