Sunday, April 03, 2005

A New Month, A New Man;

April slipped in unannounced it, didn't it? Wasn't I just yesterday re-learning how to drive on ice? Pining for the Glasweigan greyness that is winter? Being insufferably unproductive, and claiming seasonal fatigue as my excuse for doing nothing but hanging out with the wife and wandering around obscure sculpture parks?

Ah, but no more. I now must learn how to drive, look at pretty girls in all manner of skimpy attire, and make sure K. does not catch me. As for Glasgow, to be realistic, things are only really nice there around June. And productivity ... well, rain or shine, I simply must get cracking on the final 20,000 or so words of my thesis. To that end, I've committed myself, beginning tomorrow (of course), after the Opening Day parade, to writing at least 750 words, but ideally 1,000, per day, five days a week, until the end of the month (or, should I get a head of steam and crack out a prodigous amount of work in one day, as I used to be capable of doing in years past, or not being a lazy son of a bitch, as I'm accustomed to being as of late, averaging 750-1000 words p/day); and, relatedly, to going through the thesis as it exists today, a 50,000+ word monster, and make it a bit (okay, a lot) less unwieldy. Right now, in addition to a 100-page 'chapter' on Melville, which has about as little rhyme as it does it reason, I have an 80-page introduction that doesn't even mention Herman Melville at all until page twenty. This, I'm inclined to think, is a problem, since his fiction is the engine that makes my thesis run. Or, so I thought prior to writing it, and before I found myself increasingly wanting to move in a slightly different direction -- that is to say, different enough that I find myself wanting to conclude something entirely different. Take, for instance, the book I'm currently reviewing for Literature and Theology, Mark C. Tayor's, Confidence Games: Money and Markets in a World Without Redemption. Taylor's topic for a good 80% of the book has very little to do w/ 'Literature & Theology' as such; and yet, as with my project, which kind of pisses me off because now everybody is going to think I got the idea from him, he uses Melville and another American author I really like, William Gaddis, as inspirational jumping-off points for his discussion of the interweaving of religion, culture and economics (or, more precisely, network capitalism). In addition to my desire to highlight my methodological and ideological differences from that of Taylor, considering our uses of Melville (and, in part, Gaddis), the real desire I pitched it to the review editor is that I'm really quite bored with the standard, Glasgow-led dupoly of 'Literature and Theology', and think it is high time we reimagine it -- with a politico-ethical twist.

So, to review my month, because I know you care: a book review, which if custom holds, I'll post here ... 10,000-15,000 words, which I will not post here ... surrepticiously laying eyes on pretty girls in skimpy clothes, who I will likely discuss here since K. doesn't read my blog ... oh yes, and unmentioned thus far, one trip to Syracuse for a conference whose topic does not interest me as much as the speakers and some of the potential attendees, and another longer trip to Glasgow, where I am supposed to meet and greet the philosopher-theologian John Caputo (via Villanova via Syracuse) and drink a ridiculous amount of whisky. It's gonna be a helluva month.