This post, unlike the last, comes after my work for the evening. Yesterday’s late night toils to finish Wilde’s ‘An Ideal Husband’ took a few hours of my precious sleep, but tonight, I planned and succeeded at reading the entirety of the Shaw’s ‘Major Barbara’ before tomorrow’s discussion. Our tutor was forgiving this morning however, knowing that many of us are still jet lagged and he queried knowingly if all of us were able to squeeze in the all the reading of Wilde’s work in the few hours since we’ve been here, to which many of us replied a truthful no. It will be my intention to do a full analysis of every work we have from this point on, and tonight I have set a good standard.
Today’s discussion, similar to the lasts, began with Wilde’s life and works. Some may know of the tragedy and ‘scandal’ that Wilde lived and eventually died through as a result of his homosexuality. In class, our tutor argued that Wilde’s criticism for his queer behavior began not only the demonization of the homosexual, but gave the very populace the idea of a ‘homosexual’, separate, lower, sinful class of people that was simply not observed until this time period. This of course, lead to the invention of the Heterosexual, and along with it the virtues it necessitated – marriage, faithfulness, and sexual scarcity.
Class was followed by a brief period of time where I was free to wander the city by myself. I walked down a random road for probably 7-8 blocks and simply took in the sights. I found myself at the school cafeteria and bookstore, and I bought myself a few King’s knick-knacks. I then made my way back to Strand campus to begin our tour of King’s official Library – a cathedral in its own right. Between the round reading room adapted from the round reading room in the British museum and the Clock Tower, my lust to never leave the building grew. The pictures of that giant library, the 4-story, circular, glass-ceilinged, rowling-esque reading room, and the clocktower with study rooms atop it are all included in today’s post. I can’t imagine I will find the time to utilize that space as it is so far away, but I would make sure that I would if I where here longer.
The tour of the library actually came early this week because a strike against the current principal and administration of King’s College is supposed to take place during our normal touring time tomorrow. Our class decided not to cross a picket line in order to look at the library, so we ventured today.
The last moments of the day before descending to another library to study were spent a fantastic fish and chips restaurant, that claims to be the third in the world to ever serve the dish. It was out of the way, but we left for it by recommendation from our tutor – it was well worth it. It’s good to be a tourist sometimes.