Wednesday, 25 January
So I didn't end up offering any detail of how yesterday progressed for me once I got home; it was late, I was hungry. My commitment to the Blog may not be as fervent as last week [truth be told, I have been clinging to the research in general by my fingernails since the weekend] but I refuse to cast it to one side once and for all.
My meeting with Carlo was decidedly brief. The situation of my supervision has been discussed between himself and Andrew, with the outcome that Andrew — as a confirmed Classicist — will be henceforth assuming official control of steering this thing. Carlo mentioned that he would be happy to offer advice as and when I ask for it [although obviously, he will be rather limited if he is to act as the internal marker for the final project]; for a start, he has offered to return to me the essay I left with him with a few references to Petrarch's vernacular poetry which he said sprung to mind as he read it. I told him that I would appreciate that, knowing little about that subject — since reading the relevant chapter's in Greene's The Light in Troy I think that I may have to reckon with it after all at some point in my study.
That was really the sum of our discussion. As I noted yesterday, I had been planning to carry my laptop on to campus with me and begin writing the Servius chapter, though as I went to pack it up I realised that I wouldn't be able to take with me any of the books that serve as necessary security blankets, if nothing else. Having begun writing today, I feel as though I may only need to take Patterson's Pastoral and Ideology [at a stretch] if I'm ever thinking about writing on-campus again. Much of what's useful is in online articles.
So, yes, I started writing. Managed the start of an introduction that is about 200 words, along with a further 100 in early footnotes [inexplicable, I know] — a soul-destroying total from some three hours' labour. Cobbled something together about the inseparability of Virgil and the commentaries in Petrarch's reading, based on the text of his manuscript. As I continue I will launch into what can be said about the Martini frontispiece — I'm optimistic the words will start to flow a little more easily then.
I had the library drag Pierre de Nolhac's Petrarque et l'Humanisme out of the store. In French, of course, but I have seen it footnoted in so many articles that I've read about Petrarch's Virgil that I thought I'd pick up a copy. With a big dictionary and a guide to grammar I can probably get an idea of what's being said; in a similar fashion, I spent an hour translating the first page of the Virgil chapter Giuseppe Billanovich's Petrarca e il Primo Umanesimo in the PGRR yesterday. Only forty more to go, then.
Discovered today that Charles Martindale will be holding a Research seminar at Warwick on the 16th of next month. Seeing as he is one of the country's senior Virgilianists and an authority on pastoral and on the reception of the Classics, it struck me as I was writing this afternoon that I may well be required to have quite a long talk with him about my research. Nervous.
Work tomorrow, but I would be surprised if study wasn't resumed on Friday.