Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Research Leave

My research leave starts NOW. True, I have a bundle of loose ends to clear up from the semester, but it’s also true that this is my first post-tenure semester off. I had a junior leave at Purdue during which my father-in-law died and which I spent applying for jobs elsewhere; I had a junior leave at DePauw, which I also spent on the job market. Oh, the life of an academic married to an academic is not a simple one. But this time, I am not pregnant or grieving, and, touch wood, I hope to actually spend it on the projects at hand. To whit:

1. Finish the Cambridge edition of Mrs. Dalloway.This is to be a textual edition, which means I am comparing every single edition of the 1925 novel published in Woolf’s lifetime (1925-1941) in English. There are some minor but significant differences among these editions, especially between America and England. A large and dull part of this job, then, is to compile a big list of variants. Then, too, I must find, write and compile all the footnotes necessary for understanding the novel. Now, it’s true that you can get a nicely footnoted edition from Harcourt or, if you were lucky enough, you got a British Penguin or OUP edition during those brief halcyon days in the early 90s when Woolf was out of copyright in the UK. (She went back in under the stricter EU rules when England joined the EU.) But the Cambridge brief is different: each of us is to footnote everything a scholar could need. This means that some things a common reader might want may not get footnoted while many, many other things only of interest to specialists will. Finally, I have to write a long introduction offering a textual history of the novel. I’ve been hacking away at this project for the lifetime of my second child and now that she is approaching four, I finally have time from teaching to dedicate to it.

2. Lose 25 pounds. Self-explanatory and much harder than #1. Wish me luck.

1 comment:

Jenny Davidson said...

Good luck! I too am having first post-tenure leave, it hasn't QUITE hit me yet...