Welcome To My Bed

Ten things about today.

1. I am reading a psychoanalytic perspective on Sylvia Plath's work at the reference desk called Sylvia Plath: Poetry and Existence. It is very wordy and from the seventies. I am not sure if the writer is angry at Plath for her suicide or defending her behavior in talking about her schizoid personality and its manifestations in her work. Basically nerding it out for the first time in weeks. I have a taken a turn towards the academic, a process of throwing myself back into books that I tend to restart every time I get seriously overwhelmed by the rest of the world. Case in point: last winter, from about January to early April.

2. I am concerned that all of this reading about Plath is going to make me psychoanalyze my own writing. I don't think I'm ready for that, but I'm also pretty sure I wouldn't even know how to go about it in the first place. David Holbrook, in the aforementioned text, has thus far talked a good deal about Plath's reliance on an interior world to support her when her articulations were not understood by their intended audience. To be plain, she retreated inside of herself looking for answers when no one else had any for her, because no one understood her questions. He argues that her answer was the wrong one, quite passionately, saying a bunch about the glorification of modernist literature in the current (1970s) school system being responsible for rampant narcissism and nihilism.

3. The facsimile of the original manuscript for Ariel is one of the required texts for the class I'm doing all this research reading for. We haven't gotten to it in discussion yet, but we will soon, and I have to do a presentation. All the included scans of her type-written final drafts (in the order that she originally intended!!!) live at one of the Smith libraries. I suspect that I will soon make a pilgrimage, so that I may cry, and swoon, and wonder aloud what has changed about Smith since she went there on scholarship forever ago.

4. My aunt sent me a Halloween card from West Palm Beach. I never get mail, and I was definitely not expecting any from her. It had birthday money in it, which made me wonder why she didn't just send a birthday card.

5. I skipped work this morning because the pile-up of exhaustion from the events of the past week proved too crippling for me to get out of bed. I literally opened my laptop, which was next to my face, wrote a two-line email to my supervisor about feeling "under the weather" and hit send, promptly falling back asleep with my hand still on the keyboard. I did not write anything while asleep, but I kind of wish I had.

6. Every Thursday we end up talking about some aspect of space in our poetry workshop. I mostly blame Charley for this. Today's space topic was the space program during the Cold War. Sophia whispered to me that "cosmonaut" is one of her favorite-sounding words, much better than "astronaut". I would probably agree that "cosmonaut" sounds better to me, but that's probably only because I am less familiar with it.

7. I am getting very tired of my vocabulary. I need to read a book translated from another language so that I can think about sentence constructions differently. This method usually yields great results-- last semester, my seminar on the contemporary European novel drastically altered my writing. I produced some of the cleanest prose I ever have as an indirect result of the reading I did over those few months. I think I'll email the professor and ask for some suggestions, although she'll probably just recommend that I read more Sebald, and then I'll get terribly depressed and have World War nightmares that only subtly hint at what is truly going on in the background.

8. Kat Mott is sitting in my living room waiting for me to leave work. I feel like an over-acheiving employee for staying ten minutes past the end of my shift, especially because there's no one here to even see if I show up or not.

9. Cassandra bought groceries, the (arguable) best of which is my current favorite snack: Ruffles and Philadelphia cream cheese. Esme and I discussed the delightfulness of chips and cream cheese today, and it seems like we three have stumbled onto a goldmine of simple yet delicious snack food. Although Cass keeps buying fat free cream cheese, which sometimes creeps me out if I think about it too hard.

10. I have to do a presentation on the origins of microfiction tomorrow afternoon and have not done a lick of work for it. Time to slave over some photocopies of Baudelaire.