Austin Books c18 Food Graduate school Readings WFC

a list of lists

Someday, this blog will contain regularly-updated content. And by “someday” I meant “possibly in December, when I have a moment to think.” Right now, I have rather too much grading and reading to allow for original thought. So: here are a few lists. Some are hierarchical; some are not.

My favorite book-ogling experiences in the HRC thus far:

  1. Chaucer, Cardigan manuscript of the Canterbury Tales.
  2. Two of Oscar Wilde’s letters, which I transcribed for class earlier this week — both were just a sheet front and back, written from France, before his trial. In the first he asks a friend for a loan of ten pounds; in the second, to a different friend, he explains that he’s switched hotels because the previous one kept sending his bill up every morning with his coffee. Poor Oscar. He had lovely big messy handwriting, only a few words to a line.
  3. Shakespeare, First Folio, Norton facsimile (as previously explained).
  4. Emily Dickinson, Poems, 1891. Like a cracked whip on the page. One of the editions had a facsimile of a poem in the first few pages — and, shockingly, her dashes are just little dots! She had a big sprawly script, too — for some reason I’d always thought of her as someone who would’ve written in little cramped letters. I’m glad I was wrong.
  5. Defoe, Colonel Jack: married FIVE TIMES to FOUR WHORES, says the long title, the capital letters rubricated. I think Defoe had some kind of rule for himself: the last phrase in a long title must contain a complete falsehood. (Crusoe does this, too — “rescued by pyrates,” my ass.)
  6. Taylor’s Workes, with a triple dedication, and each dedicatee given his own delightfully obsequious epigram.
  7. Hooke’s Micrographia — the illustrations!
  8. Johnson’s Dictionary — the heft!

Noteworthy events of the last month or so:

  • Having my first conference paper proposal — on the romance plot and Charlotte Lennox’s The Female Quixote — accepted for the ASECS conference in March. There was much rejoicing.
  • Finding an excellent space (the Joynes Reading Room) for Kelly Link’s upcoming reading at UT. More on this as it approaches.
  • Having another dissertation idea pop into my head. Er, hello.
  • Follett opening their first new flagship bookstore, Intellectual Property, right next to campus. They have literary criticism in their clearance section! And they gave me a free tote bag. I’m easily won.

The best things I’ve bought at the farmer’s market recently:

  • squash blossoms (which I cooked this way, with the addition of a bit of cornmeal to the batter — they were excellent over rice with teriyaki sauce)
  • banana and cinnamon empanada baked by a local Brazilian restaurant
  • local spinach — I was in spinach withdrawal
  • blueberry bran muffin

With T.’s encouragement, I bought okra today — at the co-op rather than the farmer’s market, but it’s local stuff. I’ve only eaten it twice in my life. This must mean something about my level of Texas acculturation, but I’m not quite sure what.


  1. OKay – 0. New dissertation idea? wanna share?
    1. Emily Dickinson – how wonderfully surprising! I, also, am encouraged, having her pegged as a scrupulously-formed, tiny script person.
    2. Poor Oscar.
    3. banana and cinnamon empanada – oh, yum.
    4. fried squash blossoms – thanks for the recipe link. There were still some for sale last week at the local growers’ market; hopefully more this week.
    5. Defoe – huh.
    6. okra – bread it and fry it! Or slime it in gumbo! I dare you.
    7. new Follett bookstore – hurray for free tote bags and literary crit. books on clearance. They must have experience with lit. geeks! 😉

  2. Remind me to tell you about the new dissertation idea next time we talk, yes.

    The okra was okay — I cooked it the same way as the squash blossoms, and it was nicely textured but a bit bland. It might be better in gumbo. I’ve had it deep-fried, and it is good, in the way that most vegetables are good deep-fried.

    Hmm, now I want some tempura.

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