Tuesday, 31 March 2009

come back to haunt you

Last night not only one, but three nightmares haunted me in my sleep. Being taken hostage by evil criminals because I was a super-talented IT person wasn't even the worst part!

My brother Konstantin came to the library with me today. He studies medicine and was slightly flabberghasted by the tiny rooms filled with books and the labyrinthine ways of the Greek department. "This is what real university life is like?", he asked. Not really. This is what life is like for the ten or fifteen people who study there. I don't really know what "real" university life would be like, or what that could be to begin with.
He was reading a huge book about pharmacology and I was writing sentences about how the Balkan Wars may or may not have been a prelude to a total war, maybe.
Then we had lunch and Konstantin used his fancy new phone to calculate calories. Technology is fascinating.
The best bit of my day was definitely the ride on the subway. I sat next to a nun with a bird in a cage. I'm not even kidding. She was really sweet and started talking to us, explaining that her bird gets afraid when she leaves him at home, so she just takes him with her. It was so brilliant.

Someone left their shoes on the street. Why?

I finally finished "tatt av kvinnen" (or: the Norwegian book with the crazy cover, as it was usually referred to) last night which may or may not have been the reason for my bad dreams. Morrissey was howling in my earphones and the main character found another man sitting in his girlfriend's kitchen and the girlfriend was being painfully indifferent and I gasped loudly for the whole tramway to see. I'm not used to reading about relationships.

And this last bit is for Lisi, on the subject of Hannibal and children who don't get history:

"We might add that doing intellectual history can itself be understood as poetic in that sense, for intellectual history does not merely unravel the structure of what we have inherited but can also unearth what we have lost: ways of speaking and ways of seeing the world, once current and now exotic and (perhaps) full of possibility. (...) Rather it is that in trying to unravel the mental worlds of the past, we give ourselves the opportunity to re-weave our own." - Annabel Brett, "What Is Intellectual History Now?"


  1. i hope you escaped your nightmare captors with some hollywood-esque stunt, perhaps involving a zip wire.

    a nun with a caged bird! that is the best thing i have heard all week. my fellow passengers on the underground are never quite so interesting.

    i really really love that anabell brett quotation; it makes me excited about, and awed by, history, a feeling which has been somewhat lacking recently, sadly.
    (geeky claim to fame: i sat next to her at a dinner last term. she is utterly lovely).

  2. ich hab der gaby deine begegnung mit der nonne erzählt - sie hat sehr herzlich lachen müssen, ich auch!

  3. Thank you for the quote! I'll try to put that in more comprehensible sentences and pass it on to my reluctant students!