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odi et amo

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Jesus, man. I don’t mean to complain, but the job + parenting etc takes up about all of my time. And then I get nice writing opportunities on top of that. Which leads me to be still here at my computer, five and a half hours before I have to teach tomorrow.

Here’s something from Michael Chabon’s wikipedia page:

In 2000, Chabon told The New York Times that he kept a strict schedule, writing from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. each day, Sunday through Thursday. He tries to write 1,000 words a day. Commenting on the rigidity of his routine, Chabon said, “There have been plenty of self-destructive rebel-angel novelists over the years, but writing is about getting your work done and getting your work done every day. If you want to write novels, they take a long time, and they’re big, and they have a lot of words in them…. The best environment, at least for me, is a very stable, structured kind of life.”

OK. Well I wrote 1,000 words tonight, a review for the best place that I’ve ever had the chance to review for, between 1:30 AM and 4:30 AM. That’s not all that “structured,” is it? Structure goes to shit when you try to do so many things at once. Anyway, it’s reasonably good, what I’ve done, if slightly symptomatic of me and my current situation…

I am complaining about nothing, I know, but look, I am complaining nonetheless. Hopefully you will see it on Sunday, if you read the review sections that I read…

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I have set the alarm for 8 AM. That’s 3.5 hours away. Luckily (but bad-daddishly) I fell asleep watching Sleeping Beauty with my daughter tonight, as did she. Hard to calculate how the 2.5 hours of sleep I got then factor now….

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I like writing reviews. In a sense it’s my native form. I’ve always affiliated myself with Big Time Reviewers rather than Good Academics. As an undergraduate, I read the NYRB and the LRB religiously, and avoided academic monographs altogether. I got into the business the wrong way and that has made all the difference.

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I am quickly becoming a contemporaryist rather than a modernist. The former is better to be, but only in certain respects, than the latter.

[…}

An argument yesterday about, among other things, my method. I don’t read the criticism first. I think, write, and check the criticism later. This is not an officially-sanctioned Best Practice.

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Compulsion to take reviews, even of underwhelming books, in the direction of the Big Broad Point. Explain the underwhelmingness, render it Significantly Symptomatic of Some Facet of the Times. Fear of being myself underwhelming. Fear of Failing to Make a Case for this or that in the course of writing anything.

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Fear of sounding like Sontag’s journals. Delight in sounding like Sontag’s journals.

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Now wondering if I should just stay up rather than sleep. Remember the “dance marathon” at school in 1992 or so? Boozeless all night, until dawn, can you imagine? In that gym, that on Thursdays I cleared every week of bingo tables and chairs? Everything illuminates itself, whether you want it to or not…. Life is polar, meaning with poles, and ending sooner than we thought. Perhaps much sooner, if we keep this up.

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March 4, 2010 at 5:34 am

Posted in complaint