Discover more from the pillow book
licensed to kill
/ please read my new article
Earlier tonight I spent 3 hours in a windowless room working on revising a research paper that was rejected from a journal this summer. This was part of a school-sponsored event, a very regimented affair: they told us to check in and put on name-tags at 5, brought boxed salads out at 6:25, and then it was back into our chairs.
My friend Z. was there too, saving me a seat. She just passed the drivers’ license test and I greeted her with a loud whoop, saying, Licensed to kill! which was meant to be a reference (to a Bond film I have never seen), and hopefully not a prediction of recklessness.
Licensed to maim, she retorted. I told Z. that I liked the way this writing night was organized, the rigid discipline of it. The organizers had said no grading, no emails, no looking at your phone or leaving early. When we were released to march to the salads I said I felt like a little orphan at a boarding school in a Victorian novel, by which I meant there is something quaint and endearing about being sat down in a chair and told you must work. Even though there was no schoolmarm wandering the aisle with a ruler. I suppose the schoolmarm was generated intersubjectively (now there’s a GRAD SCHOOL WORD*), the schoolmarm was in all of us.
*other GRAD SCHOOL WORDS, which all follow the Potter Stewart test, include “imbricate,” “interpellate,” and “affect” pronounced /ˈaˌfek(t)/
a moment of self-promotion: I had a couple of articles come out in the past few months: one in Post45’s Heteropessimism cluster in July (“How do we write about love of cock?”) and one yesterday in Dilettante Army’s “Definitive Guide” issue (“The man’s definitive guide to the female orgasm”). The header image here is the illustration for that article
and some friends: Lora Maslenitsyna wrote this review of Mieko Kanai’s novel Mild Vertigo, a book that I’m now reading. Marlene Berke wrote about failures in gynecological care at Cornell Health (that mirror broader issues in OB/GYN offices around the nation). Talia Rothstein wrote about problems with law school in “What Law Clinics Left Behind.” Nikhil Goyal wrote an op-ed about child poverty drawing from his years of ethnographic research in the NYTimes.