Simulations by Jean Baudrillard
Classical English Rhetoric by Ward Farnsworth
Selected Poems of Thomas Hardy (Penguin Classics)
It’s not been a good reading time. I’m going through things pretty slowly. And I’ve given up trying to write during the day. I’m too stressed out. The writing bug stings at night. After 8 p.m., a switch goes off in my head and I’m suddenly reading to the exclusion of all else or writing to the exclusion of all else. I’m going to stop fighting it and arrange my priorities around the fact that night time is the write time.
There is a mildly Gallic flavor to my current crop of pulp.
Graduate school has really expanded my reading repertoire. If you read my post on Barthes “The Pleasure of the Text”, then you will know my feelings on swampy translations of French philosophical prose. However, Baudrillard’s collection of translated notes that make up Simulations has qualities that TPoTT does not, specifically, continuity, organization, essay format, and better sentence structure. You get more out of each paragraph without a lot of apologizing about how no equivalent phrases exist in English that would do justice to French subtleties. The down side is that the phrasing is often clunky. The information is solid gold, but it’s raw, rough gold.
Object Lessons probably has the most subtitles of any book that I’ve ever seen. “Object Lessons” – The PARIS REVIEW Presents “The Art of The Short Story.”
Another gift from the Academia fairies is reading about rhetoric. Those Greeks had a word for EVERYTHING! When you overuse conjunctions, there’s a word for that. When you leave out conjunctions, there’s a word for that. When you repeat words, there’s a word for that. When you repeat phrases, there’s a DIFFERENT word for that. This pattern of repetition that I’m doing here – there’s a word for that! So, so bitchin’ rhetoric!
I have high hopes for Stylish Academic Writing. Wisely, Sword points out in her book that “[a]ny of the ‘smart sentencing’ principles outlined in this chapter can, of course, be temporarily suspended for rhetorical effect.” (p. 59.)
My graduate thesis is on Thomas Hardy’s poetry, and I’ve been working with poems from the Penguin collection. Hardy poetry is wonderfully easy to read, and has great depth in spite of the light lyric feel of his work. No wonder T. S. Eliot was annoyed by him. It was like Salieri and Mozart.
Bowerstock’s From Gibbon to Auden: Essays on the Classical Tradition. The cover made me buy it. Also, I like reading essays. (…said no teacher ever! LOL!) However, I feel like I’ve been played. I should know better than to buy these professional collections. I want to get published. Maybe I should just gather a handful of essays, slap a cute title on it and declare myself a high-end scholar. It’s such a racket. It’s like when you buy those romance story omnibuses and one story is awesome. One story is so-so. The rest are crap. But you paid for five stories and only one of them gives you your money’s worth. I hope this book won’t be like that.