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book. done. done?

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OK. So technically done with the book, as of just now. Sort of. Nine straight days of writing, 9 am to 10 pm. Why do these things never end? I’ll probably want to readjust the conclusion, which I really should expand into a proper epilogue, and I have some notes on changes to the beginning. And then there’s the copy-editting (thanks again tireless Mrs Ads!) and comments from a colleague to metabolize.

You have no idea what a fucking exorcism it would be to get this thing under contract. I’ve barely tried to sell it, have only sent it to a tiny selection of places most of which, I’ve since learned, aren’t in the practice of publishing “first books.” But now I basically have to sell it. Have been working on it since 2001, although there’s material in there, even still, that was written as early as 1999. And many of the things that I write about I started writing about circa 1997 or so. It concludes with a chapter centered on a text that my wife copied for me from special collections (ah, life pre-Amazon) for my twentieth birthday. So before you give me a hard time about tardiness – well first of all get in line. Secondly remember that since I started this book I have moved house six times, I’ve lived in four different places (2 US states and 1 different country), I’ve had three academic appointments at three very different universities (one elite US school, one decent state school in the US, one elite UK school), I’ve had two children and at least two nervous breakdowns. At least.

The current thinking is that whatever the nervous breakdowns were ostensibly about, they were ultimately and truly about this book.

World might end, soonish, but I am too tired to care. Good night and good luck, readers. Save up to buy my book – it’ll cost, if it works, 20 times more than IT’s or Owen’s, and sell 20 times fewer copies. If I’m lucky. It’s certainly 20 times more boring, but on the other hand it contains, what, fifteen years or so of work within it. Ah academia! You are what you are! You cost what you cost and pay what you pay!

Pray for everything to go smoothly, because I am so definitely looking at a pre-40 heart attack that it’s not funny…. Partly my own fault, but only partly…. Will be in at work tomorrow, again, all day – marking papers, answering email, prepping a lecture on the whole of fiction post 1945 (they wrote some? who? maybe I’ll just talk about DFW for an hour – the kids wouldnt’t be disappointed….), and reading a PhD whose defense I get to play along with telephonically on Monday. At night, because someone else on the panel doesn’t as a rule get up before noon. Geezus. Gay guys have all the luck…. and sleep!

Written by adswithoutproducts

November 15, 2009 at 2:01 am

Posted in academia

9 Responses

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  1. Done? Yay! Congratulations!!!! Hooray!!!! Good luck getting it out there and I hope it gets snapped up soon!

    Get some rest and don’t kill yourself with the other work though … and no fair keeling over from all the nonsleep and heavy drinking and smoking and not eating things or exercising …. if the rest of us have to do all the boring healthy shit, then so do you!

    But I’m glad you are getting ready to get rid of this particular albatross … I want to hear all the details some time. Are you coming in to the states for any upcoming conferences? I may be at MLA.


    November 15, 2009 at 2:32 am

    • a) wait a mintah (as my eldest used to say) – are you taking me up for heavy drinking? Have you looked at your blog lately, dissolute sisyphus?

      b) no rest. now I actually have to do all the other shit I was supposed to be doing in the meantime

      c) jesus I wish. I missed MSA this year due to the fact I let some doofus put me on his panel and he actually got gonged. as you know, from my last name, this was a special one for me, in one of my absolutely favorite cities in the world. fuck fuck.

      d) um…. although I may be at MLA. tee hee. We’ll see what happens. Longish shot. Do you know I’ve had interviews at basically every Philly MLA for the last 10 years. And there’s been a lot of them! This year we’ll have to see. I could stand a trip to philly, though last time I missed going out with My Contingent as I drank so much right after my interview that I passed out on my hotel bed by 3:30 PM. Hmmmm.

      e) of course you’ve seen that sort of thing during our epical thing with Kugelmass and Kaufman at that horrible dive in Long Beach. Wow. How long ago was that? Wish we could do that again though – was crazy fun.

      f) albatross, yes. please off my neck. Jesus man, what work I’d do if I could stop doing this!


      November 15, 2009 at 2:42 am

      • How nice to hear. I’m so happy for you. And I like th ecoincidence, that just five minutes ago, I just sent the next-to-final draft of my own book in attachments to my publisher, which ought never to have come to fruition at all, given the stupid risks it involved, plus that it wasn’t even at all definite until 2 months ago that 3 years of work was going to get published at all.

        I wish you all the best on this, and know how much it means to you. You are a lively character, and I like your meanness, always have. Only New Year’s Resolution (unless you really do realize that that is way too many, y’know, fags (and I know you don’t want the kinds I use and am), is that when you write a mean post you’ll leave it up. I like orneriness and crankiness and we should be proud of them!

        I think this is terrific! Now–more MEANNESS!

        ray fuller

        November 15, 2009 at 2:52 am

      • a) it was only that one time really, she says contritely, I swear I won’t do it again. Well, until the next time. But My drinking is more sporadic than yours. The smoking definitely, as I only get it when visiting my parents and the smoke at me.

        DO you have news from your frantic application-sending sir? Do tell. I sent out lots of stuff early, which means it is just now getting around to all those deadlines and I am already tired of waiting. And now am sending out to even more things, each one more rumpled and pitiful than the last.


        November 17, 2009 at 5:41 am

  2. Congrats on finishing the book! Now – don’t start knocking it the minute it is done. No talk of it being boring. Rather, you should crow like a cock over an egg – granted, a cartoon cock.


    November 15, 2009 at 6:29 pm

    • Well of course it’s not boring boring. But it’s a serious work of literary theory and criticism, and… you know…


      November 15, 2009 at 6:31 pm

  3. re: Ray.

    “ecoincidence.” best word ever.


    November 15, 2009 at 10:03 pm

    • Thank you. As a Japanese, I doubt you’d find ‘ecophrophagy’ as useful as do some of today’s on-the-go Chinese; in fact, it’s being reserved for a small section in urbane anatomy.

      ray fuller

      November 16, 2009 at 12:46 am

  4. Congratulations! I know how it feels to be done with such a long-term project… and it feels good!

    Of course, next will be revisions…


    November 16, 2009 at 8:47 pm

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