I’ve spent 3 months avoiding hard work, as prep for my sabbatical year followed almost immediately by retirement (count down: one year, 5 months and 4 days, give or take). This was tough on my students, who had to endure a month or so of this avoidance. I herewith thank them for their patience.
Two recent events jogged me back onto the track of righteous industry. First, I received a compliment from a fab blogger, who wrote that he modeled his wide-ranging approach to book reviewing on my posts.
Ok, I’ll be gracious and accept the kind words with a bow and a blush, but I’d have said it was the other way around. This is not Not NOT me trawling for more kind words from any of my readers. It’s more like my admission of guilt for having temporarily abandoned this loosely defined project. So, renewed vows, etc etc, yadda yadda yadda.
The second spur was my school library denying me the 4th opportunity to renew the loan of a book I’ve had since January. Never mind that I’m the first person to check it out in 11 years, never mind that no one else actually wants it. It’s due 06 August.
And this is a problem because?
It’s my Proust A to Z! Roger Shattuck’s intelligent and so-easy-to-read Proust’s Way is the schooner on which I’m slowly crossing the vast ocean of In Search of Lost Time! It’s like when I found out 2 of my 3 thesis advisors were leaving town: I sat down and wrote a first draft of the 250-page thesis in three weeks, finished the revisions in the next two weeks, and defended a month after that.
But I’m no longer that bounding-with-energy graduate student. I can’t read 1300 pages of Proust in 3 weeks. I’m being forced to abandon my schooner for the less sea-worthy online community.
All right, I know I’m being melodramatic (and enjoying it). I’ll be fine. After a gap of 3 months, it’s time I got back to my Proust project. And maybe I can finagle something with the library. Perhaps if it sits on the shelf for a day or two, they’ll let me start over at point zero.
All this is to say — I’m ready to start blogging again.
I’m about one year and five months into retirement and still haven’t decided whether I’m taking a couple of gap years (as they didn’t exist in the 70s) or if I’m all done with the pay roll. I know you said no compliments, but my re-allignment to a little book reviewing is inspired by a couple of blogs, yours included.
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Thanks, Simon. I’m enjoying your series as well, which is giving me some ideas for my next trip over. In my fantasy life, I’ll have my bicycle and will do one last tour.
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