Wednesday, January 16, 2013

The Spouter-Inn

A ravishing paragraph from the early pages of Moby Dick:
Abominable are the tumblers into which he pours his poison. Though true cylinders without--within, the villanous green goggling glasses deceitfully tapered downwards to a cheating bottom. Parallel meridians rudely pecked into the glass, surround these footpads' goblets. Fill to this mark, and your charge is but a penny; to this a penny more; and so on to the full glass--the Cape Horn measure, which you may gulph down for a shilling.
This is the first time I have reread this novel since reading Harry Stephen Keeler - Keeler's style is peculiarly Melvillean, I wonder whether there is some line of influence that can be clearly traced.

Sometimes sabbatical time can be quite stressful - there are a lot of pressures, internal and external, to write books! - but this semester is a sort of "bonus," time I wasn't expecting to get: a function of the mysterious TFRP (I have declined the money option for a few years, but didn't realize leave would accrue so quickly, and it doesn't affect my regular sabbatical accrual - I have another semester coming to me in the academic year 2015-16, even if I don't apply for outside funding to get a second semester).

One book is completely done, and the other just needs a couple weeks of work to be effectively finished also. I intend, luxuriously, to spend a great deal of time this semester doing early stages of reading for the ABCs of the novel project! My intention for this book is to take it in a truly leisurely fashion: anxiety is my spur and my vice, and I feel it can be seen in the pages of the books I've written thus far. This one is going to be for the ages!

Also I'm doing hot yoga every day, and finding it highly beneficial for mental and physical health....

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