Sunday, March 23, 2008

Spring has broken

Thank goodness the Spitzer stuff has gotten old. I've finally gotten some uninterrupted work done! I'm not sure which was more of an achievement, finding what I was looking for at the JTS and NYPL, or finally sorting the mess of papers into primary sources (in one massive "binder clip") and recent-ish articles (in another). I'm inclined towards living in a big pile of papers, so the latter accomplishment is far more surprising.

I've also loaded my bag up with library books that have "contemporary" or "twentieth century" in the title, now that I'm focusing on the 19th century for two of my three final papers. If you have NYU library access and are studying contemporary French Jews, tomorrow's your big day. Or whatever the turnaround is, what with shelving and all. (From shelving at the Reg, I'm well aware that this is not an instantaneous process.) I'm less concerned with "bookshelf etiquette" (our shelves are at capacity) and more worried about being able to walk across the living room without tripping over a tower of library books... only to stumble onto another pile of library books.

And... I passed the halfway mark with Drieu la Rochelle (whom I cannot stop calling Drieu de la Rochelle, which sounds so much better). Gilles is as readable a 700-page fascist novel as I've ever come across, and I have to give it points for fascist consistency--if my presentation on the book were on what makes it fascist, I could underline just about anything. Cult of youth and health? Check. Jews as symbols of decadent modernity? Check. General assholishness in the model of what one with no prior academic study of fascism would expect from that ideology? Mais bien sur!

So Spring Break was productive enough after all. Between visits to JStor and Gallica, I also managed to see some friends, buy (and consume) Camembert, make (and consume) muffins, and meet a lovely, stuffed-animal-like black Pomeranian. The owner of said Pomeranian, a fellow thrift-store shopper, though far more chic than that description implies, serenaded Jo with Jacques Brel's "Les Flamandes." So yes, it was an action-packed Spring Break after all.

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