Monday, August 09, 2010

Monday round-up

Ghosts of the Leningrad siege (via my father).

Bits and pieces of light reading: Richard Kadrey's Sandman Slim, a recommendation from Brent that I enjoyed quite a bit (I've read other books rather like it - it is along Dresden Files lines - also we are in the thick of an angel-demon zeitgeist, and I was struck by similarities to the TV series Supernatural - but it is really appealingly well-written, with a fresh and lively and distinctive first-person voice); and Tom Rob Smith's Child 44, which seems to me flawed in various respects but so energetic and interesting and engaging that I was willing to forgive various implausibilities and awkward handlings of narrative point of view.

I got a good haul of books on Saturday at the Hobbies & Books store in Grand Harbour, which is unfortunately closing - but all books were discounted 30%, with an additional free fourth book for every three purchased. A few of the ones I walked away with are true local curiosities, which I will perhaps post about anon...

I'm looking at a funny situation vis-a-vis work. I'm very tempted to plunge straight into drafting the new novel, but have decided it is impractical and that it will be better for me to leave it on the boil for a little while and come back to it later in the fall. I'll be in Ottawa for ten days or so in September, and then I'll be in New York for about four weeks in October, with side trips to Maine (for a friend's wedding) and Buffalo (for a conference).

The talk for NEASECS will be a preview of the ABCs of the novel project in the form of an argument about Laurence Sterne and novelistic conventions for the transcription of human movement and expression, and I'm also giving a talk earlier that month at the Fordham 18th-century seminar on Richardson's Clarissa; so that's two high-quality talks to write.

I also have two tenure letters to write this month, the first ones I have done (I turned down a few before I had tenure and I also turned down one or two in the first year I had tenure, but at this point I really have no good reason to say no, it is an important part of service to the profession); so I think that really my goal for the rest of the month is to write those two letters and get to work on Sterne and Richardson so that when I leave for Ottawa I at least have something down on paper in the way of draft. I may only have a week or so in Cayman between the return from Ottawa and the departure for New York, and it will be foolish to count on getting a lot of work done then; and my notion for the work I'll do during the New York weeks, aside from school catch-up stuff and the seasonal flood of letters of recommendation, is that it will be a good time to give the style book a wholesale going-over...

1 comment:

  1. I am glad your friend Arielle has red clogs and her skylights are just like mine, but I'm going to assume her house is that neat for the photo shoot!!