Wednesday, January 24, 2007

"D for the Despair you feel, writing at this pace."

Check out the Grad School Primer at Acephalous, and be forewarned that its abecedarium of truths does not come to a close when the PhD is in hand. The Primer could be copied with minor emendations for almost any portion of the academic ladder ("J for all the Joy you'll feel in this Hell when it snows" ... except it doesn't snow much in the library).

Anyway, back to letter D, the title of this post. I realized yesterday that I am no longer a scholar. I've now gone the longest in my academic life without producing an article, essay, book chapter, anything. I've almost ceased to write. And to think. Neurons once devoted to hurling Deleuze into Chr├ętien now negotiate contracts for updating the departmental web site and writing letters of support for teaching awards. Unlike last semester, when I taught my medieval version of "Writing, Race and Nation," this spring I'm back to teaching the undergraduate Chaucer course. I love it, don't get me wrong, but after 12 years of doing it here at GW it ain't so difficult anymore.

It's a good thing that the Infinite Realms collection is chugging along, otherwise I might never think a medieval thought again.


Karl Steel said...

I've almost ceased to write.

What's this blog? Chopped liver? Certainly, it can be a burden, but many of the little pieces here are probably the seeds of, oh, tens of future books.

Jeffrey Cohen said...

A typical JJC overstatement, of course.

I don't mean to downplay the blog at all -- it's been very important to my writing from the start. I was just thinking, though, that you and Eileen have been able to compose substantial posts, while mine of late have tended towards the hasty and the ephemeral. I think I'm also looking back nostalgically to the spring term of 06, when I started the blog during my sabbatical and had the time to do much more than I do now.

Which reminds me: happy blog birthday! The day passed (january 18th) without remark. We're one year old!

Karl Steel said... and Eileen

Mostly Eileen though (and, elsewhere, Scott Eric Kaufman)! I'm going to pause a bit for admiration and astonishment.


Happy birthday indeed. A lot of my longer posts come from the detritus of dissertatin: there's a lot of material that I otherwise would never get to use or that might be shoehorned into the book that'll appear 4 years from (checks watch): now. Not that you need my advice, but surely you've some detritus from your various books/articles apart from your fabulations! Now's the chance to return, at long last, to the Giant of Mt St Michel.

And now I get to work, wishing I had a little blog post in me for today. I'm thinking a little piece on 'The Former Age,' in keeping with your return to Chaucer, if people aren't sick of pigs. If they are sick, well, I'll just take a page from Jim Webb's counter-SOTU and will be showing them the way.

And now, at long last, I start today's work.