Saturday, 11 March 2006

Saturday night procrastination

DATELINE 11:37pm

I'm writing a lecture about Emma for Tuesday morning. I have given this lecture before but I don't want to use the script again, because it's got a curse on it. So I'm re-doing the whole ten thousand words. This is the kind of behaviour that permits a person to take six years to write a phd, you just keep swapping words till one day you can't stand it any more and then you just print it out and hand it in. And then the next day you take out a subscription to World of Warcraft and set about raising an army of ruthless, savage, hairy slaughterers.

After the lecture I've got to finish the intro section of Adaptation: The Very Last Word On The Subject so as to give it to my supervisor on Friday. Our most recent conversation was upbeat and positive re: the overall vibe, but kind of weird too, because he suggested I eliminate all those sly little sentences beginning with things like "this dissertation argues" and "as I will show in chapter x", and just stop trying to argue or show anything in advance.

I'll let you know how that goes.

A few minutes ago I decided to clean up my work table in order to jumpstart a fresh wave of scholarlylearnedness. At one end of the table I stacked up all the books that I am not using just now but can't reshelve because I might need them any moment. (Aren't you glad I'm telling you this? I often think this blog is infinitely more boring than it was a year ago. How can you stand to read it.)

And then I took a photograph of the pile. This means it's Inane Behaviour Time & I won't be doing any more constructive work this session.

Today I squoze out about four & a half thousand words & I am feeling very Lucky Jim on Merrie England in consequence. But not as drunk. To make matters worse it seems there is something wrong with all the atom feeds in my bloglines subscriptions and I can't discover what's happening in the wide world of Blog.


Phantom Scribbler said...

Wait, wait, wait. You wrote four and a half thousand words in ONE DAY? Woot! The wide world of Blog salutes you.

P.S. Lovely Kermit pencil cup.

R H said...

You are never boring. -Except when you talk about film.

Stop it. Change your career. Do something else.

Kate said...

Contrary to rh, I love it when you talk about film. As a person who has stored my degree in communications studies (majored in film studies) in the back of my mind for several years it prompts me to reflect on those happy days when I would use terms such as 'scopophilia' and 'verisimilitude' and 'diegesis' every day.

It's funny when you're not actively involved in something anymore how rusty those bits of your brain become. Your comments on my post on 'Wolf Creek' have set off a whole chain or thoughts in my mind about Australian film and I'm really tempted to drag out some of my old readings again and actually write something about 'Wolf Creek' that isn't a giant "blurgh." But knowing me I probably will be distracted by knitting and won't.

Jonathan said...

I think it's wonderful that you, who were so scornful of Steely Dan, are listening to Rumors.

David said...

I am perturbed by Such is Life being so far down in your stack.

Lucy Tartan said...

Phantom: the Kermit pencil cup was purchased at great expense via eBay from someone who lives in your state. How about that! It came with a hand-embroidered Kermit washcloth.

Thanks for the career advice RH. I know those kinds of posts are boring, especially to people who haven't seen the movie & have no interest in it. Never mind, I like writing them, and nobody is obliged to read them.

Kate: please write more about Wolf Creek.

There's a whole raft of crystal clear distinctions to be made between Steely Dan and Fleetwood Mac, Jonathan.

David: the pile was the work of a minute and absolutely no thought went into its ordering. As a vaguely psychoanalytic critic I acknowledge that this doesn't mean it's not symptomatic of something or other. However if I had stacked up those books according to their attractiveness to me right this minute, Such is Life would still have landed somewhere near the bottom.

ThirdCat said...

Yes, my bloglines is on the blink too, although I think that is partly because I am very slow at working these things out and suspect that I am doing things Very Wrong (in a technical, not behavioural way, because I am always Very Good in my behaviour).

Your kermit holder is covetous.

And I applaud you for rewriting your Emma lecture. In my second ever lecture at university, the poetry lecturer said 'the references I will make are all to the previous edition' and that edition had been out of print for over five years and some of the poems he mentioned weren't even in our anthologies (and yes, I know we should have gone to the library to seek out further knowledge, but we didn't). And now, thanks to you, I have just gone to the bookshelf and pulled down my copy of Emma and what a gorgeous thing it is...I'm going to start it again tonight. My partner (an otherwise taste-filled man) sniffs and says 'four hundred pages of tea-parties' which is what happens when a sixteen year old boy from the bush gets forced to read things he'd rather not read.

Jonathan said...

You should outline that raft in a post, floating down the river of cordial.

genevieve said...

Four hundred pages of tea-parties - hehe. There can't be many boys from the bush who were forced to read Emma.
Rather puzzled by your Atom woes - according to all the boffins I am sweating over right now, Atom is the Next Big Clean And Sensible Thing. It would be a pest to have to switch them to RSS I guess.

Lucy Tartan said...

Atom is all that's supplied by Blogger; but luckily they are mostly working properly today.

Jonathan, you lost me. Anyone like to hazard a guess at what he means?

Another Outspoken Female said...

Same prob with bloglines. Maybe all us bloggers who are procrastinating and going online while we really should be doing things like - working or packing boxes have tapped into the collective digital unconscious and buggered it up?

Far too many books, too little boxes. At least it is only half a house I have to pack!

Jonathan said...

You used the raft metaphor, not me.

Anyway, I'm just curious to learn more about this musical taste of yours. I really like Steely Dan, and I've noticed that they tend to be polarizing.

Hil said...

Glad I'm not the only one to zero in on your Kermit holder here, and your shoes a few days ago!

I thought atom was just another version of rss and they were pretty much interchangable.

Lucy Tartan said...

It was the river of cordial part I found bewildering. I paranoidly thought it must be a devastatingly obvious allusion to Huckleberry Finn or something, and if i didn't understand it then DOOM

Call it Zelig syndrome.

Hil you almost certainly know more about RSS feeds than me, I just noticed that the fifty or so broken feeds in my subscriptions were all Atom feeds rather than rss2. The issue would've been at the Bloglines end not something wrong with the actual feeds, probly.

Lucy Tartan said...

'River of cordial' does summon up the torrent of blood pouring from the elevator in The Shining.

Lucy Tartan said...

& isn't there something similar in one of the LoTR movies? Viggo & Liv swimming in Ribena?

Jonathan said...

It's from a Rimbaud poem, I believe. But that's not the important thing here.

dogpossum said...

"he suggested I eliminate all those sly little sentences beginning with things like "this dissertation argues" and "as I will show in chapter x", and just stop trying to argue or show anything in advance. "

hey - welcome to my world. my supervisor just went through a draft underlining every time i used the phrase "this thesis argues..." and scribbled angrily, "Stop anthropomorphising your thesis!!". So now I write "In the following section i will discuss blahblah so as to do blahblah" and then i do it. Or I write "I address this issue in the hope of...." and then I do it.
It's been strangely liberating - it's much easier to just get on and write those arguments if you can own them. I feel like i've been given permission to get angry about the frustrating stuff, or to get excited about the positive stuff. It does help that I'm doing participant-observation type work.

But I feel your editing pain. And your re-editing pain. And your re-re-editing pain. Speaking of adaptations and remakes....

Susoz said...

Gosh David, were you looking at that pile with a magnifying glass or is my eyesight really failing?

Lucy Tartan said...

Not to cast aspersions on David's vision but perhaps it's a case of partial recognition of a book one owns oneself - I can "read" all the spine titles in that image though the pixels are too blurred to really show the shapes of the letters.

Dogpossum, I'm glad to hear things are going well for you. The suggestion I received was not about de-anthropomorphising the thing but about refraining from explicitly arguing anything at all. I must say it is a real relief, because for a long time I've had terrible trouble enunciating to enquirers what my diss is "about", as in what it's argument is. The reality is it does not really have an argument, its 'contribution to knowledge' (as they say) is as criticism rather than overt arguing.
That's not what I intended to write, but I'm fine with it just the same.

R H said...

I'd like to sit in one of your classes Miss Laura but you'd probably boot me out - not for snoring, but for asking silly questions. But when all's said and done RH will always be a dunce in the corner of your classroom.
And enjoying it. It's not book learning I'm after anyway.
It's voyeurism.