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Part 2

Update: Just a note, regarding my trashing of Bad Bunny’s site at Tripod last semester in “Caustic Comments” (October 27, 1998). I recently revisited said site, after seeing bad bunny had signed someone else’s guestbook. Lo-and-behold, the site had changed a bit. It was no longer butt-ugly. It was, actually, not too terrible to look at, to behold. And yet, it still sucked. The single file with gastly graphics had been replaced by a frameset. Goody. Not. The graphics are bit slicker now, but we still have all the commerical crap floating around, and ads everywhere. Oh, but ... and this is the kicker, there is now an “about” page with a picture of "Kelly":

Hi, my name is Kelly and welcome to my little corner of the world. I hope you’ve enjoyed your visit to my web page.

Yeah, she’s Kelly, and that’s really her personal “homepage.” Uh-huh.

In other news ... hmm ... other news. Ooh, back down far below quota on my SIT account ... almost 2MB free. Of course, that was only achieved by sticking stuff on GeoCities. Speaking of my site; yesterday I worked on the Miscellany sub-site. I realized that the Photo Gallery could use some work, too. It’s a tad unorganized at the moment. Perhaps I’ll get to it this weekend. Should call Mike for his b-day.

—February 18, 1999

Today’s web-work: Got the Photo Gallery updated a bit—that is, I organized it a bit. Nothing new has been added, though. In fact, I’ve done very little scanning recently. Based on thoughts today in Serbo-Croatian class, which other random pages do I want to put together? Before class, I had an interesting topic for a page. Unfortunately, I seem to have forgotten it. I remember mentioning the topic, and someone else mentioning that you could find pages about anything online. Well, mostly true. You *can* find pages about any topic; just stick a word into a search engine, and you’ll find something. However, look for hermaphroditism, and how many interesting, scientifically-oriented pages are you going to find? Or, for that matter, who many with any useful content at all. Not many, is the answer. Or, conjoined twins? (sorry, had to pick two of my favorite topics) Where can I find information on Windows 1.x, or 2.x? (Note, if you have either piece of software, or info. on either, I would enjoy hearing from you), or info. on the early Mac system software (pre-7.0), etc. Good Albania and Kazakhstan pages are also hard to find, I’ve discovered. At least in the past. One would expect that by now, several years after I began my first searches, that the amount of useful information would have increased. Instead, you find more commercial, porn, etc. pages. But not necessarily more information. I don’t care about Kazakh women looking to marry western men. Now I remember. We were talking about “Dinner for One.” If you know this cute little film/TV-special, then you know how great it is. If you haven’t discovered it ... hmm, well, that is what we were talking about. I was thinking of putting up—just a random comment—a “Dinner for One” page. First, however, I’ll have to search the Internet to see what other resources are out there. About the flick—if you have lived in Germany, and/or have spent New Year’s there, you have likely seen this wonderful piece. It’s hard to describe. It’s in English, and my German host family just loves is, as do I. More on it later.

On to classes. The Romanticism background we’ve been learning has been highly useful so far. One question I would want to consider is the connection between early, turn of the century Neuromantik and the Frühromantik of the early 19th century. I wonder, to what extent they overlap in terms of thematic focus. Alienation? The Subject? Language? Art/Aesthetics? And then, assuming there is quite a bit of overlap, how do they differ. My own experience seems to show that indeed there is a relationship between the two, at least insofar as one sees Romantic influences in the works of Rilke, Hofmannsthal, Hesse, and others. However, the cultural context is different; all of the latter three were professional writers, not academics. Not philosophers. But all were educated. And all clearly draw upon the works of the early 19th century, be it in Hesse’s early imitation of Hoffmann or Rilke’s use of Kleist’s paradigm in the Duino Elegies. I feel that one likely difference is a shifting of focus to society and its decline in the Neo-Romantic art of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The feeling of alienation (to varying extents) and the need for some sort of change is evident in both centuries, but the focus is clearly different. To what extent can the thinking of the Neo-Romantics be tied to the theoretical framework of the Romantics? Where do we have reinterpretation, and/or completely new ideas? Is Neo-Romanticism simply retro? Is it a movement in its own right? Is it in any way properly titled? T. Mann in Betrachtungen eines Unpolitischen, I believe, calls the 19th century the German century (the 18th being French)—taking that as a starting point, one could understand the whole 19th century as having “inherited” Romanticism. However, this is problematic. For one, the new German empire also identified itself with Goethe and Schiller, and the newly dubbed Klassik; the latter author does fit into the realm of German Idealism in philosophy, as does Kant, but not into Romanticism (if such a separate school can be said to exist). Furthermore, do we not called Heidelberg Romanticism spät Romantik and differentiate it (and its strongly conservative, Catholic tendencies) from Jener Romantik? Is Romanticism always there, underneath Biedermeier and Bürgerliche Realismus? Or do we only have German Idealism through the century? However, T. Mann is referring specifically to Wagner, Nietzsche and Schopenhauer; German Idealism is not well represented among them, and such Idealism may leave out certain aspects of aesthetics covered by the others, and clearly important areas to T. Mann (pessimism, for example). Perhaps questions regarding Romanticism and Neo-Romanticism are not so trivial after all, but the process of attempting to understand the differences and similarities necessarily involves drawing boundaries; creating distinctions. Finding identity through difference (Derrida?). Enough of this rambling for now.

—February 19, 1999

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