January 18, 2006

Wednesday, 18 January

A day of mediocre accomplishment, it pains me to say. Even though I've already waded through most of the useful bibliography that's available to me, I am pricked by a sense of my unreadiness to start writing. With the more detailed plan I have constructed this afternoon, it occurs that much of what goes in the second half of the chapter [still the problem half] is going to be taken from the essay I wrote last term and simply elaborated. Perhaps with what I have done and learned already, there will be no need to labour again as I did before. There is also, though, the difficulty of knowing exactly the scope of the chapter; what to include without infringing upon the two that will follow on the politics of the Carmen, and on Petrarch's theory of literature.

It may be most useful to begin and allow my ideas to develop as I do. My fears of smashing into a theoretical brick wall as I did with my last essay may prove to be unfounded, as the fact that I have three-quarters of a satisfactory plan should guarantee my completion of at least a few thousand word without too much difficulty. Once I have done what I know falls within the span of the chapter I might be free to leave it and write the others with which it could overlap; I will at least have a better idea of how long the second half of the chapter has to be, if nothing else.

Something to chew over, anyway, as I wile away the hours stocking printers and putting books back on the shelves tomorrow at the Learning Grid. I don't usually get anything in the way of work done on a Thursday, working until five.

What I actually accomplished today:

  • Introduced to comparative adjectives in Greek.
  • Ordered two periodicals on inter-library loan.
  • Carried home a book by Robert Kaster, Guardians of Language, only to find that his chapter on Servius was also published as the journal article I read on JSTOR yesterday.
  • Finished reading Kallendorf chapter on Petrarch, the Africa and the Aeneid.

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