publishing, parenting, dissertating

July 30, 2011 at 11:34 pm (Uncategorized)

The not-the-greatest-but-whatever: Chretien article is a no-go this time ’round. Reviewer 1 seemed to pretty much hate it, on a content level, really took close aim at the backbone of the argument (to the point where I can’t salvage it with this reviewer) as well as some stylistic stuff, and didn’t think it a fit for the journal without significant shift in focus.  Reviewer 2 seemed to really like it, was impressed at how “clean” it was (ie, didn’t have the same problems with stylistic stuff) and said some very nice things about it as scholarship, but also didn’t think it was a fit without significant shift in focus (though did think it publishable, just somewhere else).  Deadline for revision is Sep 15, so I have to let it go since it would pretty much have to be a brand-new article to fly for this journal (I have no idea where else I’d send it, but the flaws reviewer 1 noted were things I’d worried about all along, and I’m more than slightly abashed to hear the niggling worries I was unable to quell over the years articulated by a reviewer).  Well, I rue the time sunk into it, but I can’t throw good time after bad right now, so to speak – not right now.

The much-better: my phobic child, who has been fired from more than one dentist and more than one clinic for her dentist-and-doctor phobias, got two immunizations today with a bare minimum of fuss.  It’s pretty hard to convey how big a deal this is if you haven’t been through it, but just imagine two doctors, two nurses and me (I’m small but no lightweight – I kickbox) physically pinning down a screaming, thrashing, hyperventilating 5’1″ kid who is all elbows and flailing legs, and then imagine not having to go through that after being pretty darned certain it was going to be the center of your day.  (Yes, it feels horribly cruel; yes, I’ve tried everything else over the years.)  I was so proud of her that I took her straight to the comic book store.  That lulled her to the point where she didn’t whinge very much about a trip to the library, at which I introduced her to the microfiche files and the reader.  Seeing her jaw drop when she comprehended that one single filing cabinet held more written material than the entire local public library was a pretty cool parenting moment.  Commentaries on Psalms didn’t really get her engines revving – go figure – but she willingly read a wretched little early 1800s bit of Americana in verse.  Her comment: “If that dude wrote that stuff about me, I’d get a restraining order.”

The diss: The better part of my workday was spent on a homily that is called a bunch of different things depending on what you read.  The translation hasn’t been so bad for the most part, though I still have quite a few spots I just can’t explain the syntax and grammar in.  But would you believe it took me nearly four hours to find out what manuscript this homily is extant in?  (It took me nearly two to be certain that what Charles Wright calls the “Macarius” Homily is the same homily known as HomU 55 in the DOE Corpus.*  Sometimes our scholarly foreparents are not so kind to us.).  I’ll likely post my translation later, if I can ever get to a point where I can defend some of the sentence structure I’m rendering, but in the meantime, to save anyone else the trouble I just went to, Thomas Hall held my answer in his “The Psychedelic Transmogrification of the Soul in Vercelli Homily IV,” Time and Eternity: the Medieval Discourse, Jaritz and Moreno-Riano, eds, Brepols, 2003.  The homily which the DOE Corpus labels HomU 55, Cameron number B3.4.55,  Incipit: “Ic bidde eow ך eadmodlice…” transcribed from Thorpe  Ancient Laws and Institutes of England v. 2, 1804, pp 394-400, is in Cambridge, Corpus Christi College, MS 201.  The Parker Library description tells me it’s on pp 212-220 of the codex.  Charles Wright’s “The Old English ‘Macarius’ Homily, Vercelli Homily IV, and Ephrem Latinus, De paenitentia,” in Via Crucis: Essays on Early Medieval Sources and Ideas in Memory of JE Cross, ed. Thomas Hall (2001) probably holds this info too, but my library is on summer hours right now and I couldn’t get my hands on that one today.

*The really sad thing is that it wouldn’t have taken so long 1. had I properly filed all my photocopies before now, 2. had I looked in my file of notes on penitentials, which is where I noted some time ago that the Parker Library on the Web informed me of the Incipit, which I must have found by simply googling the Cameron number in a fit of exasperation one day.  So I guess that’s a long way of saying, it wouldnt’ have taken so long if there were any order or method to my notes & files at all.  Or, you know, if Thorpe had anywhere in his Ancient Laws made reference to the source of his transcription, saving me time that I could have devoted to translating some of the homilies without published ModE translations extant anywhere.  Sigh.

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1 Comment

  1. Jonathan Jarrett said,

    I can relate to most of that, actually. Some of the older generation of scholars seem to have operated on the assumption that everyone obviously knew where these things were anyway (and by extension that everyone who counted was obviously in either Oxford or Cambridge).

    With the Chrétien article, I would counsel putting it aside for now (what with everything else) and then when you next find you ought to be thinking about publication hauling it and reviews out, thinking if it might be rebuilt to face down objections and then sending it somewhere else. This need not be labour completely lost but it obviously shouldn’t be salvaged right now. Also, darn them all to heck etc.

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