Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Look at the detail

I am wondering if the situation is that corpus linguistics can't pick up the subtleties of a writer like Cohen and that all I can do is a few basic metrics and then analyse some individual lyrics. Perhaps my findings will be as much about the state of corpus linguistics as they are about Cohen. How can a computer deal with Field Commander Cohen, when the narrator seems to be at least two people having an argument? And maybe there is a third in there somewhere?

Next week we are having a number of house guests for a few days. Bed linen mostly ready. Menu spreadsheet done. First shopping list prepared.

Friday, 25 October 2013

Who is he?

I have started to look at the narrator of the Cohen lyrics. Its certainly all about him, with a lot of 'I'. 'Me' isn't really used as an object, so no-one else gets any control. For example 'let me' or 'love me' is giving someone else orders which all relate to him It's a massive ego trip!! But we know that already. So how do I analyse to show this properly and then write it up in an academic way? What made me think I could do this?

I've started looking back at my BA text books from the OU. I have forgotten more than I remember. Am I too old?

I don't want to go back to S until I have a proper plan. That's the control freak/perfectionist speaking. Its my dissertation and no-one else can interfere. Which is ridiculous.

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

A different count

I spent today categorising the lyrics as relationship, political, religious, military. There was another category which I called 'I' for imagery but could easily stand for 'incomprehensible'. It wasn't an easy job, as there is a lot of cross-over. I feel as if I'll never get anywhere with any kind of analysis. I know next August (deadline) is a long time away but there's a lot to do.

We still haven't adapted to 'real life' after the holiday, which was a cruise. Someday else making all the decisions and doing all the work. TSH is already planning for future holidays.

Monday, 21 October 2013

What to do

I keep thinking about my Supervisor's suggestion to measure Cohen against other artists. This is not how I envisaged this going. I think there is enough in Cohen's complexity of portrayal to be a study in itself. I don't want to do the usual of counting up words and then reaching conclusions like 'Cohen uses words for parts of the body 3 times as often as Dylan, who uses words for geographical places and features 10 times more than Cohen'. (Note: I made those figures up)  Cohen presents himself as a lover in songs like 'Marianne' and as a (flawed) revolutionary leader in 'Field Commander Cohen'. He is a helpless pawn in 'Tower of Song' and some think he is conversing with his younger self in 'Famous Blue raincoat'. All of this is much more fascinating to me. I need to get S on-side.

Friday, 18 October 2013

More 60 than student

I haven't got back into the swing of things at all. I'm still very tired from the journey back from New York and there are all kind of domestic issues to resolve after so long away.

But I've written to my supervisor (S) about progress so far. He thinks I should compare some Cohen language features with those of other similar artists. Who is like Cohen? He doesn't seem to me to belong to any particular genre. Dylan? Springsteen? Simon and Garfunkel? Adele? No one too cheerful, that's for sure.

Bought two sweaters at M&S. They have a new area called 'casual edit'. which seems to suit me. I bought a black sweater with long haired wool and a red sweater with a window-pane black check edged with (mock?) leather.

Monday, 14 October 2013


Back home. Washing mountain dealt with. Christmas cake in oven.

Account of holiday here

I managed to sort out the data for the dissertation whilst I was away, and I ran a few basic analyses. Its time I got down to things properly but I'm still a bit jet-lagged.

Mediocre news: I got 64 for the assignment about the flash fiction 'Currents' This is equal to my average mark so far, in spite of all the help from the learning advisor.

Good news: I have been assigned a supervisor, its the one I wanted and I think I can work with him.