Vanity Fea

Retropost (2007): The Usual Users

Dear Jack: message(s) received! it's been a hectic week around here, it's the start of the second semester, and there's a small scare in our usual internecine wars and machiavellian plotting, not to mention a commando of workmen who have demolished one of our bathrooms and are in control of half the flat. But I promise I'll be back on Sunday or early next week with the Preface plus missing parts. I see there is much narratological ado in Paris (where else?—everywhere! but Paris is Paris, not least for narratology), and I keep track of some of it with the two websites you recommended to me, Fabula and Vox Poetica. I also take a peek now and then at the Hamburg narratology page, although German is rougher going for me! Anyway I'm afraid that's the most I'll get to do; what with the proletarian commando and my fancy dentist I can barely make ends meet with my salary here, so there's no question of my attending expensive international conferences for the time being. I told you about the difficulty of applying (successfully I mean) for a research project here; well, now the cards are on the table, and we've been told we can't even apply. Official research projects (others don't count as such around here, your ideas aren't worth a dime if they aren't worth a grant)—official research grants, I was saying, are reserved, according to the latest bulletin, to "habitual users", meaning those professors who have already received previous grants. What's more, applications from their former their team members are explicitly ruled out! So, as I was a member of one of those teams some years ago, I cannot apply for a research grant. Only people younger than 40 and who have never done any research in those teams before can apply—and the usual users, of course. Can you believe such an arrangement is actually the case? So that doesn't exactly help or encourage me to keep going at full steam. At least I try to enjoy the little I do, with limited means. And sometimes it pays off—I can't wait to see our volume between two covers, for instance! Although of course it's yours to a greater extent, so my first suggestion for the preface is going to be that we put your name first, it's only fair, betalphatical is just as good as alphabetical to me, indeed it's much better in this case. And as to the order of the papers, I am also ready to follow your suggestion—as long as you don't put me first! I really think there are better candidates for that position, as my paper deals with a side issue really. Anyway,— back here soon, JAGL

Cuando la calidad pierde su honesto nombre 



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