I didn’t write a Weeknote last week, so this is two weeks’ worth.
Work has been slow and unproductive. I’ve had trouble sitting down and writing (probably why I didn’t do a Weeknote last week, it’s hard to report lack of progress. But not talking about it doesn’t make it go away).
I was also avoiding work email, but I’m catching up now. The summer is really almost over, because the work emails that aren’t about stuff that had to be done in the summer are starting to roll in. *cries*
While avoiding work I managed to get a fair bit of reading done. The Booker list came out on the 26th (at midnight BST, so at 4pm CDT on the 25th) and I dove into the ones I had access to. I read and reviewed My Sister the Serial Killer and I also finished John Lanchester’s The Wall, which I need to review. I then started Valeria Luiselli’s Lost Children Archive. In addition, I made progress on Ironopolis and read a Regency anthology from the Harlequin TBR, both for my 20 Books of Summer challenge. I have a feeling I won’t complete the challenge, but I still have five weeks to go so you never know. Barb said I’d picked a challenging list and she was right. It doesn’t help that I have a bunch of long and/or concentration-requiring books on it.
Or that I’m reading and listening to books that aren’t on the list! I’ve had the audiobook of Trollope’s Can You Forgive Her? on the TBR forever. I read all the Palliser novels back in high school, but I’ve wanted to reread them. The narration is by Timothy West and he’s wonderful. I’m listening when I hike or jog by myself, and the audio is over 32 hours long, so it’s not going all that fast but it’s great. I’m impressed yet again by how Trollope can combine unsentimental acuity with empathy. I just finished a seaside party section that is up there with Emma‘s Box Hill scene.
On the watching front, we continued with the second Maigret (just as good as the first) and started rewatching Foyle’s War from the beginning. Everyone is so young! I’d forgotten how good the early seasons were, and how much Horowitz shows you the complex and not always admirable ways that different Brits reacted to the early months of the War. The first two episodes take us up to Dunkirk. I’m assuming you’ve all seen them, but if you haven’t, get started! And Michael Kitchen is brilliant.
I’m still listening to Brexitcast, which is podcasting more frequently thanks to the Brexit implications of Boris Johnson’s ascension to Prime Minister. I still can’t believe I’m typing that. I’ve read a couple of very good articles on BoJo and other Brexiteers in the various literary magazines I read weekly. If you have access to the LRB, TLS, and/or NYRB, I strongly recommend them. There’s also a very good article by John Lanchester on Basic Universal Income in the most or next-to-most recent LRB. I have to say that reading these magazines is giving me … well, not hope, exactly, but more cognitive pleasure than reading the daily newspapers and their endless President/PM “what idiot/horrible thing has he said lately” stories.
Productivity was pretty crappy over the last two weeks. I didn’t keep up my lists and I had to go back and fill in my diary with events after the fact. I finally decided I had to face whatever was keeping me from working, so I pulled out a notebook and did a version of Morning Pages. That may be what I need to do for a while, at least until I work through whatever is going on.
I logged in to my second Twitter account after a year away and deactivated it (this is an account I set up so that I could lurk on Twitter more easily without interacting). I haven’t logged into @ProfNita yet, but I plan to deactivate that one too and then let it expire at the end of 30 days. I’ve become used to not being on Twitter, and while there are things I can’t see without having an account, they grow less and less important to me. The new format doesn’t let me lurk the way I used to, and I’m not going back to using it through an account, so there’s no point in having one. There is no question in my mind that the Orange Disgrace’s use of Twitter is contributing to the degraded state of our public sphere and the normalizing of racist, misogynist, xenophobic, and anti-Semitic discourse, and the only thing that will reduce coverage is to reduce participation (both on Twitter directly and via second-hand consumption of the media’s obsession with it). And yes, I realize that silence can suggest consent and can contribute to normalization, but there’s a difference between silence about policies and enabling an echo chamber whose back-and-forths get monetized for clicks . The media is the dog who is being wagged by the tail on this. Most people aren’t on Twitter and only get the information second-hand. If it were less lucrative for the relevant parties it wouldn’t be reported as obsessively, and as a consequence there would be less incentive to come up with daily (and increasingly awful) Tweetstorms for publicity.
I’ve been hiking and jogging, but last night my knee, which has been giving me minor problems all summer, decided it was serious about being injured. It’s my LCL (outside knee ligament), and I’m almost certain it’s not a full tear. But it means keeping off it, taking inflammatories, and generally trying to get the inflammation down. Dammit. I hate tendon injuries.
Back to writing. More reading. RICE for the knee.