July 27, 2009

Like Cute Widdle Puppies

It's summer orientation season! Next year's crop of eager young freshthings are pouring onto campus for four days of basic training.

I know this because the other class I'm taking this half of the summer is "History of the Italian Renaissance", which is somewhat mistitled in that it's really "Renaissance Italian Humanist Thinking". It could easily have been in the Classics department, except it's set a few hundred years late.

Anyway, today we were going over the status of women in the intellegencia of the time (hint: not good), and our very loud professor was reading aloud excepts of one of the letters in the class reading, in which a prominent (male) humanist compliments a young woman who has some learning herself. In this ecominum, which is typeset in less than a single page, the Italian guy manages to mention the young lady's virginal status six times. It went from funny to creepy in a real hurry.

It amused me to wonder what the kids in the next classroom over, getting their mandatory Sexual Harassment Is Bad Mkay training, thought while hearing our professor boom out "You have so mastered philosophy that you sharply defend and strongly attack set propositions, and you, a virgin, dare to compete with men!" and "May I be allowed, O virgin, to contemplate your chaste face, that I may marvel at your appearance, learning, and carriage!"

Of course, the recipient of the letter (Cassandra Fedele) outlived the sender (Angelo Poliziano) by many decades, in that she managed to not get murdered. By poison. Also confusing the issue is the likelihood that Poliziano was gay, making the creepy-stalkerish style of the letter even more peciliar.

Later in the class, we discussed a dialog on who was more at fault, Adam or Eve. Yeah, really. At this point I suspect the neighboring kids thought it was a theology class. ("What about free will?" "But what about temptation?" "Is a person responsible for his own actions?" "Is a person responsible for encouraging others to do evil?")

Posted by: Boviate at 08:57 PM | No Comments | Add Comment
Post contains 341 words, total size 2 kb.

Comments are disabled. Post is locked.
16kb generated in CPU 0.02, elapsed 0.087 seconds.
40 queries taking 0.0716 seconds, 194 records returned.
Powered by Minx 1.1.6c-pink.