Saturday, May 5, 2018

How Hard I Tried to Open the Minds of Students! Diary 8 November 1988.

At T's request (T being male) invited the "feminist deconstructors" to house. Made corn bread, chili, rice. T (silent), J (left early), L (interesting, older), X (reader responser), Y (declares she is in graduate school "to be a colleague of her teachers). Announced themselves as vegetarians--scorned chili, picked at rice (which was less attractive because they were so late). Three wanted to smoke at the table.
I talked to them of what I do--so at least they have some sense of my passion for research--& some sense that nowhere near enough has been done--that there's so much to do, that just as Steve Mailloux combined me with Stan Fish they are free to do real work by taking off from my kinds of evidence of how real readers are known to have responded (as in reviews) and by bringing Derrida into relation with real deconstructions of the text. It's their choice.

2018: They all disappeared, all without degrees, I think. How contemptuous they were! I did not allow smoking at the table.
This was the year I wrote much of the Historical Note for MOBY-DICK from previously unused family letters, the year the Northwestern-Newberry MOBY-DICK was published. Alma and Hayford lived and worked in the third floor for extended periods and never complained about the food I served them. Mark Niemeyer was there many days, into many nights. How we worked in 1988!

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