Monthly Archives: June 2015

Barbarians at the Gate …

…over the wall, and busting up the joint.

The first incursion came in the form of DH, who also follows an academic calendar, turning in his grades and suddenly being all around the house, almost all of the time.  But then the local schools let out for summer, and the hobbits came home.  The Mind Palace is completely overrun.  Even my canine companion has retreated to a corner, nervously chewing on anything that doesn’t get her in trouble to chew.  I need an alt office, stat.

Update 1: Really, I am not exaggerating.  Mechanical equipment is being used to sand the floor in the room over the kitchen, which has the only open table space big (and clear) enough to manage my work today.  The noise is so loud that it’s drowning out the sound of my teeth grinding.

Update 2: Now the barbarians are mocking me.  DH walks through the kitchen once in a while singing this.

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words of wisdom: Samuel Johnson

“A man will turn over half a library to make one book.”  Samuel Johnson, 1775.

johnsonHow sweet, Mr. Johnson, especially considering the size of the average library that you knew.  Now please consider multiple 20th/21st-century academic libraries, I-don’t-remember-how-many speciality archives and historical societies, and then the whole mass of GoogleBooks as that which has been “turned over.”  We need another metaphor.  More of a Bagger 288 than a garden spade, methinks.

I am at my footnotes and bibliography today, and it is making me swoon.  I don’t remember where I read all of these things, but several of them prompt really precise (or precise-ish) memories: reading building committee reports on an archivist’s desk in Philadelphia, riffling through a missionary’s diaries in the corner of a small university museum in Louisville. Or was it Richmond?  And just in terms of volume: how much more have I read about my architect’s time than did he read when he was in it?  Bagger 288 indeed.

portrait by Sir Joshua Reynolds, ca, 1775

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