Saturday, April 21, 2007

So what's with the name?

As a writer, there are those pieces you love regardless of critical acclaim. An example of one such incident came in my English 342 class (British Lit Post 1945 - aka Post Colonial British Lit). The class required only one 10 page paper based on the books we had read, (unless you were a keener and had read ahead), as such I ended up writing on Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead. The resulting paper, "Left on the Doorstep: The Liminal Existence of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern" although a moderate success, I think I ended up with an A- when all was said and done, its impact on me as a writer has been much greater (although its impact on my grammar is of course questionable).

Liminal "in more general terms, marks the place, line or border at which passage can be made from one space to another. Such a spatial structure has an essential influence on social interaction: relationships and social status are negotiated at the threshold, one is either rejected from or welcome to the other side. To gain admission and step over the threshold into someone else's space mean to submit to the rules that in force in that place" (Kathryn Lang).

From this position comes the idea of the paper and in many ways my perspective on these next few months. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern were transplanted, taken from their journey and placed on a new one, that they interacted with but in effect had no impact on. In essence this sabbatical is the same, the whole transport of an individual on a journey, one that could lead to similar disastrous consequences as it does in the end for Rosencrantz and Guildenstern. Instead I have this confined opportunity in which to challenge the boundaries, push the border and redefine the spaces around the containment. In the end hopeful to have crossed some of the thresholds, to be able to break free from the cycle. While my sabbatical may have elements of Stoppard's complex work, I hope to be able to break free unlike Rosencrantz and Guildenstern who "are left on the doorstep of possibility and Stoppard with Shakespeare's assistance leaves them in the cold" (Baerg 9) (no, I don't think it's pretentious that I quoted myself).

In the end this whole process is a journey, crossing and maybe even advancing of the self into the unknowns, the voids.

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