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Late Spring To-Do List

  • Read scholarly book #1
  • Read scholarly book #2
  • Catch up on professional journals
  • Administer evaluations
  • Grade seminar research papers
  • Write two final exams
  • Grade final exams
  • Compute final grades
  • Order books for fall
  • Find apartment in New City
  • Attend INRU Commencement!

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Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Tagged! Tagged again!

I've got a couple of memes to catch up on. First, ABD Me tagged me for the five weird things meme:

Five Weird Things about Me

1. I take a bath every day. Not because I'm all fancy like that, but because my apartment does not, in fact, have a shower. My apartment is in a circa-1890 townhouse, and I got the building's original bathroom. What do I mean by that? I mean that I'm in a 500-square-foot apartment, 100 SF of which is bathroom. A bathroom with a six-foot-long bathtub.

2. I would be totally happy never owning a car or driving one regularly again.

3. My memory works in really strange ways. For example: if I've had a conversation with someone and I'm trying to remember who it was with (you know: "I was talking about this with someone. . . who was it told me that . . . "), the one thing that I always, instantly know is the sex of that person. I may have no idea where the conversation took place, whether we were alone or with other people, or even how long ago it was, but I always know whether the person in question was male or female.

4. Although I'd bet that I have at least as many appearance-related anxieties as the next woman, I've never been concerned about my weight or figure. I've never dieted (or, for that matter, eaten particularly well) and I've never belonged to a gym.

5. I have serious sidewalk rage. I'm a very good and usually a very brisk walker, and I get REALLY irritated at people who don't know how to move around public spaces--who weave aimlessly back and forth, stop dead in the middle of a busy sidewalk, or (in the case of tourists) walk, like, three abreast with linked arms. I've been known to deliberately run into people in order to give their actions consequences. (See, it's a good thing that I don't like to drive!)


Then, Clare tagged me for the 5 books/5 books meme:

Name five books that left you totally flat even though your friends / critics raved about them.

1. Arundhati Roy, The God of Small Things. I threw this book across the room when I finished it.

2. Evelyn Waugh, The Loved One. I'm all about Evelyn Waugh. I cede my place in the Waugh Fan Club to no one. But this book. . . just isn't the satiric masterpiece it's made out to be.

3. Everything by Haruki Murakami. Okay, I haven't read everything by Murakami, but I've read three or four novels and many short stories, and I've found them all a yawn when they aren't actively annoying.

4. Tennessee Williams, The Glass Menagerie. I like Williams generally, but this play irritates me beyond measure.

5. Can I cast a sweeping, negative judgement on an entire literary field? Knowing that some of my readers will probably abandon this blog in protest? Okay, well--I really dislike the Romantic poets. I can get behind individual poems by all of them, and I actually quite like Byron, but collectively they make me want to gag.

Name five books that you read and loved that your friends / critics panned, ignored, or hated, or that are just undeservingly uncelebrated.

1. Mary McCarthy, The Group. Her nonfiction is what I really love her for, but this novel--supposedly her trashy potboiler--deserves to be much more widely read.

2. John Dos Passos, U.S.A. It's not like the trilogy is unknown, or that critical opinion on it isn't high, but it seems neglected. Is it ever taught? Does the average reader with literary tastes even know it exists?

3. Raymond Chandler, The Long Goodbye. A great detective novel, but one that far transcends the limits of that genre. It's good literature, period.

4. Camille Paglia, Sexual Personae. Yes, she's nuts. But she's an interesting kind of nuts. I read this book early on in college, and it was the first work of literary criticism that really excited and interested me--and made me see the discipline as something other than dry hairsplitting.

5. Pretty much all the works I focus on in my dissertation. I can't get more specific here, but most of them are regarded as the "weaker" or less interesting products of some great authors, and the lesser genre of a period with way more compelling stuff going on elsewhere. Bullshit, say I!

link | posted by La Lecturess at 12:05 PM |


Blogger Dr. Mon commented at 2:09 PM~  

Sidewalk rage! Too funny!!

Blogger Dr. Virago commented at 11:47 PM~  

OK, I'm going to try to post the comment I tried to post earlier, when Blogger was being wonky.

First of all, I share your sidewalk rage. Sometimes I mutter things like "Hope you don't *drive* like that!" Gr.

Secondly, I share your hatred of the Romantic poets. As I've been fond of saying: Romantic poetry is for adolescent boys and the women who love them. (It's funnier if you knew the Romanticists -- and their girlfriends -- that I went to grad school with.)

Thricely, you have given me renewed hope that I'll get around to doing Lisa's meme (which she tagged me for). At first it made me panic because I coudln't think of anything contemporary I'd read lately except for detective fiction (and not Chandler). But now you have freed me to diss the Romantics. Or Pope. Thanks!

Blogger phd me commented at 2:40 AM~  

Yep, with you on the sidewalk rage. Keep moving and get out of my way! I'm like that in large crowds, too. I hate the whole "stand around like a herd of cows" attitude so I weave, bob and make room - it's really easy to lose people that way, though.

Blogger Dr. Lisa commented at 11:21 AM~  

Ok, I have to delurk to admit that I cause sidewalk rage. I really *honestly* don't mean to. It's just that sometimes I get to thinking about research or something I am writing, and I suddenly come back and realize that I am just standing....not walking to wherever I should be.
Can not walk and chew gum at the same time, literally.

I'm with you on Dos Passos and Chandler (man what a book The Long Goodbye is, but I really liked God of Small Things and The Loved One. I collect first edition Waughs, actually. (geek). But I could understand how somebody who really loved the rest of his work wouldn't get into TLO much.

Blogger La Lecturess commented at 12:30 PM~  

Welcome! I haven't had a chance to officially encourage de-lurking, but I'm glad you have. I've got a few first-edition Waughs (including both American and British 1st of TLO, actually, since both were randomly cheap at random shops), but never managed to carry through on my intention to collect more of them. Mostly, I've got earlish editions (they look pretty!) but not firsts.

Dr. V:
So glad I'm not going to be ostracized by at least my regular commenters for my dislike of the Romantics. It was actually our shared hatred of the Romantics that bonded GWB and me early on in our relationship. (But not so much romanticists--for whatever reason, I'm completely unable to think of anyone within a few years on either side of me in grad school who worked on them. The whiny adolescent boy types [or ostentatiously Sensitive New Age Men] at INRU were more likely to work on post-war stuff.)

And ABD Me--yep, I lose people, too. Luckily, GWB is excessively tall, so I can find *him* even if he can't see *me*.

Blogger Sfrajett commented at 2:07 PM~  

I'm with you on The God of Small Things. At least you finished it, which is more than I can say. And I am driven absolutely crazy by people who haven't mastered the art of the sidewalk. Is it so very hard? Walk on the right, pass on the left. Stick to your space. Don't weave. I become one of those very loud mutterers, reduced to shouting insults back at the people I have to swerve into the street to avoid. Where are these people from? Did they grow up as feral children?

Blogger Ancrene Wiseass commented at 12:05 AM~  

Sidewalk Rage? Check.
Aversion to the Romantics? Check (although I have to admit that my real beef is with Wordsworth and Shelley--the others I can tolerate much better).
And I absolutely agree with you about "The Loved One," which I not only didn't find at all funny, but actually thought was rather repugnant.

Blogger La Lecturess commented at 12:08 PM~  

Sfragett: I'm a loud mutterer as well. But when provoked (by an "oh my GOD! Run into people, why don't you?!"), I actually tell them to their face, all bitchy-sweet, "well, maybe if you weren't BLOCKING THE ENTIRE SIDEWALK, people wouldn't run into you." Yeah. I'm going to get beat up one of these days.

AW: welcome! Maybe I should make this blog the treehouse-fort for the anti-Romantics.

Blogger Bardiac commented at 10:58 AM~  

The romantic poets thing just cracked me up. Yes to individual poems. But... When I was in HS, I was forced to read Goethe's Faust. The teacher waxed rhapsodic as best she could about the wonders of German romanticism, romanticism in general, and Goethe in particular. We watched an old film.

I hated Faust in every way possible.

At a much later date, I was assigned to read Marlowe's Doctor Faustus. I started in, expecting to hate it just as much as I had Goethe's version, except that I didn't. I really enjoyed it.

I think that's how I finally realized for sure why I study what I study.

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