What I’m actually doing this semester

I had big plans, which have not come to fruition. Rather than writing the first article mentioned in my previous post, I spent much of my time debating about whether to write it, ultimately deciding not to. My goal of writing a conference paper “as an article” has met a similar fate — I went back and forth on it, began collecting related articles, marked out my Spring Break as the time I would write it, and ultimately decided not to.

It’s becoming clear that I have just been unwilling to let myself have a break. The last two years have been extremely productive — I wrote Creepiness, compiled Agamben’s Coming Philosophy with Colby Dickinson, taught a graduate seminar over and above my regular teaching load, translated The Use of Bodies and Pilate and Jesus, completed The Prince of This World — and as time wore on, I became less and less able to actually stop and rest.

The last two days, I finally gave myself full “days off,” where I didn’t do anything “productive” aside from answering e-mails, and I realized that it had been at least a year and possibly two since I had allowed myself that luxury. My attempt over the past couple months to force myself to take on unnecessary work, apparently just for the sake of it, had produced no tangible results other than to leave me feeling guilty and irritable and unsatisfied.

So what am I going to do this semester? What I have to. Depending on how it goes, I may even extend that rule into the summer.

One Response to “What I’m actually doing this semester”

  1. John Emerson Says:

    About time.

    What you COULD do is write a definitive 600 pp. work on the ideology of laziness, starting with Lafargue. And Bartleby and Oblomov. I just read that the author of Homo Ludens, Johan Huizinga, confessed to being relatively lazy and unproductive.


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