Thursday, December 20, 2007

The Dover Bitch

By Anthony Hecht

The Dover Bitch

So there stood Matthew Arnold and this girl
With the cliffs of England crumbling away behind them,
And he said to her, 'Try to be true to me,
And I'll do the same for you, for things are bad
All over, etc., etc.'
Well now, I knew this girl. It's true she had read
Sophocles in a fairly good translation
And caught that bitter allusion to the sea,
But all the time he was talking she had in mind
The notion of what his whiskers would feel like
On the back of her neck. She told me later on
That after a while she got to looking out
At the lights across the channel, and really felt sad,
Thinking of all the wine and enormous beds
And blandishments in French and the perfumes.
And then she got really angry. To have been brought
All the way down from London, and then be addressed
As a sort of mournful cosmic last resort
Is really tough on a girl, and she was pretty.
Anyway, she watched him pace the room
And finger his watch-chain and seem to sweat a bit,
And then she said one or two unprintable things.
But you mustn't judge her by that.
What I mean to say is, She's really all right.
I still see her once in a while
And she always treats me right.
We have a drink
And I give her a good time, and perhaps it's a year
Before I see her again, but there she is,
Running to fat, but dependable as they come.
And sometimes I bring her a bottle of Nuit d' Amour.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Words and paper cups

1. Professor Jacqueline Rose of the University of London will be speaking on 'The Political Edge of Fiction' (on Edward Said and Palestinian fiction) in Vivekananda Hall, JU (opposite Milan's Canteen) at 3 pm on 7th January

2. Professor James Simpson of Harvard University will be giving a lecture on 'Six Dark, Dynamic and Demeaning Paradoxes of Sixteenth-Century Evangelical Bible Reading' at 3 pm on Wednesday 9th January in Anita Banerji Memorial Auditorium, UG Arts Bldg JU

3. Professor John Kerrigan of the University of Cambridge will be speaking on Macbeth and the notion of 'archipelagizing' literature on Tuesday 15th January at 3 pm in Anita Banerji Memorial Auditorium, UG Arts Bldg JU

Milton in his Time

International Milton Quatercentenary Conference
Department of English
Jadavpur University,
Kolkata 700032, India

Phone/Fax: 91-33-24146681

Conference dates 16-18 January 2008

Venue: HL Roy Auditorium
Institute of Chemical Engineers
Jadavpur University

Tentative Schedule of Speakers
10.00 am :Registration
10.30 am: Inauguration,
11.00 am: Coffee
11.15 am – 1 am: Academic Session I

James Simpson, Harvard University 11.15-12.15 To be announced
Prasanta Chakravarty, Centre for the Study of Culture and Society, Bangalore 12.15-1.00:
A Trimme Paradox: The Good Old Cause and the Nature of Republican Liberty in the late 1650s
1.00 pm: Lunch
2 pm – 5.00 pm: Academic Session II
Student Papers: Abirlal Mitra, Jadavpur University, 2.00-2.15: The Pneumatology of John Milton ; Somnath Basu, Jadavpur University, 2.15-2.30: The Absence of Erasmus in The Works of John Milton
C. S. Lim, University of Malaya 2.30-3.15: The Golden Chersonese in Paradise Lost: Milton In & Out of His Time
Niranjan Goswami, Presidency College, Kolkata 3.15-4.00 To be announced
Tea, 4.00 pm
Supriya Chaudhuri, Jadavpur University 4.15-5.00 To be announced
DAY II: 17.1.2008

10.00 am: - 1 pm: Academic Session III
John Kerrigan, Cambridge University 10.00-11.00: The Archipelago Enlarged: Milton and Marvell to 1660
Coffee, 11 am
Malabika Sarkar, Jadavpur University 11.15-12.00: Milton's Raphael and Seventeenth Century Curiosity
Samya Seth, Jadavpur University 12.00-12.30: The Secret of Samson Agonistes: Act and Encounter
Sharmistha Mitra, Bidhannagar College, Kolkata 2.45-3.15 The Genesis Account and Paradise Lost

1 pm: Lunch
DAY II 17.1.2008 (continued)
2 pm – 5.00 pm: Academic Session IV
Alexandra Dumitrescu, University of Otago 2.00-2.45: Milton's Inheritance: Between Paradise Lost (1667) and Milton (1804)
Sriparna Ghoshal, Vivekananda College, Kolkata 12.30- 1.00
Blake and Milton – Visual Interpretations
Sneha Kar Chaudhuri, Jadavpur University 3.15-3.45
The Afterlife of John Milton in British New Historical Fiction: A.S.Byatt's "Morpho Eugenia" and Peter Ackroyd's Milton in America
Student Paper 3.45-4.00: Poushali Bhadury, Jadavpur University: Milton and Pullman
Tea, 4.00 pm
Swapan Kumar Chakravorty, Jadavpur University 4.15-5.00 To be announced

DAY III: 18.1.2008

10:00– 1 pm: Academic Session V
David Hawkes, Arizona State University 10.00-11.00
Milton and Usury
Coffee, 11 am
Rupin Desai, formerly of Delhi University 11.15-12.00: The Paradox of Sexuality in Books IV and IX of Paradise Lost
Sukanya Dasgupta, Loreto College, Kolkata 12.00-12.45 To be announced
Student Paper 12.45 – 1.00: Hrileena Ghosh (Jadavpur University): Dream not of other worlds: Politics and the rhetoric of "new science" in Paradise Lost
1 pm: Lunch
2 pm – 5.15 pm Academic Session VI
Student Paper 2.00-2.15: Avishek Parui (Calcutta University): Author, Authority and The Judge: "Samson Agonistes" and the voice of John Milton
Amrita Dhar, Jadavpur University 2.15-2.45 "Milton and 'his great duel':Paradise Regained
Mou Banerjee, Jadavpur University 2.45-3.15 To be announced
Nandini Bhattacharya, Bethune College, Kolkata. 3.15-3.45 On Ugliness: A Reading of Paradise Lost and Samsom Agonistes".
Tea, 3.45 pm
Amlan Das Gupta, Jadavpur University 4.00- 4.45 On Misunderstanding God's Will

4.45 pm: Valediction

Monday, December 10, 2007


Applications are invited from Honours Graduates in any discipline for a PG Certificate Course in Editing and Publishing to be conducted by the School of Cultural Texts and Records, Jadavpur University, in collaboration with the Editing as a Skills Programme, from 7 January 2008-11 April 2008. Classes will normally be held four days a week from 6-8 p.m. Applicants must be below 35 years of age, and have to appear for a screening test on 28 December 2007, at 5 p.m., to be held on the first floor of the UG Arts Building. Course fee: Rs 5,500. Applications may be made on plain paper or by email to, addressed to Prof. Swapan Chakraborty, Coordinator, Editing as a Skill Programme, Jadavpur University, Kolkata 700 032. Paper applications should be submitted to the School of Cultural Texts and Records, (UG Arts/ Science Building, 3rd floor, near Film Studies Department) between 11-4 p.m. on working days. Closing date: 26 December. 2007. Photocopies of graduation certificate and mark-sheets must be produced on the day of screening test.

Prof. Swapan Chakraborty
Coordinator, Editing as a Skill Programme,
Jadavpur University

A word of Ad-vice

Wokay so this blog is becoming less and less about the blabberbots and more about photographs and finicky questions.

Dear people who are about to depart... GET A HOLD ON YOURSELF. I SURVIVED IT, and YOU GUYS WILL TOO.

Get over the farewell bit. You people are bound to come back and smoke up outside the classrooms and make out inside them and get sloshed in random places.

My advice to the departing Seniors : TEACH THE KIDS THE SALIENT ART OF Lyaeding.

Very important, that. It makes a mind philosophical. It brings out odd quirks about oneself... from detesting chocolate sauce to being the next masochist.... Anything is possible between one ring of cigarette smoke and another.

On another note, LISSEN PEOPLE WE LOVE YOU BUT WE KNOW THAT OUTSIDE JUDE IS A BIG WORLD. And we are not afraid to shove you guys into it. We have muscles. And we have Oomph. We can bust you with either. Or both. Take your pick.

And ok, yes. For Deep. Sit on anyone's face for all we care but don't repeat that song during your own farewell.... Decomposing composers is much better. You can even try the loony bun one. It helps if you sing it while hanging from a tree gracing Milan Da's and attempt to have sex with the black-evolution-monkey-turned-Michael-Jackson dustbin that we have. It clearly states on it : USE ME.

Now Sandy, stop grinning that little I-Know-What-You-Did-On-Friday-The-Thirteenth-At-Princeton -and-I'm-not-Afraid-to-Use-It grin that you possess. Its just plain mean. Makes us lesser mortals feel even more less (And yes I have heard the Curveball Jokes and still think Less is More)....

Auritro and Somnath. Please Assign another set of Ook Ooks {read Tweedledee and Tweedledum(b)} in your place. In case you guys have found them already, I would say.... I always trusted your eff-iciency. If you have not... What the Ef are you two doing hanging around?

Dyuti... Find someone who can do the farewell video. Find someone who can be the general Collector and Editor and Organiser extraordinaire... We need one. Assign more than one people because you're like a one man army. Please Please Please.


Disclaimer : In small prints, I would like to mention that this is all relevant, but uh, my blog account has been hacked recently so it can be anyone who wrote this. If people come after me with coffee cups I shall not drink from it. I readily declare that my mother is a hamster and my father smells of elderberries. Actually he smells of rum, but no one's coming over to my house to smell him... so there!!