Saturday, December 30, 2006
Links and Thinks
I wanted to list some stories, links, etc. that I've had pile up on Jack over the last few months. This one is interesting because it explores the possibility that Jack was a woman, which was the only theory ACD ever publicly put forth. This story is about the man arrested for the recent killings in Ipswich. A Lodger remake is in the works, while a prominent feature last month purported to show the true face of Jack.

Anyway, next semester I'll be working at the law school as well as teaching a non-native composition course. Should be fun. Law students don't seem to be as needy as other students, overall. I don't mean that they come in for help less often, but that they take your critiques and move on, while other students sometimes defend themselves and/or their writing as if offended. I don't know if it's that law students just want to get done and don't have an emotional investment in the work, or that other students see my comments as a personal attack. Still haven't figured that one out. Yes, they tend to be older, but I don't think that's the only reason.

I got to teach Marie Belloc Lownde's The Lodger as part of my Victorian Detectives honors course last semester and I think it went over well. I almost showed From Hell but thought that Depp and the convoluted (read: false) story would obscure the intent of Lowndes novel, so I showed Hitchcock's silent version instead. After some initial fun with the music and cue cards, the students really appeared to get into the movie, making points about lighting, etc. and how the movie differed from the novel. Hitchcock's penchant for blondes shows up in this, his first film, and the students picked up on that right away. We had fun trying to find him in the crowd scene, too. Overall, it went well. I also showed Murders in the Rue Morgue with George C. Scott and Val Kilmer after we read Poe's story, and that didn't go so well. Scott was at his overacting best and Kilmer is just worthless. Moreover, no one even attempted an accent, which was just laughable.

I hope to teach a Ripper-themed class as part of an advanced Arts and Science course in the Fall if I'm accepted as an instructor. I have a lot of ideas on how to incorporate other novels/stories into the mythos, such as Jekyll and Hyde, Dorian Gray "The Cardboard Box" by Doyle and others. I think Jack is the quintessential doppleganger from Victorian England, one face in public and one in private, in keeping with the era's unease with religion vs. science, sex vs. marriage, art vs. work, man's base nature vs. his spiritual one (as in Idylls of the King).

On the homefront, we've gotten past "most" of the Christmas celebrations, with one more set for New Year's Eve with another group of friends. Do you remember when everyone celebrated on the same day? Does anyone else do this, have different days for different people? We had one set of family on Christmas Eve, our own on Christmas Day, another set on the day after Christmas, etc. I think a lot of it has to do with jobs no longer giving that much time off prior to the holidays, so people have to spread out their visits for whenever a certain group is available. While it is a canard that educators get all of the summer off, it is true that we do tend to enjoy extended vacs around the holidays. Most are not so lucky.

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posted by Lavaughn Towell @ 12:28 AM | 1 comments

Wednesday, December 27, 2006
A Little Light Humor
This story at least keeps Jack's legend alive.


His name is Brian Bruggeman, but the Nebraska inmate may get a nickname more like "Jack the Ripper" after constantly blasting his cellmate with flatulence.

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posted by Lavaughn Towell @ 5:02 PM | 1 comments

Tuesday, December 26, 2006
I'm Back!!!!!!!!
Well, it's been over a year, but I've been getting the itch to write some new things and work out some issues about the Victorian Era and Jacky. A lot of press has revolved around the Ipswich killings and brought the Ripper back to the forefront of British and, to some extent, American press. Also, the past year brought a couple of books exploring the Ripperology phenomenon and its place in society. Seemed a precipitious time to begin anew.

One caveat, however: this won't be just about Jack, as I believe I painted myself into a corner with the title. I like it however, so it'll stay. Still, there will be posts about my everyday life and my countdown to graduation.

That's the other thing: I've passed my comprehensive exams, my language exam and my prospectus portions of my Ph.D. program, so now all I have to do is write the dissertation. Easy peasy. :) As it involves Arthur Conan Doyle, he'll crop up quite a bit around here. So hopefully anyone reading this will follow as I look at the not-too-famous stories of ACD and what it's like to work on a Ph.D. dissertation, with the following stipulation: I'm trying to get done in a year. Everyone says it's impossible. We'll see...

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posted by Lavaughn Towell @ 11:37 PM | 1 comments

Thomas Neill Cream
Thomas Griffiths Wainewright
Frederick Deeming
The Bravo Case
Madeleine Smith
Constance Kent
William Palmer
My Ripper Inventory
JTRForums.com
Ripper Notes
Ripperologist
Hollywood Ripper
Jack the Ripper Forum
Archives: Jack the Ripper
The Whitechapel Society
Largest German Jack the Ripper Site
The Victorian Web
Victorian Dictionary
Victoria Research Web

The Final Solution by Walter Harmidarow
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