I am back in NYC, after six weeks in Italy. The studio was a wreck, as I moved out of my flat before I went to Italy, and it just added to the chaos. I’ve been quiet because I’ve been putting it in order, removing the remnants of my apartment life from the studio, so it can return to its library-like work focus.
Post-Rome I went to Milan to meet with Calasso and see his publishing house, which was, all in all, an astonishing experience, one I hope to repeat, and about which I will write more later.
Just a quick hello, dear reader, and we shall be back in full form next week.
I have, admittedly, been working like mad, while here. In addition to reading and writing about The Adelphi Project — mostly focused on 20th century Italian and European history, I have also been writing about translation and sound, and researching two other projects which have been floating in my mind for a very long time, and here I have access to unexpected resources. Some writing has come out of those two as well.
The Italians mock me for coming to Rome and working, but time is short!
I leave the AAR on Monday and as of this morning I had 13 books out of the library and another eight or nine I want to finish reviewing in the library. It’s never going to happen. Even I cannot read 20,000 pages in a weekend.
Working on some history of history notes, I realized that what I have basically been attempting to do in this month is write a PhD. Unreasonable expectations I have for myself. Write a PhD whilst writing a narrative non-fiction science book and a book of prose/poetry. And perhaps it is two PhDs, since there is all the stuff on Adelphi and the creation of the house, and all the stuff on the effects of literature on culture and intellectual thought as it varies due to translation. Semiology had to get in there somewhere, right?
So! End result, batshit! I also recall that before I left NYC I had decided that I would do nothing productive whilst in Rome, I would float and think and not expect any output from myself. I would take long walks and just let the last few months be digested.
I have another week in Rome, in which I shall, in fact, try to choose a project and a direction for the next few months. Then to Milan for meetings, after which I five days which I am going to attempt to devote entirely to personal pleasure. Wish me luck.