It's almost November and I have to start writing otherwise I won't get my chapter written by Christmas, but the pile of books I want to read has doubled (curse you amazon) and the number of interesting papers I've discovered is spiraling. It is academic dilemma 101. I've also just finished listening to Neal Stephensons "Anathem".Â At something like 40 hours listening, it has what I want in an audio book [length]. Set in world ofÂ secular monasteries devoted to learning, it's fun to read if you are an academic, being full of academic in-jokes. Each chapter is preceded by a dictionary definition. The one for Lorite made me laugh out loud;
How often have you given a paper, just to have a Lorite in the audience say "very interesting, but I am surprised that you haven't referred to the work done by Foucault/Bourdieu/ Marx / Zizek / [insert flavour of the month here] who have already addressed this issue in a much more useful, provocative and interesting way than you have here?" [actually they rarely say the second half of the sentences, but it's clearly implied.]* It's that damn inner Lorite that keeps me reading and allows me to avoid writing. Today, on Halloween, my favourite festival, I curse 'em all.
[above is a picture of my local bonfire].
*I'll share my favourite seminar put-down with you, if you tell me yours.