August log

  1. I’ll go back to July’s log and take notes from it, but I essentially struggled the whole time when I did try to work and could not figure out my transitional sentence. I did that today, August 1, and polished it. It wasn’t a writing problem, it was a thought problem. I think that, except on teaching days and days I’m out of town, I’ll just aim for a sentence a day right now. Or maybe this: a sentence every day, and more if I am not teaching and not visiting with people. I have 2106 polished words.
  2. I cleared up a box of files, finding some notes for this piece that I like. I also found my notes saying that Kirsten Silva-Greuz’ work shows that the United States has always been far more Latino than we recognize. It’s not just CA/TX and the border, and so on. I did get another sentence done as well, and some thought done, and my word count is 2136.
  3. I found a scrap of paper on which I said what I wanted to do to my dissertation: a. condense the early chapters, since Smith’s book on the subject had come out since I wrote them; redo the chapter now called 4, along the lines of the “theory” part of the MLA paper I gave; strengthen the self/other chapter; change or modify the discussion of allegory to something more Laclau/Mouffian thing. I have no idea whether this would have helped. I also went through some current notes and consolidated them, getting rid of paper, and did some editing, writing, and drafting. My current polished word count is 2210.
  4. Touched it a bit. Now at 2223 polished words.
  5. Long weekend.
  6. Long weekend.
  7. Long weekend.
  8. Long weekend.
  9. Long weekend.
  10. Some drafting and editing, but no new polished words. Polished word count is back to 2210, too–I lost a sentence.
  11. Rewrote the sentence, more writing and drafting, I am at 2280 in terms of polished words, with a few other new words. Got out and went through some notes.
  12. 160 new words, so I am at 2440.
  13. 117 new words, arriving at 2557, but there was a bit of reading and drafting as well. I’ve worked 8 of the past 13 days and would have worked more days had it not been for vacation. Put it like this: I’ve worked every workday.
  14. 137 new words and a bit of research. And some editing. I am at 2694.
  15. An email and some drafting. Still at 2694 polished, but writing will get faster now.
  16. 45 polished words and a transition. Now at 2739.
  17. A sentence and a transition. Now at 2782.
  18. 2918, meaning 136 polished words today. (I have to become able to do this and do other work things, not goof off the rest of the time!)
  19. Nothing. I did departmental stuff and drank wine. It’s no longer true that I will work after drinking wine. (Was it really ever?) It was not, however, a relaxing day.
  20. There is a 2008 review of da Silva by Julietta Hua that I don’t know if I can get hold of. I must go to the library and get every review, however. I must fit work in with teaching, as opposed to with studying my other passions like UA and guitar. I did not do anything today except look at Ukraine news and write, but I am at 3,081 polished words and have drafted a few more.
  21. 240 new words. I am at 3,341 polished ones.
  22. Some reading and writing. I’m at 3436 polished words. So that was 95 new ones, and some more that aren’t polished so aren’t counted yet.
  23. I was going to do reading after class, but was interrupted by visitors, so did not. But, learned: doing reading after class is smart. Forget correspondence, other things like that. Finish classes and start doing reading. Then I was going to read after dinner but had had two glasses of wine and just was too tired to concentrate. Note: don’t do that, or don’t delude self about the effects of it. Finally: the new book arrived, and I consider that a good sign. Thought about this piece, about breaking it into two, also thought maybe not. We’ll see.
  24. Some rewriting and drafting. I now have 3535 polished words, 99 new ones. 3769 drafted.
  25. Ground at it. There are some inconsistencies, it needs revisions. No new words, it’s not longer.
  26. More of the same. FRIDAY.
  27. Put together some of what I tore apart. Now I’d say I only have 3333 polished words, although I’m close to Building Back Better.
  28. Kept going. Now at 3627. This is where I was on the 24th, except with part of it torn apart and Built Back Better.
  29. Combed more and read a bit, also drafted more. Now at 3543 because some of what I wrote yesterday has gone under revision.
  30. Nothing (that I remember) — busy with classes, did not try.
  31. Nothing. So all in all: 1400 words this month, with a trip out of town and school starting. It could be worse.

General notes: Black Spartacus, Schwarz, Machado de Assis. Note the instability of Independence: if there is not freedom for all, freedom for anyone is unstable.

Virginia Whatley Smith on New Orleans literature: this is for the future.

Walker (Mongrel Nation): The US really wanted to be white. Is Villaverde using US standards (“one-drop rule”) when he judges Cecilia for being Black? The US wanted to be white and Lat Am constructed itself as mestizo from the beginning. The first chapter of Walker is the interesting one, talks about sexual frontiers (to set whites off from Blacks), other theoretical issues, and does have information on Latin America but this book is very largely an essay about the US and its interesting rejection of its own “mongrel” origin.


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