As I have learned over the years in my karate training, there are periods of time where you need to contract your focus and periods where you need to expand it. This applies as much to one's musculature as it applies to one's study of the art as a whole. In my estimation anyway, the same process applies itself to the (sometimes torrid) process of writing a dissertation. I am entering into the drafting stages of chapter four at present, and my hope is that in spite of the necessarily contracted focus that this kind of work requires, my blog (as well as karate) will help to keep my mind at least somewhat expanded and lucid. My two cats should help in this department as well. At the very least, they tend to sit on my hands when I've been at my computer for too long!
When I set up this blog, my initial goal had been to find, each week, something random but vital to medieval studies or medievalism and present said object/website/resource here. In keeping with my plans, I submit the following -- an exhibit piece that utterly captivated me last summer while I researched at the British Library:
Created by the artist Grayson Perry, "Map of Nowhere" draws inspiration from the famous Hereford Mappa Mundi, and it echoes its ideological construction in its blended vision of the imagined, the perceived, and the purportedly real. Unlike its medieval antecedent, however, Perry's map presents a deeply individualized portrait of the world, one that the artist (as he states in this interview) cautiously avoids imposing on others.
That's all for now! Until next Friday!