Sunday, February 22, 2009

Wit and Words

A few days ago I found myself, for the umpteenth time, engaged in a conversation about the difference in the ways Ethnic Studies scholars and Literature scholars approach and read texts. Having taken 3 lit classes over the past couple of years, I have my own pent up frustrations about Lit students. So, partly facetiously and partly seriously, I commented that I was unsure what the purpose of the field of literature was. Of course, this question is totally unfair (although I still wouldn't mind a substantive answer that helps erase all my misconceptions about the field). So, as a peace offering to any lit scholars I might have offended, I offer the following clip from the film Wit.

I would have to say this is one of my favorite movies of all time. It is one of those movies you can actually savor - turn the words over and over again in your mind, or let them just float through you. The last time I "watched" the movie, I had my eyes closed for most of it - it really is that lyrically beautiful. (Another movie I love is Yes by Sally Potter. I've seen it just once, but parts of it really affected me, especially the monologue by Simon Abkarian towards the end of the movie. Unfortunately, I can't find any clips of it online, or even the text of the monologue.)

In any case, the following clip from Wit is one that has taken hold of me since the first time I saw it. (This is not the version I like best, but it's the only one I could get my hands on.) I've never been one for poetry, but this clip makes me think maybe I'm really missing out on something immense. And perhaps, also, this is why some people are so passionate about literature.

Hope you enjoy it.

Wait... here's another, just because Emma Thompson is so fabulous.

And another... for the heart-wrenching beauty of simplicity and children's tales.

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