Wednesday, July 17, 2013


Continuing to work on that pesky article has led me to The Real South:Southern Narrative in the Age of Cultural Reproduction, a book by one of my former grad school teachers, Scott Romine. You don't need me to tell you what a smart book it is. The blurbs on the back cover do that quite well. (Okay--just one choice cut: "With The Real South, Scott Romine shows why he may be the best critic ever to come out of the venerable Chapel Hill southern studies program." That's pretty good, right?) 

Anyway, this one little chestnut made me laugh out loud so I thought it was worth sharing, a fine example of how funny this book can be at times: "But if Southern Living conjures a kind of imagined community, it is attenuated community that fails one of Benedict Anderson’s primary criteria for the nation: no one is willing to die for it. There is some comfort, I think, to be taken in that” (15).

Friday, July 12, 2013

The Fall

Holy cow, did I love this show! This article helps explain part of the reason why. Also, Gillian Anderson is amazing amazing amazing. Just wow.

So many TV shows that have thrilled me recently have been from Britain: Call the Midwife, In the Flesh, and now this. Keep it up over there, UK folks!

Thursday, July 11, 2013


Zero. That's the number of emails currently in my work-email inbox. Every email has been answered. Every task addressed. Every document reviewed. All the stuff that needs to be printed has been printed. Amazing. This won't last long--probably not even twenty minutes, but still. Pretty cool.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Rainy Sunday evening links

Given what I've just posted, I am not feeling my (sometimes) usual Sunday evening melancholy, but I did find myself moved by these couple of links.

The first, a letter from Allen Ginsberg to Neal Cassady. This part kills me:

"I still have love longings and yet have not in my lifetime founded a relationship with anyone which is satisfactory and never will unless I change and grow somehow out of this egoistic grayness and squalor. Drifting like I am or could would leave me with no hope but stolen fruits. I had begun to get hung up on the metaphysical image and the subterranean peyotelites here. Must stop playing with my life in a disappointed grey world. Maybe go back to analysis. I am miserable now—not feeling unhappiness, just lack of life coming to me and coming out of me—resignation to getting nothing and seeking nothing, staying behind shell. The glare of unknown love, human, unhad by me,—the tenderness I never had. I don’t want to be just a nothing, a sick blank, withdrawal into myself forever. I can’t turn to you for that any more, can’t come to Frisco for you, because how much you love me, it is still something wrong, not complete, not still enough, not—god knows what not—you know how I was before and what I am, my hang-ups. Do you think that is all I shall get ever, so that is why I should come out? Maybe that is not bad idea but I still want to seek more. I suppose maybe I’m looking too hung-up at a simple sociable proposition."

Then there's this piece on recent biographies of Kafka. Andrew Sullivan highlights one of the more poignant anecdotes that stood out to him in Kevin Jackson's piece, involving Kafka, a little girl, and a lost doll. I love this part: "Stories can cure the sadness of small girls. They can also frighten, console, give courage. They can help even a sick and dying writer make some sense of what remains of his short life. Kafka seems often to have thought of writing as a curse or (to borrow a term from the literature of shamanism) a sickness vocation. And yet the thing that makes you ill may also, from time to time, make you powerful."


Just a little getaway

It has been a lovely weekend overall. Yesterday evening, I drove into my friend/"work husband's" Tim's house (about an hour away) and had dinner with him and his partner. Iyt was his birthday, which made it even more festive and fun. I crashed at their place for the night (sleeping on what I think of as a "Princess and the Pea" style bed in their guest room--I have to climb onto it!).

Today was the highlight--or at the least the main reason for my visit--a trip to Daedalus Books. Amazing. We were there for at least two hours. Eighty bucks later, I have a shopping bag full of books--new, awesome books. So much fun. Then lunch at a yummy lunch at an Indian restaurant and home again to WV for me.

I really needed this tiny little getaway. This summer seems to be flying by and I've been more busy than I anticipated. I feel like I am juggling a dozen different tasks and projects and not making much progress with any of them. But just a day away with people you love can really make a difference.

Tomorrow, back to work: Session B of this year's first-year advising and registration sessions gets started.