Geoffrey Chaucer Hath a Blog reminds me why I didn’t do my PhD in medieval lit:
So it befel in dede that a volvo did pulle up and a voys from it seyd, ‘You going to Philadelphia?’ And thys creatur seyd, ‘I go to MLA,’ and the voys seyde that MLA was part of Philadelphee and thus sche cam with hem. And in the volvo was a cumpany of thre yonge scolers, to wit I woman and II men. And thys creatur spak to them and seyd, ‘Tell me what maner ffolk ye aren.’ And oon the men seyd, ‘My dissertation addresses the pressing question of the relation of the Owl and the Nightingale to the paradoxes of materiality and to changing ideas of spirituality at the same time that it questions what I would call outmoded models of allegoresis. Essentially, I propose that this heavily mediated text engages with debate poetry not as a generic exemplar but rather vis-a-vis an interstitial combination of truth claims and bestiary passages about cephalopods.’ And thys creatur was soore confusid, and sche prayid to ower lord and wepid gret teares for the passioun of the child Jesu who had been born in a maunger to taak awey the synnes of all ffolke and also to deliver her from MLA.
The most amazing revelation here is not that the MLA is frightening (duh), it’s that cephalopodmania has infiltrated humanities circles. I thought this was a strictly scientific affliction. What IS it with the damn squid (and octopi)? Somebody? Anybody??