Tuesday, January 31, 2006

The Love Letter

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So I sit all day in my desk chair indexing my book, because it has to be done and I can't afford to pay someone to do it for me. It's in the 50s and sunny in the middle of a Chicago winter. My butt hurts from the chair. I look out at the sunshine. I skip the gym. Towards late afternoon I realize that I have unconsciously reversed the names in a citation in my bibliography of a two-author volume that gf wrote with someone else. I have put gf's name first, even though on her book it comes second. I must have thought it SHOULD come first. This is further proof that really I am a bad scholar. I make things up, just like James Frey.

I panic about this. My book is in galleys and I will have to change this entry all around.

In an anxious phone conversation, I tell my friend in Austin.

"Leave it," he says. "No one will ever notice except the other author. Let the reversal stay hidden in your text forever, like a secret love letter."

It stays.

3 comments:

Artichoke Heart said...

How absolutely delicious!

Camicao said...

Cool! I agree... but... did you have to skip the gym??

Just kidding.

I was too terrified to do my own index. I just could not face it. No way josé. I think there are two kinds of academics... those who face their own indexes, and those that flee in terror...

dr. m(mmm) aka The Notorious P.H.D. said...

That's just excellent. I love the way your friend thinks.