Thursday, February 28, 2008


That's not Call for Papers, all you academics in the house who just felt yourselves snapping to attention. It's a Call for Prompts.

Tonight I watched the eight arms of a string quartet working as though they were all attached to the same body, one with four separate but interdependent facial expressions, one where, had someone broken a string, a voice would surely have said, "Our string has broken," as happened back in November.

"I wish I had a quartet," I thought, not meaning that I want a group of musicians with whom to play (though perhaps that will come, too)--just meaning that I want a creative partnership. And almost as soon as that thought bubble swelled up and out, another one followed it: I'm not ever creating by myself, because I have you all. I'll send out a call for help! I thought.

But writing "A call for help!" sounds as though something dire is happening, when exactly the opposite is the case. I thought about "a call for interest," but somehow that sounded self-deprecating, and CFI doesn't have nearly the Pavlovian potential, for people of my ilk, that CFP does.

Here's my question: If I told you that I wanted to tell some stories, maybe longer stories than I've generally been able to here (or expanded versions of things I've told), what would you hope you'd get to hear?

I suspect that I can do this on my own, but I also suspect that it would be more fun to invite the participation of my small, faithful audience. Some of you have been with me in this venue for more than two years, after all.


Blogger StinkyLulu said...

I'd love to hear you talk about teaching as a practice of self-knowing...a crisis of faith perhaps, or a moment of being...something about the dimensions of self you've encountered as a teacher.

10:22 PM, February 28, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like to hear about the distinctive perceptions you have of ordinary things, expressed in unusual ways. I enjoy your wordcraft as much as your subjects. And you often see things I would otherwise have missed.

10:35 AM, February 29, 2008  
Anonymous Matt said...

I'd like to hear the rest of this story:

"Dear PMLA Letters,

"I never thought something like this would happen to me, so I just had to write to tell you all about it..."

4:22 PM, March 01, 2008  
Blogger The Slabber said...

I would expect to hear more of the amazingness.

1:27 AM, March 02, 2008  
Blogger Poking-Stick Man said...

I second Matt's suggestion; I would particularly like to hear that story if it could involve at least two of the following terms/phrases: "discipline," "punish," "boss ladies," "exam copies," "body paragraphs," "Hoover" (either the president or the vacuum cleaner -- your choice), "Samuel Richardson." Go to work! :)

1:35 AM, March 03, 2008  

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