We interrupt your not working with this TV break

This quarter is kicking my butt! I’m teaching, and trying to get an accelerated summer syllabus together; taking both a theory seminar and a pedagogy class; trying to knock out an incomplete paper from last fall; and, the most important and hardest and most terrifying of all, trying to get my prospectus and dissertation committee together. I’m glad to be moving into dissertation territory, don’t get me wrong, but…

Look, I know it’s not like I have it worse than anyone else. But it’s like, okay. When I go talk to faculty, I know how ridiculous I am.


(Speaking of Chris Traeger, did I mention I’m trying to make it to the gym?)


And whenever anyone asks me about anything related to the project, I’m all:

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Are you a juice cleanse fan? Looking for all-natural disease prevention? Worried about toxins or the bubonic plague? I present to you: THE ENLIGHTENMENT CLEANSE! Daniel Defoe recommended a good “cleansing and purging off of the noxious slime and corroded juices” from one’s body. Forget the cayenne- and lemon-infused water, though! THIS cleanse is all about vomiting, and taking mercury to induce salivation. Tough times call for tough measures!  Send me a check now for $29.95, and I’ll send YOU my new book, “The Enlightenment Cleanse,” and our new Enlighten-H2O–water that’s guaranteed fresh, crystal-clear, and pure!*

*by 18th-century Bath pump standards. Not fit for human consumption.


Passed my prelim exam! For the 18th century and Romanticism lists, I read 24 novels, 18 books of or book-length works of poetry, 38 other poems of varying length, 27 works of nonfiction, and 8 plays. Plus the 32 books and 4 articles on my Science and Literature list. Just saying–it was a lot of stuff to try to talk about in a 100-minute oral exam. But I guess I talked about it well enough to pass! :)

It’s hard out there for A. Pope.

It’s easy to get frustrated with Pope, especially when he’s being a misogynistic ass. But then you remember that almost everyone was really dickish* to him–what with his being Catholic, 4’6″, and hunchbacked, at a time when none of those qualities were very popular–and you think, okay, that would put me in a bad mood, too. John Dennis, why don’t you say something dickish about Pope?:

*official literary terminology

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Every Girl’s Crazy ‘Bout a Sharp-Dressed Man

Addison speaking on women’s weakness for dress, in Tatler issue 151 (1710):

“Many a lady has fetched a sigh at the toss of a wig, and been ruin’d by the tapping of a snuff-box. It is impossible to describe all the execution that was done by the shoulder-knot where that fashion prevailed, or to reckon up all the virgins that have fallen a sacrifice to a pair of fringed gloves. A sincere heart has not made half so many conquests as an open wa[i]stcoat . . .”

YESSS. Also, if you don’t know, dandies and fops loved snuff-boxes and writers loved giving them shit about it. Speaking of fops, here’s fop-rocker/New-Waver Adam Ant, singing about the life of a dandy highwayman while being incredibly swoon-worthy:

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