On the evening before the time before the time before it’s really done but it is really done, really

If you know what I mean and I think you do? A list that gets ever stranger as the days pass, from checking for first citations to cautioning myself not to disagree with Ralph if I don’t have to bigger things, like those last, few, jewel-like sentences I hope to dash off and inscribe with great dignity at the end of the introduction. There will be not blood but changes still to come, more midnight oil to burn. But this is the bulk of it, I think – most everything will be mechanical, or will be reduced to the mechanical, from here. And thus, a sense of finality, tempered by the realization that, of course, it’s not really final, but also by the raw need for closure on this project.

A friend submitted just yesterday (though why I bother with anonymity when 1) no one reads this, and 2) if any one reads this, they know me, and each other, I don’t know). The strange techno-connection of skype, red bricks and green lawns and an impossible implausible summer day in late September Oxenford. Writing acknowledgements for publication is a strange endeavour. The heartfelt thank yous. The I met you at a conference once thank yous. The politically important, financially important thank yous. The thanking of family, who have everything and nothing to do with the work – (Thanks for fucking me up. All that anger really helped me get shit done over the years.). A bit of nostalgia, a bit of wonder, a strong desire for a wander, and mostly the simple tiredness of having gone to bed late and woken to early and talked for 4 hours with students in various degrees of interest and care. C’est la guerre. The milestones, they accrue, but also begin to resemble each other, to some extent. Only because there are more of them? Their scale, skewed by perspective? I suppose, after my fashion, my thanks are due to the Academy, for having a game to play that I’ve played well enough, so far. But, in the immortal words of the recently-submitted, “Fuck the boat. There is no boat.”

not fricking done yet
Wednesday September 14th 2011, 5:21 pm
Filed under: Oxford,Work Tags:

I’m so, so ready to be done. But, I’m not. Chapter 3 should be mostly down from here. Chapter 4 can be mildly improved with the insertion of some dramatic readings to serve as a pivot to a section that otherwise seems out of place, even though that doesn’t really address the ‘strangely introductory conclusions’. Or whatever. I’m so fucking ready to be done. SO I can think about anything else for a while – presumably just more job-related, will-i-won’t-i, self-indulgent anxieties, but that will be a change from trying to keep the entirety of the book in my brain, always. To smooth its trajectories within and across chapters, to add and subtract small details that make “it” (the book?) say more than it does, without saying more than it should or can. Keeping it all straight is taking about all that i have, and I’m TIRED of it. Oh well. 2 weeks. It gets done. Sigh.

(And, good luck tomorrow with your viva tomorrow, T. I am thinking of you, proud of you, and so sorry I can’t be there with champagne and single malt for a proper celebration.)

Dead yet?
Thursday September 08th 2011, 3:04 pm
Filed under: Work Tags:

Nope. Not done yet, either. 3 weeks left, about half the prose totally rewritten, leaving, umm, the other half. The endgame gets less dramatic as I get older. Maybe just because I get tired more easily. Back to it.