Another busy day in New York. I moved into my June apartment around noon then spent the rest of the day getting keys copied, purchasing bedding, and gathering groceries. My boyfriend is in town, as he is about to begin the process of looking for an apartment- he just graduated and his work starts in July- so we met some of my school friends for dinner at an arepa place. Arepas are delicious, and far more complicated than anything I would ever make for myself, so I really enjoyed it. Now I am basking in the glow of living in my very own space for which I am paying- first time it's ever happened. Very, very strange.
Next week is my second week of work, which means I do need to start organizing my days so that I can prepare for my senior projects in the evening. One of them is a thesis in History of Art and will likely cover some aspect of the Third Reich's cultural landscape, or more specifically, how they incorporated they very art they so vocally rejected into the aesthetics and theory of their propaganda. I need to become much better acquainted with the intricacies of German fascism in general, and then into the politics behind the formation of their artistic culture. While Mussolini was never interested in how art could help or hurt his fascist regime- and paid dearly for this disinterest, as ideological opposition as it is explored through art frequently gives way to physical opposition- Hitler knew that part of keeping Germany under his thumb was influencing the Germans' tastes in art. What resulted was a strange amalgam of nostalgic, provincial, and idealized images that were presented in a modern way. Many artists' gifts were utilized to promote this cleansed version of art, and gave their talents over willingly to the regime (if they did not, or if they were Jewish, they were forced into exile, driven out of business, imprisoned...or worse). Some of the work produced was not total and utter garbage, and some of it was so significant that we use it today. Orff's "O Fortuna", for example,may be heard on Glee whenever Sue Silvester is particularly angry. Likewise, every modern dancer recognizes the significance of Rudolph von Laban. Yet both of these men's livelihoods were connected to the regime and both of their work contains echoes of the bigger picture, the movement of the people, by the people, towards a purified community that thinks as one. It's more than a little frightening that we find these ideologies as they are imposed onto art compelling instead of horrifying, and yet it happens.
Whoo, that ended up being longer than I intended it to be. My second project is for my other major, English, and it's a creative writing project. I don't know too, too much about it yet and I need to nail it all down this summer so, come August, I'm ready to write. All I know is that it will be a sustained work of fiction and it will probably reflect my Southern roots. There's separate research I need to do for that project, and I need to create and get to know my characters before I commit them to paper. I love creating entire histories for characters and it makes me sad some of it never will make it to the page, which is probably why I love Franzen so much. He doesn't hold back on giving us the life story of nearly every single notable character within his books and he reveals the stories in ways I find compelling rather than boring. I know some will disagree, but I really do like how he writes.
I think I'm going to have to sleep soon. Tomorrow is my first run in, frankly, a month, and I need to be somewhat rested if I'm going to survive the several hours after the run.