Thursday, October 09, 2003

I'm planning a display on law of the ancient Western world for the case just inside the library's front door. I think I may have mentioned this before. I have printed out images of papyrus fragments of legal documents to spice things up. One is here.
That item is Cession of three slaves in Greek (P.Duk.inv.527 R) circa 200 AD.
“Papyrus cession of three minor slaves to a creditor from Oxyrhynchos, Egypt (modern name: Bahnasa). The slaves are given to the creditor in lieu of the loan and the interest. The slaves were originally bought from Hermaiskos, son of Ammonios (aged 21) through the notary office of Oxyrhynchos and from another person. The slaves will stay with the debtor until they come of age.”
For interesting quotes from runaway slave ads of the 18th & 19th century, see Chavez.

Wednesday, October 08, 2003

Sometimes, no, actually, often I feel completely out of place at my job.
Earlier today I was writing an e-mail to a friend on my thoughts about Byatt's intentions writing some parts of Possession. Byatt doesn't seem fond of Americans. One American character is a greedy, chauvanistic bastard with a bottomless checkbook and another is an over-sexed Lesbian feminist critic with extravagant tastes which include "barbaric, if expensive" jewelry.
I pondered whether Byatt was satiring trends in academia; structuralism, poststructuralism, de-constructuralism, etc. Then I wondered if she was satiring scholarship period. There is a section of the novel where a character states that the search for meaning in a story demeans and dimishes the wonder of it all.
As I wrote, I became aware that my neighbor in the next cubicle, the one who often putters about over there humming, always the same tune, "Amazing Grace" - she was having a far-too-serious sophomoric conversation of a theological bend with a housekeeper about how the housekeeper, who cannot live with her husband, cannot divorce him because the marriage vows state "till death do us part."

Monday, October 06, 2003

Over the weekend I watched the film version of Possession. I saw this several months ago and thought it was awesome. Now, after reading half the novel, I could only focus on what they changed or left out.
Last night I watched the first episode of the WB network's Tarzan series. I didn't have high expectations for this show and it didn't meet them. I have to agree with the reviewer who wrote that a "no loincloth, no yodelling Tarzan is no fun."