As is no real surprise, I’ve spent a lot of time with my nose in a book, and I’ve spent a fair bit of that time with a pen or pencil in my hand, or with a keyboard in front of me, making notes about what I have in front of my nose and trying to make some sense of it–not only looking at what the words on the page are doing within themselves, but also at what they’re doing within the contexts in which they exist. What they use and how they use it, what it means that they do, and what wonders they contain…I spent a long time in search of such things, orienting a large part of my identity around that search. I had to, really; it was the only way to learn how to do it in the ways that it needs to be done, insofar as it does need to be done (I am well aware that many would argue the point–and I don’t blame them).
I do what I can to keep working with texts, of course, not only in my freelance work–which does give me appreciated opportunities to read things I wouldn’t’ve considered picking up otherwise–but also in this webspace and, on occasion, others. Still, there are many, many projects that I had conceived of doing while I was still a more “normal” participant in academe, ideas I had had for papers or monographs that I had intended to get around to addressing and just never did. And thoughts of them sometimes return to me, beckoning me all too invitingly.
Marvell comes to mind again, although I know not what coy mistress I address in considering putting together some paper on a series of writing commentaries in a major newspaper or plumbing an edition of a role-playing game for its textual import. Yet still I dream of such things, from time to time, and I wonder if it is, in fact, too late for me to follow such pursuits…before I turn again to the work at hand, for which I am paid and which I therefore very much need to do–such as that I might well do for you?