Things are heating up, workwise, both on the dissertation and an editing job. So I’ve been working feverishly, and have appointments with my readers in Berkeley next week. Yesterday I got a good dose of eyestrain while scanning newspapers on microfilm at the Steinbeck Library in Salinas.
Getting the Ph.D. long ago stopped being about getting a professorship and the “authority” that supposedly goes with all that. If it happens, fine — although in this economy with the infrastructure eroding around us, it’s unlikely. And at this point, I’m a bit old to be going the tenure track route. At one point, though, I just had to acknowledge that the research itself really means a lot to me. The people, the editors, publishers, writers, field laborers, cooks, wanderers, poets, and so forth that I am writing about began to stand out as real people with real lives that are connected to mine in interesting ways. And now, living amidst the agricultural fields, and near Salinas where the Philippines Mail was published (among other journals I’m studying), has added more dimension and perspective to their narratives. So I continue on, like a novelist in love with the characters, and lost in the story.