Excalibur 石中劍: the name of the sword belonging to King Arthur
Wit is a 2001 American television movie directed by Mike Nichols. The teleplay(電視劇) by Nichols and Emma Thompson is based on the 1998 Pulitzer Prize winning play of the same title by Margaret Edson.
The film was shown at the Berlin International Film Festival on February 9, 2001 before being broadcast by HBO on March 24. It was shown at the Edinburgh Film Festival and the Warsaw Film Festival later in the year.
metaphysics 形上學: the part of philosophy that is about understanding existence and knowledge
Shall I Compare Thee To A Summer's Day?
by William Shakespeare (1564-1616)
Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate.
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer's lease hath all too short a date.
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimm'd;
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance or nature's changing course untrimm'd;
But thy eternal summer shall not fade
Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow'st;
Nor shall Death brag thou wander'st in his shade,
When in eternal lines to time thou grow'st:
So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.
Sonnet 18, often alternately(交替地) titled Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?, is one of the best-known of 154 sonnets written by the English playwright and poet William Shakespeare. Part of the Fair Youth sequence (which comprises sonnets 1-126 in the accepted numbering stemming from the first edition in 1609), it is the first of the cycle after the opening sequence now described as the Procreation sonnets. Most scholars now agree that the original subject of the poem, the beloved to whom the poet is writing, is a male, though the poem is commonly used to describe a woman.
In the sonnet, the speaker compares his beloved to the summer season, and argues that his beloved is better. He also states that his beloved will live on forever through the words of the poem. Scholars have found parallels(可相比擬的人或事物) within the poem to Ovid's Tristia and Amores, both of which have love themes. Sonnet 18 is written in the typical Shakespearean sonnet form, having 14 lines of iambic pentameter(抑揚格五音部) ending in a rhymed couplet(押韻對聯). Detailed exegeses have revealed several double meanings within the poem, giving it a greater depth of interpretation.
conceit: a clever or surprising comparison, especially in a poem (far-fetched comparison, valediction告別辭, John Donne)
In literature, a conceit is an extended metaphor with a complex logic that governs a poetic passage or entire poem. By juxtaposing(並置；並列), usurping and manipulating images and ideas in surprising ways, a conceit invites the reader into a more sophisticated understanding of an object of comparison. Extended conceits in English are part of the poetic idiom of Mannerism, during the later sixteenth and early seventeenth century.
In English literature the term is generally associated with the 17th century metaphysical poets, an extension of contemporary usage. In the metaphysical conceit, metaphors have a much more purely conceptual, and thus tenuous(纖細的), relationship between the things being compared. Helen Gardner observed that "a conceit is a comparison whose ingenuity(巧妙的) is more striking than its justness" and that "a comparison becomes a conceit when we are made to concede(勉強承認) likeness while being strongly conscious of unlikeness." An example of the latter would be George Herbert's "Praise (3)," in which the generosity of God is compared to a bottle which ("As we have boxes for the poor") will take in an infinite amount of the speaker's tears.
An often-cited example of the metaphysical conceit is the metaphor from John Donne's "The Flea", in which a flea that bites both the speaker and his lover becomes a conceit arguing that his lover has no reason to deny him sexually, although they are not married:
Oh stay! three lives in one flea spare
Where we almost, yea more than married are.
This flea is you and I, and this
Our marriage-bed and marriage-temple is.
When Sir Philip Sidney begins a sonnet with the conventional idiomatic expression "My true-love hath my heart and I have his", but then takes the metaphor literally and teases out a number of literal possibilities and extravagantly playful conceptions in the exchange of hearts, the result is a fully formed conceit.
call/fetch a cab 招計程車
peculiar (a.) unusual and strange, sometimes in an unpleasant way
chivalry 騎士精神(knighthood, medieval, 1 knightly virtues, 2 honor, 3 countly love )
countly love(transcendent, erotic desire)
Courtly love was a medieval European conception of nobly and chivalrously expressing love and admiration. Generally, courtly love was secret and between members of the nobility. It was also generally not practiced between husband and wife.
Courtly love began in the ducal and princely courts of Aquitaine, Provence, Champagne and ducal Burgundy, at the end of the eleventh century. In essence, courtly love was an experience between erotic desire and spiritual attainment that now seems contradictory, "a love at once illicit(非法的) and morally elevating, passionate and disciplined, humiliating and exalting, human and transcendent".
The term "courtly love" was first popularized(使通俗化) by Gaston Paris in 1883, and has since come under a wide variety of definitions and uses, even being dismissed as nineteenth-century romantic fiction. Its interpretation, origins and influences continue to be a matter of critical debate.
Mockery (1927) is an American film about the Russian Revolution. It was the second film made in Hollywood by Danish director Benjamin Christensen and starred Lon Chaney, Sr. as a Siberian peasant who comes to the aid of a countess (played by Barbara Bedford) who is threatened by the encroaching insurgency.
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight is a late 14th-century Middle English alliterative romance outlining an adventure of Sir Gawain, a knight of King Arthur's Round Table. In the poem, Sir Gawain accepts a challenge from a mysterious warrior(戰士) who is completely green, from his clothes and hair to his beard and skin, save for his red eyes. The "Green Knight" offers to allow anyone to strike him with his axe if the challenger will take a return blow in a year and a day. Gawain accepts, and beheads him in one blow, only to have the Green Knight stand up, pick up his head, and remind Gawain to meet him at the appointed time. In his struggles to uphold his oath, Gawain faithfully demonstrates the qualities of chivalry and loyalty until his honor is called into question by a test crafted by the lady of the castle in which much of the story takes place. Sir Gawain and the Green Knight is one of the better-known Arthurian stories, which date back to the 12th century.
Pulitzer Prize (journalism, literature, musical composition, newspaper)
recipient: a person who receives something
applicant: someone who has formally asked, usually in writing, for a job, university place etc
man of letters: a male writer, especially one who writes novels or writes about literature 文人
prime minister: the leader of the government in some countries
Alma mater: your alma mater the school, college or university where you studied 母校
Alumni: the former students of a school, college etc
nominee: suggested for an important position, duty, or prize
grotesque (proquliar strange)
The word grotesque comes from the same Latin root as "Grotto", meaning a small cave or hollow. The original meaning was restricted to an extravagant style of Ancient Roman decorative art rediscovered and then copied in Rome at the end of the 15th century. The "caves" were in fact rooms and corridors of the Domus Aurea, the unfinished palace complex started by Nero after theGreat Fire of Rome in AD 64, which had become overgrown and buried, until they were broken into again, mostly from above. Spreading from Italian to the other European languages, the term was long used largely interchangeably with arabesque andmoresque for types of decorative patterns using curving foliage elements.
Since at least the 18th century (in French and German as well as English) grotesque has come to be used as a general adjective for the strange, fantastic, ugly, incongruous, unpleasant, or disgusting, and thus is often used to describe weird shapes and distorted forms such as Halloween masks. In art, performance, and literature, grotesque, however, may also refer to something that simultaneously invokes in an audience a feeling of uncomfortable bizarreness as well as empathic pity. More specifically, the grotesque forms on Gothic buildings, when not used as drain-spouts, should not be called gargoyles, but rather referred to simply as grotesques, or chimeras
Thomas Mann (像龍應台) (Death in Vanis)
Thomas Mann (6 June 1875 – 12 August 1955) was a German novelist, short story writer, social critic, philanthropist(慈善家) , essayist, and 1929Nobel Prize laureate, known for his series of highly symbolic and ironic epic novels and novellas, noted for their insight into the psychology of the artist and the intellectual. His analysis and critique of the European and German soul used modernized German and Biblical stories, as well as the ideas of Goethe, Nietzsche, and Schopenhauer. His older brother was the radical writer Heinrich Mann, and three of his six children, Erika Mann, Klaus Mann and Golo Mann, also became important German writers. When Hitler came to power in 1933, the anti-fascist Mann fled to Switzerland. When World War II broke out in 1939, he emigrated to the United States, from where he returned to Switzerland in 1952. Thomas Mann is one of the best-known exponents of the so-called Exilliteratur.
formula: a standard or accepted way of doing or making something, the items needed for it, or a mathematical rule expressed in a set of numbers and letters 配方
valedictorian (n.) a student, usually one who has been the most successful in a particular class, who makes a speech at a special ceremony at the end of a school year
I look forward to hearing you soon. (商業書信用語，放在信後，表示禮貌)
backpacker (n. 自助旅行) someone who is travelling for pleasure, usually with not very much money, and who walks or uses public transport and carries a backpack
Roget's Thesaurus 羅格斯同義詞詞典
signal (v.) to make a movement, sound, flash, etc. which gives information or tells people what to do
retrieve (v.) to find and bring back something
e.g. We taught our dog to retrieve a ball.
e.g. Computers are used to store and retrieve information efficiently.
casual sex 隨意性交