Monday, 27 February
Inched past the mini-milestone that is the final subheading [probably] of my Servius chapter just now. Having finished the section on Petrarch's writing the Bucolicum Carmen to accommodate the tastes of uber-finicky grammatical commentators, I now have only to complete the section on his reworking of the Servian idea of pastoral as a metaphor for the intellectual's existence. For sure, easier said than done — though I feel now that the end is very nearly in sight.
Word count is about 4,700 — so I'm on target in that respect as well.
Speaking of "intellectual existence": my research presentation on that very topic will be rolling into town tomorrow at high noon, with a six-shooter in its belt and a cigarette wedged between its teeth. If you're the macabre sort with a penchant for zinging bullets, spattered bloodstains and unadulterated ultraviolence, then I do recommend you come along. There are twelve handouts — copied at the hand of Josie Brown herself, no less, this very afternoon — to go around.
"A man's life in these parts often depends on a mere scrap of information"
Expect to spend the rest of the evening practising tomorrow's schtick.
Last Italian lecture today, with exams and revision sessions incumbent from now until the end of the year. Tutor Simon Gilson remarked that I have shown a strong improvement since joining the class [which, considering that I couldn't exactly go backwards starting from scratch, is something of a relief]. The idea now is that I spend a couple of hours every week grappling with some of the Italian texts that Carlo Caruso recommended to me at the beginning of the year.