Hacks of all kinds

David Barnett has a great blog post at the Guardian today entitled What’s wrong with being a hack? Since my academic work focuses on professional women writers of the early eighteenth century — the era of Grub Street, paper wars, and slipping emetics into your literary enemies’ drinks, if you happened to be Alexander Pope…

Happy 300, Dr. Johnson

The DNB offers one entry free to the non-paying public daily, and today it’s my BFF Dr. Samuel Johnson, born on 18 September 1709. If you haven’t read his Preface to Shakespeare, I highly recommend it — it was one of the first things that got me hooked on eighteenth century literature. (Did you know…

A whole week of the semester

I’ve been teaching my intro English class on the history of the romance for a week now and so far everything is sunshine and roses.┬á Seriously, I’m very happy with this class and I think we’re going to have a great time, partly because many of the students chose the class because they want to…

Wow

The New York Times (Magazine, in this case) produces a sweet, celebratory, nicely written piece about a genre writer that takes the writer’s work seriously. Not a single mention of “transcending genre,” just a brief portrait of Jack Vance and the writers who admire him. I was really happy to see this.

Such a State of Wedlock

From the preface to “The Female Wits,” a 1696 play anonymously published in 1704, satirizing Delarivier Manley, Mary Pix, and Catherine Trotter. The (also anonymous) writer of the preface describes Trotter and Pix as: … two Gentlewomen that have made no small Struggle in the World to get into Print; and who are now in…

Holding places

Another semester, another long stretch of blog silence. I haven’t got much to say or much time to say it in; this year is one of those strange larval periods, I guess, for my academic work and my writing and my family life. Editors are reading a novel I wrote, I’m starting to write a…

une chatte commer├žante

After an exciting discovery — namely, that my five-year-old PowerBook Titanium was giving me a small but constant electric shock — I’ve left the Mac world for Linux, at least for now. I’m typing this on my new Ubuntu-running desktop, which T. built for me last week. It took me a few days to get…

Things I quite like

A brief list. The CHOP chemo regimen, which has put my father’s cancer in remission, at least temporarily. Paprika — T. and I saw it twice when we were in Portland. Strawberry freezer jam with chevre on a toasted English muffin. GoodReads: still addictive. Pigma Micron pens by Sakura, to which T. introduced me last…

Where I’m working next year

Next week’s New Yorker contains a long article about the Harry Ransom Center, its collections, and its director, Tom Staley (with whom I had a lovely conversation when I interviewed there in April). Here’s the article’s introductory paragraph, which should give you some sense of why I’m so excited about interning at the HRC: The…

the world, turning

Some news, as I surface briefly between end-of-semester projects: I’ll be working at the Harry Ransom Center as a public services intern for the next two years. I’m thrilled about it — everyone I’ve met through the interviewing process has been wonderful and I’m terribly excited about the work I’ll get to do. Expect many…