March 10th, 2008

September 26th, 1988

As you may remember, I inaugurated a new feature last month in which I will periodically post fragments from my handwritten notebooks and their electronic correlates. The first example originated on the computer. But for those, such as today's fragment, that derive from something I composed with paper and pen, I will a scan a portion of the original in order to provide documentary evidence:
"Where'd you get that?" he heard from the other room. Speculations ran through his suddenly panic-stricken mind. What might he have brought with him? He tried frantically to consider all of his things and figure out if any one of them was exceptionally objectionable.

It was obvious that the cat had found something. Cats always seemed to be finding the wrong things, or saying them. Like the one that man unwittingly walled up with his murdered wife, only to have it reveal him through the brick and mortar.

Would she be very angry with this thing her cat had brought her? His panic began to ebb as he realized all his things were safe. There wasn't anything for her to discover, so why should he be afraid?

He shook a few more drops of urine out of his penis and zipped his fly. He reminded himself to put down the toilet seat so the cat wouldn't fall in. That would make her mad.

As he walked into the room she and the cat were in, he saw her at her desk smiling. The cat lay at her feet, pawing at one of those black plastic things that come with newly bought socks.

"Did you give her this-- Is this yours?" she asked him. He shrugged.

"I guess."
I don't suppose it would be of any use to implore you, gentle readers, not to read this fragment allegorically. That said, I must at least insist that you acknowledge the date of its composition.

Missing Part

I know plenty of people in academia who eagerly expound their sense of which scholarly approaches are "so yesterday." Whatever those individuals have, I lack. I've been reading Max Weber's Economy and Society again and, although even the critics of his critics are considered hopelessly dated, I find myself thinking that I derive more benefit from spending time with his work than I would from making myself conversant with the oh-so-au-courant scholarship that can't imagine confronting Pierre Bourdieu, much less Weber or Emile Durkheim, as an intellectual with something pertinent to say to us. Maybe it's simply my weakness to identify too readily what might serve the present conjuncture, but I don't see myself overcoming it anytime soon.