Monday, September 29, 2008

Weekend Entertainments

I did not manage to get myself out dancing more than twice over the weekend (one has to ease back into vigorous activity, evidently), but I did initiate two other grad students into the mysteries of West Coast Swing. They both enjoyed themselves and both had reason to agree, as one of them remarked several times, that people in Pittsburgh are "really friendly." I was definitely impressed with the way so many people went out of their way to welcome my friends and help them learn the steps. People have been nice to me, too, but as I'm less of a complete beginner, it wasn't quite as striking.
I spent the rest of the weekend working on my Czech Modernism syllabus and an article on gender and the body in First Republic Czechoslovakia (due in a couple of weeks), and finishing the first draft of a large and entirely unacademic project that has been entertaining me for the past few months.
And, I might add, I finished reading Aldous Huxley's impertinent 1920s classic, Antic Hay. I had no idea when I began it that it would be so full of art and architectural discussion, or so full of entertaining quotable lines. Surely I must be able to find a way to quote one of the lines about how one can no longer dream in 1922 (because it suggests Freud) into my dissertation. And then (My Sibling will appreciate this) there's the line where one character asserts that "Most women are like dachshunds." I am feeling reluctant to return the book on the grounds that I need to extract all the most amusing quotes for future use. I tried to find out when this tale appeared in Czech, but the NKP server seems to be down just now. The British were going into shock over it in 1923 and I assume it was widely translated. (Well, Worldcat reminds me that it's often hard to know just how a book's title is translated, although I can tell that Point Counterpoint, Brave New World, and Doors of Perception have appeared in Czech.)

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