Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Random bullets at midweek

  • How much do you remember about a book (criticism, not fiction) a few years after you've read it? After you've skimmed it?
  • Do you remember the general subject? The argument? Examples?
  • How embarrassed are you if a few years later, a student is reading the book because you said it was good and asks you about the argument--and you can't remember? (My answer: sort of embarrassed, but not as much as I'd have been some years ago.)
  • You know all those writing techniques that say to get at the writing in the morning, putting everything else aside, and then stop? Well, I've gotten a piece just about finished, but the trouble is that I don't want to stop. It's like chips: you can't eat just one.
  • Speaking of chips, how pampered are Americans, anyway? This is from the Wall Street Journal:
    Frito-Lay, the snack giant owned by PepsiCo Inc., says it is pulling most of the biodegradable packaging it uses for its Sun Chips snacks, following an outcry from consumers who complained the new bags were too noisy.
    Come on. Dude, you're sitting in front of your TV and the bag is too noisy? You're at home, for Pete's sake. The noise isn't going to kill you. And if the bag is too noisy for the place where you're trying to open it, here's a tip: any place where the bag noise is a problem is a place where you shouldn't be eating chips in the first place.


Fretful Porpentine said...

I won't remember a thing unless I've written a summary or review of it, or cited it in a paper. Scholarship goes straight through my head if I don't do something active, like writing about it (or, I guess, teaching it, but I don't normally teach critical works that are longer than article-length).

Anonymous said...

I remember dimly, for a few years, and after that it's tendrils, associating an author with a subject or a volume if I'm lucky, but quite often not. Sometimes I can backform it from what else I would have been reading at the time. I think that as with many other things I am here better than many but less good than a rather visible some...

undine said...

Fretful, that's my situation, too; I need to write about it in some fashion.

tenthmedieval, you're lucky. Sometimes recalling it with the other things I was reading makes me attribute Person A's argument to Person B.