Daily Archives: September 10, 2010

TGIF: Tina Fey


“The Sarah Palin Network”

You know how people always say that they find intelligence and a good sense of humor sexy, but then it turns out that they don’t?

Here’s some much needed proof that it can happen.  Tina Fey.  She has got to be, on any given day, one of the funniest, smartest writers and performers drawing breath and delivering the goods.  (Fifth season premiere of 30 Rock — easily the best comedy on network television — is September 23rd.)

Above is her latest incarnation of Sarah Palin, which is still very funny, and while the performance does not include Palin’s cold misanthropic glare, it captures the goofily entitled and unendearing self-assurance of someone who needs to do some serious self-examination.

After the jump, Tina’s classic SNL commercial parody, “Mom Jeans.”

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Quote of the Day: “History repeats myth”


All of the Ned scenes from Groundhog Day

I’ve been keeping my eye out for the source of this quote from Frye: “History doesn’t repeat itself; history repeats myth.”

Thanks to Bob Denham’s Northrop Frye Unbuttoned, I now have the complete quote, which comes from one of the late notebooks and appears in Collected Works 5, 164:

Why do people call me “anti-historical”?  I talk about myth, and it’s myth that’s anti-historical.  It’s the counter-historical principle, just as metaphor is the counter-logical principle.  History doesn’t repeat itself; history repeats myth.  (It’s not simple repetition, though: it’s not a da capo aria but a theme with variations.)  As I’ve often said, you never get logic in literature: what you get is what Susanne Langer would call virtual logic, a rhetorical illusion of logic.  Similarly you never get history in literature: you get virtual history, history assimilated to myth.

Henry Purcell


“An Evening Hymn”

Today is Henry Purcell‘s birthday (1659-1695).

Frye in his 1950 diary records listening to some Purcell on the radio and suddenly encountering something he did not expect to hear:

Stayed around indoors all day, listening to the radio, hearing some good music — a program from Halifax of recorded music featuring Purcell, Boyce & Arne.  At six I heard a most curious noise over the radio purporting to come from some Professor named Frye who was talking about books.  It’s the first time I’ve heard my voice, except for a few remarks in that Infeld programme.  I would never have recognized it as my own voice: that nasal honking grating buzz-saw of a Middle-Western corncrake.  I need a few years in England.  The reading wasn’t as bad as I thought it might be, but Clyde Gilmour on movies was a hell of a lot better. (CW 8, 293)