Monday, 22 May 2006

Did You Miss Me? You certainly missed new content—site stats don't lie, they merely differ markedly as to the number of you who stop by and the frequency with which you do so—and after five days of flying knees-tight in airplanes; driving spine-crunched in cars; sitting through commencement speeches dull enough to melt your unmentionables; and spending one evening among old friends—one of whom reads this blog but bails out on you at 1 AM (ONE AM!) pleading exhaustion—after five days of that you're just going to have to settle for missing it some more. As of now I'm only able to produce sentences of Faulknerian length and Fourth Gradian clarity. But I have quite a bit on the burner for this week, including: A substantial review of Stephen Greenblatt's Will in the World. Advance notice of a project in which I'll devote a post per week to a prominent thespian whose works I've expressed strong dislike for in the past but which, for reasons unbeknownst to me, I've acquired a sudden desire to read seriously. Answering all the email which has graced my inbox unanswered for the past three weeks or so, as well as an explanation as to why I sometimes find it difficult to answer the five or emails I daily receive from you wonderful strangers when I also have 297 student emails in my inbox. Responding to the comments left whilst I was without reliable internet connection. (There are some great ones which need responses from some better version of me than I can currently muster.) Writing a response to Laura's comment (and Marco's too) about loving the one you're with you teach, which strikes me far more forcefully now than it did last week (and which, yes, has something to do with both #1 and #2). (As does the post I plan to write in response to CR's comment about the relationship of teachers to careers vis-a-vis last week's "revelatory" post about my intellectual heritage. (I have posts responding to pretty much every comment in that thread. I'm currently unsure which will be comments and which will stand alone as posts. I reserve the right to change my mind without being held accountable for doing so.) Recounting the two very interesting conversations I had on the trip to Houston and on the trip back. The first has to do with Sean's current celebrity; the second, with my future celebrity. And, finally, responding to the flurry of debate about a certain novel by a certain expat Russian novelist which lately has been getting reduced to, well, openly advocating pedophilia. But doesn't. That needs to be said and hasn't been yet. I will bravely swim counter-current and demand people stop taking literature for propaganda despite frequently treating it as such. (Because that's how I roll . . . hypocritical.) And that's just the beginning. A week without blogging will bring harvest to this barren blog. (Or will if I don't drown in work come tomorrow.)
Lovely Viral Erudition, Part II: The Harrowing "How much longer should I leave this in the broiler?" "At least another 10 minutes." Sometimes the best a blog can muster ain't all that much. The day after being called one of the better academic bloggers around I completely punt a post about academia. I either overthought what should've been a breezy blog or underthought what should've been a substantial article. Or both. So here are the contradictory points I wanted but failed to address yesterday: Some people (Greenblatt) teach the works they love (Shakespeare) better than those they don't. Other people (me) teach the works they love (Didion) worse than those they don't. (Critical eyes being more easily turned toward works we don't altogether like.) Some people (CR) have a love which drives their intellectual production. Other people (me) have an interest which drives their intellectual production. Thus: Some people (me) should be more drawn to Theory than other people (CR). Other people (CR, Laura, Marco) should be more drawn to the "amorous historicism" Caleb Crain discussed in his n+1 essay. (Yet the opposite seems true.) Adam is a Grammar Nazi. The problem? All of these statements (sans #4) are oversimplifications. The other problem? All of these issues (sans #4) are related in some fundamental fashion. The other other problem? I'm tackling these issues (sans #4) as "successfully" as I do an argument with eighteen planks and countless unstated premises. That is: Poorly. Yet the desire to encompass it all immediately overwhelms. I don't know where to start but I desperately want to finish. Not at all unlike writing a dissertation chapter. (Note to all paying attention: still not finished.) This all ties into the thread without end John's hosting. Were I not oddly reluctant to tackle any of these issues individually I could probably sort through it in a way that would make them meaningful to others. (Is this the sort of blog noodling people are always complaining about?)

Become a Fan

Recent Comments