Sunday, March 09, 2008

In which I write like a man

According to this odd (and oddly defensive) thing, I write 69.58% male, based on my most recent conference paper. Hm.

I'm actually feeling a bit better about that haphazardly-constructed paper, as I received a very nice e-mail from a fellow would-be conference-goer about it. My correspondent has had to pass on attending, but said correspondent read the paper and had nice things to say about some of my more worrisome points. I'm feeling especially good about the section on two second-tier characters in Most Famous Play that addresses some of the weirdness going on in their interaction. I think I'm on to something there--Persnickety Prof was also very provoked (in a positive way) by it in our last discussion. Plus, my correspondent is working on the same play (let's call it Hank the Sad, in 12 Parts) that I'm writing on in the chapter that precedes the chapter this paper is heading toward, so I'm hoping I can start a conversation on that, as well.

This e-mail message further bolsters my theory that UChaos makes its students unfit for anywhere else in the world. What they expect of us, as such a matter of routine that it's never really spoken of, is leaps and bounds above what is regarded as pretty damn good by the rest of the world. On the on hand, great, I'm glad that I'm being pushed to produce the best, most intellectually-rigorous, most well-crafted work that I can. But on the other, seriously? Can I sometimes be just good enough? Or even very good? Can the diss be a diss and not a publishable manuscript? Can I be done?

Oh, look, I started out happy and wound up ranty. How on earth does such a thing happen? Luckily, I have cookies to take out of the oven.

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