Tuesday, October 24, 2006

From Blogger to Communist Birthday Greetings

Hmm, has anyone else found that Blogger has been awfully finicky and messed up in the last few days? Page refusing to load, or comments getting lost, all that sort of nonsense? Well, there you have one reason for not hearing from me absolutely every day this week. If I can't access Blogger, nothing new gets posted. Very annoying.
Of course, my other reason is merely that I'm busy. My advisor has now read the invented chapter and likes it, although with all the same reservations I have myself. She takes the view that as it is for a brand-new fellowship, we have no way of knowing exactly what the committee prefers. Perhaps they'll be happy that it reads well. Then again, maybe they'll complain that it's background and doesn't say anything startlingly new about surrealism.
Well, what can I say; I'm still gathering my data, not spending all my time analyzing it. One can only do so much. Fortunately, my advisor is aware of this. She says not to obsess too much about the thing, and just keep going.
In my day-to-day research, on the other hand, I get to experience scholarship gone largely wrong. Shawn and I have reached carton 27 of our Communist arbiter's papers. The man was unquestionably highly intelligent, and he left behind mounds of notes and analyses of the literary and polemical works of his contemporaries (along with a certain amount on Goethe and Rolland). The majority of his life seems to have been devoted, however, to canonizing Nezval, Julius Fučík, and one or two other writers, while apparently failing to notice that for some strange reason everyone's best work was written before 1947. Did it not occur to him that even Communists had more freedom during the First Republic?
Then, of course, there is the yawn factor of flipping through endless birthday greetings and thanks for birthday greetings, in search of the occasional page of useful correspondence. There is always something tucked in those correspondence folders that we find we actually want. It's just cleverly hidden amidst thirty years of Comradely birthday wishes.

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