Friday, August 27, 2004

The primitive and overtaxed computer over here at The Bookery just ate a long post I did complaining about not having time to think about anything, about feeling overwhelmed by all there is to read, both academic, non-academic, and poetic. The longing I feel for some empty space, just me and a window looking on something lovely and a blank notebook, so as to exchange its blankness for the junk in my head. And I was going on about how the pressure to read BAP 2004 feels like the proverbial straw—as good as it looks, I can't hold that anthology without feeling a manic desire to rush through it, to absorb it with the minimum of time and effort, because there are so many other demands upon my attention. I often feel that way about poetry books that are entirely worthy but which don't have an immediate and electric grab on my attention. Which is a shame, because there's lots of poetry which works entirely against the grain of that kind of sensationalism. I find I can't even read the criticism I need to absorb for my dissertation without monumental impatience these days. I wish I could just sit down and write it without reading another blessed word about anything. But it's not to be. It's always disconcerting when I get tired of reading because reading is so entirely my default mode; I literally don't know what to do with myself without a piece of print handy. It's easier to give myself permission to read things that might be tangentially related to my interests than it is to read completely unrelated things (like novels) or the core stuff. For example, I'm completely absorbed by Bruce Fink's A Clinical Introduction to Lacanian Psychoanalysis: Theory and Technique. I guess it's obvious that Lacan was a practicing psychoanalyst and that psychoanalysis is something that still goes on, in France and elsewhere, but my principal reaction to this book's existence was: who knew? Anyway, as a practical guide it's the clearest and simplest explanation of Lacan's ideas that I've ever encountered. What has this got to do with my dissertation? Almost nothing. It's that "almost" which makes it possible for me to read a knotty text like this and enjoy it. Because I can justify to part of my brain that "this may come in handy someday, maybe even in your dissertation!" While the part of my brain that wants to play hooky does its darndest to turn the book into a longwinded version of one of those Cosmo quizzes. (And the answer so far appears to be that I and everyone else I know are garden-variety neurotics. It seems a lot cooler to be perverted, and not at all cool to be psychotic. But c'est le guerre.)

Anyway, that's what I was gonna blog about. But now I won't.

No comments:

Popular Posts