Sunday, June 20, 2010

George Herbert is my bitch.

Bring on the final chapter, baby.

Friday, June 18, 2010

All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.

I may not blog about it, but I do play. Is it so wrong that I have taken a backpack full of books and a laptop on 2 camping trips with the Things, a hiking and hot-tub-o-rific visit to my sister's, and a weeklong stay in the American Tropics with Neruda? Other people do go to sleep, you know, and that time counts. You may mock, but I've got three pages left on this chapter and I have played my tushie off, jack. And I've got the photos to prove it. Boo-yah.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Sleight of brain

When I was working on my dissertation, I found that I could not easily turn off the dissertating mode when I left the computer, and it was draining my energy and fuzzying my focus. So I started a kind of strange therapy in the evenings, after the diss work was done: translation. For me, translation distracts the brain, provides it with the illusion that it's not WORKING--because, you know, what to say is already all figured out for you, and you're left just playing--with language, with the pleasurable surfaces and sounds and echoes of words themselves. It's almost like a magic trick for me: make the brain look OVER THERE, and it won't realize what's going on here, and it doesn't get so fatigued. Translation provides, perhaps surprisingly, a kind of respite. A kind of quiet.

So I've re-started a translation project that got back-burnered for a while, during the crush of teaching and finishing some other tasks that needed attention. And I have to say, it's so much fun. It's like doing a crossword puzzle, a little. Except that it has the added benefit of getting me (re-)excited about the delightful, unexpected, vertiginous, corporeal textures of words, both as a writer and as a reader.