Thursday, 31 July 2014

Escaping to the country

I'm off on my holidays this evening.

I know.

I'm not a natural holidayer. I don't have the relaxed and sunny demeanour of even M. Hulot here:

I'm more of a sunburned, sweaty, itchy grump. However, I'll be off on the west coast of Ireland, swimming like an obese brick in the Atlantic, and reading. Lots and lots of reading. The Guardian, Irish Times and Examiner most days, plus a few books. The only 'work' one I'm taking is Simon During's Foucault and Literature, but I'm also taking last year's surprise (and posthumous) hit, John Williams' Stoner. Also some Anthony Trollope, Jack Womack, another biography of John Lilburne, Stefan Collini's What Are Universities For? and a couple of other things whose names I forget. Plus a load of Doctor Who and Star Trek journal articles for the thing I'm writing with my colleague, but they're on an iPad so I can safely ignore them.

The last things I had to do today were read a nearly-completed PhD dissertation by a Bulgarian visiting scholar and buy a house. The first was an enormous pleasure: his central assertion is that remix culture is a local version of art and literary practice since the post-Romantic period. It's a thrilling and provocative thesis: it needs work, but it was an enormous pleasure to read even if he is shocked to discover that I've basically corrected some prepositions and scrawled MORE HAUNTOLOGY over it.

And yes, I bought a house today. I didn't want to on multiple grounds (ideology, laziness, cash, being trapped in The Dark Place) but I'm a) sick of landlords and b) unemployable elsewhere. As long as I don't succumb, like Thomas Docherty, to Academic Bitchy Resting Face, I should cling on to this job for long enough to pay it off. And at least doing it all in one day means I can go on holiday, switch off every electronic device and panic on deserted beaches and up lonely mountains where nobody can here me.

So, for a couple of weeks, farewell. If you're a regular reader, try to break the habit. It's not good for you. If you're the local newspaper: try to find something else to fill your pages lads. Football's starting soon!

1 comment:

Phil said...

I think you'll like Stoner. I'm sure you'll be able to put your own names to the main academic characters (including the protagonist). I hope none of them's your own!