Sturm und Drang on a Friday afternoon

One rather frustrating aspect of studying the Sturm and Drang movement (18th century Germany) is the way it evokes an obsessive poet in me. I'll be reading a piece of literary criticism and I suddenly find myself scribbling atrocious rhymes on the back of a flyer because I happened to look out of the window and felt the irrevocable desire to write about my experience of nature through the single-glazed glass.

Other than feeling like a massive boffin bordering on romantic (in the literary sense) fool, it is incredibly frustrating and proving potentially detrimental to the outcome of this essay. I know learning is supposed to inspire and I'm finding myself pouring over books until past midnight wolfing down any tips, styles and knowledge that seems relevant or that I can connect with. This along with my recent addiction to BBC Radio 3 and current gorge-fest of Vaughn Williams is making me wonder whether I'm turning into a bit of an academic recluse.

I remember an English lesson in the dusty treasure chest of Palmer Library at Kendrick School. We were reading Byron, rather enthusiastically (we were Kendrick girls after all) when our teacher told us very sincerely that we should all aspire to be 'culture vultures'. I love that image. Since that day I have clung to those words and tried to make them a part of my character. Culture is such a broad term, but in its simplest form it is the study of human beings, of their desires and stories, expressed through a range of mediums. I like to think that being a 'culture vulture' is simply another way of saying that I am determined to know as much about the world and its in habitants as possible. However, this might require me to leave my room every once in a while to actually experience culture rather that just reading about it...

Oh, but it's time for 'Composer of the Week' on Radio 3 AND it's Elgar. Tch, the world can wait an extra hour, surely?

1 comment :

  1. I didn't know about Sturm and Drang. I'm wondering if it's where JK Rowling came up with Durmstrang from. Cool.