Prufrocked and Rushdied

I don’t often recognise references or allusions in novels. I think I gloss over a lot and miss much of what makes a book special. But, when reading ‘The Golden House’ by Salman Rushdie, something stood out. It was a line at the end of a piece of prose, poetry? The line read, ‘…is this what you meant? Or this? Is this what you meant at all?’. It was the rhythm that caught me. Made me stop. I turned to my phone as it was closer than the book and googled ‘The Love Song of J Alfred Prufrock’. Now, looking back and knowing more, I see so many clearer links to the poem. For instance the reference to the narrator being ‘prufrocked’ and the almost direct quotation, ‘I have see her like a yellow dog rubbing her back against, rubbing her muzzle upon, shall I say, licking her tongue into the corners of his evening?’. Nonetheless, it was the rhythm that caught me.

Let me explain.

When I was in second year of university going through a rough spot. Rough? Maybe it was more weathered, or stormed? Anyway, I found it harder and harder to fall asleep. I tried all sorts of remedies but nothing worked. And as always when stuck in an unsure moment with no one to turn to ( or maybe someone but oh god not them) I averted my gaze and found myself looking at poetry. The one thing that seemed to make a slight difference was listening to T S Eliot reading his poem ‘The Love Song of J Alfred Prufrock’ each night. The 7.52min recital mimicked lullaby. The ups and downs, peaks and troughs, cadence of his voice sent my body into as close to sleep as I could muster. It became a ritual. I’d lie and let Eliot sing to me. I’ve always believed poetry should be heard not read and this poem proves that precisely. It is a joy to listen to. Makes reading seem unsubstantial and pointless. Makes my eyes redundant and my ears gold again.

I listened to it again after my recent early evening revelations and my body went into an almost paralysis, a lucid state. I was hypnotised by a familiar voice who had tried many times before to knock me out. But this time, although my mind was preparing to shut down, I wasn’t. I was still revelling at my newfound knowledge. Insider knowledge. Like I said, I never make the links. I can never cut as deep as others into the many facets that make up and inspire a novel. I’d struck gold and it felt amazing. And so, as cliche would want it, I couldn’t sleep that night. My head full of things I wanted to share. And so I share it with you. Below is the discussed extract from the novel ‘The Golden House’ by Salman Rushdie which I recommend no one reads but everyone to have read.

“The first night and the second night, the first two nights of the new year, she demonstrates her wares, let’s him see the quality of what’s on offer, not only physically but emotionally. She…and here I rear back and half myself, ashamed, prufrocked into a sudden pudeur, for, after all, how should I presume? Shall I say, I have known them all, I have seen her like a yellow dog rubbing her back against, rubbing her muzzle upon, shall I say, licking her tongue into the corners of his evening? Do I dare, and do I dare? And who am I, after all? I am not the prince. An attendant lord, deferential, glad to be of use. Almost, at times, the Fool…But, setting aside poetry, I’m too deeply in to stop now. I am imagining her already. Perhaps kneeling beside him on the bed. Yes, kneeling, I think. Asking, is this what you meant? Or this? Is this what you meant at all?” (p.78)

The Model

Hello!

My latest blog post is up on The Model so if you’re interested in fashion and the representation of black models on the runway then go over and have a read.

Ailish x

This is not a poem

Hello!

This is not a poem, but just a little note to say I’ve started writing weekly blog posts for a new blog called ‘The Model’.

My first post is up on the site now and you can find it here.

I hope you enjoy xx

Body bag

I learnt a lot about myself today, whilst sitting terrified next to the man I had decided was going to kill me. On a plane I had predicted would plummet to earth full of empty bodies, leaving their empty minds and thoughts straddling the clouds. In a seat I had set the fortune for; to burn with my carcass over Portugal, or France. I’d chosen the role of the innocent man who sat peacefully next to me, ordering a sandwich and some wine (the last supper). I learnt a lot about myself today.

Continue reading “Body bag”

The Modern Consumer

It scares, but also excites, me how quickly things are changing in today’s society. The technological landscape we live upon has an ability to manipulate and create nuance in things we may have previously thought stable. For instance, fashion. What was previously a straightforward industry is now a complex culture that thrives off the changes instigated by modernity. Designers are pressured to create new and exciting products to fuel the desires of its growing audience. People don’t just want the product, they want to know how it was made, who made it, and who’s wearing it.

Continue reading “The Modern Consumer”

A question of morality: A few thoughts on the fetishism of violence in the media

The fetishism surrounding violence in the media often creates an uncomfortable landscape which forces us to question our moral status. Media surrounding violent events such as 9/11 are discussed by Daniel O’Gorman when he suggests:

While Islamic terrorism might be seen to enact more manifest violence than US-style capitalism…the drive within each to privilege fundamental detail over the nuanced complexities of world history is necessarily conductive to a reinforcement of arbitrarily delineated – and mutually antagonistic – categories of collective identity.

Continue reading “A question of morality: A few thoughts on the fetishism of violence in the media”

Macklemore and Ryan Lewis – Same Love

As an A-level English literature student, particularly interested in the poetry aspect of the course, I found Macklemore and Ryan Lewis’ song Same Love inspiring in terms of analysis. On first listening I could immediately pick out the various techniques usually associated with poetry and started to appreciate the way in which the lyricist had used language and method to manufacture such a heart-warming, gripping piece of writing.

Continue reading “Macklemore and Ryan Lewis – Same Love”

Competition in the classroom

One approach to ensue academic progression seems to be fixated on a competitive atmosphere where people are compared and shown off to encourage better performance for peers. But surely this has negative consequences? There are benefits, I admit, but surely context restricts these. In a classroom, for example, I feel it is unnecessary to flaunt and boast about good grades in front of a student in a lesser position. That student may have tried twice as hard as you and felt confident and content with their results. That is until you buried them in your selfish exploits and lavish demonstrations of superiority and intellect.

Continue reading “Competition in the classroom”