Artful Lounger learns Sanskrit (among other things!)

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The_Lonely_Goatherd
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Lots of hugs on the disrupted sleeping. I've never used/looked at tumblr, sounds... intriguing

(Fun fact: I have a teddy bear called Persephone )

:hugs:
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tinygirl96
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Working on French this week
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artful_lounger
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(Original post by The_Lonely_Goatherd)
Lots of hugs on the disrupted sleeping. I've never used/looked at tumblr, sounds... intriguing

(Fun fact: I have a teddy bear called Persephone )

:hugs:
Thank you, fortunately sleep patterns are more back to normal now (because I've had to get for a 9am lecture two days this week at least ), we'll see if it lasts over the weekend (he says, writing at half 11)

Tumblr is a bit dead now tbh, at least nowhere as active as it used to be on my feed. I don't really object to tumblrs takes on things (it gets decried a lot as "SJW nonsense" but honestly advocating for social justice is...good, actually?) as much as the rest of the internet but in this case there does seem to be a disconnect between the realities of the textual evidence and their interpretations of it...probably influenced by more contemporary adaptations I guess? Then again, mythology type stuff is generally popular on tumblr but few people actually study anything in relation to it so a lot of the takes seem to be more or less based on the wikipedia page for the mythological figures and myths involved

Also good choice of name for your teddy bear

(Original post by tinygirl96)
Working on French this week
Well done, and good luck! I was never any good at French...even though my parents made me and my sister start studying it back when we were like 5 or 6, I never learned anything and dropped it before starting GCSEs

Maybe now I actually have some idea of how to study a language (and how to make some of the sounds in French I didn't before; I really didn't understand the French soundscape in school) I might do better with it...if I continue in my area academically then eventually I will probably need to learn to at least read French because half the academic literature is/was written in French
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gjd800
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I don't know if I have already mentioned this, but around Xmas time, I was translating something from an old commentary on a thesaurus (I know...) by Subhuticandra. I came across a compound consonant that I knew I had seen (and guessed at what it was...) but couldn't quite place it, or see it on my compound lists.

I spent the next hour (maybe 90 mins... or two hours haha) talking myself out of my initial translation, before forwarding a pic of it on to a mate in a Skt dept in the States and going 'is this what I think it is?'

It was.

My point is, don't get to down on yourself for making the odd mistake. I've been messing about with Skt since 2014 and I still balls up relatively minor things, it just happens
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artful_lounger
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(Original post by gjd800)
I don't know if I have already mentioned this, but around Xmas time, I was translating something from an old commentary on a thesaurus (I know...) by Subhuticandra. I came across a compound consonant that I knew I had seen (and guessed at what it was...) but couldn't quite place it, or see it on my compound lists.

I spent the next hour (maybe 90 mins... or two hours haha) talking myself out of my initial translation, before forwarding a pic of it on to a mate in a Skt dept in the States and going 'is this what I think it is?'

It was.

My point is, don't get to down on yourself for making the odd mistake. I've been messing about with Skt since 2014 and I still balls up relatively minor things, it just happens
Hehe, PRSOM and thanks for the reassurance yeah I think my issue is I tend to just overthink things after I do make a mistake and build it up to be much worse than it actually is

I just need to keep this in mind going forwards, both in general and in Sanskrit specifically In the immediate future I'll have to bear it in mind while I finish off translating the fable of the donkey (or ass, depending how you translate it) in the tiger skin (from the Hitopadeśa, although I think it might be slightly adapted, but not as much as the Maurer ones were?) this weekend
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Just be kind to yourself and try to learn to go with your instinct. There's a lot to be said for that when dabbling in this stuff, I think
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artful_lounger
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Very late update on last week and the beginning of this week; last week was pretty much just:

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For various reasons I was really not feeling very motivated to do anything last week...I had a job interview on Friday (which I got the rejection for on Monday lol), a call with my UC workcoach earlier in the week, both of which I was super stressed about, and I also barely got any reading done in preparation for the Myth class (and consequently said nothing, on the Iliad no less). Also I've been very stressed because our dog has had a lot of health issues cropping up recently, including this ongoing weird skin thing, and more recently he has become lame in one of his legs and so can't make it up the stairs by himself either He has a vet appotinment (again) today, finally. Last time he went in (about the skin thing) they were just kind of like "seems fine, dw about it", which is obviously not the case...as the skin thing has actually gotten worse and spread more on him, and his fur is thinning in places I think because of it

Sanskrit classes again were a bit of a blur...the main topics we focused on were voice, specifically active vs passive and the "middle" voice such that it exists (in Sanskrit transliteration Ātmanepada, although I might've forgotten an accent somewhere there...). Unlike in Greek, fortunately, the Sanskrit middle voice doesn't have a different meaning generally unless it is inherent in the verb being self-reflexive in nature, which makes translating it easier. It's basically just, more endings to learn, which is OK. We had a homework where we were to change sentences from active to passive meaning, and vice versa. I spent ages overthinking (I think) the first section, which was active to passive, then realised I was approaching the sentence structure wrong when I did the reverse and actually saw the passive sentence formation.

We continued looking at that topic (mostly) on Monday, along with a verse and some discussion of where to go moving forward in the last couple weeks of term. The lecturer wanted to get a feel for whether we wanted to plough on ahead with the material or slow down and recap stuff a bit. I need to check the homework over again, as I might've gotten some of the passive forms of the verbs wrong still. Otherwise I need to do the readings for the Myth class still, and make some start on the Myth essay which I asked to write and am now kind of dreading because I'm not totally sure where I'm going with the whole thing...

Looking forward to the end of term, then I can just focus on writing the Myth essay then think about exam preparation. I'm still not sure what format the linguistics exam is going to take
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Term 2 - Week 8



Hopefully a less mopey update this time! I was feeling kind of stressed before the Myth seminar this week but overall I think this week has been better than the last couple weeks. Still feeling a little anxious about the future, especially as when I asked a question about Sanskrit 2 in the lecture earlier in the week, our lecturer basically was like "well if I still have a job and it runs next year, this is how I will do it", as I hadn't really thought about the possibility I might not be able to continue Sanskrit next year. I'm not sure what I would take, module-wise, if I couldn't do Sanskrit. I would assume also if Sanskrit doesn't run, Prakrit won't either as well which would probably be my second option (or Avestan, but that already seems unlikely to run even if Sanskrit does!) Hopefully Sanskrit will continue though!

Not sure which if any of the Sanskrit texts modules will run; also not sure if I want to take a texts module or not. I guess they are sort of "the point" of studying Sanskrit, but equally studying the texts (admittedly in translation) in my Greek Myth module this term has been a bit stressful because there's a lot of reading to do and I never am sure if I'm just saying something really facile or actually presenting an analytical interpretation of an issue. The Epic texts module would probably be my preferred one of the previously running modules I suppose, which studies some of the easier (language wise) bits of the Mahābhārata in the first term, and some of the Rāmāyana in the second term.

I should probably aim to try and read at least the Gita in translation over the summer in that case? I might ask my lecturer if she recommends any particular translation. Unfortunately when I looked earlier there weren't really any translated versions available online through the SOAS library, so I will probably need to buy one, so that might also constrain which versions I can get (i.e. the cheaper ones!). The other texts module that runs alternately with that one (or at least used to run in alternate years from it) is the yoga texts module, which I've really no idea what to expect from.




Sanskrit



We continued going over the passive and active voices, we spent some time in breakout rooms going through our homework together. I realised I made a LOT of spelling mistakes in my devanagari! Most of them were smaller silly mistakes, although one was because I accidentally "extracted" the wrong stem from a word to try and then decline it again in the new form (tāpas-, which I instead made as tāp-; the former means "practiser of religious austerities", or maybe just "ascetic", while the latter it seems means "heat/heating/pain/fever", so totally different meaning!). Was a good thing to note though, so I can make sure to practice that a bit more before the exam and to make sure I very carefully check my work before submitting! I had actually checked over this homework before the day but thought it was all fine, because I'd just focused on checking the endings and had assumed I had all the actual stems correct

Our lecturer also confirmed she's sent off the exam to the exam board to finalise it before the exam term :O she also confirmed that the oral exam wasn't going to happen until after the main exam and she would try and time it so there was a bit of a gap between them, which is reassuring. I'll just forget about that for now




Greek Myth



We were focusing on the Odyssey this week, specifically books 9 and 10, the start of the "adventures" as Odysseus recounts what happened to him and his crew post-Troy. Book 9 is the tale of the cyclops (also more briefly, the lotus eaters), while book 10 is the encounter with Circe. My overall impression of these two books were "Odysseus is kind of a ****", although I didn't say that in the seminar He has a trend of showing up in places, making himself at home and partaking in whatever he finds, then demanding the owners/residents of that place treat him as an honoured guest and give him even more stuff. Then, if they react negatively, he basically kills/attacks/dominates them in some way and forces them into submission.

Also most of the times his crew died seem to be entirely his fault, either because it was his idea in the first place to go to x location, he made them go in his stead somewhere (where they were killed), or his character (flaws) caused them to end up in the situation in the first place (e.g. taunting the cyclops after "winning" against him in their encounter, and revealing his name in the end so he can be cursed). The lecturer actually said if he was going to be more like one of the two Homeric heroes, he would rather be like Odysseus...which seemed weird to me. I would very much NOT want to be like Odysseus; glib, manipulative, and never acknowledging the harm he causes others. Achilles feels more relatable and preferable in that sense...his actions felt more legitimate than Odysseus'.

I didn't feel I had a lot to say about them, but it seemed I had more to say than anyone else as I rambled on for a few minutes about the repeated theme of consuming *things* (food/drink/whatever the lotus things are) and having altered mental states, and the presentation of these actions. Particularly, the lotus-eaters aren't portrayed as actively malicious in offering their mind-altering consumable material, but the effect is portrayed as negative, and Odysseus is portrayed as a hero for inebriating the cyclops with the (possibly magical) wine, however Circe is definitely portrayed as actively malicious in intent in plying Odysseus' crew with her potion infused consumable material (I can't remember if it was food or drink). So it definitely felt like there was a dissonance there; possibly because Circe is a woman her actions are treated somehow differently? There was also Hermes providing the inoculating herb to Odysseus which was definitely portrayed as a positive action.




Non-academic stuff



Job searching continues; I got the rejection from my interview last week back this week. I honestly feel kind of relieved, in a weird sense...I was kind of stressed thinking about that job, as while I think it was possible for me in terms of background, there would be a lot to learn and people to get to know, before I could do it effectively...maybe it's just sour grapes though :dontknow:. I realised after applying to one job today that I accidentally wrote "as" instead of "at" in my covering letter, so I think that one is probably a bust lol, although also it might technically be a civil service job in which case I wouldn't be eligible for it anyway?

Minor update gaming-wise, we have now downed Sapphiron as well, so just one final boss then we've cleared everything in classic! I was quite surprised by the Sapphi fight honestly, we did it in under 6 minutes, and cleared it on our first attempt that night. I was expecting it to take us at least 8 mins, and that we would wipe and lose our world buffs the first try, obviously I underestimated the rest of the raid! We did some attempts on Kel'Thuzad (the final boss of this last raid in the game) as well, which was illuminating, although I'm not sure how much progress we made. We did get to phase 3 a couple times, but pretty much every time we got to phase 3 we would then immediately wipe. Not really sure about what to gear for in that fight either...

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The_Lonely_Goatherd
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Breakout rooms :afraid:

Great that there'll be a gap between exam and the oral exam

I don't know much about Odysseus at all but from your description, I wouldn't wanna be like him either :nope: :five: :ninja:

Hope you have a good weekend
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artful_lounger
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(Original post by The_Lonely_Goatherd)
Breakout rooms :afraid:

Great that there'll be a gap between exam and the oral exam

I don't know much about Odysseus at all but from your description, I wouldn't wanna be like him either :nope: :five: :ninja:

Hope you have a good weekend
Thanks, and hopefully you had a good weekend too

Yeah he doesn't seem like a great role model...maybe that's why the Romans disliked him as a character The Greeks apparently saw him much more favourably as an example of metis which they considered a pretty important and desirable quality :dontknow:
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artful_lounger
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My laptop stopped working so now I have to use a very old one with 2GB of RAM that can do exactly one thing at a time

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artful_lounger
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(Original post by artful_lounger)
My laptop stopped working so now I have to use a very old one with 2GB of RAM that can do exactly one thing at a time

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CRISIS AVERTED! One of my guildys on WoW helped me troubleshoot a bit, and it is "just" that the power button broke. Fortunately my model of laptop has a secondary power-on button which can be used to boot directly into the BIOS, from which I can boot up windows normally. That was incredibly stressful couple hours though...also now I'm way behind on working on my homework for tomorrow. Which, in the vein of this being a study blog, I guess I'll talk about now

It's a bit different form our usual homework as it's a composition (i.e. English into Sanskrit) exercise, and whereas previous they were just random short sentences that were unconnected, this time it's a little (paragraph long) story that we're translating into Sanskrit! So a bit harder than usual, even given composition is usually pretty tricky. Also I don't think I know all the vocab I need for it...not sure what "hermitage" is in Sanskrit...I think maybe we had some word a long time ago that was something along the lines of that (I think it was like "residence of the ascetics" or something) so I need to go through my old homeworks to try and find that.
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artful_lounger
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Term 2 - Week 9



Small update, following the myth seminar yesterday, below. Stress levels are definitely rising a bit, mostly due to non-academic stuff (job searching, SFE appeal...). The main academic stressor currently is the myth essay, which ironically is entirely self-inflicted because I was not technically supposed to be able to do it but just specifically asked to do it...which makes it even more stressful because I really can't turn in some halfbaked analysis as a result! We also got our exam timetables, they're all 48 hour open book exams which in one sense is a little less stressful, although in another slightly more since the standard expected will be higher since we have all our notes etc. Also two of the 48 hour periods overlap (for my Sanskrit exam and the art history one) :/




Sanskrit



In Wednesday's Sanskrit class we looked at possessive adjectives, the present active participle, and more consonant stems. It all is a little fuzzy in retrospect, so I need to go over it again. My recollection was that we mainly were looking at the formation of these and how they're sometimes a bit peculiar, rather than anything about the meanings or practically translating those forms, which is then presumably a more straightforward task. I need to work on the composition homework more, I think I need to shift my approach a bit; I was maybe a little too hung-up on trying to get all the (apparent) vocab from the English into Sanskrit, our lecturer stressed that trying to translate the overall sense of the passage in Skt with what vocab and grammatical forms we know is the point, rather than trying to chase down obscure bits of vocab (although ironically what was "obscure" vocab for me was not strange terms like "ascetic" and "hermitage", which we had already covered, but random things like "about" or "in order to".




Greek Myth



We were looking at Pindar's Pythian Ode 4 yesterday, which largely included an exposition of Jason's trials with the Argonauts and meeting Medea. The seminar ended up being closer to a lecture in actuality, as only two people said anything other than the lecturer. I was one of them, although my comment was more tangential asking something about Medea in the context of the Tragedy after the exploits of Jason. I think everyone is a bit burnt out at this point in the term...also the ode was kind of confusing and very long for an ode (thirteen triads! about 300 lines in total I think?). Our lecturer also attached a chapter (from a book) he had written on the ode, which was also a little intimidating because this was very much one of his main areas of research! I didn't finish reading the chapter though it was quite long, although the third of it I had gotten through was pretty impressive and compelling on first pass at least.




Non-academic



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Not much other than the temporary laptop problem from earlier in the week. I forgot to mention in that, for nobody's sake but my own, that we actually finally downed KT as well, so we've officially completed Naxxramas and hence all of classic now. Our guild finished in the server rankings at 59 as a result (out of ~106 lol, so we definitely were not a top guild!). We actually downed him on our first try that night, after one-shotting Sapphi too, so in a way it felt a little underwhelming; our planned 3 hour raid night of wiping on KT ended up being about 30 minutes! We did have a bit of drama in the guild over the weekend...someone left our guild (mid raid, actually), although it was kind of a long time coming, and there was a bit of fallout with the guild leader who didn't get along with him.

For job applications I got an email back about a voluntary position I applied for late Monday night, then before I had a chance to respond to it on Tuesday I got another email from the website the position was posted on saying they I was no longer being considered for it, so that was a pretty quick turnaround that I missed...still it was a voluntary position so would've just been for experience. Also I had no experience in the area anyway so the prospect was a bit daunting. Otherwise not much else going on in that regard...




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The_Lonely_Goatherd
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Understandable for people to be burnt out, spring term is a long one :sadnod: Annoying that two of your 48-hour exam periods overlap :emo: Lots of hugs about stressful stuff! :console:
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artful_lounger
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(Original post by The_Lonely_Goatherd)
Understandable for people to be burnt out, spring term is a long one :sadnod: Annoying that two of your 48-hour exam periods overlap :emo: Lots of hugs about stressful stuff! :console:
Thanks yeah, just one more week to go! Then I can I just focus on my myth essay, and then exams, then finding a job over the summer

For now I'm just going to bake blueberry muffins and not think about anything productive that I need to do until tomorrow
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Term 2 - Week 10


The final week of term! Overall, although I had fewer modules this term, I ended up with a lot more stress due to SFE issues and applying to jobs. Also having fewer modules meant I had less structure to my academics, so I ended up far more often putting things off and falling behind a little here and there. Last term because I had stuff every single day, usually several different lectures/tutorials/etc each day, I kind of was just jumping from one thing to the next and just filling the gaps with doing bits of work here and there, which added up a lot more to keep on top of things in the end. I also ended up feeling less demotivated a lot of the time because I didn't really have time to ruminate on how I felt I was personally doing in each course! So I guess that's something to keep in mind...

Module registration opened yesterday for next year, unfortunately though it's showing all PG modules for me again. It looks like I will just need to ask lecturers for permission to take their module and then have the student office manually enroll me again for that. Our Sanskrit lecturer explained in class this morning though that at this point it's really just a formality and in the department Sanskrit is taught through nothing will be finalised until early September anyway. She also confirmed Sanskrit 2 will be running (unless she leaves SOAS ) so that should mean at least half my credits next year are confirmed, although she advised that the epic texts module would most likely not be running (although the yoga texts module would be). It looks like Avestan is probably not running again, although I will email the lecturer to check, and likewise for Hittite. There is only the introductory Prakrit module showing now, and now the readings module that follows it seems to have disappeared, so not sure where that stands.



Sanskrit


We finished discussing the composition exercise today, which our lecturer is going to set up a collaborative document for us to add all our versions to so they can be compared and fed back on collectively, since in composition there isn't really any one singular correct answer. It was an interesting class because people came up with a lot of different ways to express the same core idea in a Sanskrit sentence! Our lecturer also underscored that we can and should be using dictionaries when doing composition work and not just stick purely to the vocab from our textbook, although to also be careful and try to stick to words that we know how to use, as such e.g. avoid class 2 verbal roots which we've not touched! Also some unusual cases that have a different declension than may be assumed, like śrī which I tried to use because thought would just use the long [i] stem declension, but apparently because it's a single syllable (?) ending in long [i] it has a different declension.

I also tried to indirectly "manufacture" a word for 'happiness' because I couldn't find it in the book, making vicintā-, from vi- 'away from' and cintā- 'worry/anxiety', along with the root gam (to go), as gam with an abstract noun conveys a sense of "becoming x", so in this way I was trying to convey "becoming happy" from "going away from worry/anxiety", following the above sense of gam with an abstract noun meaning "becoming...". Although our lecturer liked the idea, when she looked up vicintā- it seemed to already have a meaning of 'though/reflection' which isn't really what I was trying to convey. It is interesting that you can form relatively easily in Sanskrit putting together different words and prefixes in this way, which apparently is relatively natural in the language (since you could kind of do that in English but it would sound very strange I think).



Greek Myth


I didn't actually see that this week's reading had been uploaded on moodle until just now, so I need to do a bit of catchup! We are looking at Euripides' Ion, which I know nothing about so, I guess I'll see how that goes



Non-academic


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So it seems us one-shotting Sapphiron and KT last week was a fluke, as we tried to recreate that last night and failed miserably. We became only the 26th guild on our server to down Sapphiron without world buffs though, which is something. KT we didn't manage to kill though, and in fact we only made it to phase 3 once, which was even worse than our first time at KT! The TBC beta is live now, so some information is getting leaked about that...I've not been lucky enough to get an invite (yet!), but we'll see how things go. Looks like the planned changes to drums in TBC are mostly to make them worse to discourage people using them, rather than remove the need for almost every raider to be a leatherworker.





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The_Lonely_Goatherd
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Well done for getting to the end of term :hugs:
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(Original post by The_Lonely_Goatherd)
Well done for getting to the end of term :hugs:
Thank you! :hugs: Which reminds me, I meant to do another update for the Myth seminar on Thursday
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Term 2 - Week 10 (part 2!)



Final update from "term time", although not of the year I'm sure




Greek Myth



We had the final seminar today, based on Eurpipides' Ion. I ended up being the person that talked the most after the lecturer, and only one other person really said anything...it was a little embarrassing but I did have some interesting discussion with the lecturer for my own sake at least so, that was something.

Ion is a bit of a weird play, it's ostensibly a tragedy but, it has what is essentially a "happy ending", unlike the structure of the genre generally (although there are a couple of other exceptions, also by Euripides, apparently, that the lecturer highlighted in the seminar). The structure is also a little strange, it feels much more...internally focused, mainly due to the use (or lack thereof) of the chorus. In the tragedies I've read so far, the chorus takes a pretty significant role in acting as a bridge between the audience and the play, being often the main expositors who set up the dramatic irony that is pretty core to the nature of tragedy.

In Ion the chorus doesn't really act as an expositor in this way (this role is taken over by Hermes at the beginning and Athena at the end of the play). They act much more as characters in the play, rather than an external group which is both part of the play and outside of it in a sense, connecting the audience to the narrative. In Ion they mostly just react emotively to what happens within the play, in a manner that is both fairly "internal" to the play, and also rather narratively weak; they don't really do much. Their role within the play otherwise is as a sort of pseudo antagonist, as unusually they actually drive the actions that may have resulted in tragedy (although has above, the play actually has essentially happy ending, as Greek tragedy goes).

It's definitely a very odd play in that respect! I think the lecturer wanted us to focus more on the mythological and nation building aspects of autochthony, but I guess I ended up more interested in genre and structural elements of the play

Thoughts on the module overall are in some senses mixed; I felt like we covered a fairly wide range of ground, but maybe not that in depth. However it was a first year module designed for undergrads who haven't necessarily studied any classical texts before outside of their other modules. The texts themselves I had somewhat a mixed response to; Iliad and Odyssey I found hard to get into, surprisingly maybe, while the tragedies were a bit more interesting, some of them anyway. A lot of the texts were generlaly a bit of a slog to get through, but some of them (like Ion and Bacchae) ended up being more interesting and didn't feel like a grind so much. After the first couple weeks I didn't manage to read many of the "secondary" readings of critical essays etc on the works though; the ones I did read were usually very interesting, but pretty hard to decipher as well.




Other Academic Matters



I emailed my course coordinator about possible modules for next year, nothing too specific and mainly highlighting the aforementioned issue of only being able to see PG modules. Sanskrit 2 seems like a go, what to take after that, I'm unsure of.

The options I am considering now are Sanskrit Texts on Yoga (a year long mdoule, and the only texts module available this year which I am able to take with my Skt background), or Introduction to Prakrit (a one term module) and one of Ancient and Medieval Indian Philosophy (taught in translation, which seems very interesting BUT it's a second year philosophy module so while it has no formal prerequisites, I'm not sure if I have the background for it), the Ethnography of South Asia (a one term module), or Introduction to Buddhism (a one term, first year module from the philosophy department, so probably more accessible without a specific philosophy background).

Other options are a directed readings and/or extended essay module(s) although I'm less convinced by this option just because I have no idea what I would do it on, and it would be very self-directed. I think I will also email the (former?) Avestan and Hittite lecturers just to verify those modules are definitely not running this year. There is also now a South Asian focused art history module, although it's a focused on the Early Modern period in India, especially the Mughal Empire, which was less specifically in my area of interest.

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Report Thread starter 2 weeks ago
#100
Just realised my quote list has been using the wrong tag for Sandtrooper for who knows how long :facepalm:

I've updated all the quote lists now, I don't know if that has spammed everyone with notifications though :afraid:
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