Still Thinking Randomly

Right now, I’m supposed to be at the Coeur D’Alene resort in Idaho, chairing a panel on Literature and Religion at the Rocky Mountain Modern Language Association conference. But I’m not. I’m in Knoxville, where, by the way, it’s in the mid-80s, which is way too hot for mid-October, for real. I had to cancel the panel because all four of my panelists were forced to withdraw due to cuts in departmental travel budgets. All four! If you’re not in academia, I’m sure you don’t care. But this is a fairly serious trend, I think.

Instead, I’m working on another conference paper — this one to be delivered next month in Atlanta, which is an easy drive, and thank God for that. I’m not sure yet exactly what I’m going to say in my paper, but the good news is that it’s forcing me to read Sculpting in Time for the first time in years, and it’s also given me an excuse to play more with this idea of theorizing boredom. On several readers’ recommendations, I just checked out Leo Charney’s Empty Moments, along with some Bazin stuff I’ve been meaning to read. The paper is about Caveh Zahedi, more or less. I think.