So I’m going to preface this with an apology, apparently I am not so great with understanding WordPress, I seemed to have posted two of my blog posts to my blog instead of the class blog. So I’ve complied them in to this post. Sorry for the lengthiness and my own stupidity.
Preservation and Loss – Learning Languages
First, thing I had my computer hacked in third year of my undergrad and they remotely crashed my computer, while I was writing a paper. I was more devastated about losing my Sims Games than my essays, until I realized I would have to restart 2 essays that were due. I was also crushed to have lost photos from my family trips that I had taken and did not have hard copies of. It’s odd how sometimes the information that is important for us to personally means more when we lose it than the work we do for school or a job. Memories are harder to recreate than work is. Since then I have kept a back up external hard-drive filled with my assignments as I go so that if I get hacked, or my laptop simply crashes I can make progress, as well as my photos and music.
I will admit that I took Latin for two years in high school, and while I can recognize certain phrases, I would definitely not be able to read Lombard’s Sententiarum, much to my own disappointment. In my undergraduate history seminar course, my professor told all of us that if we wanted to be historians of different cultures, since the course was on the Israeli Palestine Conflict, we would benefit greatly from learning to read other languages as a lot of historical texts are not translated. I have not take his advice as I’m not one who is good with languages, however this week’s trip to the Fisher Library made me remember that class, and illustrate that if you want to be a rare books librarian learning to read different languages might be extremely useful. That being said, I feel that knowing to read the language doesn’t mean we can understand what is being conveyed. I know a lot of people who can read what authors like Shakespeare or even Austen wrote, but they simply cannot connect to the meaning of what they are saying. Not everyone has the ability to look past the actual words to see the greater meaning, and having to translate something to understand it only complicates the issue.
Also colloquial phrases change with every new generation. In a hundred years from now someone may read the phrase YOLO and think it means something completely different. If we can read something from the 16th century it does not guarantee that we will understand every choice of phrase that has been included since they would reflect the author’s unique way of thinking at that time. This being said I don’t think that we should give up on trying to learn and decipher the meaning of texts written in ancient Latin or Hebrew.
Paper Topic – Fanworlds
So for my paper I have been thinking of looking at how the popularity of a book series like Harry Potter, Twilight, 50 Shades of Grey and other, have lead to the creation of different fan platform outlets for re-experiencing, sharing, and impacting the original text. As I mentioned in a previous blog a while back I am a Harry Potter fan, and I am a member of the Pottermore world https://www.pottermore.com/en-us. This was actually the main reasoning for my choice behind this idea. Pottermore allows members to experience a unique connection to the series, and it doesn’t hurt that J.K. Rowling was a part of the creation of the world. I like the fact that not only do you become a student and join a house, based on a test, but you get to go through the stories again in a digitally interactive graphic novel clue hunt, which unlocks things for you to do later on within the site. Pottermore also allows you to ‘do magic’ by dueling and creating potions.
There is currently a rumor/joke about there being a similar site for Twilight fans, called Twimore, though I believe this is merely a joke http://www.twimore.com/. Nonetheless there are countless fan sites that have been created around the series. The fact that the popularity and strength of the fans can impact the reformatting of the series and the expansion of the franchise interests me. I was also thinking of discussing fanfiction and movies in relation to these series; also the whole creation of the Harry Potter theme park too.