July 12th, 2004


I'm so behind in posting -- the short entries of late are masking my failure to finish the longer ones pending from our trip -- that I haven't gotten around to explain that my strange days at the Modern Language Association's annual convention in December -- exhaustively and inelegantly detailed by me in an earlier entry -- have finally ripened into long clusters of semi-gloss fruit in the new issue of The Believer.

You should track down the magazine, if you don't already subscribe, for its artifactual value. But if you live far from an independent or at least pseudo-independent bookstore and want to read the piece sooner than later, the article in question, admirably penned by the Gideon Lewis-Kraus, is now available in its entirety on-line for an indeterminate period of time.

It's hard for me to be impartial, given my involvement with the piece, but I think it's pretty darned entertaining for an essay of 11, 527 words. When I gave it to my parents in Oakland, my father -- the master of reading out loud -- bravely performed the whole thing for my mother and me. They laughed a lot, in all the right places and some that perturbed me as well. The final tally, though, was squarely in the win column for English professors like myself.

I suppose I should confess that the politician in me is disturbingly proud to have facilitated in the publication on the MLA that doesn't add to the huge pile of articles making people in my line of work like fools, radicals or both.

I desperately wanted to do that even when I was a new graduate student attending my first MLA convention in my A.G.S.E. union cap, an experience referenced in another entry from the blog archives.

Anyway, let me know what you think of the piece from The Believer.

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