Tuesday, November 30, 2004

dominus illuminatio mea

in the course of drafting a review of the new battles ep I kept thinking, for no other reason than the assonance, of that short but disproportionately influential period in my melancholy life when battels were bills, the buttery was a bar, subfusc a suit, encaenia a procession, the schools an examination hall, the bod a library, scouts made beds, the four seasons were renamed michaelmas, trinity, hilary, and long vac, and a myriad other locally-specific events and/or places and objects were known by an arcane glossary comprehensible only to fellow students and academics. there were no women, a computer was something that science students had to book time on in a building of its own and probably had less processing power than a current mobile phone, and in order to pursue your own chosen study of english literature you still had to memorise Virgil's Aeneid and The Battle of Maldon (in Latin and Anglo-Saxon respectively). heady, hermetic times which were at once breathtakingly thrilling and morbidly depressing, essentially formative and cruelly destructive. all, then, was potential, and the legacy of that frivolous dissipation has proved three-fold and equivocal: a sense of (totally undeserved) election, quasi-tribal pride, and irrecoverable loss - a legacy shared, I expect, by everyone fortunate enough to have experienced an alma mater. funny what music can do.

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