Tuesday, June 24, 2003

The apartment's coming together. My study is practically finished--curtains, spare bed done up as daybed with lots of pillows (the dog has taken to nesting in them), my old kitchen table as a worktable (_so_ nice to have a place to read and take notes without a monitor staring you in the face), good lighting. And this morning we had a sofa and cozy chair delivered for the living room. If we can just get all the garbage and collapsed boxes hauled out it will look like a home. My mind is finally coming unstuck enough to start reading and thinking again, at least a little bit. A couple of other grad students and one of my former profs, Tracy McNulty, have formed a reading group for Kant's Critique of the Power of Judgment and we met for the first time last night to discuss its two introductions. I think we mostly succeeded in confusing one another before succumbing to the lure of academic gossip, but I have high hopes for moving beyond the intro into the text itself. This week we'll read the Analytic of the Beautiful and then move on to the Analytic of the Sublime—they look much less difficult than the intros, which seem to require a mastery of or at least a high familiarity with the first two Critiques. So far I'm most intrigued by the notion of how pleasure may be the result when the subject is confronted by an object for which he or she has no adequate concept. Are we very far here from Keat's negative capability?

My mug appears in the latest Poets & Writers just above a picture of my teacher and nemesis Eavan Boland. The irony of this can only be fully appreciated in silence.

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