I always forget about so many of the things I’ve written until I have something jog my memory. This week my faulty memory was jogged by reminders about revisions. I had completely forgotten about one of the essays (yeah, that’s just how absent-minded I am) and that I was supposed to be revising it. Hee hee — I have a book review due at the end of the month, too, that I have not forgotten about (I swear, John).

The first is “Heofen rece swealg: Neomedievalism and Spectacle in Grendel: Transcendence of The Great Big Bad” which will appear in an upcoming issue of Studies in Medievalism. It’s developed from the paper I gave at the conference in London last November — the one that also featured Terry Jones. It’s about the Grendel opera directed by the fabulous Julie Taymor.

The other essay is “Medieval Community: Lessons from The Black Knight” which will appear in the inaugural issue of LATCH: A journal for the study of the Literary Artifact in Theory, Culture, or History, which I believe will come out in November. I originally presented that as conference paper, too, at Kalamazoo.

Yes, folks — that’s the way to accumulate academic publications less painfully. Commit to a conference (a fairly innocuous thing to do, usually only requires a one page abstract of what you might write); once you’ve been accepted, think about that ten page conference paper and finally write it (depending on your working habits and Powerpoint needs) a month before the conference (or a week, or on the plane, or — if you’re the really edgy [Miss Wendy*] type, in the bathroom of the hotel the night before you give it while your suite-mates slumber). Once you have the conference paper, someone will possibly ask you to submit it for publication, which you agree to do, then panic once the deadline looms. So you mash it out haphazardly and send it, apologetically reminding the editor that it’s just “a draft” of course. Disparaging reader comments help you fix it into something less embarrassing. Then, just when you’ve forgotten you ever wrote the thing, you find out it’s about to be in print.

*in the interest of fairness, I think I ought to mention that she was just finishing her paper, not writing the whole thing…

One Comment

  1. K. A. Laity says:

    Speaking of deadlines and time wasters, here’s an interesting piece from the Guardian. Love this bit of perspective:”Ferrari, however, is less convinced that new technology is to blame for time-wasting. ‘People have wasted time for centuries,’ he said. ‘Lots of people, particularly people who often have to work under time constraints, put work off because they kid themselves that they work best when under pressure, when there’s a deadline…”

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