More discontents I never had
Since I was born, than here;
Where I have been, and still am sad,
In this dull Devonshire;
Yet justly too I must confess,
I ne'er invented such
Ennobled numbers for the press
Than where I loathed so much.
-- Robert Herrick
Am back home for the rest of the summer. I am trying out Herrick's formula for literary productivity. I'm not sure it's working.
I don't actually loathe it here -- at least, not yet -- but it is hazy and hot and sleepy, and there are too many strip malls and check-cashing places, and the most happening place in town is the Super WalMart, and the thought of staying here for the next thirty-odd years fills me with a vague sense of dread. I had an idea that this would force me to start revising the dissertation out of sheer boredom, or failing that, to start revising the novel I began a while ago and haven't touched for the last six months. But right at the moment, I can't bring myself to open either file.
Would it be phenomenally stupid for me to retype my entire dissertation, making whatever changes I see fit along the way? On the plus side, this would force me to pay attention to every word, and I would end up with a brand-new M*cros*ft W*rd version, which seems to be what publishers want, rather than an ancient and quirky WordPerfect file which always ends up with screwed-up formatting when I try to convert it. On the other hand, this sounds like it could be a colossal waste of time, and would also require me to actually install W*rd on my home computer, where I don't particularly want it. (Typing it up at the office is not an option, as I cannot have beer at the office. One must observe the decencies.)
Herrick, I'm fairly sure, never faced such a dilemma; but then, Herrick waited until after he had lost his day job to start sending his ennobled numbers for the press, which is a luxury I can't afford.
I think I will go swimming, or maybe pick some blackberries.