Welcome to The Valve

Valve Links

The Front Page
Statement of Purpose

John Holbo - Editor
Scott Eric Kaufman - Editor
Aaron Bady
Adam Roberts
Amardeep Singh
Andrew Seal
Bill Benzon
Daniel Green
Jonathan Goodwin
Joseph Kugelmass
Lawrence LaRiviere White
Marc Bousquet
Matt Greenfield
Miriam Burstein
Ray Davis
Rohan Maitzen
Sean McCann
Guest Authors

Laura Carroll
Mark Bauerlein
Miriam Jones

Past Valve Book Events

cover of the book Theory's Empire

Event Archive

cover of the book The Literary Wittgenstein

Event Archive

cover of the book Graphs, Maps, Trees

Event Archive

cover of the book How Novels Think

Event Archive

cover of the book The Trouble With Diversity

Event Archive

cover of the book What's Liberal About the Liberal Arts?

Event Archive

cover of the book The Novel of Purpose

Event Archive

The Valve - Closed For Renovation

Happy Trails to You

What’s an Encyclopedia These Days?

Encyclopedia Britannica to Shut Down Print Operations

Intimate Enemies: What’s Opera, Doc?

Alphonso Lingis talks of various things, cameras and photos among them

Feynmann, John von Neumann, and Mental Models

Support Michael Sporn’s Film about Edgar Allen Poe

Philosophy, Ontics or Toothpaste for the Mind

Nazi Rules for Regulating Funk ‘n Freedom

The Early History of Modern Computing: A Brief Chronology

Computing Encounters Being, an Addendum

On the Origin of Objects (towards a philosophy of computation)

Symposium on Graeber’s Debt

The Nightmare of Digital Film Preservation

Richard Petti on Occupy Wall Street: America HAS a Ruling Class

Bill Benzon on Whatwhatwhatwhatwhatwhatwhat?

Nick J. on The Valve - Closed For Renovation

Bill Benzon on Encyclopedia Britannica to Shut Down Print Operations

Norma on Encyclopedia Britannica to Shut Down Print Operations

Bill Benzon on What’s an Object, Metaphysically Speaking?

john balwit on What’s an Object, Metaphysically Speaking?

William Ray on That Shakespeare Thing

Bill Benzon on That Shakespeare Thing

William Ray on That Shakespeare Thing

JoseAngel on That Shakespeare Thing

Bill Benzon on Objects and Graeber's Debt

Bill Benzon on A Dirty Dozen Sneaking up on the Apocalypse

JoseAngel on A Dirty Dozen Sneaking up on the Apocalypse

JoseAngel on Objects and Graeber's Debt

Advanced Search

RSS 1.0 | RSS 2.0 | Atom

RSS 1.0 | RSS 2.0 | Atom


Powered by Expression Engine
Logo by John Holbo

Creative Commons Licence
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.



About Last Night
Academic Splat
Amardeep Singh
Bemsha Swing
Bitch. Ph.D.
Blogging the Renaissance
Butterflies & Wheels
Cahiers de Corey
Category D
Charlotte Street
Cheeky Prof
Chekhov’s Mistress
Chrononautic Log
Cogito, ergo Zoom
Collected Miscellany
Completely Futile
Confessions of an Idiosyncratic Mind
Conversational Reading
Critical Mass
Crooked Timber
Culture Cat
Culture Industry
Early Modern Notes
Easily Distracted
fait accompi
Ferule & Fescue
Ghost in the Wire
Giornale Nuovo
God of the Machine
Golden Rule Jones
Grumpy Old Bookman
Ideas of Imperfection
In Favor of Thinking
In Medias Res
Inside Higher Ed
jane dark’s sugarhigh!
John & Belle Have A Blog
John Crowley
Jonathan Goodwin
Kathryn Cramer
Languor Management
Light Reading
Like Anna Karina’s Sweater
Lime Tree
Limited Inc.
Long Pauses
Long Story, Short Pier
Long Sunday
Making Light
Maud Newton
Michael Berube
Motime Like the Present
Narrow Shore
Neil Gaiman
Old Hag
Open University
Pas au-delà
Planned Obsolescence
Quick Study
Rake’s Progress
Reader of depressing books
Reading Room
Reassigned Time
Reeling and Writhing
Return of the Reluctant
Say Something Wonderful
Shaken & Stirred
Silliman’s Blog
Slaves of Academe
Sorrow at Sills Bend
Sounds & Fury
Stochastic Bookmark
Tenured Radical
the Diaries of Franz Kafka
The Elegant Variation
The Home and the World
The Intersection
The Litblog Co-Op
The Literary Saloon
The Literary Thug
The Little Professor
The Midnight Bell
The Mumpsimus
The Pinocchio Theory
The Reading Experience
The Salt-Box
The Weblog
This Public Address
This Space: The Fire’s Blog
Thoughts, Arguments & Rants
Tingle Alley
University Diaries
Unqualified Offerings
What Now?
William Gibson

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

271 notes (two hundred and seventy-one) from a novel I don’t remember reading.*

Posted by Scott Eric Kaufman on 03/17/09 at 10:56 PM

Before I could return The Damnation of Theron Ware to my beloved library, I had to remove all the notes I’d stuck to its pages. It took me a while:


The resulting note wheel is as lovely as it is meaningless, because I remember absolutely nothing about The Damnation of Theron Ware. From my notes, I can almost reconstruct why I read it:

Theron enjoys the “primitive” pleasures of Catholic picnics; contrast to earlier (235-6) image of it as orderly machine; no, from sociological & intellectual perspective it’s orderly, from internal is primitive

If only I knew the antecedent of “it” I might be able to reconstruct my reason for reading the book. Am I the only one for whom the Five Year Rule applies? (And do I really want that question answered?)


*Notation borrowed from a letter Joyce wrote to his mother after arriving in Paris: “Your order for 3s 4d of Tuesday last was very welcome as I had been without food for 42 hours (forty-two).” How’s that for passive-aggression?


Nice post-its, if boringly monochromatic.

By Rohan Maitzen on 03/18/09 at 10:45 AM | Permanent link to this comment

I tried using multi-colored tabs when I started the dissertation, but found them too constricting.  What I mean is, I found that by pre-categorizing certain textual moments as relating to X or Y or Z, I couldn’t avoid being tendentious.  (This is a personal failing, though.) So what I did was switch to all the same color, then when I re-noted them—i.e. when I compiled my notes into a document—I was better able to let the text speak for itself and complicate my otherwise uninventive insights.  (That said, I obviously never went through that stage with Theron Ware, otherwise it would’ve been de-tabbed.)

By Scott Eric Kaufman on 03/18/09 at 02:22 PM | Permanent link to this comment

My favorite bit from that novel goes, “I divide people up into two classes, you know--Greeks and Jews.  Once you get hold of that principle, all other divisions and classifications, such as by race or language or nationality, seem pure foolishness.  It is the only true division there is.  It is just as true among negroes or wild Indians who never heard of Athens or Jerusalem, as it is among white folks.  That is the beauty of it.  It works everywhere, always.”

How about THAT notion?  Sheesh!

By Casey on 03/25/09 at 11:14 AM | Permanent link to this comment

Add a comment:



Remember my personal information

Notify me of follow-up comments?

Please enter the word you see in the image below: