Tuesday, 07 February
Managed about 500 words today. Still haven't quite put to bed the section that discusses Petrarch's fondness for the biographical allegory in the Eclogues — but I am on the verge of doing so. Current count is just about 3000 [inc. footnotes]
Progress continues to be agonisingly slow. I have this theory that having my desk in the corner of the room facing the wall is detrimental to my attention span; that the point of focus is about two feet in front of my nose means I can't lose myself in a far-off stare while I ponder over my latest writer's block. If I could face a tranquil window, I'd be tearing the thing to shreds. I'm certain of it.
My sister Caroline is staying till tomorrow morning. Should be able to scrape a further 5–700 words together in the afternoon, concluding all the business about allegory [including the ways in which Petrarch departs from Servius' reading]. Perhaps a little optimistic; though assuming things don't grind to an awful halt when I get into the hazier second half of the chapter, I should be able to meet my self-imposed 23 February deadline.