I am, most likely, the only person on earth currently taking a break from the serious work of reading and writing about comics by reading a novel whose cover declares that it "only [could] have been devised by a literary team fielding the Marquis de Sade, Arthur Edward Waite, Sir James Frazer, Gurdjieff, Madame Blavatsky, C.G.Jung, Aleister Crowley, Franz Kafka." But because academics are not allowed to take vacations, the world reminds them of what they should be doing at all times—the idea being that if you can make words, you must be making them count.
I thought that this Higher Nagging would absent itself from my current project, but clearly I was wrong. There I was yesterday, next to a stack of unread comics, and because I had the temerity to be reading a thick late-modernist novel ...
"I found myself in France a little more than six weeks after I enlisted. I had no aptitude with the rifle. I could not even bayonet an effigy of Kaiser Bill convincingly. But I was considered 'sharp' and they also discovered that I could run quite fast. So I was selected as company runner, which meant I was also a kind of servant, I forget the word ..."
"That is it." (123)
Which is precisely what I was thinking (albeit with a bit more bluster) as I hurled the book across the room.