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Thread: Happy Belated Birthday, Petrarch's Love!

  1. #1
    Pièce de Résistance Scheherazade's Avatar
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    Sep 2004
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    Happy Belated Birthday, Petrarch's Love!

    Hope you had a great day!

    An interview with Petrarch's Love:

    Why are we doing this interview thing?
    Because Scher asked me to and I said yes. (I think this may also have something to do with Charles Dickens’ recent 198th birthday, on which date I also coincidentally turned 28).

    Are you sure you want to do this?
    Are you trying to warn me about something I don’t know yet?

    Are you male or female?

    What is your name (if you don't mind sharing it with us)?
    Laura (the love of Petrarch) You’re not getting my last name since I’m the only Laura ___ who comes up in a google search.

    Got milk?
    Love milk. Don’t have milk at the moment. Too much student paper grading and dissertation writing and not enough grocery store going. Literally ate my last crust of bread for breakfast. Must shop this evening.

    Who stole the cookie from the cookie jar?
    Probably me. I am currently cookie-less (see above answer) and the temptation of an open cookie jar may well have proved too much.

    If you had a personal theme song what would it be?
    I used to know someone who hummed Lara’s theme from Doctor Zhivago whenever we met (apropos of my name). Seems like as good a theme song as any.

    What makes you keep coming back to the Forum?
    The wonderful people.

    It has been a year since the last interview. What have been the high and low points?
    I’ve been blessed with relatively few low points in the last year. My mom had a serious health scare that had us all worried for a short time, but it turned out to be fine after all. My research trip to England was definitely one of the super high points of the year. Fantastic time. I’ve also been consistently blessed with wonderful family, friends, work that I love and the gift of never being in want, all of which I’m grateful for.

    The best and worst books you have read during last year?
    I’m currently finishing up a conference paper on Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream and, even though I’ve read it many times before, I’m going to go for that as best book. Worst book is probably one of the more jargon filled lit. crit. books that I’ve mercifully forgotten/suppressed.

    The biggest surprises of the past year (both pleasant and unpleasant)?
    One of the most pleasant surprises was getting all the grant money I requested for the aforementioned England trip. I’m trying to think whether there has been anything else particularly surprising about life lately. Nothing comes to mind.

    What has been the the biggest change in your life since your last birthday?
    I don’t know that there has been any sort of change that one could put a finger on and say “aha! that is a change in your life.” I am still teaching, working on my diss, getting together with friends, dividing time between Chicago and California etc. and yet, as with all years, I have certainly changed in ways I cannot distinctly name. I have learned, grown, met new people, discovered new things about people I’ve known for years. I think the trip to England was a good temporary change in that it gave me a chance to reflect and adapt and gather myself in preparation for what may be a very big change when I go out looking for a job next year.

    Have you studied literature as a subject in college?
    That’s about all I’ve done for the last ten years.

    Do you feel the divine spark of life within you or do you consider yourself a mechanical thing?
    Divine spark, all the way.

    Do you have any pets? What are their names?
    I have a small bird, a green-cheeked Conure named Spenser (after the Elizabethan poet)

    Given the option, what animal would you choose to be?
    Either a bird or a dolphin.

    How did you meet your significant other?
    I have yet to find out.

    What is the one thing you must do before you die?
    Meet the love of my life (and win the nobel prize for literature).

    Do you believe in ghosts?
    Not really.

    What song is in your head at the moment?
    This: Bliss!

    Which book are you reading at the moment?
    Too many to count. As mentioned above, I’m currently writing on Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream, so I’m reading and re-reading that rather intently. For the same project I’ve been closely reading a Medieval romance, Huon de Bordeaux, that people don’t pay nearly enough attention to. For the dissertation chapter I’m working on I’ve been spending quality time with Sir Gawain and the Green Knight and various other romances, and I’ve been reading tons of historical sources and criticism. For fun I’ve been squeezing in some short stories from a book entitled 50 Great Short Stories.

    What type of an author would you be?
    A successful and published one who moves the hearts and minds of her readers (and wins the Nobel prize for literature).

    The last book you finished reading?
    Archetype, Architecture, and the Writer

    What are you wearing at the moment?
    Grey slacks, blue sweater and a new bracelet and earring set with little silver birds that I got for my birthday.

    Favorite TV shows?
    The PBS “American Experience” documentaries because they teach me about the art and history of my own beautiful country. Reality shows like “Project Runway,” “Cake Boss,” and “What Not to Wear” because I have to grade student papers to something. “The Daily Show” because I find John Stewart amusing. I used to really enjoy “Monk,” but it’s recently gone off the air.

    Which LitNet members would you like to meet in person if you could?
    I think it would be fun to meet many of the lit. net. people.

    Favorite post on the Forum?
    How can I possibly single out one favorite out of so many brilliant posts?

    Favorite thread?
    I don’t know about particular thread. That can vary depending on what’s going on at the moment. I tend to like the threads in the poetry & general lit. sections and I enjoy St. Luke’s classical listening thread. Sometimes there are some fun things in general chat or interesting things in the serious cat section.

    What's your favourite sound?
    My cello when I play a note perfectly on pitch (lamentably not a sound that occurs often enough).

    Last food did you have?
    The afore-mentioned crust of bread I had for breakfast.

    Last words you said out loud?
    Enjoy your weekend. (To a student after class).

    Last person you hugged/kissed?
    I think it was a friend of mine who gave me a hug when we met for drinks for my birthday.

    What question would you like to ask yourself?
    Why am I still answering questions?

    What should you be doing at the moment instead of answering these questions?
    Finishing a major conference paper due in Monday.

    Last dream you remember having?
    Last night I had a dream that involved driving a flying car powered by rhyme (i.e. the car wouldn’t run unless the driver kept reciting couplets) over the widest part of the Grand Canyon. I knew it was the widest part because there was a sign saying so just before I flew out over the edge. It eventually involved a flying ship and a forest of orchids at the base of the canyon too…but that’s another story.

    What is your most bizarre book memory?
    I’m not quite sure how to answer this one. Are you looking for an account of a bizarre book, or a bizarre memory associated with books? If the former, then I think encountering the Hypnerotomachia Poliphili quite by accident when the Newberry sent up the first edition of that instead of another book I had requested (I’m totally fine with archives accidentally sending me one of the most famous rare books in the world instead of some tedious work I needed to slog through with serious purpose). Anyway, it’s a wonderful but bizarre book, both in terms of text and pictures.

    Who is your best friend and how long you have known them?
    I have three very close friends. One I’ve known since junior high, another since my freshman year undergrad (we were room-mates, and are still very close), and the third is a friend I met here in Chicago when I started grad. school 6 years ago.

    What’s the worst thing you’ve ever done?
    I can’t confess that in writing. OK…maybe the truth will set me free…I once amassed $87 in library fines! My shame is out. Are you going to take away my lit net license now?

    If you had to lose one of your senses, which would you choose and why?
    I guess my sense of smell, but really I’d like to keep all 6 senses in working order.

    Are you mostly happy with life or are you still in pursuit?

    How often do you tell lies?
    Almost not at all, unless you count little white lies, which we all tell on occasion.

    What gives your life meaning?
    Love, literature, the caramel chocolate cookie I just bought at one of the campus coffee shops.

    If you were a colour, what colour would you be and why?
    The blue of the sky just after the sun sets or the pale gold on the horizon just before it rises, because contentment and joyful anticipation are the best colours to be.

    What makes you laugh?
    I’ve just been totally cracking up while prepping Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing for class tomorrow. I laugh a lot for all sorts of reasons. I laugh with people, at people (but in an “I’m more or less laughing with you because your foolishness is part of a human foolishness we share” sort of way) and at myself most of all. I laugh because it’s sunny, or because it’s raining, or because my bird hangs upside down from the top of his cage and says his name over and over again. Lots of nice things to laugh at in the world.

    What was the happiest period of your life and why?
    Right now. Why not?

    If you could be a Disney character who or what would you be and why?
    As a kid I was definitely torn between Sleeping beauty (a deserving blonde who gets her man—also, I thought that “Aurora” sounded very much like “Laura”) and Belle from Beauty and the Beast (a deserving bookworm who gets her man and a really cool castle library). I just saw the most recent Disney movie, The Princess and the Frog and I must say I love the new career girl princess, though she looks much more like my good friend from college (in fact, she looks a lot like my friend) than she does me, so I’ll have to let her take that one.

    Do those animated smilies ever get tired? Think of them day after day, dancing or crashing computers or laughing or crying till the end of time...
    Apparently any pity I formerly had for them was misplaced, since they appear to be so full of pep that they’re up for getting together to party hearty:

    One thing you would like to do before your next birthday?
    Have more than one job talk lined up in the interests of securing a tenure track job.

    What will you be doing in the year 2035?
    Hopefully something pleasant that does not involve being dead.

    Did you answer all of the question?
    To which question do you refer? (Sorry, paper grader in me coming out. I think I answered all of them.)

    One final word of wisdom for LitNet users?
    Always remember to buy groceries! I’ve finished this quiz on a different day than I started it on, so I now have, not only a crust but a whole loaf of bread, chili simmering in the slow cooker, and, though the cookie jar is still empty, there are cannoli for dessert. How very lucky I am to be able to afford such tasty plenty!

    What would you like to ask to the person to be interviewed after you?
    Do you now understand why they asked you if you were sure you wanted to answer all these questions?
    "It is not that I am mad; it is only that my head is different from yours.”

  2. #2
    BadWoolf JuniperWoolf's Avatar
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    May 2009
    The North
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    Good interview, Petrarch's Love! I totally thought that you were a guy, not because I know who "Petrarch" is (because, I'm not going to lie, I actually don't) but because the name "Petrarch" reminds me of "patriarch." I guess it was a subconcious thing. Anyway, enough rambling. Have a happy birthday!
    "Personal note: When I was a little kid my mother told me not to stare into the sun. So once when I was six, I did. At first the brightness was overwhelming, but I had seen that before. I kept looking, forcing myself not to blink, and then the brightness began to dissolve. My pupils shrunk to pinholes and everything came into focus and for a moment I understood. The doctors didn't know if my eyes would ever heal."

  3. #3
    Our wee Olympic swimmer Janine's Avatar
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    Oct 2006
    Southern New Jersey, near Philadelphia
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    Happy Birthday, Laura! hope it was a wonderful day. I very much enjoyed your interview as usual.

    Last edited by Janine; 02-21-2010 at 09:25 PM.
    "It's so mysterious, the land of tears."

    Chapter 7, The Little Prince ~ Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

  4. #4
    Clinging to Douvres rocks Gilliatt Gurgle's Avatar
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    Jun 2009
    Hope you had a wonderful birthday.
    I believe we chatted some time back on Brian's Architecture thread.
    It's funny you mentioned Doctor Zhivago, we just finished watching it on Turner Classic Movies.

    "Mongo only pawn in game of life" - Mongo

  5. #5
    Ars longa, vita brevis downing's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Romania; actually...somewhere between Shakespeare and modern poets
    Happy Birthday
    Dream as though you'll live forever, live as though you'll die today (James Dean)

  6. #6
    biting writer
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    when it is not pc, philly
    Hey Petrarch, pm me when you're online plz. I did not know we turned so closely in terms of dates, like me and sis. Many happy returns!

  7. #7
    Vincit Qui Se Vincit Virgil's Avatar
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    Nov 2005
    New York
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    Petrarch's birthday! I almost missed it. Happy birthday my dear.

    Let's see if I can round up a few presents for our lovely scholar.

    I just love this:

    In California: Morning, Evening, Late January
    by Denise Levertov

    Pale, then enkindled,
    summits of palm and pine,

    the dew
    scripture of

    Soon the roar
    of mowers
    cropping the already short
    grass of lawns,

    men with long-nozzled
    cylinders of pesticide
    poking at weeds,
    at moss in cracks of cement,

    and louder roar
    of helicopters off to spray
    vineyards where braceros try
    to hold their breath,

    and in the distance, bulldozers, excavators,
    babel of destructive construction.

    Banded by deep
    oakshadow, airy
    shadow of eucalyptus,

    miner's lettuce,
    tender, untasted,
    and other grass, unmown,
    no green more brilliant.

    Fragile paradise.

    . . . .

    At day's end the whole sky,
    vast, unstinting, flooded with transparent
    tint of wisteria,
    over the malls, the industrial parks,
    the homes with the lights going on,
    the homeless arranging their bundles.

    . . . .

    Who can utter
    the poignance of all that is constantly
    threatened, invaded, expended

    and constantly
    persists in beauty,

    tranquil as this young moon
    just risen and slowly
    drinking light
    from the vanished sun.

    Who can utter
    the praise of such generosity
    or the shame?

    "Love follows knowledge." – St. Catherine of Siena

    My literature blog:

  8. #8
    in angulo cum libro Petrarch's Love's Avatar
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    Dec 2005
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    Thanks you all.

    Scher--Thanks for the cake and putting up the interview.

    Juniper Wolf--Petrarch, or Petrarca, is often credited with being the first poet of the European Renaissance. He was an Italian poet and early humanist scholar of the 14th century who is possibly most famous now for really jump starting the sonnet writing tradition with his sonnet sequence, the Canzoniere comprised of 365 sonnets (one for each day of the year) dedicated to his unrequited love, Laura. You can read more about him and read (even listen to) the Canzoniere and other works here:

    Janine--Love the cake and the pretty purple flowers. Gifts that make me think of you.

    Thanks Gilliat and Downing.

    Jo--My actual birthday was Feb. 7th, so we are pretty close indeed! I'll shoot you a pm.

    Virg.--That shirt really made me laugh. I think I'll wear that into the next meeting for the committee putting together the conference I'm organizing for the spring. That way I'll have an excuse to not do budget work! Thanks for the painting and the poem and the Ravel as well. All the art forms. What else could I ask for?

    "In rime sparse il suono/ di quei sospiri ond' io nudriva 'l core/ in sul mio primo giovenile errore"~ Francesco Petrarca
    "Follies and nonsense, whims and inconsistencies do divert me, I own, and I laugh at them whenever I can."~ Jane Austen

  9. #9
    Ditsy Pixie Niamh's Avatar
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    Nov 2006
    Marino, Dublin, Ireland
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    Happy Belated birthday Petra! Sorry i'm so late!
    "Come away O human child!To the waters of the wild, With a faery hand in hand, For the worlds more full of weeping than you can understand."

    "If it looks like a Dwarf and smells like a Dwarf, then it's probably a Dwarf (or a latrine wearing dungarees)"
    Artemins Fowl and the Lost Colony by Eoin Colfer

    my poems-please comment Forum Rules

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