Friday, November 03, 2006

Can I Have an Extension?

I have two more chapters to go on the Shelter copyedits. I asked for, and got, an extension until Tuesday, which means I can finish up on Monday and put the manuscript in overnight mail.

Today I have two long committee meetings, plus I really need to swim at some point. We're having friends over tonight, which will be fun, but also means I'll get no work done.

Tomorrow I have to write my homily for Sunday. I used to get homilies done weeks ahead of time. Where did those days go?

This Sunday's going to be one of the tough ones: preaching at 8:00 and 10:30, and then four hours at the hospital in the evening. Between the two, I have time to swim or to nap, but not both.

The Tachyon publicist just sent me a marketing questionnaire for The Fate of Mice. Filling that out will take some time. My spring book orders were due last Tuesday and aren't in yet, and I still haven't quite decided what books to teach for my graduate seminar in Fantasy and Trauma. So at some point in the next few days, I need to get that done, too. (I know I'm not the only professor who doesn't have book orders in yet, so that's some comfort.)


The good news is that I voted -- we're in a mailing district -- and mailed my ballot yesterday, which should give it plenty of time to arrive by the deadline. I just hope I'm not too depressed on Wednesday after the results come out.


  1. Deborah Roggie1:00 PM

    Fantasy and Trauma? That's an interesting combination. When you do have time to put together your booklist, would you post that along with a brief course description?

    (I'm thinking of:
    Tolkien - LOTR
    Le Guin - Malafrena
    Kay - Tigana
    Mirlees - Lud-in-the-Mist
    and any number of Anderson's fairy tales, for starters. I know you're not asking for suggestions, but you got me thinking....)

    And, BTW, kudos to you for seeing your long-term book project to completion. I can really empathize with you--I've got a manuscript of my own that is taking forever.

  2. Deborah,

    Here's the course description, which will give you a rough sense of the reading list, too:

    Although many readers and critics associate fantasy literature with "escapism," there is a strong tradition of fantasy as both a reflection of and a response to historical trauma. JRR Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, and Richard Adams survived the horrors of World Wars I and II. Geoff Ryman has written powerful fantasy about Pol Pot's Cambodia, Connie Willis about the Civil War, and Jane Yolen about the Holocaust. In this seminar, we will draw upon the work of trauma theorists (Felman and Laub, Caruth et. al.) to explore the question of how fantasy allows writers to represent trauma in ways not possible in "realistic" narratives. We will also look at some "realistic" works, such as Michael Herr's DISPATCHES, to see where the lines between fantasy and reality blur.

  3. P.S. And thanks for the kudos! And good luck with your own project!

  4. Deborah Roggie8:48 PM

    Okay, now I see where you're going. That should be a very interesting course. (I was way off base, thinking of characters' traumas rather than authors'.)

    Then I thought of the Windling anthology, The Armless Maiden, and took a look--and found you were in it! So I think I'll stop suggesting titles now (because of course you've already given this a great deal of thought, and I'm newly interested in the idea), and start reading.

  5. Deborah,

    You're not that off base. I'm interested in looking at how authors use fantasy to represent historical traumas. The trauma could be the author's (Tolkien survived the Battle of the Somme), but doesn't have to be (Willis certainly didn't live through the Civil War, or even the Blitz; I'll probably be teaching "Fire Watch," although that's technically SF rather than fantasy . . . it ties perfectly into trauma theory, though, because it's all about memory).

    I'll definitely be teaching Windling's essay "Surviving Childhood" from THE ARMLESS MAIDEN. I've taught it a bunch of times now: students always love it, and it's a very precise illustration of how fantasy can say what's unsayable in the "real" world.

  6. Laurel10:40 AM

    I thought of _The Armless Maiden_ right away too, and McKinley's _Deerskin_ and Butler's _Kindred_, but that the course does not focus only on personal trauma makes it sound even more interesting. I would also love to see the rest of the book list or any assignments you have time to share. It sounds like a wonderful course. It doesn't have an online section by any chance, does it?

  7. Hi, Laurel! No online section, no. And since it's a grad seminar, there won't be the same kind of "assigments" there'd be in an undergraduate course. But I'll share the reading list when I finally have it. That could take a while, though; after I order the books, I'll have to figure out what order to teach them in!


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